Ugly Betty started out with a bang in 2006, introducing viewers to the quirky, confident, not exactly fashionable Betty Suarez (remember that Guadalajara cape?) as she landed a job at a major fashion magazine, just part of her plan to become editor of her own magazine about “important topics”. America Ferrera created a character who was likable, but flawed. One who had so much potential, you couldn’t help but root for her to reach her goals.
Over the next four seasons, Betty struggled with the pressure to fit in while also wanting her voice to be heard. Learning to handle Marc and Amanda was almost a full-time job. She had a variety of love interests (remember her first boyfriend, Walter?) and went through some tough break ups. She moved out of the family home in Queens, moved back, moved out again… She formed a connection with boss Daniel that was the envy of many other women. She showed those around her that substance really is more important that style, then figured out how to mesh the two. And in the end, she landed her dream job, running her own magazine in London, with the promise of an even deeper relationship with Daniel.
Based on a telenovela, Ugly Betty had some outlandish elements, and in season 3 it seemed to veer recklessly from one crazy plotline to another, but season 4 brought not just a makeover for Betty herself but the show as a whole. When the producers and ABC announced mid-season that this would be the last, it felt right. Yes, I was sad to say good-bye to Betty, Daniel, Marc, Amanda, et al., but the season had been strong so far and with the knowledge that they were writing a series finale rather than a season finale, I was confident that the ending would satisfy. It did. Season 4 is one worth watching again, especially in tandem with season 1, to see just how far our Betty has come in the world.
Ugly Betty: The Complete Fourth and Final Season is now available on DVD, sporting some fashionable extras in addition to the episodes. Watch the cast flub up in Betty Bloops, see what was left on the cutting room floor in Deleted Scenes, get a behind-the-scenes look at the on location episode in Betty Goes Bahamas, and see what adventures Marc & Amanda get up to in Mode After Hours. Take a look at a couple of bloopers from America Ferrera and Vanessa Williams below.