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October 30, 2014

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All Joel wants for Festivus

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 17th 2008 5:26PM
Kate WalshEvery year, we at the Squad put together our lists of what we want for Festivus. Most of it has to deal with what we want to see happen to our favorite shows. I try to go for the gold every year, however; I wish for certain phone numbers to make their way into my cell phone's speed dial. So far, though, I'm striking out big time. However, I have met all three of my desired phone pals (Anna Friel, America Ferrara, Sarah Chalke) in my various reporting travels. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

Anyway, here's my wish list for 2008:
  • Some way to record and watch Big Bang / HIMYM, Chuck, and House (all airing at the same time starting in January) so I don't have to resort to watching one of them on my laptop.
  • Speaking of Mother, please let them end the season with a bang. And please keep Britney as far away from the set as possible.
  • More web series as well-written and funny as Dr. Horrible and Children's Hospital.

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Bernadette Peters checks in to Ugly Betty

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 11th 2008 4:38PM
Bernadette PetersOkay, now that it's behind us, we can say that Lindsay Lohan's turn on Ugly Betty was pretty lame. However, I have hope that other guest stars will do much better. Therefore, the news that Broadway star -- multiple Tony winner -- Bernadette Peters will appear on Ugly Betty is a good thing. Just the name of the character she's playing, Jodie Papadakis, is funny.

Please, please, let this be a sign of good things to come, because Ugly Betty could use an injection of good stuff. So far this season, the show has lurched around searching for its comedic soul.

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Gene Simmons to guest star on Ugly Betty

by Annie Wu, posted Dec 2nd 2007 5:02PM
Gene SimmonsAfter having a slew of beautiful faces grace the set, Ugly Betty is well-known for its guest stars. I mean, come on, they got Victoria "Major!" Beckham. It doesn't get much more fabulous than that. Following the logical progression of guests, the next celebrity preparing to shoot a spot on the campy fashion show is... Gene Simmons.

Yeah, I'm confused too. Reading this article doesn't make me feel any better, as it looks like Mr. Simmons is determined to keep the details of his appearance super hush-hush. Past guests have been pretty open about their roles, so I'm starting to wonder if Simmons is going to play a significant, storyline-shifting part. Dare I speculate that he's Amanda's real daddy?

Hmm... Fey Sommers and Gene Simmons. For some reason, the idea of Simmons having a secret sex room doesn't seem so far-fetched.

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Ugly Betty: East Side Story (season finale)

by Julia Ward, posted May 18th 2007 1:50AM
Betty FINALE
(S01E24)
I can't stop crying.

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Ugly Betty: A Tree Grows in Guadalajara

by Julia Ward, posted May 11th 2007 1:19AM
Ugly Betty Guadalajara
(S01E22)
Before we get started, I need to get something out of the way.

"A boy like that. He'll kill your brother."

Who wants to live in America? Rita Moreno does! I'm just one big fag haggis experiencing her inner theater queen. We all know that there's a Betty musical episode in the works, but I think we might be in for a preview next week. The episode is called "East Side Story," guest stars Kristin Chenoweth and is timed perfectly for Justin to save the day for middle school-aged thespians everywhere. Until then, let us reflect on tonight's mystical Mexico tour.

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Ugly Betty: Secretaries Day

by Julia Ward, posted May 4th 2007 1:55AM
Ugly Betty Secretaries Day
(S01E21)
I wish Ugly Betty's Christina could sit down with The Office's Pam and tell her the same thing she told Betty - "You can take care of yourself, princess." How original. How wonderful. How like real life.

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Ugly Betty: Petra-gate

by Julia Ward, posted Apr 27th 2007 2:50AM
Ugly Betty Petra-gate(S01E20) Betty is back and in fine form. The writers have officially ditched all the weak links - Constance, Nico, the warm-hearted version of Wilhelmina. The bitches are out in full force, and the camp is in overdrive. And, oh my god, I think we have a new word in the pop culture vernacular - "faux-mo!" This week was great, but we're clearly just setting up for next week's Medieval meltdown. Who doesn't want to see a bunch of fashionistas plopped down at a RenFaire to dissect the tragedy? But, that's next week, let us focus our attention on Betty as Carrie, hairapy and little orphan tranny.

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Ugly Betty: Don't Ask, Don't Tell

by Julia Ward, posted Mar 23rd 2007 2:02AM
Ugly Betty Don't Ask Don't Tell
(S01E18)
I would have written this review sooner, but I couldn't stop crying like a big baby. Not every storyline was a home run this week, but the most important one was. It could have gotten all "Lifetime Original," but it didn't. This show is many things - funny, moving, campy - but it is never saccharine.

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Ugly Betty: Icing on the Cake

by Julia Ward, posted Mar 16th 2007 2:33AM
Judith Light Ugly Betty
(S01E17) Here's the formula for a great Ugly Betty episode - let Wilhelmina be bitchy, let Marc and Amanda be campy and send one of the Manhattanites to Queens to have a fish-out-of-water bonding experience with Betty. Throw in a little geek chemistry, and you've got yourself one shiny Betty episode.

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Ugly Betty: Derailed

by Julia Ward, posted Feb 16th 2007 1:37AM
Derailed Ugly Betty(S01E16) To quote Lucy Liu as O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill and as The Chin on Ugly Betty, "You didn't think it was going to be that easy, did you?" Tonight's theme - "it's complicated." I ended my review last week by saying this, but I think it bears repeating. Watching good TV can be an emotionally masochistic endeavor. One of the first lessons you learn in "how to be a TV writer" class is to put the screws to your characters. This lesson is often phrased as, "Give the audience what they want, and then take it away." This week's episode was all about giving us what we wanted and taking it away. Betty opens up to Henry about her feelings for him. Done. Christina catches a break. Done. Alexis gets to feel a little human connection post-op. Done. Justin gets to see Hairspray. Done. Hope you enjoyed it because now those cruel, cruel writers are going to make us regret that we ever wanted those things to happen in the first place.

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Ugly Betty: Brothers

by Julia Ward, posted Feb 9th 2007 2:33AM
Brothers Henry Ugly Betty(S01E15) This show wows me on so many levels - the humor, the subversion, the eye candy, the emotional pay-offs, but damn, the writing - on a structural level - is so freaking good. This may have been the best episode of Ugly Betty yet. They took what is a soap opera mainstay and typically written off as a joke - a man becoming a woman - and turned it into something real. Honestly, it was just plain artful how the writers thematically connected Justin's story of playground bullying and his father's concern about his sexuality to Alexis' story of her own father's disapproval and eventual sex change. In the Suarez home, being accepted for who you are and seeing beauty in the people around you wins the day. In the Meade home, your father would rather see you dead than happy. That wasn't the only structural parallel at work in this episode either - Betty and Daniel were, as always, playing out the same stories in different universes. Betty forced Daniel's hand in confronting Alexis, but Daniel didn't let Betty out of confronting Walter. "It's a lot harder avoiding people than facing them."

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Ugly Betty: I'm Coming Out

by Julia Ward, posted Feb 2nd 2007 1:38AM
I'm Coming Out Ugly Betty(S01E14) Next week's episode is called "Brothers," but we'll go ahead and call this one the unofficial sibling episode. Anyone who's had to live in the shadow of a brother, sister or post-op transsexual knows Betty and Daniel's pain. Ugly Betty is proof positive that if you can keep the emotions real, even in the midst of over-the-top farce, then you're liable to have a hit on your hands. As a matter of fact it's because we buy Daniel's emotional reaction to finding out Alex is still alive and a woman that keeps the show from becoming a outright cartoon that we can't invest in beyond the laughs. But, yes, there were laughs, and everyone was on hand.

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What I learned at ABC's all-star party - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 16th 2007 12:02PM
ABC logoSunday night, ABC closed their day of events with an all-star party, which was held at the same ballroom where lunch was served (kudos to the party planners to making the place more party-like instead of like a rubber-chicken dinner). Here's what I learned there.

When you're at a party or an event, the presence of a few celebrities will get noticed. But at something like this, where 100 people from various ABC, ABC Family and Disney Channel shows were present, everyone just blends and hangs out like normal people. Well, that's not entirely true. The celebs -- many of whom were dressed in their party finest -- talked to each other, and the critics -- many wearing the same business-casual garb they wore during the day -- talked to each other. When the worlds collided, it was usually when a critic tried to formally interview one of the celebrities, which was impossible given the crowd noise and the loud music.

More of what I learned after the jump.

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TV's Top 5!: An 'Ugly' night for America

by Geoff Bennett, posted Jan 16th 2007 11:27AM

America FerreraLast night's top TV moment? Without question -- America Ferrera's surprise win at the Golden Globes.

She took home a statue for best actress in a musical or comedy series for her work on Ugly Betty and gave one of the night's best acceptance speeches. Watch the clip.

And then check out the best of the rest -- top moments from 24, E! Live From the Red Carpet, I Love New York and The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.

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Ugly Betty turns Project Runway with designer challenge

by Julia Ward, posted Jan 15th 2007 9:02AM
Ashley Jensen Christina Ugly BettyUgly Betty is playing Project Runway with its design-inclined viewers. Between now and January 28th, you can submit a dress design to be used on an episode of the show. If you impress Betty's costume designer Eduardo Castro and the cast, you'll be flown out to watch a taping of the show featuring your design come to life. Of course, there's a catch. This design contest requires a little "Sister Maria tears down the curtains for playclothes" ingenuity.

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