Friday, November 14, 2008

TV Topic: Gay Marriage on "Ugly Betty"

While half of America is rejoicing in our new President-elect, chanting, "I'm black and I'm proud," a different pride is brewing on "Ugly Betty." There were not one, but two mentions of the rights to gay marriage last night, as Mark squirmed uncomfortably under the suspicious scrutiny of Amanda and Betty. His spontaneous proposal may have merely seemed like a plot twist at the end of last week's episode, but in actuality, it created the perfect breeding ground for debate.

Mark mostly occupied himself with dodging questions about arrangements and details, while Amanda stoicly declared that she was against gay marriage, quickly quipping: "I only meant that for unattractive gays." Meanwhile, Betty was surprised to learn of his pending nuptials, immediately wondering if there would be two bestmen, leading Mark to feign disgust at the question. Seconds barely passed before Betty ammended her statement with a clear and concise declaration that she was FOR gay marriage. I think every series with a gay character should jump on the bandwagon and put their two cents in. JUST SAY NO TO PROP 8! Although, I'm sure Mark would prefer it if everyone said yes. He eventually confessed his infidelity to Cliff, after a little prodding from Betty, and it seems to be over between them. Tear.

Another major real-life issue that stood as the main theme of the episode was America's financial woes, but most importantly the cutbacks and layoffs occurring in the magazine industry. It's true, scandals do sell. Like Justin said, "There hasn't been a t-shirt-worthy scandal since Winona had her troubles." So it makes perfect sense that Vogue would drudge up more Brangelina-Jennifer drama to sell a lackluster cover, and for them to have "Gossip Girl"-rep Blake Lively and the next First Lady, Michelle Obama, booked for the first two covers of the coming year. It begs to question: Are the mag scandals that erupt based on poor judgement or manufactured publicity?

On other "Betty" news, Daniel becomes smitten with Conner's low-maintenance and charming fiance, Molly, giving Wilhelmina the awfully predictable idea to distract Molly with Daniel and swoop in to steal Conner's heart. One of the highlights of the episode had to be when Willy was hunting through the woods rocking Tartan like she was a chic Elmer Fudd. Meanwhile, Betty had the opportunity to brandish more responsibility, giving final approval of the cover. When its tornado theme was tainted by a recent tornado disaster, she tried to kill the cover but couldn't without final approval from Daniel. In the end, in order to guarantee good sales at the stands, Willy convinced him to let the cover run, throwing Betty to the press wolves--one of which referred to her by saying, "It's name is Betty," like she was Sasquatch or something. But, of course, Daniel eventually rectified his mistake, clearing Betty of the blame and donating the proceeds to the tornado victims. I love when they show how much he cares for her. Sure, she's nice to him, but prying kindness out of a guy who has no reason to be compassionate is pretty heart-warming to watch. You can really see their friendship grow with every episode. I wouldn't be surprised if she was the best man at his wedding.

Lastly, Hilda faught for her salon license after a cute speakeasy idea--complete with charming Queens-tinged slang--was thwarted by her pious pappi. Ralph Macchio to the rescue! Betty and Hilda guilted him into helping her get her license. He discovered that if she sold products, she could be licensed as a boutique. Justin's hilarious suggestion: "First you can get rid of this hideous lamp, a half a dozen of these saints, and while you’re at it, you can get rid of Betty’s hats." The saint statues comment was by far the funniest, cause if you're Hispanic, you know that whole "Jesus is watching you" thing isn't figurative. He's in the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom...!!! Anywayz, as Macchio was saving the day, Justin (and the whole free world) noticed a little spark between him and Hilda. Next week on Betty, Justin trains to be the next Karate Kid. Okay, maybe not.

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