TITLE: UGLY BETTY - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON: THE BETTYFIED EDITION
DVD Release Date: August 21, 2007 (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 6
Number of Episodes: 23
Running Time: 992 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 50 minutes + approx. 172 minutes of commentary tracks
Video: Widescreen 1.78:1; Audio: English and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Subtitles: English, French & Spanish; Closed Captioned
Special Features: Audio Commentaries: “Pilot,” “Fey’s Sleigh Ride,” “Sofia’s Choice,” and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell;” Featurettes: “Becoming Ugly,” “Green is the New Black,” and “A la Mode;” 27 Deleted Scenes; and Ugly Bloopers.
The Washington Post calls it “the best new show of the year,” and that show is of course the hit ABC one-hour comedy Ugly Betty, now on DVD for the very first time from Buena Vista Home Entertainment! America Ferrera stars as go-getter Betty Suarez, a true beauty in the skin-deep world of high fashion and two very different cultures collide in this sexy and stylish series about believing yourself regardless of the odds. Experience every first season episode of the Golden Globe-winning first season in this six-disc DVD set.
Ugly Betty stars America Ferrera as Betty Suarez, Eric Mabius as Daniel Meade, Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slater, Becki Newton as Amanda, Michael Urie as Marc, Tony Plana as Ignacio Suarez, Ana Ortiz as Hilda Suarez, Mark Indelicato as Justin Suarez, Ashley Jensen as Christina McKinney, with Alan Dale as Bradford Meade and Rebecca Romjin as Alexis Meade. Recurring are Kevin Sussman as Walter, Christopher Gorham as Henry, Kevin Alejandro as Santos, Jayma Mays as Charlie, Jowharah Jones as Nico Slater, Ava Gaudet as Gina Gambarro, Octavia Spencer as Constance, Gina Gershon as Fabia, with Judith Light as Claire Meade and Salma Hayek as Sofia Reyes.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The first season is just excellent. The “Pilot’s” buzz got everyone hyped and ready last summer, and it certainly lived up to it doing very well on ABC Thursdays. Originally, the show was slated for Fridays but the great buzz and reviews made ABC move it to Thursdays. Betty lands a job as an assistant at a fashion magazine, but her employer wants to make sure her first week on the job will be her last in the “Pilot.” In “Fey’s Sleigh Ride,” Betty reluctantly teams up with Marc and Amanda to find out who leaked the ideas for a Christmas photo shoot to a rival magazine. Betty is the only one in the office to dress for Halloween in “The Lyin', the Watch and the Wardrobe" The very next episode “Trust, Lust, and Must," Daniel falls in lust with a beauty in the Mode lobby (played by Salma Hayek), he asks Betty to find out who is that mysterious and superb woman. Daniel, to his dismay, must attend his family's Thanksgiving gathering at the Country Club along with Claire (who was just released from the institution), Bradford...and Sofia in “Four Thanksgivings and a Funeral.” In “Fake Plastic Snow,” it is Christmas time at Mode, as Betty questions her relationship with Walter and her feelings for Henry. A shocking conclusion is about to happen for Daniel and Sofia in “Sofia’s Choice.” In “I’m Coming Out,” a bombshell will be dropped, affecting all parties involved. In “Derailed,” Betty and Walter finally go their separate ways, but Betty's way to Henry's heart is stopped at the tracks by his visiting ex-girlfriend, Charlie. The Suarezes travel to Mexico in an effort to help Ignacio obtain a visa in, “A Tree Grows in Guadalajara." In the season finale, “East Side Story,” Betty and Henry’s romance heats up. Meanwhile, Wilhelmina makes great strides in her ambitious power play, as Daniel descends further in a downward spiral. Explosive secrets are revealed, and everything is tied together by a beloved Broadway musical.
In addition to the recurring cast, guest starring are Brett Cullen as Ted LeBeau, Lucy Liu as Grace Chin, Jerry O’Connell as Joel, Katharine McPhee as herself, Liz Torres as Evelyn, Cristián de la Fuente as Rodrigo, and Leslie Jordan as Quincy Combs.
The packaging is an outer box with a digipak inside! The box art has a nice full-face close-up of Betty smiling. You can feel her braces and glasses! The color scheme is green/yellow. Above Betty’s full facial, it says Ugly Betty - The Complete First Season. And below Betty we have the subtitle The Bettyfied Edition. The back of the box has a nice synopsis of the show and set, with a nice cast photo featuring just about everyone. A nice quote from The Washington Post is on the top, calling it the best new show of the year. In addition, there is a pink box listing all the bonus features for this set. Then we get to the digipak case. The front has a nice photo of Betty in the middle with her co-workers surrounding (Daniel, Amanda, and Christina on the left; Wilhelmina, Marc and Alexis on the right) her. The back of the case has the Suarez family. We have a huge shot of Hilda posing in a nice dress with little circles of Ignacio, Betty and Justin.
When we open the case once, we get a booklet holder on the left side and nice photos on the right (full shot of Justin, with circle shots of Hilda & Santos, Walter, and Ignacio, Betty & Hilda). The booklet holder has a nice episode guide that is like an issue of Mode magazine! It is very creative! Betty is on the cover of Mode! The booklet has a disc-by-disc breakdown with episode titles, synopsis and photos. Then there is a booklet advertising a whole bunch of stuff (Watch your favorite shows on abc.com, Ugly Betty: The Book coming in April 2008, Lost Season 3 DVD, Grey’s anatomy Season 3 DVD, What About Brian DVD and TVonDVDHits.com). Then finally, there is an insert on how to save money on other BV sets. Opening the case a second time, we have discs one and two in the middle along with more nice photos on the right (full shot of Ignacio, with circle shots of Hilda, Justin and Betty). All the discs overlap. A final open has discs three and four then discs five & six on the far right. Disc one has a photo of Betty with a blue background and holds episodes 1-4. Disc two has a photo of Daniel with a purple background and holds episodes 5-8. Disc three has a photo of Wilhelmina with a pink background and holds episodes 9-12. Disc four has a photo of Amanda, Marc & Christina with an orange background and holds episodes 13-16. Disc five has a photo of Ignacio, Hilda & Justin with a yellow background and holds episodes 17-20. Finally, disc six has a photo of Alexis & Bradford with a green background and holds episodes 21-23 and all the extras. When removing each disc, you get a nice photo on the panel.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu screen is very high-quality like most Buena Vista sets. It starts with moving images and there is some music in the background. It is probably music from the show, but certainly not the main title theme or closing theme. The music does loop. The options for the main menu are: Play all, Episode Selection, Audio Commentary, Set Up, Bonus Features, and Sneak Peaks. Sneak Peeks is only on disc six, and has tons of sneak peaks including a nice promo that aired on ABC for Ugly Betty. There are also auto sneak peeks on disc one before the main menu starts of the Hottest TV Shows. Set Up menu has where you can choose audio options (English or Spanish), have subtitles on or off (in English, French or Spanish) along with how to register your DVD. Episode Selection menu has a screenshot from the episode along with the title of the episode, and then you can select which one you want to view. Details on the Bonus Features (disc six only) and Audio Commentaries (discs 1-3, 5) will be in the extras section. Each submenu has a different track from the nice sounding soundtrack! About 7-8 chapter stops are available for each episode and the show is in widescreen!
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio are both excellent, as it should be since this series is so new. The video is in widescreen as I mentioned. Audio is perfect in Dolby Digital Surround Sound. I have no complaints whatsoever. It is perfect, as it should be. There are 7-8 chapter stops, which I mentioned in the last section. Moreover, the episodes are unedited at around 43 minutes or so. The episode titled “Swag” was originally supposed to be episode four but for some reason ABC never aired it, but it was later aired in early January but it had to be changed because of plot development, so the episode aired like a flashback. On the DVD, it airs as episode 4 instead of 11 for some reason. Episode runtimes are as follows:
1. “Pilot” 42:57
2. “The Box and the Bunny” 42:52
3. “Queens for a Day” 43:12
4. “Swag” 43:13
5. “Fey’s Sleigh Ride” 43:07
6. “The Lyin', the Watch and the Wardrobe” 42:59
7. “Trust, Lust and Must” 43:01
8. “After Hours” 43:06
9. “Four Thanksgivings and a Funeral” 42:10
10. “Lose the Boss?” 43:04
11. “Fake Plastic Snow” 42:59
12. “Sofia’s Choice” 42:50
13. “In or Out” 42:37
14. “I’m Coming Out” 42:59
15. “Brothers” 42:28
16. “Derailed” 43:01
17. “Icing on the Cake” 43:03
18. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” 43:00
19. “Punch Out” 41:56
20. “Petra-Gate” 43:04
21. “Secretaries Day” 42:16
22. “A Tree Grows in Guadalajara” 42:53
23. “East Side Story” 42:27
We have many special features! Most of the features are on disc six, but discs 1-3, 5 have one audio commentary each! The first audio commentary is on for disc one and is for the episode “Pilot.” The episode runs 42:57 and has commentary from Silvio Horta (creator, executive producer), Richard Shepard (director) and Teri Weinberg (co-executive producer). For disc two, we have audio commentary for the episode “Fey’s Sleigh Ride” and it runs 43:07 and has commentary from Becki Newton and Michael Urie who play Amanda and Marc on the show. Moving on to disc three, we have one episode with commentary. That episode is “Sofia’s Choice.” It runs 42:50 and has commentary from Salma Hayek and Eric Mabius who play Sofia and Daniel on the show. Disc four has nothing, so we move on to disc five, and we have commentary for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” from Vanessa Williams and Michael Uri who play Wilhelmina and Marc on the show. The episode runs 43:00. All of these audio commentaries are fun, especially the one with Becki & Michael.
Let us move on to disc six, where we have the rest of the extras. We have the featurette titled “Becoming Ugly” that runs 12:13. The cast and crew tell us how the show got started and share key details. Interviewed are Ben Silverman (executive producer), Teri Weinberg (co-executive producer), Silvio Horta (creator), America Ferrera (Betty), Becki Newton (Amanda), Ashley Jensen (Christina), Eric Mabius (Daniel), Ana Ortiz (Hilda), Tony Plan (Ignacio), Mark Indelicato (Justin), Rebbeca Romjim (Alexis), Vanessa Williams (Wilhelmina), Michael Urie (Marc), Judith Light (Claire), Alan Dale (Bradford), and Christopher Gorham (Henry). Then we have another featurette titled “Green is the New Black.” This runs 5:43 and shows us how they create the exterior shots of outside. They are not really in Manhattan. A green screen is used to create New York! It is very interesting and cool! Interviewed are Jim Hayman (executive producer), Victor Scalise (digital effects), Michael Urie (Marc), Mark Worthington (production designer), Ross Berryman (director of photography), Michael Spiller (director), and Eric Mabius (Daniel). The final featurette is titled “A la Mode” and it runs 6:54. This is the shots inside, which are all real sets, including Mode. We also get additional details on the fashion, décor and elegance of Mode. Interviewed are Jim Hayman, Mark Worthington, Ross Berryman, Michael Spiller, Michael Urie, Eduardo Castro (costume designer), Becki Newton and Rebecca Romjin.
That is not all! We have 27 deleted scenes that add up to 20:49 of unseen material! Here are the scene titles and the runtimes: Daniel’s Legacy 1:39, Vidas DeFuego (telenovela scene) 0:24, Assistants’ Club 0:21, Bitchin’ 0:16, Amnesty 0:25, Hip & Cool 0:47, Write it Like Betty 1:22, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? 1:12, It will Be OK 0:38, Face Gear 0:30, Very Long Leap 0:14, Maybe Just a Scarf? 1:09, Check 0:39, Perfect Fit 0:48, Too Late 0:21, Muttering Man 0:34, Perfect Boyfriend 1:31, Elevator Attacks 0:13, Catch Hilda 0:39, Fashion Television 2:45, Drama 1:02, Marc’s Crush 0:12, Afternoon Off 0:40, Betty & Claire 0:24, Couture 0:30, Marc Likes 0:18, Help Me 0:50. Finally, we have some “Ugly Bloopers” that run 3:44. See all the flubs and outtakes!
This is indeed a great set. It was probably the best new comedy last season, which the Golden Globes agree...the Emmys are next. The extras are great. The only things really missing are extended scenes, but deleted scenes are good, too. The interviews and commentaries were wonderful and the bloopers were hilarious. The “Swag” episode thing was a bit odd but that is how it was made for. All 23 episodes are enjoyable and hilarious. Be sure to pick up this set on Aug. 21 and if you have never watched it, watch it fast before the second season premieres Sept. 27 on ABC! Oh Betty!!!
Ugly Betty: Season One - Clip: Hotel Visit
Betty deals with a snobbish concierge
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Ugly Betty: Season One - Clip: Appreciation
Betty gets a generous gift for Administrative Professionals Day
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Ugly Betty: Season One - Clip: Confess
Betty learns the subtle but vital difference between "lying" and "omitting"
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Ugly Betty: Season One - Clip: Defend Myself
Betty gets all medieval on Nick
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Ugly Betty: Season One - Clip: Dinner
Cooking for your first date 101: Have take out menus handy
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Ugly Betty: Season One - Bonus Clip 1
Green Screen Magic
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Ugly Betty: Season One - Bonus Clip 2
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Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 4.5/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 08/16/07
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