If you’re like me, then you probably have been catching up on UGLY BETTY over the weekend after ABC decided to put it on Friday nights in the fall. I am honestly so glad that I didn’t give up on the show altogether due to the timeslot, because darn it if that show isn’t going through what can only be described as a creative resurgence that’s given it back the humor, grace, and heart that some felt it had been lacking over the last season or so. Out with the Betty choosing between two guys and storylines so off the wall that we lose focus; in with the Mode publishing stories, the Suarez family dramas, and most of all, the fun! In celebration of the big move to Wednesdays at 10, I had a chance to chat with executive producer Silvio Horta earlier this week, to talk about how much we’re all loving the show this season and what he promises is coming up for the show this spring!
First off, this season has just been fantastic – to use the classic “firing on all cylinders”!
It’s a shame that it’s been on Friday nights where so few people have had the chance to catch it because I’m loving it and telling people to check back in with UGLY BETTY!
Well, that’s nice to hear! I think a lot of people with the move to Fridays, had sort of wrote us of, and I don’t go down without a fight, you know [laughs]! I certainly would intend on doing really good work. But I certainly didn’t, you never know how people are going to respond to things and how things are going to gel, and it really has this season! We’re really proud of it! I’ve seen tonight’s episode, it’s great to see such support for the showing, moving it to Wednesdays among a great comedy lineup, which I think you can only benefit from!
Yeah, it’s great!
What can you tell us about what’s coming, what can people look forward to in the next few episodes?
We’ll be exploring Betty’s relationship with Matt. There’s going to be some changes there, pretty fairly quickly, and we’re going to see Betty make some strides in her work environment, and doing basically, in expressing herself in a way that she can’t at the magazine. She’s going to have a side project that’s going to start taking up some of her time. We’re going to have the Fashion Week episode like we do every year. Betty’s going to be trying to find that next big talent, and kind of prove that she does have fashion taste [laughs]. That it does exist! I think Wilhelmina certainly has a degree of respect for her feature writing ability, but not for her fashion, so I think she’s going to be out there to try to prove that.
Exactly – it’s not just that suddenly, either, Betty is going to be this super fashionable person. She’s taking it slow, she’s learning how to do it.
Yeah, I mean, last year, we sort of saw it as she has access to all of these clothes, and they’re all very fashionable, and she decides to put them together and she doesn’t quite know what she’s doing [laughs]. And it’s an expression of her bright personality, but she just wasn’t quite getting it.
Also this season, we’re seeing quite a few more “pairs” that we haven’t seen much between. Marc and Daniel for example. Is that something that had been planned, or did their friendly chemistry kind of surprise you?
Looking at the past few seasons, in the second season, we had like probably, I’m going to just say like twice as many series regulars, it wasn’t that many but it felt like it, and there were so many characters to service and at a certain point, we were giving short shrift to the original core, which is what we started the show with. One of the things we, going into this season, decided to do, and wanted to do, was see what are characters that we haven’t really explored together. We haven’t really seen Claire and Amanda, and they have a lot in common. Let’s put them in scenes together. Let’s do the same with Marc and Daniel. At some point, we realized, officially, Ignacio and Wilhelmina have never even met, so they may meet sort of, unofficially, and that will be interesting.
How will the Hilda pregnancy story affect the family dynamic?
People will start to find out. Justin is the one she’s most concerned about. Over the next couple of episodes, people will find out. You’ll have to wait and see how that plays out.
The Justin storyline, coming into his own, has been really, really strong. It’s something that you’re explaining, you’re exploring, and not just for the sake of doing this story.
I think we want to really explore, show him exploring his identity, and figuring out who he is. It would have been too easy, for him at that episode, where they made him Homecoming Queen, to just sort of say “Yeah I’m gay” and come out, and that’s not realistic. That was really the beginning of the journey, as opposed to the end of it.
Why would you say now is a good time jump back into UGLY BETTY?
I think the show is good [laughs]. I think, for people who may have tuned out because, I don’t know, it felt repetitive, or some of the plot lines felt a little insane, I think it’s going back to its roots. Really staying true to this lead character’s journey, and it’s funny. It’s going back to its roots, but it’s also changed. I think it’s grown! And I think it’s, I don’t know, I like it [laughs]. I think it’s a funny show, I think it’s fun. I’m obviously biased, but I enjoy it, I get a kick watching it. I’ll get a director’s cut, and will kind of just laugh my way through it.
If the people involved don’t like the show, there’s probably really no hope for the fans! [laughs]
[laughs] Yes! I love the show! Not in an “oh it’s a job”, but I really genuinely do, I’m really proud of it. If I worked on other shows, I don’t know that I could say that [laughs]!
If this should be the final season, is there an end in place, and is there a place to carry into another season?
We have two ways of going. I think by the time we’ll start breaking the final episodes, I think we’ll hopefully have a better idea of where we stand. Obviously, we’d love the show to a 5th year, but if it doesn’t, we want to make sure we give the show and the characters the closure that I think they want.
Tune into an all new UGLY BETTY at 10PM tonight following an all new 2 hour block of solid comedy on ABC. Tonight’s episode features guest stars Adam Rodriguez, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (MODERN FAMILY) and Christine Ebersole (just about everything)!