Ugly Betty is one of the rare shows to never really dip in quality over the year. It was never the best show on television, but the first three seasons were consistently entertaining. But now the fourth and final season has had its run on television and has made its arrival to DVD. Multiple time slot changes killed any future for Ugly Betty. But really with the metamorphosis of America Ferrara as Betty becoming complete this season, it really was the right time to end it.
Ugly Betty follows the life of the unsophisticated but good-natured Betty Suarez (America Ferrera), and her job at the ultra-chic New York City fashion magazine Mode. Early on, Betty’s status as a “fish out of water” drove much of the plot. While Betty lives in the unfashionable part of New York, Queens, with her widowed father (Tony Plana), single-parent sister (Ana Ortiz), and flamboyant nephew (Mark Indelicato). Betty was hired at the insistence of publishing powerhouse Bradford Meade (Alan Dale) because she was so ugly that she wouldn’t be a temptation for his sex-o-holic son, Daniel (Eric Mabius), whom he elevated to the position of editor-in-chief at the magazine following the car-crash death of its long-time editor. Meanwhile, Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams), the high-powered creative director who was passed over, conspires with other employees to discredit and undermine the new rookie editor’s efforts and ultimately take over the magazine.
When the third season ended, Daniel’s wife, Molly (Sarah Lafleud) died, leaving him as the grief-stricken widower; Wilhelmina received a visit from a mysterious, unseen person; and Betty was promoted to Associate Editor of Mode Magazine. During the fourth season, viewers will finally learn what secrets Wilhelmina was trying to hide. Meanwhile, Justin is off to high school, and the kids at Queensboro High School aren’t nearly as welcoming to the Gucci-wearing kid as his junior high classmates. Back at Mode, Amanda (Becki Newton) becomes friends with an older temp who lives the same type of lifestyle as her. This makes Amanda realize that she might need to change things in her own life. Most importantly, though, Betty has new enemies to deal with including Marc (Michael Urie), who doesn’t think Betty deserves her new position. It also doesn’t help that Betty’s ex-boyfriend Matt (Daniel Eric Gold) is running the Features department at Mode Magazine. When Daniel steps in to defend Betty, things just get worse, but it looks like the relationship between Daniel and Betty finally might be something more than just a boss and employee relationship.
Season 4 of Ugly Betty still feels very much like any season of Desperate Housewives. There is soap opera style drama, but none of it feels like melodrama. There still is plenty of humor and satire of the fashion world to keep things balanced. All of the storylines are made even more interesting, because the cast is still outstanding. From top to bottom, this series has been filled with great performances, and this season is no different.
The final season of Ugly Betty finally brings everything full circle. For four years, fans have watched as Betty slowly transformed in both her professional and personal life. By the end of the series, Betty had turned from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly that was able to soar above everyone else. She still had the same heart, which is a good thing, but now Betty has finally got some recognition for everything.
The same can be said for the series as a whole. Ugly Betty consistently was a solid and entertaining series. It had the right mix of humor and drama, along with a fantastic cast that always made things interesting.
Episode 1 – The Butterfly Effect – Part 1
Betty begins to realize that her new job may not be all it’s cracked up to be as she is working for her ex, is sharing an office with someone who doesn’t like her, and Marc is trying to unseat her because he wants the job. Elsewhere, Daniel is lost without Betty at his side and he’s also dealing with losing his wife. Wilhelmina has got problems of her own – in and out of the office.
Episode 2 – The Butterfly Effect – Part 2
Betty welcomes the chance to get to take charge of her first photo shoot, but when Daniel and Matt interfere, things don’t go to plan. Amanda meets Daniel’s new temp assistant and who is very similar to herself, whilst Hilda needs help from Marc on how to deal with Justin.
Episode 3 – Blue on Blue
Betty tries to get a scoop with Gucci’s new designer, Evan York, through Hilda’s customer, Sammy. Marc tries to stop her by getting Amanda and Matt to stage a showdown at Ignacio’s restaurant. Daniel goes to a bereavement group and meets Natalie who shows him an interesting night. Wilhelmina flies to Bermuda to try and find Connor.
Episode 4 – The Wiener, the Bun and the Boob
Betty has Marc as be her temporary assistant thanks to Wilhelmina. Betty ends up covering the worst jobs in New York as an assignment but she needs to dress up as a hot dog and perform a Bollywood style dance. Marc has insecurities about how his idol at Vogue magazine will perceive him. Daniel is targeted by the leader of the Community.
Episode 5 – Plus None
At Wilhelmina’s fund-raiser for Tibetan orphans Matt asks someone to be his partner. Daniel hires Natalie as his assistant, making Betty feel unneeded. Daniel finds out that Claire has a secret.
Episode 6 – Backseat Betty
Hilda has doubts over her relationship with Archie after seeing an old flame Bobby Talercio. Marc helps Justin to fit in high school by telling him to become friends with some mean girls. Elsewhere Daniel is lured into a trap by Bennett. Wilhelmina tries to come up with money to help Nico out of trouble.
Episode 7 – Level (7) With Me
Daniel hands over the power to the Community of the Phoenix to run Mode. Betty steps in to help Daniel with Bennet. She comes up with an cunning plan with the help of Claire. Wilhelmina goes out in public wearing sweats creating mayhem with the media trying to get a scoop.
Episode 8 – The Bahamas Triangle
Betty, Matt and Amanda’s love triangle in the Bahamas reaches boiling point. Betty has trouble with a photo shoot when Penelope Graybridge steals the shoot from her enemy Wilhelmina. Marc falls for super sexy Troy.
Episode 9 – Be-Shure
Ignacio prepares a combination Christmas/Hanukkah dinner for the family and his new interest Jean. Betty and Hilda take the Be-Shure instant pregnancy tests. Meanwhile, Hartley hires an outsider to the fashion world named Denise Ludwig to replace Wilhelmina. However Willie has her own plans for coming back. Marc helps Daniel formulate a plan to wrest control of Mead back from Hartley. Amanda helps Claire track down and meet Tyler, the son she gave up for adoption.
Episode 10 – The Passion of the Betty
Betty wants to spend some time apart from Matt, so finds him something else to keep him occupied. Meanwhile, Hilda has a tough decision to make regarding her baby, and Mark’s fling looks to be heading towards something more serious.
Episode 11 – Back In Her Place
Betty recalls everything that has made up her worst week in history, and also has job issues caused by taking up a new hobby. Hilda is treated to a week of luxury by Bobby, and Daniel is becoming suspicious of Mark’s actions.
Episode 12 – Blackout!
Betty plans a karaoke party in her apartment building, however her building gets robbed. Marc loses something valuable. Meanwhile, Amanda tricks Daniel and Wilhelmina into attending a couples counseling session with Dr. Sparks.
Episode 13 – Chica and the Man
Wilhelmina is livid when she lays eyes on drag queen impersonator – Wilhediva Hater. Betty and Daniel go through a rough patch as she wins an award for her blog. Daniel has the press hot on his heels. While Marc is pleased with himself when a famous director does a photo shoot with him.
Episode 14 – Smokin’ Hot
Daniel helps Betty to cover a low-priority show. Betty discovers a new designer, Marisa, and decides to promote her however she faces stiff competition from Marc. Amanda struggles to persuade Marc or Betty to vouch for her to Wilhelmina about her clothing line. Tyler tries to find Claire in New York.
Episode 15 – Fire and Nice
Betty is given the task of dating one of the firemen investigating their house fire, in an effort to get the results of how it happened quicker. Hilda meets Bobby’s parents, and Wilhelmina tries to prove to her ex that she hasn’t turned into a complete diva.
Episode 16 – All the World’s a Stage
Betty meets a new man and wants to do a feature on him for Mode, Justin makes new friends at his acting class, and Wilhelmina is her usual ‘diva’ self despite being in hospital.
Episode 17 – Million Dollar Smile
When Betty goes to get her braces off, she is knocked unconscious and enters a dreamlike state where she sees how her life would’ve turned out if she’d never needed braces in the first place, instead having a million dollar smile that gets her everything she never wanted!
Episode 18 – London Calling
Betty gets the chance to go to London to cover fashion week, bringing along Amanda and Hilda. Once there she meets up with Christina and also runs into Gio. Meanwhile, Wilhelmina joins AA – although with an ulterior motive.
Episode 19 – The Past Presents the Future
It’s Hilda and Bobby’s wedding and Betty gets a surprise visit from an ex-boyfriend. Everyone wonders who to take as their plus one, and Wilhelmina has a plan to finally takeover the Meade empire.
Episode 20 – Hello Goodbye
Betty’s reluctance to tell Daniel about her future is holding her back, Justin and Bobby go in search of a new place – although Hilda doesn’t seem too keen. Amanda struggles to deal with the death of her dog, Halston, and Marc thinks he is destined to be alone.
The video is given in anamorphic widescreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which is enhanced for 16X9 TVs. The transfer is great with minimal grain. All ABC shows have high production values on DVD, and this season is no exception
The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound. There are subtitles available in Spanish and French as well. The dialogue and music come out loud and clear. No major problems here either and the overall quality is a little better than your average TV on DVD set like most ABC shows are.
Audio Commentary –
There is 1 full-length audio commentary for this season. Actors, Michael Urie and Mark Indelicato, comment on the “All the World’s A Stage” episode. It’s pretty entertaining and insightful. But only 1 commentary is a disappointment.
Deleted Scenes –
There are 10 scenes that didn’t make the final cut of the season. Nothing that interesting, though.
“Betty Bloops” –
This is a short collection of bloopers and mistakes from filming this season, of course.
“Betty Goes Bahamas” Featurette –
In this featurette, Michael Urie and Becki Newton travel to Atlantis in the Bahamas looking for their cast members, on a scavenger hunt adventure. As they make their journey, various clips of the cast whereabouts are shown. This is pretty fun, and certainly unique. Worth checking out.
“Mode After House” Webisodes –
There is 4 mini-episodes that originally appeared on the website. Nothing must-watch, though/
As the most underrated dramedy in the past five years, fans of the series will no doubt want to complete the collection. However, if you are new to Ugly Betty, you’ll probably want to start from the first season and go from there.
ABC Studios Home Entertainment presents Ugly Betty: The Complete Fourth and Final Season. Created by Fernando Gaitan. Developed by Silvio Horta. Starring America Ferrera, Eric Mabius, Tony Plana, Ana Ortiz, Judith Light, Christopher Gorham, Ashley Jensen, Becki Netwon, Michael Urie, Mark Idelicato, Judith, and Vanessa Williams. Running time: 860 minutes. Rated: NOT RATED. Released on DVD: August 17, 2010.
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