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October 27, 2006

Ugly Betty Goes Down the PC Highway

Ive gotten into the new ABC show Ugly Betty. A spinoff from a popular Colombian show called Yo Soy Betty La Fea (I Am Ugly Betty), the American version follows the adventures of Betty Suarez a smart gal from Queens, fresh out of college, who has dreams of making it big in magazine publishing. Unfortunately for Betty, she has a few things going against her: her genuinely sweet nature, her unglamorous background, and her looks. She applies for a position at Meade Publications but is turned away without an interview because she horrifies the HR person with her bushy eyebrows, braces, scraggly hair, and frumpy clothes even a grandmother back in 1975 wouldnt be caught dead wearing.

Bettys fortunes improve swiftly when the head honcho at Meade forces his playboy son Daniel Meade (whom he has just installed as editor-in-chief at Mode [think Vogue] magazine) to hire Betty as his assistant. The reasoning behind this move is that Dad figures theres no way his son will think of sleeping with Betty, and therefore might actually get some work done.

After a horrible induction to the world of high fashion magazines, Betty manages to endear herself to her boss and is holding her own in spite of the cutthroat nature of the business (and the nastiness of her coworkers), and there are shady goings-on at the magazine that revolve around Daniels father and the deceased former editor of Mode. But things at home are starting to get dicey. Bettys father Ignacio, who has some heart trouble, wont go to the HMO-sponsored doctor. Last night we found out why: according to his Social Security number, Mr. Suarez is 107 years old, and he has admitted to Bettys sister Hilda that he is in America illegally, using someone elses SS number.

Get out the hanky.

Im dismayed, because it seems that likable Betty and her equally likable family are now going to be used to further the agenda of those who think that anyone and everyone should be able to come to America who wants to, regardless of our immigration laws. Those who are here illegally are to be pitied, not prosecuted. The fictional Ignacio Suarez is a hard-working widower who has raised a great family and now has health issues that he cant deal with because he is not a legal resident of the country. And, since the HMO is on to him, we can probably expect the feds to come knocking at the door of his humble Queens home soon.

As further proof of what I expect to happen, just look at who is the producer of the show: Salma Hayek, who with fellow actresss Eva Longoria supports rights for illegal immigrants.

Im just waiting for someone to jump on me because the TV Suarez family is Hispanic and Ill be branded as a racist. But its not about race, its about our laws and those who ignore them. Do I think our laws should be changed? Maybe. Ive heard a lot about how difficult it is to enter America legally, and if a change in law makes it easier for hardworking, productive people to come here then Im all for it. But until then, we should be upholding the laws we have.

Will I stop watching the show? Not as long as the acting, writing and production quality continue to deliver. But Im not sure I like the new plot twist, for the reasons described above. Ill reserve judgment until the rest of the season unfolds.

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 09:59 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

The point is not that the Suarez family will be used--the issue exists. There are plenty of hardworking illegals in this country with heartbreaking stories. There are plenty of convicts in jail with heartbreaking stories. Life is complicated. That's what a lot of American conservatives seem to not understand. What's wrong with having complicated feelings about a law? That isn't about "having an agenda," it's about reality.

Posted by: federated at October 27, 2006 04:32 PM

"Heartbreaking" is mindless manipulation, which is what feelings-oriented liberals fail to understand. It's not a complex situation. Either you break the law, or you don't.

Posted by: rightwingprof at October 28, 2006 07:14 AM

i am not surprised...

looked like a cute show, but the vivid rip off of a real brilliant orginal, had me uncertain.

i feel the lead character was carrying the fun, with some nice work from supporting roles, like Ms. V. Williams.

of course, you knew it was going to end up, trying to produce more vapid liberal agenda.

Posted by: hnav at October 28, 2006 11:42 PM

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