"Ugly Betty" is cute and campy, sweet but not syrupy, occasionally mean, but always willing to reward the underdog in the end. Basically, it's the kind of show not often seen in primetime in the U.S., and maybe that's just why the Hollywood Foreign Press Association honored it as the best comedy on TV at the Golden Globe Awards last night.
Based on a Colombian telenovela, the general story of "Ugly Betty" has been translated for almost a dozen countries. After all, who doesn't like a story of an ugly duckling with a big heart who proves time and again that being wise is better than being beautiful? ABC's Betty is played perfectly by America Ferrera, who also nabbed the Globe for best actress in a TV comedy. The show's win was a bit of a surprise: Though the Globes like to honor new shows, I thought "The Office" would be rewarded for its two and a half seasons of stellar work. But "Ugly Betty" is one of my new favorites — yours, too — and I'm glad the show already has a big-time award to its name.
For more on the show and snapshots of some of the show's best moments so far,
"Ugly Betty" mixes the silly mystery of early "Desperate Housewives" with the kinds of relationship dramas usually associated with, say, "Days of Our Lives." The ensemble cast is filled with scene stealers like Mark Indelicato as Betty's stylish nephew and Vanessa Williams as Mode Magazine's power-grabbing creative director. But what really makes "Ugly Betty" soar is its snappy dialogue, the witty putdowns and comebacks (most often flying from the mouths of Williams' Wilhelmina and Becki Newton's Amanda) that move the show beyond an cheesy soap and into the realm of spit-take-worthy TV.