Brace yourself – I am about to do something astonishing. I am going to apologize. Like many of you, I have incorrectly judged and dismissed several things and I am a big enough woman to admit I was wrong.
I owe fat Betty Francis on Mad Men an apology. When she appeared on screen, I actually laughed out loud.
January Jones personifies every bitchy cunt we all knew growing up. Her character Betty Draper was icy, cold, mean and privileged. Despite being a terrible mother, and useless at life, she is loved and provided for by Don simply and only because she is beautiful. His coworkers idolize their marriage and her trophy status. She is able to go from one marriage to a rich good looking man immediately to another marriage to a rich good looking man living in expensive homes and never having to provide for or take care of herself. With the divorce and Don marrying a young French Canadian coquette, Betty serves no real purpose on the show any further.
Until she became fat.
It is perfect. Fat Betty is the greatest twist the writers could ever do to punish an unlikable character whose only survival tactic in life is her looks. The fat insecure high school girl who was made fun of often by Betty types is overjoyed this karmic twist of fate. Normally, I have to stalk former girls I went to high school with to see if they got fat to obtain this type of gratification. It proves that there is no easy lives. That you can have everything you ever wanted give to you on a silver platter, but that maybe just maybe life and happiness aren’t about your looks and what fancy things you own.
It is a move that also may save January Jones’ career by giving the character people think is actually her a soul. Betty is so unlikable as a character that we forget that she’s a young mother who was in an unhappy marriage in which she was more or less raising her children alone while her cad of a husband is sleeping with half the women of New York City. Her father dies as her marriage is holding on by a string and she spend her days smoking and looking off into space. We were seeing her at her worst and who is to say anyone whose life is falling apart wouldn’t act accordingly. I would love to see the show somehow make her end up with Lane Pryce, who is just as miserable and lonely. Though not as aesthetically pleasing as Don or Henry Francis, he would worship her and what she represents, fat or not, and the viewers would see Betty isn’t materialistic or shallow, while allowing her to still have money and the lifestyle which she is accustomed to.
I also need to apologize to New Girl.
Any indie to some degree wants to be Zooey Deschanel or at least have access to her wardrobe. She sings in her own indie band, has an indie rock star ex-husband and has an acting career which has credible titles without selling out too much. Until she got her own major network television show. Indie kids all over the world got a sudden chill down their spines the day she signed the contract to do a sitcom on the Fox network.
Initially I gave the show a chance, and was left wanting. Despite not being terrible, New Girl was what I feared it would be in that it would be written in the way Hollywood envisions what a quirky girl would be like. Zooey was overly saccharine and obnoxious in her over abundance of naive cute. Her character appeared to be a grown up version of what Taylor Swift’s PR firm wants us to believe Taylor’s really like – giving us overly-dramatic fake surprised faces after winning about a thousand awards each season. The obnoxious opening song kicked off a half hour of annoying “Oh am I cute? I had no idea!” comedy that I was over after the first episode.
But then suddenly, the show gave the other characters storylines and lives that do not revolve around Zooey. I gave the show another chance right around the time Lizzy Caplan showed up, and I was glad I did. The ensemble cast together works and acomplishes the feat of being a relatable comedy that isn’t dumb down for viewers, yet doesn’t hold it pretentiously over their heads. Each character has their own annoying quirks separately that work in harmony, balancing each other towards being people most of us might actually want to hang out with.
Lastly, I’d like to confess a guilty pleasure. I watch Once Upon a Time every week.
On one lazy rainy Sunday afternoon, I was presented with the great dilemma of having to choose between a Bridezillas or a Once Upon a Time marathon. I just barely chose the later after weighing out the pros and cons of venturing out into the cold. What I hadn’t expected is that I would actually enjoy it.
When I was growing up, there was so many great family television shows on at eight o’clock. I would take a shower, put on my pajamas and watch an hour or so of Alf or MacGuyver or The Cosby Show with my family before being shooed off to bed for the night. Television no longer has a family hour. Even the more tame comedies on at like The Big Bang Theory, or the shows on the CW get raunchy at times or have adult content.
Once Upon a Time, although not by any means Golden Globe worthy entertainment, is at the very least family friendly in an appropriate time slot while being actually enjoyable to watch. The writers take a unique spin on old fairy tales while updating household characters into modern day scenarios in a small town. And for the hell of it they threw in Robert Carlyle and Gus from Breaking Bad.
Alright. I have done my part and initiated a penitent dialogue. I’ll expect my apology from Hollywood for giving us such shit as Two and a Half Men, American Idol and Dancing with the Stars any day now … any day now …
Nicole Alexandria is off doing cool things like a boss that you probably never heard of while not giving a single fuck all day every day. You can contact her through Facebook.