Friday, September 5, 2008

Betty makes history all over the world

The entertainment press was treated to a special preview of what’s to be shown on the first week of “I Love Betty La Fea”. Here’s a review of the TV series from Remy Umerez on her column A Little Bit on the Journal Online:

THE local version of “BettyLa Fea” hits local TV screen starting September 9 on Kapamilya’s Primetime Bida. The entertainment press was treated to a special preview of what’s to be shown on its first week— minus commercial breaks of course—at the Dolphy Theater (formerly Studio One) of ABS CBN.

The overall reaction is indeed favorable. The choice of Bea Alonzo to play the role of the ugly duckling with a heart of gold is a stroke of genius. Bea breezed through the part with much enthusiasm and warmth you cannot help but love her. She must have gone through a workshop, watched the American version a hundred times and internalized. Her shift from drama to comedy is awesome and incredibly very believable. Bea’s performance is almost fulfilling to the brilliant acting of actress America Ferrera, the Ugly Betty in the US version.

We suspect that the role of a handsome boss which actor John Lloyd Cruz successfully essayed in “A Very Special Love” was in preparation for his Armando character in “Betty La Fea.” They kept everyone in suspense for the identity of the actor to play Armando and until the very last minute the production staffs were sworn to secrecy not to divulge the chosen one.

Armando is indeed a handsome man and womanizer. He also happens to be the boss, the newly- appointed president of Ecomoda Manila. He is the man most women cannot do without. Again, the choice of John Lloyd was a perfect one. He fits into the character splendidly. When the telenovela is over, John would have become the most bankable male talent in the Kapamilya compound.

The role of Vanessa Williams has been localized by Ruffa Gutierrez and you better start familiarizing yourself into her Daniela character. She is not only glamorous but very bitchy as well. Ms. Rufa proved that she is up to the challenge.

A male Betty in the story is played by Vhong Navarro who is a nerd descendant. For his part, Vhong said he studied the character by watching the Colombian version. His effort to play the role convincingly has not been put to waste. Betty and Nicolas provide some laughable moments in the tele-novela which the whole world has become familiar with.

As for the rest of the cast which includes Ai Ai delas Alas, Ronaldo Ruiz, Sam Concepcion (who is a very natural performer), Megan Young, Wendy Valdez, Thou Reyes, Kristel Moreno and Joem Bascon— they are all worthy of being handpicked in delineating their respective parts.

What a relief it should be for Kim Samsoon that she is already about to exit. This much is certain: Wala siyang laban kay “Betty La Fea” who is a lot younger, lovable and definitely not trying hard.

How well informed are you about Ugly Betty?

Studio Magazine in their August issue supplied the following:

The title of the original Colombian telenovela was “Yo Soy Betty La Fea” which in English means “I Am Betty the Ugly.” The title comes from a scene in the first episode in which Betty called the cafeteria extension to order coffee for a Beatriz Pinzon. No one knows who she is and is forced to tell the person on the other end of the line; I am Betty the Ugly one.

The India adaptation titled “Jassi Jaissi Ko Nahin (There’s No One Like Jasi),” Jassi’s character became so popular that a postage stamp with her likeness was produced.

In February 2008, as part of their Angelic Dreamz Inc. line, the Madame Alexander dolls created two dolls in Betty’s likeness.

The US version was the first Betty adaptation to air once a week. Called “Ugly Betty,” the setting is a publishing house.

In its local version, EcoModa Manila gets an upgrade; an actual office set was constructed on the 11th floor of ELJ Building where all the actions take place.

The version aired in Israel ran for 3 seasons and Betty was a policeman’s daughter.

In the Spanish version, Betty worked at a fashion magazine called Bulvar 21. Due to the success of the show, a magazine of the same name was launched in real life.

In the original Colombian version, lead actress Ana Maria Orozco and Julian Arango (who played Hugo) were married in real life but divorced during the run of the series.

Source: Journal Online

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