Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Getting the squirmies

You know, the squirmies. That feeling that you're watching someone else do something so painfully embarrassing that you can't help but squirm in your seat and cover your eyes. I have a low squirm tolerance. I nearly ended up on the floor during Borat, and I had my eyes covered for a third of it. I can't watch someone hand someone else (a pretentious someone else) a bag of feces! That YouTube video of Tom & Katie trying (badly) to dance during J.Lo's performance at the Superbowl? Ubersquirm. (Sidebar- not that I ever really thought Tom Cruise was that attractive- too short- but when did he turn into a chubby nerd?) Funnily enough, my fave gossip columnist, Lainey, recently did a whole post about getting the squirmies while watching Ricky Gervais' new show Extras, which reminds me that I also get the squirmies from watching Steve Carell in The Office. But sometimes, you want to have the squirmies, and my favourite new source of them is Ugly Betty.

I LOVE Ugly Betty. I started watching it last week (when I got hooked on the whole torrent thing), and I just love it! I really liked Devil Wears Prada, but watching Ugly Betty is like getting to watch Prada every week without the evil boss (as much as I love Meryl Streep) or Anne Hathaway being super annoying. The writers do a good job of allowing Betty to be unattractive and sometimes close to unrealistically naive while making her real enough that viewers can still identify with her. Her family is awesome, and the campy aspects of the storyline are fun. And Salma Hayek just rocks! Betty's ex-boyfriend Walter makes me squirm, as does her sister Hilda, and Betty's own inevitable clumsy/naive/painfully honest moments, but they're part of what makes Betty Betty.

Another thing that I like about the show is that Betty is not the only normal sized character. It annoys me when shows have one token normal sized person. Salma Hayek is more normal looking than a lot of actresses, and Christina, the Scottish closet manager, is as well. It makes you realize just how unrealistic most shows are when it comes to showing real people (cough, House, cough, where everyone is a size four and Jennifer Morrison weighs about 90 lbs.). It also makes me realize just how much we tend to accept the depictions that television and movies give us. It should be the shows that don't have normal people that get commented on, not the ones that do. But this is a classic argument, and the situation is not going to change until the higher ups get the point. I'm just happy to see a show that has a nice mix of skinny and not so skinny people, like there is in real life.

So, great show, happy that I found it, and much looking forward to watching more. Yea for Betty la Fea! Now if only she could graduate out of the braces...