ugly betty- the complete 3rd season dvd review

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ugly betty- the complete 3rd season dvd review

Post  mswaichingliu81 on Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:17 pm

By Kelvin Cedeno

It can be difficult to keep a television series going. The first season tends to be experimental as the creators try to figure out what works and what doesn't. By the second season, the results of the experiments allow them to play to their strengths and take characters and scenarios further. That season is usually a good indicator of where the series will be headed. By the third year, the creators (should) be familiar with their universe and face the challenge of neither repeating themselves nor betraying the established canon. ABC's "Ugly Betty" confronted such a challenge in its third season, balancing the new with the familiar.

The series' third season once again centers on plucky young heroine Betty Suarez (America Ferrera). After all of her relationship ups and downs of the past two years, she vows not to get entangled in any sort of love life. This mantra doesn't last too long when not one but two potential boyfriends cross paths with her. This is far from her only problem, however. At home, her father Ignacio (Tony Plana) develops a relationship with his much-younger nurse. Her sister Hilda (Ana Ortiz) gets into two different relationships with layers of baggage. And it becomes more and more difficult for Betty to be there for her family when her job at Mode magazine requires more and more responsibility.

Speaking of Mode, things are as catty and complex as ever. Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams) and Daniel Meade (Eric Mabius) continue their power struggle over the magazine, but they surprisingly find themselves on the same team when they're attracted to two people who happen to be engaged: suave financial advisor Connor Owens (Grant Bowler) and sweet girl-next-door Molly (Sarah Lafleur).
Betty's best friend Christina McKinney (Ashley Jensen) is still carrying Wilhelmina's child and heir to Mode, but it may be harder to give him up than anticipated. Meanwhile, assistants Marc St. James (Michael Urie) and Amanda Tanen (Becki Newton) continue to use Betty as a means of entertainment. The time comes, however, for them to rely on their dependable target for help.

After a well-made but slightly frustrating second season, "Ugly Betty" for the most part returns to form in Season Three. [b]The major issue with the sophomore act was that it became so wrapped up in all of its interweaving storylines that Betty herself was short-shrifted, not given much substance outside of her tiresome on-again-off-again relationship with Henry. [/b]

This time around, Betty's love life is downplayed in favor of her work and family woes, and the series is the better for it.

America Ferrera once again rises to the challenge of being the glue that holds all the plot lines together, and she does so with seemingly effortless tact. The rest of the cast, both new and returning, also turn in memorable performances. These range from the outrageous (Michael Urie and Becki Newton) to the more grounded (Tony Plana and Ashley Jensen), with some roles falling in the middle (Vanessa Williams and Ana Ortiz). Somehow, all of these gel together smoothly, even when their isolated threads run into each other.

The storylines take characters further than they've gone the previous two seasons, but that ends up being a double-edged sword. It's nice to see two-dimensional individuals like Marc, Amanda, and Wilhelmina given more depth and range to keep things from getting too predictable and stale. At the same time, though, the show loses some of its bite mid-season when softer sides are exposed simultaneously. Thankfully, the cattiness returns in full swing by year's end, and to help matters, the show finally figures out exactly what to treat seriously and what to poke fun at...

...CLOSING THOUGHTS

The third season of "Ugly Betty" continues carrying on the strong elements of the first two seasons while learning from some of the mistakes. The soap opera twists are easier to swallow here, and the acting, dialogue, and visual elements remain as memorable as ever. The DVD presents pretty average picture with decent sound and amusing (if incomplete) supplements. Fans of the first two seasons will find little to fault with this one outside of a few out-of-character moments. People unfamiliar with the series are recommended to rent all three seasons if they have an affinity for a quirky dramedy that's for once not about doctors or lawyers.

you can read the episode details for 1- 24 by clicking on this link:

ugly betty- the complete 3rd season review
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mswaichingliu81

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