Ugly Betty: The Complete Third Season (2008)

Genre(s): Comedy
Buena Vista || NR - 1032 minutes - $59.99 || September 22, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-09-24


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Silvio Horta (developed by)
Cast: America Ferrara, Eric Mabius, Ashley Jensen, Michael Urie, Becki Newton, Lindsay Lohan, Rebecca Romjin, Vanessa Williams


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Select Episode Commentaries
  • 3 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

It’s time to let the cat out of the bag: yes, I’m a huge “Ugly Betty” fan. I’ve been watching the show since the very start, mainly due to the fact that at the time my girlfriend was addicted to the hit-series and forced me to watch with her every time it was on. Over time, and with a new girlfriend for each season, I grew to like the show more and more. It’s a funny yet serious at times comedy that has some hilarious moments, but also a few dark scenes with some of the characters. The third season of the show may not be the best, but it still keeps that great meaning behind it about being beautiful even if you don’t look it. I know that’s not true in societies standards, but live a little, will ya?

“Ugly” Betty (America Ferrera) works for a magazine known as Mode, but her old boss Daniel (Eric Mabius) is no longer her boss at the start of the season, as the newcomer to the magazine Wilhelmina (Vanessa Williams) has recently taken over. Betty is forced to be her new assistant, and Daniel finds this to be a shock as Wilhelmina isn’t well liked and thought of to be, well, a very rude person around the office. Meanwhile, Wilhelmina is having one of her workers be a surrogate for a child of hers, and with Daniel last season finding out he has a child, both are trying to deal with the situation appropriately. There’s also Amanda (Becki Newton) and Marc (Michael Urie), two of the lapdogs for the magazine, who do nothing more than gossip with one another about everyone in the office’s problems. Both seem heartless, and for the most part they are, but it turns out that Marc lets nothing get in the way of his being an assistant again to Wilhelmina, even her happiness.

As the season progresses, were introduced to several recurring things similar to the past few seasons. Betty’s looks are constantly mocked by the office gossipers, mainly Marc and Amanda, and her ditching of her boyfriend who asked her to marry her last season is also brought up. He makes a return, but Betty doesn’t exactly treat him how she should since she basically destroyed his heart for saying no to the proposal. Betty also makes the mistake of picking an apartment for a home without looking, and is strongly disappointed with the lack of conditioning that goes on at the place as well as the neighborhood. The only thing that brightens up her days later in the season is her next-door neighbor, who eventually becomes somewhat of a love interest for her despite her recent breaking-off of the engagement.

Finally, we are introduced to Betty’s high school nemesis, Kimmie Keegan (Lindsay Lohan). Kimmie tortured her throughout high school, even earning her the name granny panties (it’s a hilarious story, so I won’t spoil it) all throughout her years at school. Kimmie wants to work for the magazine that Betty works for, and despite her best interests to steer her away, her father eventually forces her to make amends and get Kimmie a job. Things quickly backfire for Betty as the episodes go forward as you can obviously guess that Kimmie is no different than she was back in high school. It’s also a pretty safe bet she befriends Marc and Amanda, since the trio are all about looks, looking good, and anything else that deals with looks in general. There’s also a few other plot points of interest, such as the injuring of the surrogate mother of Wilhelmina’s child by a mysterious stranger who pushes her down the stairs, although the ending to it was quite unsatisfying.

I must say, that while I enjoyed the season a lot, as I have the others, this wasn’t up to par with the past two. A ton of the episodes seemed to drag on (mainly disc three and four) and on, with fairly little comedy or just plain old boring plot points to them. The eventual disappearance of Kimmie, which if you read pop culture sites like I do could be seen from a mile away, was sad and seemed incredibly forced. Her exit from the show just seemed too soon (and after researching it a bit, rumor has it was cut short due to Lohan’s out of control attitude) and the overall ending to her storyline was a bit too “blah.” Justin (Mark Indelicato), Betty’s brother, is also given more time this season to explore his dancing storyline and making friends at the classes, but his story is overall lame and he’s one character along with the rest of her family that I feel could be written out for season four.

That brings me to the last point, that season four may indeed be the last season of the show. It’s being moved to Friday nights, which for those who don’t know is generally a television show killer. “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” was moved from its highly rated Monday slot after one year and was quickly canceled the following season. I hope that “Ugly Betty” won’t suffer that fate, but with the way this season ended, the lack of any real character development unlike the past season, and just the overall disappointment I had at the end, I can’t see good things happening for Betty in the future.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

DISC ONE

“Mode” After Hours (20 minutes): Marc and Amanda act out some funny skits, but after the third one this got incredibly boring. I guess if you liked the characters from the show, then this will humor you, but I did like them and still found this rather tiring after only a few minutes.

Deleted Scenes (3 minutes): Three short deleted scenes can be found here although sadly there’s little of value to be had here in terms of plot or anything else relevant. They can be skipped promptly, unless you just have to watch these three.

DISC TWO

“Crush’d” Commentary by Tracy Poust, Jon Kinnally, and Victor Nelli Jr.: The executive and co-executive producer’s band together for the commentary on the episode and point out some funny things throughout. I never noticed the “Disney” tie-ins that happen periodically, and here they point out the Mickey Mouse and a few other things throughout the episode. This is worth listening to for fans of the show who want to know some behind-the-scenes things.

Deleted Scenes (4 minutes): Five deleted scenes in all, and for the first time in a while I strongly recommend watching these. They are somewhat entertaining, and for that reason alone, I suggest a viewing.

DISC THREE

Deleted Scene (40 seconds): The only deleted scene is one that can be skipped, since it gives nothing in terms of plot or laughter.

DISC FOUR

Deleted Scenes (2 minutes): Similar to the last disc, there are only two deleted scenes and neither really adds anything overall to the show, so skip them.

DISC FIVE

“The Sex Issue” with Video Commentary by Michael Urie, Beckie Newton, and special guests: Marc and Amanda co-host the sex episode for your pleasure, but after watching the first disc extras with them in it, I grew really tired after the first few minutes. They aren’t insightful, and the special commentary by other guests about the episode isn’t that great either. I’d say it’s a watch for fans, but a skip for others.

DISC SIX

Coming Home to New York City (13 minutes): This takes a look at the fact that the show was only shot one time in New York, and then never returned until this season. The cast isn’t that entertaining and this ran a bit dry after a few minutes.

Mode after Hours (7 minutes): This is identical to the first disc, and since I loathed it I would recommend passing unless you want even more of Marc and Amanda attempting to be funny. I thought Ferrera was the star of the show, not these two.

Deleted Scenes (8 minutes): These are worth watching, just because of the fact they actually have plot values in them, and also more entertaining than the previous multiple batches.

Betty Bloops (9 minutes): This is your standard gag reel of the cast flubbing up lines while trying to say the real ones. I found this to be mildly amusing, and managed to stay through the entire thing, so judge based on that for your own accord.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

I’ve seen the show in HD when it was on television, and while I can say that it doesn’t completely meet up to those standards, it comes mighty close. Colors are incredibly bright the entire season and characters look phenomenal. Flesh tones are appropriate as well, and in the best part about this transfer is the fact that grain is absolutely non-existent. Contrast is perfect, colors are, well for lack of a better word, colorful, and not any at point were there issues with color being overblown or the show being too bright. There only thing really wrong is the attention to detail at times, but it was random and didn’t really affect my viewing in anyway. Other than that minor thing, this is an excellent transfer and one I hope television shows take notice of.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track that comes with the show does a great job of surround use, but it’s mainly a front-heavy track. Surround use is used properly, as the opening of the show sounds decent and I can hear music coming from all speakers. The problem is that at points the dialogue tended to dip and then peak from time-to-time, and it caused me to have to fiddle with the volume a bit too much for my liking. I also felt that while the surround use is good, I wanted more dialogue and background noise filling my ears, and instead I didn’t get that much. Granted there were times when it did happen, but not to the extent I wanted. This is still a good track, and gets the job done. It just needed a little more polish in the surround category, that’s it.



.::OVERALL::.

“Ugly Betty: The Complete Third Season” isn’t the best of the three seasons, but it’s still intriguing enough for newcomers to the show and others who have watched both previous ones to enjoy. The characters are funny, the guest spots numerous, and the show has a serious side to it once in a while to balance it out. The special features package is a bit lame; featuring more of two non-principal characters versus the more popular ones from the show. The technical package on the other hand is phenomenal, sporting amazing video and audio qualities. Betty certainly isn’t ugly anymore, and she’ll look gorgeous with your collection.