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Ugly Betty Recap: Episode One, "The Manhattan Project"

Ugly Betty Rundown: Episode One, "The Manhattan Project"

The return of Ugly Betty was one of the few season premieres last night that didn't have any extra time tacked on. But I was totally fine with that, because the Betty folks managed to deliver a fun first episode of their new season even without bonus minutes. The last time we saw Betty, she had a big choice to make: forever with Henry or a romantic trip abroad with Gio. I think the choice revealed last night was somewhat predictable, but it still had a pretty hilarious twist. We'll chat about that in a sec.

Meanwhile, a lot has changed now that Wilhelmina is back in charge, including a darker, more sinister-feeling Mode headquarters, complete with the temperature turned to freezing — the perfect lair for an evil ice queen. And where has Daniel been banished to in the Meade kingdom? I won't say until after the jump, but it was one of my favorite twists of the night. There's also a new hot guy on the scene! Ready to chat? Just


  • Betty opens the episode by saying, "I had a choice to make between two guys. And I was torn." She decides that she's not ready for marriage to Henry, and she also doesn't like Gio in that way and doesn't want to lead him on. So she chose a hilarious trip around the USA to the tune of The B-52s song "Roam." I loved the postcards of Betty's adventures — so fun!
  • So much laughter at "Peg and the girls!" and Justin's dismay at how unfeminine Peg and Betty's travel buddies were.
  • I have a love-hate relationship with Betty's earnestness. It's so endearing at times and other times, like when she introduces the "idea binder," I just smack my forehead and cringe. Ignacio sounded harsh, but I think he has it right when he calls her naive.
  • Lindsay Lohan is back as the mean girl who's grown up to run the local burger joint. And she's Ignacio's boss! She looks good in the uniform, I have to say.
  • When Betty returns to Mode, Amanda and Marc are of course priceless with their reactions: "Oh Betty! I forgot how big and bright you are!" So mean but so funny.
  • I loved when Betty asks why they're being so nice to her and they respond that she reminds them of the good old days.
  • That scary Rosemary's Baby nursery setup in Daniel's office gave me the creeps.

  • OMG, Player Magazine might have been my favorite part of last night. The show's portrayal of a men's magazine is awesome — especially Daniel's facial hair and the boo-ing whenever Betty enters the room.
  • The best Player Magazine part is when they discuss Betty's idea about a piece on powerful women and a staff member says, "See, we don't like disease (boo!) or old women (boo!)," to which Betty responds, "They're 40," to which the entire room then responds, "Boooooooooo!"
  • Regis and Kelly make an appearance and have a funny conversation about Hot Flash. Regis calls it a magazine about "lady business."
  • How'd you like all of Betty's new-age stuff, like power animals? Ha!
  • Poor Hilda. Why can't she catch a break with the guys? He's sooooo married! It sucks. You know they say they'll leave their wives but it never happens.
  • Second best moment of the night behind Player Magazine for me was the food fight with Lohan's character. Betty: "You . . . mean, mean person!"
  • While there was no Henry or Gio in site, Betty has a new man in her life (kinda), her hot musician neighbor Jesse! What do you think so far? Thumbs up or thumbs down?
  • Oh and finally — Rebecca Romijn looks super-pregnant. It was kind of fun to watch her play "hide the bump" all night.

I love the way this new season is set up: Betty in the city with her very own apartment, evil ruling at Mode, Betty's new friends at Player, Daniel the dad. I don't have too many complaints and think there's loads for the Betty folks to work with this season. Could you tell they were shooting in New York? Do you want to see more of Lohan? Are you glad Betty got her "B" necklace back and is ready to conquer the city as a powerful career woman? Discuss!

Photos copyright 2008 ABC, Inc.

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