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Ugly Betty on DVD: Season 1Season 2

"Ugly Betty" The Complete Second Season DVD Review

Buy Ugly Betty: The Complete Second Season from Amazon.com Ugly Betty: Season Two (2007-08)
Show & DVD Details

Creator: Silvio Horta / Directors: Victor Nelli Jr., James Hayman, Michael Spiller, Matt Shakman, Wendy Stanzler, Tricia Brock, Tucker Gates, Henry Alonso Myers, Rodman Flender, Gary Winick, Ron Underwood, Linda Mendoza

Regular Cast: America Ferrera (Betty Suarez), Eric Mabius (Daniel Meade), Rebecca Romijn (Alexis Meade), Vanessa Williams (Wilhelmina Slater), Tony Plana (Ignacio Suarez), Ana Ortiz (Hilda Suarez), Judith Light (Claire Meade), Christopher Gorham (Henry Grubstick), Ashley Jensen (Christina McKinney), Becki Newton (Amanda Tanen), Michael Urie (Marc St. James), Mark Indelicato (Justin Suarez), Alan Dale (Bradford Meade)

Recurring Characters: Freddy Rodriguez (Giovanni "Gio" Rossi), Alec Mapa (Suzuki St. Pierre), Jayma Mays (Charlie), David Blue (Cliff), Eddie Cibrian (Coach Tony Diaz), Gabrielle Union (Renee Slater), Lorraine Toussiant (Yoga), Rick Fox (Dwayne), Julian de la Celle (Daniel Jr.)

Notable Guest Stars: Victor Garber (Professor Barrett), Eden Espinosa (Elphaba), Megan Hilty (Glinda), Marlo Thomas (Elaine Winthrop), Victoria Beckham (Herself), Mo'Nique (L'Amanda), Eliza Dushku (Cameron Ashlock), Bow Wow (Himself), Omarion Grandberry (Himself), Caroline Aaron (Judge Biotch), Paul McCrane (District Attorney Weitz), Barry Bostwick (Roger Adams), Gene Simmons (Himself), Betty White (Herself), Larry King (Himself), Lindsay Lohan (Kimberly), Robbie Myers (Herself), Joe Zee (Himself), Naomi Campbell (Herself)

Running Time: 765 Minutes (18 episodes) / Rating: TV-14
1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned / DVD Release Date: September 9, 2008
Season 2 Airdates: September 27, 2007 – May 17, 2008
Five single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9s); Suggested Retail Price: $59.99
Eight-sided fold-out Digipak with Cardboard Slipcover

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Alexis (Rebecca Romijn) can't seem to muster up the same enthusiasm for Hot Flash magazine as her mother (Judith Light) in "Twenty-Four Candles." Betty shows off her specialty dish in "Betty's Baby Bump" much to Amanda's delight and Charlie's (Jayma Mays) repulsion. After getting knocked out by a softball, Betty finds herself surrounded by a mix of concerned and amused people.

Disc 4

13. A Thousand Words by Friday (41:44) (Originally aired January 24, 2008)
Daunted by the task of writing an article for Mode, Betty enlists the help of Henry and Gio. Amanda tries desperately to contact Gene Simmons, who she believes is her father. Daniel begins to fall for Wilhelmina’s sister, Renee.

14. Twenty-Four Candles (42:58) (Originally aired April 24, 2008)
Betty looks forward to spending her 24th birthday with Henry, but her plans are shattered by Charlie’s unexpected appearance. Wilhelmina plants seeds of doubt into Daniel’s relationship with Renee. Claire creates her own magazine aimed at older women.

15. Burning Question (42:54) (Originally aired May 1, 2008)
Renee suspects Betty of stealing Daniel from her. Gina’s return to the neighborhood opens up old wounds in Hilda. Overhearing some of Wilhelmina’s plans, Christina delves deeper to find out just what she got herself into.

16. Betty’s Baby Bump (42:55) (Originally aired May 8, 2008)
In an effort to win Charlie’s good graces, Betty throws her a baby shower, but Charlie remains icy. Hilda is immediately attracted to Justin’s gym teacher. Christina finds out exactly what her role is in the Wilhelmina’s grand scheme.

Disc 5

17. The Kids Are Alright (42:48) (Originally aired May 15, 2008)
Betty can’t help but find herself falling for Gio when the two chaperone Justin’s school dance. Wilhelmina makes her grand return to Mode. Meanwhile, Amanda and Marc’s friendship is put on jeopardy over her new reality show with Gene Simmons.

18. Jump (41:59) (Originally aired May 22, 2008)
Betty is hopelessly torn between Henry and Gio and the promises they offer. As Mode prepares for a softball game with a rival magazine, a French boy arrives claiming to be Daniels’ son. Coach Diaz makes a startling confession to Hilda.

Betty and Christina (Ashley Jensen) rummage through Wilhelmina’s files in order to find out what she's really up to. At least two members of the Suarez family are baffled by Betty's radical change in mood.


"Ugly Betty" comes in the same 1.78:1 widescreen ratio found in its high-definition broadcasts. Like most recent shows, this one exhibits fine episode transfers. The series features some of the more vivid color palettes of primetime television, and these are replicated well. Sharpness and detail are excellent, and there are no print or transfer defects marring the image. The Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround soundtracks are understandably not very effects-heavy. This is first and foremost dialogue-driven, and speech is expectedly clean. Music is what livens things up, and the upbeat score is strong without overpowering the dialogue.

Michael Urie and Becki Newton introduce us to their bubbly tour of Mode as the fact track explains why the DVD featurette calls them "besties." In "The Suarez Tour," Tony Plana and Mark Indelicato reminisce about the many heart-to-heart scenes that take place in the Suarez kitchen. Vanessa Williams cheerily offers her first-hand experiences as to why people love to hate her character, Wilhelmina Slater.


A collection of extras are found on the fifth disc, starting with "On Set with the Besties" (6:42). This is a tour of the show's key sets, namely Mode, hosted by actors Michael Urie and Becki Newton. Every few seconds, a pop-up fact appears regarding what goes into the set currently displayed. While Urie and Newton's high-speed antics don't make for a thorough tour,
they certainly make for good entertainment, and it's still interesting to see neighboring rooms that are miles away in the series' context. The facts also provide decent information, but unfortunately appear so often that it's difficult to juggle focal points. The trivia would've been better appreciated as an optional subtitle.

"The Suarez Tour" (3:37), hosted by actors Tony Plana and Mark Indelicato, is considerably more relaxed. The various rooms and props in the Suarez family home are explored and explained with notable episode clips interspersed. While not as lengthy as it could be, the tour shows off the set better than the previous one did for Mode.

Next is "Wilhelmina Slater: Love to Hate Her" (6:57), featuring sound bites from many cast and crew members about the series' villainess. Vanessa Williams offers some good notes, and the other interviewees are amusing, but this piece is mostly just a praise fest for the character.

"Las Pasiones de Telenovelas" (5:38) takes a look at the Spanish soap operas frequently seen on the Suarez television. The crew explains the reasoning and approach for creating these clips along with the casting of well-known soap actors. Lots of behind-the-scenes footage from the show-within-a-show helps make this a fascinating and informative piece.

True to real telenovelas, "Asesinato Por Muerte" involves bitter rivalries mingled with lots of liquor and overacting. In this deleted scene, Ignacio prepares for his new fast food job with lots of practice at home. Betty tearfully succumbs to her passion for Henry in her soap opera-inspired dream sequence, seen through her main menu glasses.

Two of the telenovelas produced for "Ugly Betty" were given more than the minute's worth of footage shown on the Suarez television. "Los Pecados de Corazon" (Sins of the Heart, 21:23) and "Asesinato por Muerte" (Murder by Death, 16:09) were each released on ABC's official "Ugly Betty" website in seven mini-episodes.
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The goal for authenticity is achieved as the camera work, costumes, sets, and even some of the acting perfectly replicate the feel of real telenovelas. Their tongue-in-cheek nature lends to much hilarity, and in a nice move, one can choose to watch these with intentionally awful English dubbing. Both shows are easily the highlight of the supplements.

"I Love Betty" (6:10) deals with the love triangle between Betty, Henry, and Gio. The respective actors lend their own opinions on the scenario, and crew members also chime in. A few interesting character notes arise, but it’s mostly fluffy and almost feels like an advertisement for the third season.

"Betty Bloops" (4:47) is an outtakes reel consisting mostly of giggles in the middle of lines. It's mildly amusing but not terribly unique.

Finally, there are 16 fuzzy-looking deleted scenes (12:02), most of which are actually extended versions of existing scenes. It's easy to see why they were trimmed as most of what's lost are simply scene-capping gags. Though expendable, they're fun to see and wouldn't have harmed anything, had there not been a firm runtime to meet.

Disc One opens with previews for "Private Practice": The Complete First Season, "Samantha Who": The Complete First Season, "Grey’s Anatomy": The Complete Fourth Season, and "Dirty Sexy Money": The Complete First Season. Unlike most Buena Vista DVDs, these aren't accessible via a Sneak Peeks menu. Instead, that menu (found on Disc 5) contains promos for WALL-E, "Desperate Housewives": The Complete Fourth Season, "Brothers and Sisters": The Complete Second Season, Miramax Films, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and "Ugly Betty" and "Samantha Who" on ABC.

The main menu of each disc presents a cleverly-edited montage of clips and stills through Betty's glasses. All other menus, while accompanied by different musical cues, are static and feature a different promotional still surrounded by color bars.

All five discs come housed in a digipak that itself comes in an embossed, cardboard slipcover. The slipcover and digipak feature different group shots of the cast, and each disc depicts a different locale of the series. A nicely designed episode guide is included, made to look like a tourist map of New York City. Leaflets advertising Blu-Ray discs and other ABC programs are also included.

Betty, Daniel, Clare, and Alexis warmly welcome Wilhelmina back to Mode. Betty conjures up the perfect 24th birthday celebration for herself.


The second season of "Ugly Betty" maintains the overall level of quality found in Season 1. Some of the plots are a bit much, though, and Betty herself occasionally gets lost in the shuffle. The show is still able to overcome these issues with the help of its witty scripts, even-handed actors, and memorable visual flair. Video and audio are presented with the highest quality both DVD and this series will allow. Bonus features are a mixed bag, leaning more towards the glossy side of things. That's disappointing considering how well-rounded the first season's supplements were, but the deleted scenes and telenovelas are worthwhile inclusions. This set earns a recommendation to current "Betty" fans, whether they've followed both seasons or only the first. Those new to Betty's world and who enjoy soapy comedies are encouraged to check out Season One first.

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Reviewed September 16, 2008.