Friday, March 23, 2007

"Ugly Betty" Etc.

I skip through half the show (anything to do with murder and intrigue) but I have to admit I find the tone of the show and the central character Betty winning. Just as they get schmaltzy with a touching letter from the magazine's editor, it's undercut by having Patti LuPone reject the swishy Marc St. James (Michael Urie) when he comes out. And why don't I find Marc annoying the way, say, Jack on "Will & Grace" was annoying? Maybe it's just a matter of time. Jack was pretty funny for a season or two until the supporting characters took over the show. But there's something grounded and genuine about that character -- in the context of a silly, over the top show, of course. And having Marc decide to come out because his mom made mean comments about the super-gay nephew of Betty is just one dividend of the show's creators admitting Justin is gay and would realize it/come out in seasons to come. Sadly, it could BARELY edge out the ,ild game show "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader" and -- bizarrely -- lost to it in the key 18-49 demo I would have expected "Betty" to shine in.

Meanwhile, while "Andy Barker PI" is slipping in the ratings, I found the second episode found a certain gentle rhythm. You've just got to love a show whose hero says "Fudge!" and "Cheese and crackers" when he's frustrated. Go to MediaWeek's Marc Berman for a complete ratings breakdown.

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