Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Guilty Pleasure Telly at Its Best; PREVIEW

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Guilty Pleasure Telly at Its Best; PREVIEW

Article excerpt


Ugly Betty

9pm, Channel 4

IS THERE anything in here that'll work for a six-month-old baby?"

"Yes! Kate Moss's spandex dress... I'll have to take it out a bit."

That's the beauty of Ugly Betty. It's awash with soppy sentimentality (never more so than in a Christmas episode that sees the Daniel loves-Sofia subplot bubble up to boiling point), but it's all kept neatly in check by dialogue so casually bitchy it deserves a health warning.

Tonight, the fashionista soap opera dips its beautifully manicured toe into a little bit of satire. Movie star characters Tim and Chloe are offering Mode magazine the chance to shoot the first pictures of their baby Chutney (anyone who hasn't made the Tom-Kat/baby Suri connection yet should have their subscription to Heat magazine revoked).

Trouble is, Betty's boss Daniel is recovering from a hangover at her house and magnificently bitchy editor Wilhelmina ("Who on this staff would willingly eat something that was 15 grams of fat?") is lost in the bad backstreets of Queens. So it's up to Betty to stop megalomaniac stylist Bruno ("He styled Madonna while she was giving birth - made her belly sweat look like diamonds!") from togging baby Suri... sorry, Chutney up in chainmail and throwing a bucket of water over her. No, really... The Devil Wears Prada filtered through soppy soap opera really shouldn't work but somehow Ugly Betty manages to pull it off. If you haven't plugged in to the best guilty pleasure telly around yet, this is as good an episode as any to start with.

Go on. You know you want to.

Comedy Connections

10.35pm, BBC1

EVEN if you don't find Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones the funniest things on four legs (frankly, they've always been a bit smugly pompous for my tastes too...), this road map to their careers is still grand stuff. Comedy Connections is an underexploited, ridiculously simple gem of a concept - part biography, part talking heads chat, part industry snapshot.

Bafflingly, though, it's traditionally swept under the scheduling rug by the BBC who seem determined to air it with the minimum publicity in the least hospitable time slot. Still, what can you expect from the headless chickens who reckon that Question Of Sport is prime time fodder, eh? …

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