Bettypedia  ["Ugly Betty" Miscellany]


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Among the many awards won by "Ugly Betty" and its cast and crew are:

• 2007 ALMA Awards for Outstanding Actress - Television Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie (America Ferrera); Outstanding Supporting Actress - Television Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie (Ana Ortiz); Outstanding Television Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie; Outstanding Writing - Television Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie (Silvio Horta, for the pilot episode)
• 2007 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series (Libby Goldstein, Junie Lowry-Johnson); Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series (Richard Shepard, for the pilot episode); Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (America Ferrera*)
• 2007 Golden Globe Awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy (America Ferrera*); Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy
• 2007 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series
• 2008 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series
• 2007 Image Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series; Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Vanessa Williams); Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series (Silvio Horta, for the pilot episode)
• 2008 Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (America Ferrera); Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Vanessa Williams)
• 2007 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series (America Ferrera*)
* In 2007, America Ferrera became the first actress to win all three of television's most prestigious Lead Actress awards all in the same year (the Emmy, the Golden Globe, and the SAG Award)


"B" Necklace
Betty Suarez's most notable piece of jewelry is this faux pearl and gold necklace, which is directly based upon one that was owned by Anne Boleyn (b. 1501 or 1507; d. 1536), the ill-fated second wife of England's King Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I.  Natalie Portman can be seen wearing a reproduction in The Other Boleyn Girl and Natalie Dormer wore the necklace on the Showtime series "The Tudors". Variations have also been worn by Merle Oberon (The Private Life of Henry VIII), Jodhi May ("The Other Boleyn Girl" TV version), Charlotte Rampling (Henry VIII and His Six Wives), and Genevieve Bujold (Anne of the Thousand Days), among others.

Braces [aka dental braces, or orthodontic braces]
Dental braces are applied to a patient's teeth by an orthodontist in order to align the teeth. Typical treatment time is from six months to six years, depending on various factors, although the average is two years.



Devil Wears Prada, The
Although "Ugly Betty" is based on the 1999 Colombian telenovela "Yo soy Betty, la fea", the film version of Lauren Weisberger's novel "The Devil Wears Prada" (published in 2003) hit theaters a full three months before "Ugly Betty" premiered on ABC TV, so there were some American viewers who thought that the series was just a rip-off of the movie, even though "Ugly Betty" had been in the works at ABC, and NBC before it, for a few years. The confusion is understandable, though, based upon some of the most obvious similarities:

The Devil Wears Prada"Ugly Betty"
Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway), a style-challenged aspiring journalist, is hired to work in the superficial environment of Runway, a prestigious fashion magazine, as assistant to Editor-in-Chief Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep).Betty Suarez, a style-challenged aspiring journalist, is hired to work in the superficial environment of Mode, a prestigious fashion magazine, as assistant to Editor-in-Chief Daniel Meade.
Andy's appearance earns her instant disrespect and taunting from Runway staffers, particularly Nigel (Stanley Tucci) and Emily (Emily Blunt).Betty's appearance earns her instant disrespect and taunting from Mode staffers, particularly Marc and Amanda.
Andy finds one friend at work, Nigel, to whom she can turn for support and advice.Betty finds one friend at work, Christina, to whom she can turn for support and advice.
Andy's dedication and commitment to her taxing new job cause her to neglect her friends, who are particularly upset when she misses her boyfriend Nate's (Adrian Grenier) birthday party.In the first episode, Betty's dedication and commitment to her taxing new job cause her to neglect her family, who are particularly upset when she misses her father Ignacio's birthday party.
Andy's charm and smarts are key factors when she needs to enlist the aid of writer Christian Thompson (Simon Baker) in order to complete the seemingly insurmountable task of getting an advance copy of J.K. Rowling's next Harry Potter novel.In Queens For a Day, Betty's charm and smarts are key factors when she has to complete the seemingly insurmountable task of trying to lure photographer Vincent Bianchi to work for Mode.
KT Tunstall's "Suddenly I See" plays over the opening creditsKT Tunstall's "Suddenly I See" plays over the closing credits of the first episode.
The film features Madonna's song "Jump" (from her Confessions on a Dance Floor CD from 2005).The last episode of the second season, Jump, features Madonna's song "Jump".
[Note: In Fake Plastic Snow, a reference to The Devil Wears Prada is implied when Amanda asks Marc if he knows who would be perfect to replace Betty and he replies, "Anne Hathaway."  And in A Tree Grows in Guadalajara, Wilhelmina suggests that they do a story about the dynamic Jordan Dunne, which she wants to entitle, "The Daredevil Wears Prada."]


Episode Titles, Pseudo
Some of these were possibly working titles, but others were clearly fabrications that appeared at Wikipedia and the IMDB, and then spread throughout the Internet:
  1. "I am Not Going to Sell Herbalux" (a supposed title for the pilot episode; this appeared on Wikipedia and other sites; NOTE: pilots usually don't have titles, but sometimes they do)
  2. "Five Platinum Rings" (Season One; this appeared on Wikipedia and IMDB; was possibly a working title that was later changed to Fake Plastic Snow)
  3. "Brothers and Friends" (Season One; possibly an early working title for the episode called Brothers)
  4. "Snow Job" (Season One; possibly a working title for Derailed)
  5. "Footloose and Meade-Free" (Season One; possibly a working title for Punch Out)
  6. "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" (Season One; possibly a working title for Petra-Gate)
  7. "The Number 23" (Season One; possibly a working title for East Side Story)
  8. "You May Find Yourself" (Season Two; possibly a working title for I See Mee, I.C.U.)
  9. "Inherit the Sin" (Season Two; possibly a working title for Giving Up the Ghost)
  10. "Here Today, Corn Tamales" (Season Two; possibly a working title for Betty's Baby Bump)
  11. "We Have to Keep the Style" (title appeared on Wikipedia and IMDB before Season Three began and was given as the supposed name of the season premiere; it later appeared on Wikipedia again shortly before Season Four began and was given as the supposed name of that season's premiere episode; probably NOT even a working title for any episode)
  12. "Nights in Rome or Tucson" (Season Three; possibly a working title for The Manhattan Project)
  13. "Shoe Strings" (title appeared on Wikipedia, and later on the IMDB site, before Season Four premiered; possibly a working title, but it doesn't seem to fit any of the first few episodes of the season)
  14. "Sommer Nights" (title appeared on Wikipedia before Season Four premiered; almost certainly not a working title, because Fey Sommers has still not returned to life, and her last name was Sommers, not Sommer)
  15. "Run, Betty, Run" (Season Four; title appeared on Wikipedia after Kristin at E! Online used these words to describe the plot of an upcoming episode, because the story line reminded her of the movie Run, Lola, Run)
  16. "The Betty Saga" (Season Four; title appeared on Wikipedia and other sites; reportedly the title of the series finale)
  17. "The Ugly Truth" (Season Four; title appeared on Wikipedia and other sites; reportedly the title of the series finale)


Fashion influence: Betty Suarez!?
At New York's famed Fashion Week in September 2008, both on the runways and among the members of the crowd, it seemed that a number of designers were using Betty Suarez and her kind for inspiration. Catherine Holstein's Fall '08 collection featured "hipster librarian" models in oversize thick-framed black glasses wearing cardigans over vivid yellow, blue, and patterned miniskirts. The Spring '09 Marc Jacobs collection featured models in "geek chic" layered clothing with clashing colors and mismatched patterns.

Field, Patricia
"Ugly Betty" costume designer, the incomparable Patricia Field, had previously styled the women of "Sex and the City" and also did the costumes for The Devil Wears Prada.  After doing the styling for the "Ugly Betty" pilot, Field had to drop out when the production moved to Los Angeles. When the series returned to New York at the beginning of the third season, Field rejoined the crew. (see Glasses entry below)


When filming for the show's pilot episode was about to begin, a suitable pair of glasses for America Ferrera to wear still hadn't been found, so they ended up using the glasses that belonged to the show's costume designer, Patricia Field.


Hayek, Salma
Salma Valgarma Hayek Jiménez, one of the executive producers of "Ugly Betty," was born September 2, 1966 in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. Hayek, who began her acting career working in Mexican telenovelas, was the first Mexican national to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress (for her starring role in Frida, which she also produced). Hayek did a cameo for the pilot episode of "Ugly Betty", playing the maid in the telenovelita that Ignacio watched on TV. She also had a six-episode story arc during the first season, playing Sofia Reyes.


International Betty Phenomenon
Shortly after "Yo soy Betty, la fea" became a hit in Colombia in 1999, it was exported to countries in every corner of the world. In some countries it was dubbed into their local languages, in others it aired in Spanish with translated subtitles. The telenovela became extremely popular in just about every country in which it was broadcast—from Latin America to Eastern Europe to the Pacific island nations—often despite vast cultural differences.
India was the first country to buy the rights from Colombia's RCN to adapt the story locally, with a new cast, in a new language, and with some new characters and story elements woven into the original's central plot. "Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin" premiered in 2003, just a year and a half after "Yo soy Betty, la fea" ended, and turned out to be another huge hit. Before long, a succession of seventeen other countries would jump on the Betty bandwagon.
» Go to the Betty Internácional page and the Bettypedia Internácional for more info and trivia.





Magazine Covers
Like Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey before them, Editors-in-Chief at Meade Publications seem to have a predilection for putting themselves on the covers of their own magazines.  Sofia Reyes put herself—and Daniel Meade—on the first cover of MYW, Alexis Meade appeared on the cover of the first issue of Mode for which she and Daniel were co-Editors-in-Chief, Claire Meade graced the cover of the first issue of Hot Flash, and Wilhelmina put her own face (as well as her name) on the cover mock-up for her very own ill-fated magazine, Slater.  Even family members got into the act, like when Daniel put his new bride Molly on the cover of Mode's wedding issue.

Musical theater is beloved in the Suarez household, particularly by Betty and Justin. Betty has a special place in her heart for Wicked (see entry below) and Justin is particularly fond of Hairspray. Not coincidentally, the main character of each of those musicals is a misfit who is shunned by almost everyone around her. In Four Thanksgivings and a Funeral, Marc and Amanda played dress-up in Christina's closet and frolicked to the title song from Dreamgirls. In Derailed, Hilda and Santos bring Justin on a frustrating subway ride in an attempt to get into Manhattan to see Hairspray. In East Side Story, Justin performs in his school's production of West Side Story. In Granny Pants, Justin tries out for the starring role in Broadway's Billy Elliot. In When Betty Met YETI, Justin and his friend Randy go to see their school's production of Little Shop of Horrors, and Hilda buys them tickets to see In the Heights on Broadway.
Many "Ugly Betty" cast members and guest stars have appeared in musicals, including Vanessa Williams (Kiss of the Spider Woman, 1995; Tony Award nomination for Into the Woods, 2002), Salma Hayek (Across the Universe, 2007 film), Patti Lupone (Evita, Anything Goes, Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, Sunset Boulevard), Bernadette Peters (Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Gypsy, Annie Get Your Gun), Rita Moreno (West Side Story, The King and I), Christine Baranski (Sweeney Todd, Mame, both at the Kennedy Center, and the film adaptations of Chicago and Mamma Mia!), Nikki Blonsky (the film version of Hairspray), Cheyenne Jackson (All Shook Up, Xanadu, Damn Yankees), Kristen Chenoweth (Wicked, original Broadway cast, The Music Man, TV movie), Victor Garber (Sweeney Todd, They're Playing Our Song, Little Me, Damn Yankees, A Little Night Music, Assassins, the film adaptation of Godspell, and the TV movie versions of Annie and Cinderella), Barry Bostwick (the original 1972 Broadway production of Grease, The Rocky Horror Picture Show), Faith Prince (Little Me, The Little Mermaid, Bells are Ringing, Nick & Nora, Guys and Dolls), Christine Ebersole (Grey Gardens, 42nd Street, Camelot, On the Twentieth Century, Oklahoma!), Lainie Kazan (Funny Girl, My Favorite Year), John Tartaglia (Avenue Q), Carol Kane (Wicked), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Man of La Mancha, Kiss Me Kate, Ragtime, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Jelly's Last Jam), Aaron Tveit (Hairspray, Wicked, Next to Normal), Donna Murphy (Lovemusik, Wonderful Town, The King and I, Passion, The Mystery of Edwin Drood), and Kristen Schaal ("Flight of the Conchords", HBO's musical comedy series).
Throughout the entire four-season run of "Ugly Betty" there had been talk that the vocal talents of the "Ugly Betty" cast members (Vanessa has garnered over a dozen Grammy nominations since 1989, and Becki Newton has given us little samples of her vocal talents on the show) would be put to good use in a musical episode, but, unfortunately, this idea never came to fruition.
Before "I Love Betty la Fea" (the Filipino adaptation of "Yo soy Betty, la fea") premiered, it was rumored that it would be a musical telenovela, but this rumor turned out to be false. To date, only one of the international "Betty" adaptations has been done in a musical format. During the third season of China's "Chou Nu Wu Di", Wu Di made some major changes in her life when she quit her job at the IDEA advertising agency and met the people at a bar called Gou Léi Ba, where everyone punctuated their thoughts and feelings by spontaneously bursting into song.





Queens, New York
Queens is the largest in area, the second largest in population, and the easternmost of New York City's five boroughs. The fictional Suarez home was located in the very real Rego Park neighborhood of Queens.




Telenovelita, the diminutive form of the word "telenovela", is the term used for the fake novelas ("Vidas de Fuego", "Muchas Muchachas", etc.) that Ignacio Suarez watched avidly.  All of these telenovelitas featured real-life telenovela stars and were filmed at Mexico City's Televisa studio.
The melodramatic stories and production values (i.e. sets, lighting, etc.) of Latin American telenovelas are very much like those of conventional daytime soap operas in the U.S.; however, soap operas are intended to continue indefinitely ("Guiding Light" began on radio in 1937 and made the leap to television in the early 1950s, lasting for a total of over 70 years), but telenovela stories are pre-planned to unfold throughout a limited run, usually consisting of a pre-determined number of episodes, during which a fully plotted story arc plays out. The telenovela format was developed in the 1950's in Brazil, Cuba, and Mexico.  Today's novelas usually comprise an average of 120 episodes, but sometimes the length of a novela is extended, usually by adding a lot of "filler" sub-plots, if a particular program is extremely popular. Many Latin American telenovelas are dubbed into other languages and are exported to Russia, Israel, the Philippines, China, Japan, etc., where the format has been very successful.
Among the notable former or current telenovela stars who have been featured within the actual stories of "Ugly Betty" are Salma Hayek ("Un Nuevo Amanecer", "Teresa", "El Vuelo del Águila"), Cristián de la Fuente ("El Amor esta de Moda", "Reyes y Rey", "Soñar No Cuesta Nada"), Arap Bethke ("Clase 406", "Tierra de Pasiones", "Soñar No Cuesta Nada"), and, of course, Angélica Vale ("La Fea más Bella", "Las Vías del Amor", "Soñadoras").
Georgia was the first country to base their adaptation of the "Betty" story ("Gogona Gareubnidan") directly on "Ugly Betty" instead of on "Yo soy Betty, la fea", and they even included their own fictional show-within-a-show, a soap opera called "Grdznobata Tqveobashi" (Captive Feelings).

"30 Rock"
Like ABC's "Ugly Betty", NBC's "30 Rock" premiered in the fall of 2006 and aired on Thursday nights. The show shared a few other similarities with "Ugly Betty".  Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), the protagonist, lived in New York, wore glasses, was often insulted for her clothing choices, had a womanizing and somewhat clueless boss (Alec Baldwin), and was surrounded by more crazy people in her workplace than she would be if she worked in an asylum. "Ugly Betty" and "30 Rock" were the only two U.S. television series on which Salma Hayek ever had multi-episode story arcs, and on each show Salma's character temporarily tamed the womanizing boss. The names Betty and Liz are both nicknames for Elizabeth, and the Polish word for "ugly", brzydula, also translates as "lemon", so in a weird way the name "Liz Lemon" is another way of saying "ugly Betty".  Mere coincidences?  Yeah, probably.  "30 Rock" did directly reference "Ugly Betty" in one episode, though. In "Up All Night" (February 8, 2007), after Liz tried and failed to crawl out of an office undetected she said, "This would've worked on 'Ugly Betty'".


Ugly Betty Bill
The Ugly Betty Bill was signed into law by California's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, on February 19, 2009.  The historic bill provides $500 million in tax incentives, including a 25% refundable tax credit, for productions that stay in the state. The bill was named for "Ugly Betty" because the series had recently moved production from Los Angeles to New York after its second season. The bill was officially known as AB X315 in the state Senate.



This popular Broadway musical is a favorite of Betty Suarez.  The musical's heroine, Elphaba, is shunned by those around her because of her appearance, so perhaps that is why Betty feels a kinship with her.  Kristin Chenoweth, who originated the Wicked role of Glinda on Broadway, appeared as the chatty dental hygienist, Diane, in the last "Ugly Betty" episode of the first season, East Side Story.  In the first season episode Brothers, Henry Grubstick invites Betty to see Wicked, but his ex-girlfriend Charlie arrives and prevents their date.  Betty and Henry finally got to see Wicked together (sort of) in the second season episode Something Wicked This Way Comes. The episode featured some of the musical's scenes, songs ("Popular", "Defying Gravity", "I'm Not That Girl"), and stars (Eden Espinosa as Elphaba, Megan Hilty as Glinda, and Kristoffer Cusick as Fiyero), and the action culminated with Betty and Henry accidentally ending up on stage and being banned from the show for life.





© Tony Lagarto

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