The last episode that aired on Aril 14, 2010 gave closure to some characters and left some hanging. Let’s see what happened in the final episode of ‘Ugly Betty’.
Although the cast and crew of ‘Ugly Betty’ wrapped up the four-seasons long comedy-drama series in 2010, it still stays afresh in our gullible hearts. Betty, by the end, had undergone a significant transformation, Daniel quit the editorial-ship of Mode Magazine, thereby making Wilhelmina the editor-in-chief of Mode. Marc confesses his love for Troy, and Hilda decides to move to Michigan with Bobby and Justin. The season’s finale shows everyone starting a new chapter in their lives.
- Betty always put her career first
- The show that embraced diversity a decade ago
- The final season left the audience with so many cliff hangers
The show is an adaptation of a Colombian telenovela ‘Yo soy Betty, la fea’, starring America Ferrera as the lead – Betty Suarez. She is a braces-wearing, 22-years-old, Mexican-American woman trying to survive in the snooty fashion magazine. Despite her lack of style, she manages to bag an assistant’s job at a prestigious fashion magazine and what follows is an intriguing series of heartbreaks and triumphs in Betty’s life.
Career was always her priority
After four rigorous years at Mode magazine, Betty had earned the respect of her colleagues/friends Marc and Amanda and even got promoted to editor in season 4. But this wasn’t her dream in the first place. With a passion for journalism and magazines, Betty showed up for an interview at Meade Publications in the pilot episode, only to get rejected because of her appearance.
Later, the CEO of Meade publications Bradford Meade spots Suarez and hires her as an executive assistant to Daniel Meade (his son and the new editor-in-chief of Mode), in the hopes of keeping his son away from bedding his assistants. Despite relentlessly getting picked on by her colleagues, Betty focuses on her work and lets the insults roll off her back.
In season 2 and 3, she firmly establishes herself as a confidant to Daniel and an asset to the magazine. After taking charge as associate features editor, Betty faces another conundrum when offered a fashion columnist’s job during her work trip to London (to review fashion shows). She refuses to fill in for the job when her ex-boyfriend Gio makes her realise that she had turned a stepping stone job (at Mode) into a career.
Subsequently, she crashes into Mr Dunne in the office (Season 4 Episode 19) who offers her an opportunity to run a new magazine in London that would resemble a “younger person’s New Yorker”. After some serious contemplation, Betty decides to take the job she had always wanted.
Beacon of diversity and change
In an interview with TVGuide.com, the show’s creator and executive producer Silvio Horta stated that the depiction of so many different characters — whether they were gay, Latino, or black — opened up the possibility of what a leader of a show should be. Viewers were hitched to the story of an aspiring-optimistic journalist who climbed to the top without falling prey to traditional standards of beauty. Betty was a girl in the fashion world with bushy eyebrows, braces, and an “unattractive” sense of style. The American version of telenovela was way ahead of its time.
It was heartening to see a TV show embrace queer characters like Justin and Marc, and give them a fair share on the screen 10 years ago. The decision of the creators of ‘Ugly Betty’, to introduce a trans-character in the narrative, may have been opposed (since it was played by a cis-gender woman) but it was a great initiative to welcome trans-characters in American dramedies. Moreover, leading characters highlighted several social issues such as illegal immigration, queer relationships, and xenophobia to name a few.
Too many cliff hangers
The show, after having its good share of highs, was cancelled by ABC following falling ratings after season 3. The sudden end of ‘Ugly Betty’ in 2010 left its fans with so many unanswered questions. Fans would have loved to see what new turn Betty’s life takes, and the possibility of another love angle.
The season’s finale was an emotional roller-coaster ride for the fans. “Hello Goodbye” left the audience asking what happened to Daniel as he quit Mode. How does the magazine work under Wilhelmina Slater, and, most importantly, will Daniel and Betty end up together?
After a tearful goodbye, Betty is seen enjoying her life in London where she crashes into Daniel, who apologises for missing her farewell party at Mode. Wishing her good luck, Daniel bids her farewell and asks if she’d like to go out for dinner (Would have been nice to see Daniel starting fresh and Betty being Betty in Europe).
By the end of “Hello Goodbye“, the fans got to see a whole new evolved version of Betty Suarez who taught the ‘Ugly Betty’ cult that you can achieve all you want if you persevere.
“The trick is to recognize when a goodbye can be a good thing when it’s a chance to start again”, she added.
Her journey from the streets of Queens to heading a magazine in London lacks no inspiration and still remains fresh in our heads; even after 14 years since its inception.