Betty Suarez gets everything wrong on her first day of work at a New York fashion magazine. She strolls into the office in a bulky red poncho so hideous that coworkers stop and stare. She bumps into a glass wall, unwittingly insults a famous photographer, and generally makes herself a laughingstock.
In another television show, Betty might be the comic relief the gawky sidekick or the nerdy confidante to a more attractive heroine. But on ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” which debuts Thursday at 8 p.m., she’s the utterly charming star of the show, which has been given the plum time slot before the network’s smash “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Like many characters on this fall’s TV schedule, Betty played by America Ferrera is ungainly, awkward, and a little bit out of place. She may be an ugly duckling with very prominent braces on her teeth, but she will prove to be the most beautiful person in her world.