Pretty Ugly


By Editors

'At the West Hollywood Halloween Parade there were so many grown men dressed up as Betty,' recalls America Ferrera. 'I thought, Maybe Betty will be like Cher and Madonna.' Given the collective embrace Ugly Betty has received from the gays, that's not so far-fetched. The comedy, which follows Betty Suarez (Ferrera) between her Hispanic working-class family in Queens, N.Y., and her job at the ultraglamorous Mode magazine, where she doesn't quite fit in, was an immediate hit with the queer cognoscenti. It seems the mainstream has caught on too'the show recently snagged Golden Globes for best comedy series and for its leading lady.

Just what is it that we love about Betty? 'Fashion, divas, and a gal who has problems fitting in because she's different,' says E! Online's Marc Malkin, who pens the site's Planet Gossip column. 'It's campy, over-the-top, and broad,' adds Vanessa Williams, who stars as the show's conniving Wilhelmina Slater. 'Dialogue-wise, it's racy and biting. It's amazing what we get away with on a week-to-week basis.'

They get away with it every week thanks to show creator Silvio Horta, who based the series on the popular telenovela from Colombia Yo Soy Betty, la Fea. 'It's my sense of humor,' says Horta, sitting in Betty's Los Angeles production office. 'It's campy and fun. It's a show I'd want to watch. I'm gay, so, yes, the sensibility is there.'