Sunday, 6 June 2010

Ugly Betty Season 3 DVD Box Set Review

Ugly Betty is perhaps my favourite TV Show EVER to hit the screens and thus I must get all the DVD box sets. This is Season Three.

No of discs- 6
No of Episodes- 24

The cover design is has definitely improved since season 2, with Betty being the main focus and Times Square at the back. There is so much colour, but with an elegance and style. The design has a darker, yet richer colour scheme. It shows how Betty has grown up and this season is definitely colourful at the least.

I have to give this a mention because it is just so slick. The Mode Corridors as windows for clips and the design of the opening is soo good!! There is even an introduction to what happened up till now in the world of Ugly Betty in a fun way using the alphabet.

At the end of the last season, it saw Betty choose between marrying Henry and going away to Rome with Gio. She chose neither and went on a trip around the US, where she created a plan: 1. More responsibility at work (+getting a promotion by the end of the year) 2. No relationship entanglements and 3. Getting an apartment in the city.

Wilhelmina was made editor in chief of MODE with Daniel reassigned to Player Magazine, his new found son with him. Mode is painted Black and White with Wilhelmina running the place. Wilhelmina lures Betty to be her assistant, which stirs jealousy in Marc and they plot to get Daniel's job back.

Being threatened by Wilhelmina's unborn baby, Alexis pushes Christina down the stairs- and after an investigation ends up in jail. Wilhelmina bargains with her to give up her share of the Meade Empire to get her out of jail, and she agrees. However, Wilhelmina's baby plan fails as it turns out to be Christina's- prompting her to return to Scotland with Stuart. Daniel's son Daniel Jnr turns out to be Alexis' before she had her sex change, and she leaves to France with her son, since she no longer owns Meade.

Despite her plan, Betty gets tangled in Romance, having a crush on her apartment neighbour within the first few episodes... her apartment causes her many problems (including Amanda moving into it), and she moves out of it and into it again a couple of times before the end of the season. Betty joins a editor programme called Y.E.T.I. (Young Editors Training Initiative) and there she meets Matt, who will be her love interest, which becomes rocky when Henry comes back in town.

Daniel hires a business partner Connor Owens to help at Mode, but Wilhelmina's lust for Connor and Daniel's lust for Connor's fiancé Molly, splits the two, and causes Connor to embezzle all the Mode funds. Finding out Matt's family is rich, Betty persuades him to let Daniel have a meeting with Matt's father Cal. He decides to invest but is more controlling than anyone desired.

Hilda and Tony (who she met near the end of Season 2) try to work on their relationship despite his unresolved marriage, but it doesn't end well, as his wife comes into the picture. However, Hilda manages to meet a local congressman, Archie. Ignacio also has a love interest after an untimely heart attack with his nurse Elena, and decides to take life changing actions.

By the end of the season, an untimely death at Mode opens a writing opportunity for Betty and Marc, but only one can get it, finally allowing one of their careers to excel beyond assistant. Matt makes a big decision which will affect Betty's career, having been hurt by what happened between Henry and Betty during his return to New York. Cal and Claire, being old flames, try to push Wilhelmina out, with Claire named Senior Vice President of Meade. Claire tries to hide some shocking documents by burning it. Wilhelmina tries to hunt Connor down to claim back all the money to push Cal out... only to find a mysterious guest in her bedroom after seeing a hitman.

This season was a bit of "miss" in terms of plot line. Nonetheless, it was popping with humour and outrageousness even if it was in a slightly odd context. Career wise, it is only at the end of the season that Betty gets a boost. It was about time she got a promotion!!!

Note: One episode coincided with the US election of 2008 and there were a few political cackles... It does seem a bit preachy and somewhat forced with the voting morales, but nonetheless, awesome themed episode!

Also, the fashion side of things is definitely on an up, with more focus on covers (Eye of the Fashion Storm), and incorporating real models (Adriana Lima) and adding more fashion related comedic lines.

Favourite Scenes:
-Amanda and Marc make out pretending to be Betty and Jesse

-Heinrich's fashion show

-Wilhelmina's "Madonna" moment at Heinrich fashion show.

-Betty pictures herself becoming Wilhelmina

America Ferrera- Betty Suarez
Eric Mabius- Daniel Meade
Vanessa Williams- Wilhelmina Slater
Becki Newtown- Amanda Tanen
Michael Urie- Marc St. James

Also stars: Tony Plana, Ana Ortiz, Mark Indelicato, Judith Light, Ashley Jensen, Grant Bowler, Rebecca Romijin, Ralph Macchio, Sarah Lafleur, Christine Baranski, Adriana Lima and Daniel Eric Gold.

Guest Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Freddy Rodriguez, Christopher Gorham, Nigel Barker, Adele and Brennen Brown

Lindsay Lohan guest stars in the early episodes of the season as Kimmie Keegan, Ignacio's boss at the fast food store; Betty later helps her get a job at Mode, but the competition between them causes Betty to take her Kimmie down for good. I have never liked Lindsay Lohan and her role in Ugly Betty doesn't make me like her more, but she did create some hilarious moments.

Rebecca Romijin has decided to leave the cast as she did not like the direction her character is going in the show. Hence "Alexis" is sent away to France to be with her son DJ early in the season. I think it is a good move as her stance at Mode/Meade was always a mess- is she on Wilhelmina's side or Daniel's? Her fickleness was annoying. She will be missed though, she did do some funny things!

Ashley Jensen (Christina) also leaves the cast, but much later, with Stuart and her baby. She has always been funny and unique on the show, and she will be dearly missed!! However, the role of Amanda and Marc are definitely more friend than enemy to Betty making Christina's leaving more bearable.

Grant Bowler joins the cast as Connor Owens, business partner of Daniel Meade, who also becomes Wilhelmina's lover. He does a good job and is a good match for Wilhelmina. He doesn't bring a lot of comedy to the show, but definitely stirs the action.

America Ferrera, Vanessa Williams reprise their role as Betty and Wilhelmina. Betty's clothing has gone for a more patterned and colourful turn, whilst Wilhelmina has a new haircut... acting wise, they are both even more outrageous...

Freddie Rodriguez (Gio) guest stars in episode 4 as he has returned from his trip in Rome, with a vendetta against Betty, due to her not going on the trip with him. They end on good terms by the end of the episode, and we don't see Gio again for the whole season! Shame, he was so funny. . .

Christopher Gorham also gets a one episode guest starring late in the season, stirring up trouble for Betty and Matt. Whilst it was nice to see him come back, the plotline was totally unecessary and made the plot go in a direction that is perhaps slightly forced.

There are bonus features in the form of deleted scenes on each disc. A more substantial deleted scenes feature is on the final disc, but its nice to see a shorter snippet of deleted scenes on each disc as they are relevant to the episodes just watched.

Anyway, here are a list of extra features included in the box set:

-Coming Home To New York
An over 10 minute long commentary on the show moving to New York from LA, with limited input from cast... somewhat interesting, not something that is THAT interesting to watch.

-"Mode After Hours"
The DVD contains two "Mode after hours" webisodes. There were over 10 webisodes which are viewable on Youtube. I think they should've included ALL of them, but atleast they have some. These feature Marc and Amanda having fun in Mode. They are actually quite funny!!

-Deleted Scenes
There aren't that many deleted scenes her on the final disc as some of theme are in the previous ones, and there is only one funny one, which had Amanda in it.

The bloopers on this season box set is the best out of all of them! Most of them are funny and are categorised.

Having the box set, I am able to watch the show without breaks, without waiting, and I have had an Ugly Betty marathon- absolutely phenomenal- reliving every moment of the hit TV show since it first aired in 2006, and loving every moment of it.

There are definitely high points in this season with "some" awesome plotlines, whilst the main plotline with Betty and her career could not have been more "filled with love" which annoyed sometimes given in the first episode, Betty stated "no romantic entanglements". If there were any to be had, it should be with Gio. Anyway, the season is yet filled with more laughter and hilarious moments which makes this show awesome! The extra features also add a bunch of enjoyment!!

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