REVIEW: LIMITLESS: THE SERIES

MAIN CAST

Jake McDorman (American Sniper)
Jennifer Carpenter (The Exorcism of Emily Rose)
Hill Harper (The Skulls)
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (The Abyss)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Bradley Coooper (The Hangover)
Ron Rifkin (Alias)
Blair Brown (Dogville)
Megan Guinan (Gossip Girl)
Tom Degnan (As The World Turns)
Michael James Shaw (Constantine)
Colin Salmon (Arrow)
Desmond Harrington (Wrong Turn)
Georgina Haig (Crawl)
Daniel Eric Gold (Ugly Betty)
Sam Robards (A.I.)
Patch Darragh (The Path)
Mark Noonan (The Deuce)
Analeigh Tipton (Lucy)
James McDaniel (Sleepoy Hollow)
Michelle Veintimilla (Gotham)
Michael Devine (Inside Man)
Wolé Parks (The Vampire Diaries)
Marc Blucas (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Simone Bailly (The L Word)
Tate Donovan (Shooter)
Julie Lauren (Rabbit Hole)
Jacob Pitts (The Pacific)
Christina Vidal (Freaky Friday)

Brian Finch (McDorman), a 28-year-old burnout and struggling musician, is introduced to NZT-48, a miracle drug that gives him access to every neuron in his brain. For twelve hours after taking the pill, he becomes the smartest person in the world, able to perfectly recall every detail of his life and capable of prodigious leaps of intuition and reasoning. With the mysterious US Senator Eddie Morra (Cooper) providing him with an immunity shot to counteract NZT’s deadly side effects, Brian uses his enhanced abilities to help F.B.I. agent Rebecca Harris (Carpenter). The FBI doesn’t know about the shot and Brian has to keep both worlds separate.Limitless was fleshed into an exciting new TV series after the launch of the successful film with the same title. The film starred Bradley Cooper who also features in this TV series and follows on from events of the film.Limitless had a very interesting premise, very promising storyline and as far as creativity goes it gets top marks in that field. It was great to see a regular Joe stumble upon the powerful drug that enhances every brain cell. This made for great viewing and a character we could relate to. The story arc with Bradley Cooper and his agenda that tied into Brian’s existence was its strongest story lever.Despite its promise and potential Limitless certainly had its issues. After viewers were swept away with Brian’s abilities we saw him employed with the FBI and then episodes took on an all too familiar routine almost like Criminal Minds or CSI even. Perhaps what hurt the show most was the lack of seriousness and blurred lines. Brian should have had a tough and no nonsense relationship with the FBI rather than be too familiar. Bradley Cooper’s story should have featured with more intensity and appeared more rather than routine cases. Still this show was great considering its flaws and I enjoyed watching this show. It was a great shame it was cancelled after 1 season and I wish another network had picked it up.

 

 

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REVIEW: CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR

 

CAST

Tom Hanks (Catch Me If You Can)
Julia Roberts (Mirror Mirror)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt)
Amy Adams (Man of Steel)
Ned Beatty (Superman)
Christopher Denham (Duplicity)
Emily Blunt (Into The Woods)
Omn Purri (London Dreams)
Ken Stott (The Hobbit)
John Slattery (Ant-Man)
Denis O’Hare (Derailed)
Daniel Eric Gold (Ugly Betty)
Jud Tylor (That 70s Show)
Brian Markinson (Arrow)
Rachel Nichols (Conan The Barbarian)
Wynn Everett (Agent Carter)
Shiri Appleby (Roswell)
Cyia Batten (Killer Movie)
Ilia Volok (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Anthony Azizi (Lost)
Shaun Toub (Iron Man)

In 1980, Congressman Charlie Wilson is more interested in partying than legislating, frequently throwing huge galas and staffing his congressional office with young, attractive women. His social life eventually brings about a federal investigation into allegations of his cocaine use, conducted by federal prosecutor Rudy Giuliani as part of a larger investigation into congressional misconduct. The investigation results in no charge against Charlie.

A friend and romantic interest, Joanne Herring, encourages Charlie to do more to help the Afghan people, and persuades Charlie to visit the Pakistani leadership. The Pakistanis complain about the inadequate support of the U.S. to oppose the Soviet Union, and they insist that Charlie visit a major Pakistan-based Afghan refugee camp. Charlie is deeply moved by their misery and determination to fight, but is frustrated by the regional CIA personnel’s insistence on a low key approach against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Charlie returns home to lead an effort to substantially increase funding to the mujahideen.

As part of this effort, Charlie befriends maverick CIA operative Gust Avrakotos and his understaffed Afghanistan group to find a better strategy, especially including a means to counter the Soviets’ formidable Mi-24 helicopter gunship. This group was composed in part of members of the CIA’s Special Activities Division, including a young paramilitary officer named Michael Vickers. As a result, Charlie’s deft political bargaining for the necessary funding and Avrakotos’ careful planning using those resources, such as supplying the guerrillas with FIM-92 Stinger missile launchers, turns the Soviet occupation into a deadly quagmire with their heavy fighting vehicles being destroyed at a crippling rate. The CIA’s anti-communism budget evolves from $5 million to over $500 million (with the same amount matched by Saudi Arabia), startling several congressmen. This effort by Charlie ultimately evolves into a major portion of the U.S. foreign policy known as the Reagan Doctrine, under which the U.S. expanded assistance beyond just the mujahideen and began also supporting other anti-communist resistance movements around the world. Charlie states that senior Pentagon official Michael Pillsbury persuaded President Ronald Reagan to provide the Stingers to the Afghans.

Charlie follows Gust’s guidance to seek support for post-Soviet occupation Afghanistan, but finds no enthusiasm in the government for even the modest measures he proposes. In the end, Charlie receives a major commendation for his support of the U.S. clandestine services, but his pride is tempered by his fears of the blowback his secret efforts could yield in the future and the implications of U.S. disengagement from Afghanistan.
Charlie Wilson’s War is a very good film in my opinion, that is compelling, clever and entertaining.

REVIEW: DEFINITELY, MAYBE

CAST

Ryan Reynolds (Two Guys and a Girl)
Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens)
Isla Fisher(Confessions of a Shopaholic)
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games)
Rachel Weisz (The Bourne Legacy)
Kevin Kline (Dave)
Derek Luke (Spartan)
Daniel Eric Gold (Ugly Betty)
Kevin Corrigan (Superbad)

Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) is a 38-year-old father who is in the midst of a divorce. After her first sex-ed class, his 10-year-old daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin) insists on hearing the story of how her parents met. Will gives in, but decides to change the names and some of the facts relating to the various love affairs of his youth, thereby creating a love mystery; Maya is left guessing which of the women will turn out to be her mother. The story he tells Maya is depicted in long flashbacks. From time to time the film switches back to the present, where Maya comments (often disdainfully) and asks questions.
The story begins in 1992 when Will, a starry-eyed aspiring political operative, moves away from Wisconsin and his college sweetheart, Emily (Elizabeth Banks) to New York City, where he works on the Clinton campaign. Over the years, Will becomes involved with three women who enter and re-enter his life, including Summer Hartley (Rachel Weisz) an aspiring journalist, and April (Isla Fisher) the copy girl for the campaign. Will and April have a chance meeting outside work, where Will reveals he is going to propose to Emily. When Will practices his proposal to Emily on April, she is taken aback by Will’s heartfelt words, and replies, “Definitely, maybe.” They go back to her apartment, where April has multiple copies of Jane Eyre in her collection, explaining that her father gave her a copy with an inscription in the front shortly before he died, and the book was later lost. She has spent years looking through copies of Jane Eyre at secondhand stores hoping to find the copy her father gave her, but she buys any copy she finds that has an inscription. They kiss, but Will backs away and leaves.
 Emily comes back to New York where she confesses, just after Will proposes, that she slept with his roommate. She did it on purpose to break up with Will, saying that she is “letting him go” because she does not share his rather lofty aspirations. After Clinton is elected, Will opens a campaigning business with most of his work colleagues, which enjoys a good amount of success. Before Will left Wisconsin, Emily asked Will to deliver a package to her former roommate, Summer Hartley, who is living in New York City. Will first meets Summer when he gives her the package, a diary that she wrote when she was a teenager (which, among other things, tells of her brief affair with Emily). He finds she is going out with a famous writer who is old enough to be her father. The writer breaks up with Summer, and Will starts a relationship with her. April quits her job and leaves to travel around the world. When she returns, she plans to tell Will that she loves him, but discovers that he is planning to propose marriage to Summer. April reluctantly congratulates him instead. Summer writes a derogatory article about one of Will’s clients. Will cannot rationalize this conflict of interest, and he ends his relationship with Summer. As a result of the article, Will loses his business and his dream of a political career ends, with all of his friends abandoning him.

April calls after a long absence and finds that Will has a new job, but is lonely and unhappy, feelings further exacerbated when she reveals she has a new boyfriend named Kevin. She throws a birthday party for him, reuniting him with his old colleagues. Will becomes drunk and confesses romantic feelings for April, but he starts a fight with her when he judgmentally implies that she is wasting her life working in a book store. Some time later, Will passes a used book store and finds the copy of Jane Eyre that April has been seeking with the note from her father. Will goes to April’s apartment to give her the book, but he decides against it when he meets Kevin, who is now living with her. Emily moves to New York City, and she and Will rekindle their relationship after a run-in at a party of Summer’s they both were attending. Maya correctly guesses that “Emily” is her mother. Maya espouses that it is tragic that the story has a sad ending, but Will explains that the story has a happy ending: Maya.

Will learns that April is single again, and he attempts to give her the copy of Jane Eyre. When she discovers that he has been holding onto the book for years, she becomes upset and asks him to leave. Maya is happy to have figured out the story, but she realizes that her father still loves April: he changed the name of her mother, Sarah, to Emily in the story, and the name of Natasha to Summer, but he did not change April’s name. Maya makes Will realize that he really isn’t happy without April. On the spur of the moment they take a taxi to go meet April. April does not let them into her apartment. As they walk away, April runs out and asks about the story. Will confesses to April that he held on to the copy of Jane Eyre because it was the only thing he had left of her. April hugs Will and takes them in to hear the story. As Maya passes through the doorway, April rushes into Will’s arms and kisses him.

It’s bittersweet in many places, seeing how easy it is for life to get in the way of relationships, or for the timing to be wrong. It’s not cloying, or saccharine, and gives a real impression of just how complicated love can be – but also how enriching and life-affirming

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: UGLY BETTY: THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

CAST
America Ferrera (Real Women Have Curves)
Eric Mabius (Resident Evil)
Alan Dale (Lost)
Tony PLana (Vampire Bats)
Ana Ortiz (Devious Maids)
Ashley Jensen (Arthur Christmas)
Becki Newton (American Dad)
Mark Indelicato (White Bird In a Blizzard)
Vanessa Williams (Eraser)
Michael Urie (Uptown Girl)
Judith Light (Dallas)
Christopher Gorham (Odyssey 5)
Rebecca Romijn (X-Men)
FAKE PLASTIC SNOW
GUEST CAST
Salma Hayek (Dogma)
Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang Theory)
Brett Cullen (Ghiost Rider)
Ava Gaudet (Evil Angel)
Betty is at her desk working on an expense report for Daniel when Henry comes by and asks her if she’s making her Christmas list. He spots mistletoe on her desk. She says it’s just holly, but he kisses her anyway and tells her she’s the girl he’s been looking for. But it looks like this was all a fantasy as Betty wakes up in a shock from this dream and glares at the photo of Walter by her bed before throwing the sheets over her face. Back at Daniel’s place, Sofia wakes up beside Daniel. Worried that she will miss her flight, she says that they need a breather so they can see if what they have is real. He insists that he loves her but Sofia says it’s just hormones and sex. If this is real, he should see other women while she’s gone. If he doesn’t get sweaty palms with them, maybe he does love her. He says that this is crazy but she tells him that this will convince her that he really feels this only for her. Back at the Suarezes, Betty tells Hilda her dream, but Hilda tells her that dreams don’t mean anything and tells her sister should just avoid Henry and everything will be fine. Meanwhile Ignacio, who was arrested by Immigration a few days ago but was let go, comes down and Betty gives him his pills. He has a caseworker coming to work with him next month. Hilda gets in a fight with their neighbor Gina after she runs over her Christmas tree while it’s sitting in the street.
Meanwhile, in Wilhelmina’s office, Marc, in the wake of him now knowing the truth of his boss’ intentions, is bringing Wilhelmina her breakfast and asking if Nico is coming home. He lithely snatches her whole wheat bagel causing her to almost bite his head off before he reminds her that they’re ‘sharing things’ now that he knows her little secret. Over at an office meeting in the conference room, Daniel announces that Betty has been offered a job and she will be accepting resumes for her position. The news brings a round of applause for Miss Suarez. Amanda and Marc wonder if they need to invite her to her own leaving party. Betty is surprised he’s announced this, but he says that her going to work with Sofia is what’s best for her. Amanda is already confident that she’s the best one to take the job. Daniel then takes Betty into his office to tell her that Sofia wants him to have an affair while she’s away. He’s through with being a bachelor and places half a dozen rings across his desk to try to pick out which will be perfect. After leaving Daniel’s office, Betty goes to her desk and opens a gift waiting for her, which turns out to be a notebook. She assumes this is from Daniel and gives him the thumbs up but he doesn’t know what she’s doing, since it didn’t come from him. She walks down the hall to Amanda who tells her flatly that she is the right person to replace her and she’ll prove it: She’ll help Betty plan the Christmas party. Betty reluctantly accepts the offer. A bundle of fake snow arrives and Betty walks it into Henry, spilling it all over both of them. He tries to pull some out of her hair but feel bashful. He then makes a series of unintentional double entendres while Betty tries to hide her excitement when he tells her that he will be ‘on top of her’ for the next few days overseeing the party budget.
Meanwhile, half a dozen lingerie models arrive to pose the new collection for Daniel. They include the first supermodel he was ever with, Aerin. Betty leaves to try to sort through resumes before she rushes in again to stop Daniel from easy temptation and announces that the photographer is ready for the models. Across town later that day, Betty and Walter are at the Christmas party for the store where he works. They have their photo taken with Walter’s boss and his wife. The wife of Walter’s boss tells her that she used to work in Manhattan too, but they’re Queens’ girls and this is where they belong. Betty stares at Walter and his boss with a less than enthusiastic feeling. Betty asks the woman when she knew that her husband was the one. She just knew; when did Betty know Walter was? She’s not sure yet. Upset that Marc wants in on her secret, Wilhelmina gets a call from her mysterious friend who’s concerned about having Marc silenced. Wilhelmina states that he will be permanently silenced very soon. She adjusts the Christmas tree ornaments and walks out revealing Marc hiding behind the tree. He’s terrified and takes a breath of his inhaler. In another part of the MODE building, it’s late in the office and Amanda is still there, rummaging through Daniel’s desk and trying on the rings he bought for Sofia. Her feelings for Daniel aren’t exactly as simple as she wishes they were. One ring gets stuck on her finger. Also later on in another location at the Meade Building, Bradford is being visited by Mr. Greene. He’s managed to find proof that Fey Sommers is really dead after visiting the coroner at the cemetery, which leads to new questions over who the mystery woman really is, now that a relative has claimed Fey’s remains.
The following morning, a worried Marc brings Wilhelmina her whole wheat. She asks him for his home address; she’s sending a special delivery his way. He panics and takes another hit off his inhaler. Amanda updates Betty on all the elaborate party preparations that she’s done. Betty says she appreciates the help, but it doesn’t erase her history with Daniel; she’s not right for the job. Betty goes to her desk when Henry appears with ornaments. She tries to ignore him, but he tells her that he never saw snow until he moved to New York and she’s so charmed that she can’t stop staring at him. They begin to chat and she starts to fantasize about him before freezing up and telling him she has to get back to work. Betty is pushing ornaments into Amanda’s arms when she sees one of Daniel’s rings on her fingers. Betty chases her around the office before they try to get it off together. Betty spits on an appalled Amanda’s finger and starts to pull while she tells her that she doesn’t feel anything for Daniel anymore. Betty falls over pulling and Amanda walks off. Marc arrives at the party. At first, he’s stuck in an elevator with a man who seems to be a hitman. He rushes past him and asks Amanda if she has a gun. Amanda says that no one would sell guns to anyone at the party. Marc rushes off to hide from the wrath of Wilhelmina and Amanda goes to stand by Betty to pester her about the job. Betty thinks that Daniel needs someone who can look after him. Amanda says that she’ll run interference between Daniel and the models just to prove that she can fill Betty’s shoes. After glancing at Betty’s clogs, she takes a swig and stomps off. Betty is left alone while Henry stands across the room flirting with her. Christina is drunk on Santa’s lap and slurs out a wish list of presents for her co-workers, “A heart for Wilhelmina, courage for Marc and brains for Amanda.” Marc runs by while Betty moves around the room and under desks while trying to hide from Henry. She bangs her head and her painful yelp brings her to Henry’s attention. He helps her up with a string of condoms in her hand but he was only there for a corkscrew. Christina walks by them dragging Santa into the bathroom as an appalled Marc runs out. Wilhelmina and the ‘hitman’ spot him and call him into her office. They take Marc to the parking garage and, just when he thinks they’re going to kill him, they flip on a light to reveal a Hummer, delivered to him by the ‘hitman’, who happens to be an auto dealer. He’s relieved to see that they’re just trying to buy his silence.
Daniel goes into his office followed by Erin, who starts making out with him. Amanda promptly interrupts and reminds him that he’s supposed to be engaged. Daniel agrees, telling Erin that he’s in love with someone else. When Erin thinks it’s Amanda, she suggests a threesome (and possibly a ménage à trois), but Daniel explains that’s not what he meant. Erin then leaves. Afterwards, Betty tells Daniel that the only person she’s seen that she could leave to look after him is Amanda. If he’s serious about her going, this is goodbye. He gives her a silver business card holder and tells her that he’s proud of her; she’s destined for bigger things. She hugs him and tries not to cry. Before she leaves, she asks him if the other gifts she’s been receiving were from him. They weren’t. Daniel calls Sofia to tell her that he loves her and his heart doesn’t race for anyone else. Betty walks out to her desk and looks at Henry. They exchange waves before someone walks by and kisses him but he pushes her away. Betty is crushed at the sight and rushes away to the elevator while he runs after her. The ring falls off Amanda’s finger. Back in Queens, Hilda is going through Justin’s gift list when they look out the window and see Gina obscenely defaming their Christmas lawn ornaments. By evening, she returns with a decapitated glowing reindeer and the lights go out. Hilda walks out to find Gina collapsed on the porch. They’ve been competing since they were teenagers and Gina always loses. After Gina admits that her parents are away and she is spending Christmas alone, Hilda takes pity and invites her in for eggnog and brandy. It looks like they buried the hatchet for now.  Later on at MODE, Amanda is trying to clear up after the party. Daniel tells her that Betty thinks she should be his new assistant, but can she do it? They promise to be professionals. Meanwhile, Ted the Texan walks in on Wilhelmina as she’s about to leave and her heart starts to race. Betty gets home and wonders if she’s doing what’s best with her life. She shows Hilda the photo of her with Walter. Hilda says that she should appreciate Walter more. Within moments, Walter arrives with her last present; it was him who was using Daniel to sneak her presents at work. Henry calls but Hilda tells him that Betty is busy and throws away the message that he leaves with her. Walter tells Betty that he’s trying to understand her life in Manhattan, but she feels cold and it becomes clear to her that she doesn’t love him.
Image result for ugly betty fake plastic snowA Great first Christmas for Betty and the gang, Daniel trying to prove that he is in love Sofia was a great story and Amanda looking out for him  was a nice touch. The Henry and Betty scenario was sweet too.
GIVING UP THE GHOST
GUEST CAST
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Ileana Douglas (Ghost World)
Max Greenfield (New Girl)
Ron Canada (Wedding Crashers)
The story begins at the Suarez home, where Betty is sitting down at 2AM eating empanadas. As she goes to get the milk from the refrigerator, she is spooked by seeing the head of Bradford Meade inside. After she closes the door, Bradford is standing behind her and tells her that he is her subconscious and that he asks her why she turned down Daniel’s offer to return to work. Betty tells him that she doesn’t think she’s ready to return. He then disappears after he tells her to think about what Bradford told her before he died. The following day at the burial of Bradford at the cemetery, Claire is allowed to attend but arrives wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and is in shackles. Amanda ponders about whether she would be next in line to take over at the company, but Sheila, who arrived late and hears this exchange, tells her that two years as a receptionist doesn’t qualify. As Betty is delivering a eulogy, Wilhehima and Marc show up, hoping to make her last remarks. After Wilhelmina comments about Claire’s uniform, Claire trips Wilhelmina, causing her to fall into Bradford’s empty grave. Wilhelmina is fired by unanimous decision of Claire, Daniel, and Alexis.
Fumed by her termination from the company, Wilhelmina returns to her office at MODE to remove her belongings but before she goes, she deploys a computer virus called “Medusa X”, featuring a motif similar to the Versace logo, but with Wilhelmina’s head replacing Medusa, that removes all files pertaining to the upcoming issue. When Henry notices the virus in his office, he calls Betty, who was helping the family plan their annual Christmas tree decorations at home, to inform her about what happened. As she leaves, she gives directions to Hilda, Justin and Ignacio on how it’s normally decorated, although Hilda and Justin think that they should make changes to the tradition. Daniel and Betty lead the effort to resurrect the issue with an all nighter work session. Betty says she is back just for the night. But before they can start on the emergency issue, Wilhelmina and Marc interrupt this work session to announce their new magazine: SLATER and recruit many MODE staff. Wilhelmina also made her feelings known about Daniel and Alexis, prompting Alexis and Betty to try to contain their desire to knock her out. As Wilhelmina leaves, Marc tempted Amanda to defect, but she turns him down, thus ending their partnership. Among the all-night chaos, Daniel placed Sheila in charge and in turn finds replacements to do new articles, with Henry being tasked with writing a food column and Amanda volunteering to write the “Hot or Not” section. Unfortunately Sheila is not happy about having Amanda on the team, even as she sees the receptionist eating at her desk and not giving her an article. When Amanda sees a pizza delivery guy’s uniform, she finally comes up with one, but as she shows off her design, Sheila walks up to her and tells her that she actually knew, worked and “made out” with Fey Sommers, and that Amanda is “No Fey Sommers,” and scraps Amanda’s article. At the love dungeon, a distressed Amanda tells Christina that she hopes that when she finds her father, maybe she’ll know what type of talent that she might actually have.
Meanwhile at the Suarez home, the family decoration plans start to go awry when Hilda trips on a string of Christmas tree lights knocking the tree over and starting a small fire. As Betty is scrambling to help Daniel at work, she calls her Hilda about its progress until she figured out what has happened after hearing Justin and Ignacio in the background. Alexis decided to take upon the task of getting the printers to extend the hours, but as she goes to the printer’s office in an effort to charm him, she discovers that he has left the business to a dwarf-like successor, Harvey Milfree. After the two bicker and bluff all night, they end up discussing how both are ‘different’ and how their fathers treated them. Once the conversation is over, Harvey agrees to keep the presses open, much to the delight of Alexis.
The deleted issue also erased the cover spread featuring Cameron Ashlock, a famous actress and singer who has been making a lot of headlines. When Daniel decides that he is going to break her out of rehab, Betty tags along. At the centre where Cameron is staying, the two find her among candles and chanting and after much persuasion, they succeed in convincing her to do a reshoot. Unfortunately, that doesn’t go well as planned as Cameron goes ballistic on the set after Daniel told Betty the only way to do it is by giving her alcohol, which Betty thought was a bad idea. As Cameron is escorted off the shoot, Betty learned that Daniel never gave Cameron a drink, which is how she lost control in the first place. Daniel told Betty he couldn’t do it. Unable to reshoot the cover, Daniel opts for a solid black cover in tribute of the late Bradford Meade with an “In Remembrance of Bradford Meade” theme. Betty and the staff are impressed with this cover as a way to honour the late publisher. Betty then tells Daniel that she will return to MODE permanently, and as Daniel walks away, she sees the spirit of Bradford for one last time by sending him to his final “resting place.” Later, at Wilhelmina’s apartment, she tells the defected MODE staff that she will have the new magazine up and running soon. After they leave, Wilhelmina meets with her father, Senator Slater, to ask for a loan to get her new magazine established. He refuses, saying that the daughter he once knew and loved as Wanda has changed into someone else. After he leaves, Wilhelmina and Marc ponder other options on how to get the financial backing. Finally, knowing that Christmas is a time for family, Betty buys a pink artificial tree to replace the burned up one. As they finally decorate the new tree Ignacio places the angel on top as a remembrance of his late wife.
A great episode and a great way to bring back Alan Dale’s character despite being killed off in the previous episode. It’s also good to see Betty trying to stay the person she has always been and worrying about the woman she may become if she stays at mode. Having Betty being able to help save the magazine shows how much she has grown. We also get to see Wilhelmina go all super villain which is just scary and brilliant at the same time.
BE-SHURE
GUEST CAST
Daniel Eric Gold (War of The Worlds)
Grant Bowler (Lost)
David Rasche (Burn After Reading)
Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid)
The story begins with the family getting ready for breakfast with Ignacio making potato latkes. Ignacio announces that he has invited his new girlfriend, Jean, over for a multi-culti Christmas–Hanukkah dinner. As Betty leaves, Bobby stops by, which upsets Hilda, even though Bobby was there to pick up Justin, while Ignacio holds up a Cabbage Patch Doll to show Bobby, who believes took a display of the baby Jesus 14 years earlier, which Bobby denied. After she leaves, Betty starts to feel queasy as does Hilda later on while she and Archie were visiting Macy’s to drop a letter to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation. On Fashion TV, Suzuki reports on Wilhelmina in jumpsuits and Connor in jail. Claire and Daniel discuss hiring a new creative director despite the disagreements over Calvin running the company and Daniel being blamed for hiring Connor, while Marc is suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome”, due to Wilhelmina no longer with the company. Cal later stops by to introduce Daniel their new creative director, a clueless Hollywood mogul named Denise Ludwig, whom Daniel is not happy about and when he tries to reason with Cal as to why he was not consulted, Cal reminded him about who was running the company and it wasn’t Daniel.
919NuAZvl-L._SL1500_As Daniel prays that Connor rots in prison, it looks like Connor and Wilhelmina are getting hot and heavy behind bars, as Wilhelmina have been secretly been making surprise visits daily for the past two weeks, as they hope that as soon as they get the money back Wilhelmina will be back at Mode. When Wilhelmina returns to reclaim her job, Daniel tells her that it was filled. Wilhelmina then leaves, but prior to her visit, Marc suggests to Daniel, who wanted to get even with Cal by recovering the money, by enlisting Wilhelmina in an effort to get the money back. Hours later back at prison, Wilhelmina and Connor are interrupted by a phone call from Daniel. Connor goes to answer Daniel on the other end but Connor refuses to spill the beans and blames him for taking Molly and making Wilhelmina choose between him and the company, saying that he knows where the money is. However this was all planned, as Wilhelmina and Connor set up a scheme in an effort to get the Hartleys out of the company. This also sets up a scheme for Daniel to get the company back in family control, as Marc suggests to Daniel that Wilhelmina might be useful in retrieving the money from Connor. As they went to Wilhelmina’s place, the two agree to get the money back, on the condition that Wilhelmina gets a 50% stake in Meade Publications and non-veto power and that Daniel does not consult Claire. The two agree. In between the meelee, Marc begins to reminisce about Wilhelmina with Amanda, as they looked at Wilhelmina’s empty office and sees her empty chair, which he used to inject Botox into his former boss. Hours later, a deliveryman arrives to give Marc the Botox chair as a gift. Amanda later reaches Claire to tell her that a plane is ready for her flight to Rapid City, South Dakota to see her son Tyler. In Rapid City, Claire arrives at a bar and sees a bartender, who happens to be Tyler, after she asks him for a beer as a way to get to know more about him. As Tyler talks about his life, Claire listens to him, seeing that he has done well for himself and realizes that he has turned out pretty well. Claire then thanks Tyler for having a great conversation and leaves him a 2,000-dollar tip. As Claire leaves, she informs Amanda and tells her that she doesn’t want Tyler to know anything about her. However, as Tyler went to pick up his tip, he is stunned by the large cash that was left for him and sees an envelope that has Claire’s name and address on it.
As they avoid Amanda, who seem to have jumped on the jumpsuit trend thanks to Wili, Betty and Matt talk about the get-together at the Suarezes, then comment on Betty’s glow as she visualizes a future with Matt as Mrs. Suarez-Hartley. During the entire day, Betty still feels queasy and as she arrives to the bus stop, a waiting passenger notices Betty and gives her a seat because he thought that Betty looked like she was expecting and as the flashbacks come into the picture, her vision of her future changed completely as she sees a mirror image of herself as a pregnant woman. At the drug store, Betty asks for the Be-Shure pregnancy test kit from a pharmacist named Jean, without mentioning the name. Unfortunately, Hilda also shows up asking Jean for the same kit, but the siblings don’t see each other even though the two do see Ignacio shopping and try their best to avoid him like the plague. Back at home Betty and Hilda arrive to help Ignacio, while at the same time they separately head to the bathroom to pee so they can see if they are expecting. During the ensuing chaos, both try to keep each other and Ignacio from finding out as they fight for bathroom time. When Ignacio heads upstairs to ask for a band-aid, the sisters panicked as they were hiding something, and after he left the two separately discover a positive on their sticks thanks to a mix-up with their kits and both believed that they might be pregnant. But just as the two try to keep quiet about their double pregnancy, Ignacio welcomes a surprise guest – his Jewish girlfriend Jean, the pharmacist from the drugstore that gave the women the pregnancy test, but doesn’t recognize either of them. And to make matter worse, Archie and Matt also arrives, as does Bobby, who returns the baby Jesus and admits to Ignacio that he stole it.During the entire evening as Jean talked about her Jewish family members and being welcomed into a Christian family setting, the sisters try to keep their cool about the results and as they went back to the bathroom they saw the two sticks, but one turned up positive and the other negative. Betty believes that Hilda might be the one who is carrying but the two are not so sure and as Matt walks in on the two he sees Betty with the stick and is led to believe that Betty is the one with child. Betty tells Matt that she is not ready but Matt stuns Betty by saying he is ready. That’s when the two decide to retest to be sure, so Matt heads to the store. Later that evening, everyone gathers to see the lighting of the Nativity on the lawn. Ignacio invites everyone, including Bobby, back in the house, and when Jean prepares to light the menorah the chaos continued until a box of Be-Shure fell onto the floor, as does Jean’s menorah. Everyone sees this as Betty picks it up and Matt follows her to the bathroom.
In the bathroom, Betty and Matt wait for a few minutes, then a negative sign appears, as Betty breathes a sigh of relief that she is not the one who is pregnant, even though Matt was somewhat disappointed. Ignacio was also relieved as well regardless of the outcome and they returned downstairs to finish the celebration. Hours later after the celebration finished, a devastated Hilda tells Betty that she is afraid to tell Archie about the pregnancy and that he isn’t the father, now that she knows that Bobby is. Betty thinks its time for Hilda to come clean to Archie, when Archie comes by and see Hilda. However, its Archie who decided that it was better to end the relationship, but because he felt that there was someone out there who deserves Hilda and he wasn’t the one for her. After he leaves, Hilda sees Bobby, who wanted to tell her that he wouldn’t come by the place anymore, but Hilda tells him he can come over anytime. She didn’t tell Bobby about him becoming a father yet. As the evening finished, Ignacio was pleased that Jean liked the get-together and was looking forward to a having an Easter-Passover dinner down the road, while outside Betty and Matt talked about visualizing their future together if they ever decide to ever have a family, then they kiss.
Be-Shure sets up a lot of stories for the remainder of the series, as season 4 became the final season. This Christmas episode had many highlights especially the pregnancy story, keeping the audience guessing just which of the sisters is pregnant.

REVIEW: UGLY BETTY – SEASON 1-4

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MAIN CAST

America Ferrera (Real Women Have Curves)
Eric Mabius (Resident Evil)
Vanessa Williams (666 Park Avenue)
Michael Urie (Uptown Girls)
Tony Plana (Alpha House)
Ana Ortiz (Devious Maids)
Becki Newton (How I Met Your Mother)
Mark Indelicato (Dead of Summer)
Judith Light (Transparent)
Ashley Jensen (Extras)
Christopher Gorham (Jake 2.0)
Alan Dale (Lost)
Rebecca Romijn (X-Men)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang Theory)
Gina Gershon (Bound)
Ava Gaudet (Hurt)
Kristen Schaal (Bob’s Burgers)
Salma Hayek (Dogma)
Sarah Jones (Alcatraz)
Rhys Coiro (Straw Dogs)
Ron Canada (Wedding Crashers)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow)
Patrick Fabian (Veronica Mars)
Jowharah Jones (The Client List)
Debi Mazar (Goodfellas)
Brett Cullen (Ghost Rider)
Kevin Alejandro (Arrow)
Martha Stewart (2 Broke Girls)
Teddy Sears (The Flash)
Mini Anden (Chuck)
Courtney Ford (Dexter)
Kathleen Munroe (Stargate Universe)
Lucy Davis (Shaun of The Dead)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Kathy Griffin (Pulp Fiction)
Bailey Chase (Buffy)
Lucy Liu (Kill Bill)
Jayma Mays (Heroes)
Jerry O’Connell (Sliders)
Max Greenfield (New Girl)
Ivana Milicevic (Casino Royale)
Leslie Jordan (The Help)
AnnaLynne McCord (Excision)
Cristián de la Fuente (Valiant Love)
Rachel Roberts (Simone)
Jonathan Slavin (Free Enterprise)
Dale Dickey (My Name Is Earl)
Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies)
Illeana Douglas (Ghost World)
Alec Mapa (Marley & Me)
Freddy Rodriguez (Planet Terror)
James Van Der Beek (Dawsons Creek)
John Cho (Flashforward)
Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow)
David Blue (Stargate Universe)
Megan Hilty (The Pirate Fairy)
Victoria Beckham (Spiceworld)
Mo’Nique (Precious)
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Candace Kita (Masked Rider)
Annie Potts (Ghostbusters)
Derek Riddell (Micro Man)
Carol Ann Susi (The Big Bang Theory)
Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Gabrielle Union (Bring It On)
Kari Matchett (Cube 2)
Eddie Cibrian (Sunset Beach)
Julian de la Celle (The Fosters)
Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls)
Val Emmich (30 Rock)
Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid)
Grant Bowler (Lost)
Sarah LaFleur (Earth: Final Conflict)
Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray)
Kevin Kilner (Dollhouse)
Daniel Eric Gold (Charlie Wilson’s War)
Brennan Brown (Beauty and The Beast)
David Rasche (Burn After Readiing)
Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory)
Dreama Walker (Compliance)
Lynn Redgrave (Gods and Monsters)
Yaya DaCosta (In Time)
Kristen Johnston (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Jamie-Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos)
Hamish Linklater (The Crazy Ones)
Adam Ferrara (Rescue Me)
Dylan Baker (Spider-Man 2)
Brooklyn Decker (Battleship)
Lisa Howard (Earth: Final Conflict)
Adam Rodriguez (Roswell)
Christie Brinkley (Parks and Recreation)
Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit)
Patricia Velasquez (The Mummy Returns)
Carol Kane (Gotham)
Dana Ivey (Two Weeks Notice)
Donna Murphy (Spider-Man 2)
Matt Newton (Face To Face)
Ryan McGinnis (Hard Sell)
Bryan Batt (Scream: The Series)

Ugly Betty is a television comedy/drama that airs on ABC. It was produced by Salma Hayek, Silvio Horta, Ben Silverman, Jose Tamez, James Hayman, and Marco Pennette. The show was adapted from the Colombian mini-series “Yo Soy Betty La Fea”. The series is about a plain-old girl who is thrust into the glamorous fashion world and the drama that trails her life and co-workers. It was highly successful during its freshmen season (2006-2007) and nominated eleven times in the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards.

The primary character is Betty Saurez (America Ferrera). Betty is a normal girl from Queens who aspires to be in the fashion business. In the beginning of the series, she is trying to get a job at a fashion magazine. The problem is that no one will even consider her for a job, which is mostly due to the fact she doesn’t physically fit in with the beautiful people. Her life is changed when Bradford Meade (Alan Dale) makes his playboy son Daniel (Eric Mabius) hire her as his assistant. Daniel was recently inducted as editor-in-chief of “Mode” magazine, Meade Publications’ flagship. Bradford hopes that Daniel’s work at Mode will prepare him to take over the company. Unfortunately Daniel’s frat-boy behavior prevents him from focusing on the job. Betty is hired as his assistant, because she is the one girl in New York City he won’t jump in the sack with.Image result for ugly betty fake plastic snowWhen Betty first comes to Mode, Daniel does everything in his power to get rid of her by embarrassing and demeaning her. He soon learns that despite Betty’s looks, she is very capable, intelligent, determined, and an invaluable asset to the company. She plays a vital role in Daniel succeeding as editor-in-chief. Her unique and real outlook on life saves the day on more than one occasion. Challenging Daniel and Betty is Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams). Wilhelmina is the creative director, who believes should have been given the position of editor-in-chief. She works with a mysterious woman to dethrone Bradford and Daniel and take over the company.

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Others in the office include Amanda Tanen (Becki Newton), the Mode receptionist who has an eye of Betty’s job and Daniel’s pants, Marc St. James (Michael Urie), Wilhelmina’s assistant who does all of her dirty work, and Christina McKinney (Ashley Jensen), the Scottish seamstress who is Betty’s one friend in the company. These characters are not as developed as the other main characters, but they still bring quite a lot to the table in drama and comedy.

Outside of the office, there are several key characters from Betty’s home life. They include Ignacio (Tony Plana), Betty’s father who has a shady past and several secrets he hopes are never revealed, Hilda (Ana Ortiz), Betty’s older protective sister who sells weight-loss supplements, and Justin (Mark Indelicato), Hilda’s son who is very “different” than other boys and loves fashion just as much as his aunt Betty.

The show’s supporting characters include Walter (Kevin Sussman), Betty’s boyfriend and serious love interest who cheated on her, Henry Grubstick (Christopher Gorham), a Mode accountant who develops strong chemistry with Betty, Sofia Reyes (Salma Hayek), a new editor-in-chief at Meade Publications who is a love interest for Daniel, and Claire Meade (Judith Light), Daniel’s mother who is a drunk and a key to the season’s biggest story arc.

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In Ugly Betty’s first season, there are several storylines that drive it. Even the slightest developments are key and play into a soap opera-worthy story. The writing is done very well and manages to intertwine the storylines to focus on the big picture and character development. This comment is especially worth noting because of the large ensemble cast and the different directions it takes the show. In other words, there is a lot going on, but it is handled and presented in an engaging and entertaining manner that is easy to follow.

Yet for all of Ugly Betty’s strengths, what really keeps the show afloat is Betty. While this character is an imperfect match to the world of high fashion, she is a great fit for this television show. Most of the people working at Mode are overly superficial and fake. Betty, on the other hand, is sincere and real. She is a strong heroine, despite the fact she is constantly tormented and teased by her attractive peers. Her outlandish personality brings something special to everyone at Mode. She is the real strength that drives this show.Image result for ugly betty icing on the cakeAs an overall series, Ugly Betty does very well with its first season. It offers a very fun show with likable characters, engaging over-the-top drama that feels mature, intricate storylines.

In season two, the characters of Ugly Betty go through a whirlwind of drama and comedy. The whirlwind comes from a variety of new developments that include Betty’s complex romance with Henry and a new character Gio, Alexis losing her memory and rekindling friendship with the family, Daniel struggling to keep control of Mode, Mrs. Meade on the run, Hilda dealing with the loss of Santos, and more. It is a very dramatic season with several tidbits of comedy throughout. Overall, it is enjoyable like the season one.

“How Betty Got Her Grieve Back” is the season two premiere episode. In it, a lot of things happen. The biggest development involves Betty’s love life, or rather lack of. She comes to terms with Henry leaving for Tucsan to take care of the mother of his unborn baby. Later in the season, Harry returns to Mode to finish working. Betty and Henry have a complicated romance, as they try to figure out how they can be together with the unborn baby baggage. Also in the premiere, Amanda finds out her mother is Fey Sommers! Throughout the season, she tries to find answers about her parents. And Marc helps her. Wilhelmina also uses the events from the season one finale to her advantage. With Claire behind bars, she moves on Bradford. Daniel struggles with his personal demons about Alexis’ condition.

 

Image result for ugly betty how betty got her grieve backIn the Saurez household, there are two key subplots introduced. The first is about Hilda, Justin, and Santos. Both Hilda and Justin come to terms with Santos death. Hilda goes through a couple phases, which include being boarded in her room and hanging out with aged widows. Justin goes through a rebellious phase, where he tries to take on qualities of his dad (sports and woman). The other development is about Ignacio still stuck in Mexico. Betty goes against her principles to help him acquire US citizenship.As the season continues, there are a lot of new developments — many of which grow from the seeds planted in the season opener. Betty’s love life with Henry gets more complex in “Betty’s Wait Problem”. A new character and love interest named Gio is introduced. Alexis comes out of the coma without memory of the last two years. Daniel, Bradford, and Wilhelmina take advantage of the situation. Daniel and Alexis also struggle with Wilhelmina, who is still trying to take over Mode. Claire resurfaces after escaping from prison, which complicates Wilhelmina’s diabolical plans. The season developments continue with even more wild escapades.Overall, Ugly Betty’s second season is fun and entertaining. It has a similar light-hearted humorous tone with over the top, soap opera plotlines to season one. The major difference is that Betty is no longer trying to prove herself.

The Third Season of the amazing show “Ugly Betty” shows even further strengthening of the programme- from the very good Season One, the show improved to be excellent in Season Two and this season returns to be truly amazing. There’s brilliant character development this season and the plotlines and ongoing storylines in this season are excellent; with some truly outstanding drama and comedy moments.

Following on from the first two seasons, “Ugly Betty” continues the story of New York underdog Betty who dreams of being an editor for a magazine. The show centres around her adventures as the “ugly” and “fat” girl at America’s top fashion magazine ‘Mode’, working with shallow, stick-thin, martini sipping socialites and arrogant, womanizing men. The characterisation remains to be great, and there is some outstanding character developments during this season- especially Mark, Amanda and Justin who are audience favourites- the former infact finally gets a more front-seat role in this season- Mark has been an excellent character since the first episode and this season it feels like he finally gets the screentime and storylines he deserves.Image result for ugly betty the manhattan project

With better comedy, improved writing and great storylines, fans of the show are sure to adore this season- and for those who are tempted to mingle with the show, this certainly satisfy those appetites. An excellent season; a brilliant show; and I highly recommend this boxset.

After four years and 85 episodes, the braces came off and Ugly Betty, the fish-out-of-water PA from Queens, finally became Betty Suarez, publisher of her own magazine in the UK.

The first nine episodes focussed mainly on self-contained storylines. Betty’s struggles to establish herself in her new role as a junior editor as ex-boyfriend Matt, now her boss, is petty and mean to her. An emotionally vulnerable Daniel Meade is drawn into a cult as he tries to deal with Molly‘s death. A ludicrous murder side-plot involving Nico Slater, which triggers Wilhelmina leaving Mode.

A few ongoing plots are also teed up. Amanda starts to think about her future. Claire Meade sets off in search of the son, Tyler, she had with Cal Hartley but was forced to give away. Hilda hooks up with Bobby Talercio, an old high school flame. Each of these becomes significant down the stretch, but are only touched upon initially.


London Calling, starts to set up the finale, as well as giving us a sentimental excuse to welcome back Christina and ex-boyfriends Gio and Henry.

The final episode gives us the closure we had all been waiting for, and does so with style. Hello Goodbye is as much about discovery as it is about departure, with every character getting their turn to take a final bow. Hilda, married and no longer tied to the Suarez house by her salon, gets her dream move to Manhattan. Justin finds contentment with Austin. Amanda finds her father. Daniel steps down as co-editor-in-chief to pursue the opportunity to find himself. Wilhelmina finds redemption, her lost love Connor and then, suddenly, without the need for scheming, she finally achieves her heart’s desire: Mode – a direct result of her altruistic act of saving Claire. Marc is shown the path to becoming creative director by Wilhelmina, and finds love and the possibility of a real relationship with Troy, after a lovely reversal where Justin returns the favour by turning into his mentor.


There is one touching moment at the farewell party where we linger on Betty, Marc and Amanda – the triumvirate who have always been the beating heart of the show – dancing joyfully together, all previous bitchiness put aside as their friendship is finally affirmed.


It was a fitting end, and one which suited the series better than the ending of its Colombian parent, Betty la Fea, would have done, where Betty marries Daniel’s equivalent, Armando. Betty has come a long way since she first walked through the door at Mode