Why "Ugly Betty" Will Never Go Out of Style

(Photo above does not belong to me)

I can recall in the back of my mind moments of hearing about "Ugly Betty"(2006) in high school hallways, waiting rooms, and family gatherings. It was a show that I heard on radio reviews and television commercials. "Ugly Betty" slowly became one of those shows that many people talked about, but I never had the opportunity to watch. I was only 11 when this show premiered and now watching it as a 28-year-old, I honestly believe that "Ugly Betty" is still relevant today. The characters are just as lovable and equally loathsome. The storyline, twists, and turns are unexpected and simultaneously beautiful. The tensions between the American life and the opportunities that are accessible to minorities are empowering and incredibly real. 

In the beginning of this year, I really wanted to start watching a show. One that I knew that I'd get lost in with characters that I'd fall in love with and a story that would completely draw me in. So, on my day off while browsing multiple shows on Hulu, I quickly made my decision to start something that I've always wanted to get into-- Ugly Betty.

Ugly Betty has quickly become one my favorite shows. I have fully given my heart to these characters and the plot line continues to keep me guessing. We see Betty Suarez, a first generation Mexican- American navigate high-fashion New York, building a career in writing, new (and sometimes old) heart-breaking love, family highs and lows, and growing and learning more about who she wants to be. Along with dynamic leads, we get distinctive lead characters who are just as complex, hilarious, villainous, multi-faceted, beautiful, and full of depth. Each character has such significant roles in making this show full of color, character, and chaos. 

In any show, there has to be characters that we relate to the most and I feel that I relate most with Betty. I am a first-generation American, graduated with a BA in English, learning the values of family and the expectations of those roles while trying to progress in career and in life. 

I have to admit that I CRIED in scenes between Henry and Betty and their love story grew deeper and I lost it when she had to make the final decision of letting him go-- BUT the surprise that came in just the next season-- made me jump out of my seat! I also found myself standing in front of my TV in moments of gasp-worthy endings.

I just finished the season finale of the show today and I believe it was the best ending to any show I've ever watched. As a viewer, they closed each story for each character with such care, growth, and intention. We have in some sense grew with these characters and the life lessons that come from this show are so important. 

Earlier this year, I got to live in England for the first time in my life and it was scary and exciting. So when Betty's dad, Ignacio, began to tell her that she was going to navigate a whole new place, people, and culture all by herself-- I CRIED-- because that is what it felt like leaving my home and the people that I loved there! But Betty didn't go alone. She held each person that has been a part of her story. In the same way, I knew I was carrying my family, friends, and moments of complete growth with me. Betty is inspiring, creative, and passionate. Her family is just as vibrant, encouraging, and crazy-- mine are too! 

One thing that I've learned from this show is to go after what makes us come alive, while being in the moment and even when we make mistakes, coming clean and facing them won't be the end of the world. Ugly Betty will never go out of style and if you have the urge to start a show, I'd recommend this one.

Thanks for reading!

MJ

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