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Worst TV Show of the Week

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WARNING: Graphic Content!!! Do NOT push play if you don't want to see the explicit video!!!


Ugly Betty on ABC

By Josh Shirlen


In a true testament to the ineffectiveness of the TV ratings system, the April 26th episode of Ugly Betty took ratings-conscious viewers off guard with its intensely suggestive dialogue and sexual themes. Though it bore a TV-14 rating, the episode had no descriptors to warn viewers of the smarmy content to be found on the program. 


The episode opened with Betty’s sister climbing through her window to hide from her father the fact that she had spent the night with a man.  Giddily, she explains to Betty that she doesn’t know if she loves him or if she just loves him naked.  The show continued with Wilhelmina sleeping with her boss to gain power in her workplace.  Wilhelmina rolls her eyes when the man takes out a bottle of Viagra and asks if she wants to have sex again.  Later, a model is ecstatic when she is offered a job posing for a Brazilian magazine, because she has already has a Brazilian wax (which includes the entire pubic area). 


In a subplot to the episode, Amanda, an employee at the magazine, finds herself attracted to a flamboyantly homosexual fashion designer.  Upon meeting him she exclaims, “If I were a gay guy I would so tap that.”  Later she disrobes in front of him, only to discover that he is not gay -- the sight of her naked body causes him to have an erection.  The two are later shown in bed after intercourse. 


A final inappropriate plot involved the show’s transsexual, Alexis, who has recently undergone a sex change from man to woman.  When seduced by an attractive Brazilian man she refuses to go out with him, because she hasn’t been with a man sexually since becoming a woman.  When she confides in Wilhelmina she is told, “Oh Alexis, what are you waiting for?  Sooner or later someone's going to have to put the key in the ignition."


This episode is a perfect demonstration of the fact that producers of TV shows cannot be trusted to accurately assign ratings to programs.  Such a program’s rating should have been tagged with the “S” descriptor for depictions of sex, and the “D” descriptor for sexual dialogue. Without such descriptors, a V-Chip – the networks’ justification for showing smut – is ineffective. But even with appropriate ratings, shows featuring this level of sexual dialogue and content have no place in the 8 o’clock “Family Hour” of prime-time television. For subjecting children and families to its sniggering sleaze, Ugly Betty is our pick for Worst of the Week.


Worst TV Show of the Week

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