TV

Old, New Obsession: Ugly Betty

When Ugly Betty first aired, I remember mainly catching re-runs on the TV Guide channel where the bottom quarter of the screen scrolled through channel programming.
In 2010, since I had bangs and it was the easiest costume to do – I dressed up as Betty Suarez for Halloween. Fake glasses, my own wardrobe, and carrying a couple Seventeen magazines around seemed to do the trick.

I’m almost done with the first season and I’m already frustrated there’s only three seasons left.
Re-discovering the show now has been the best thing and I have no one to discuss it with so here are three main reasons why I love Ugly Betty. (Season 1 spoilers ahead)

  1. Latino Stereotypes
    Betty (America Ferrera) completely goes against the typical Latina stereotype that’s constantly portrayed in TV and movies. She’s a different kind of Latina, but that doesn’t make her any less of a Latina! Her sister, Hilda (Ana Ortiz), may seem like that stereotype, but we see her struggle as a single mom and heart as she would do anything to protect her family. Along with her ambition to provide a better life for her son and have her own accomplishments. Hilda is a fully formed character who’s not reduced to a stereotype.
  2. LGBT Characters 
    From what I read, Alexis Meade (Rebecca Romijn) was “television’s first regular transgender character.” (1) They are handling her character so well. Alexis seems to be more openly accepted by the fashion community and has difficulty with people outside of that. Though there has been quite a bit of misgendering, which mainly comes from her intolerant father. I’m looking forward to seeing Alexis grow and become more comfortable in her skin.
    Now with Betty’s nephew, Justin (Mark Indelicato), so far there’s been roundabout talk about his sexuality, but nothing direct. I know they’ll address this in a later season, but seeing how the family accepts him for who he is has been great.
  3. Immigration
    Betty’s father, Ignacio (Tony Plana), turns out to be undocumented to Betty and Hilda’s surprise. A lawyer scams them out of a great sum of money in hopes of getting a green card for him, and I love that they showed that. It’s an unfortunate truth that there’s people out there who take advantage of these families who are trying to keep their loved ones in the US legally. He’s a hard-working, tax-paying, father and grandfather. When the issue of immigration comes up in political debates, sometimes politicians just refer to these people as numbers, when they’re real people. This show representing that is great to see.

Drama, love, major second-hand embarrassment, and hilarious writing keep me wanting more of this show. I’m excited to see what’s in store and will definitely write out my thoughts for each season to come. So far, I’d have to say my favorite character is Betty since I relate to her the most, but each character has their endearing qualities that makes me love them all.

Thanks for reading!

–Yolanda

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