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Ugly Betty White!

LEGEND! Ugly Betty, Channel 4, 9pm

Sadly, the photo we're using here is from some American sketch show or other, not tonight's episode, but we had to use it here, because it's ace.

We love Ugly Betty, we really do, but we feel a strict talking-to, the like of which we gave Neighbours is going to be due soon if it doesn't pull its designer boots up.

This second series has been something of a mixed bag. It clearly doesn't know what it wants to do with itself, so we get a mix of the good (Marc getting a boyfriend), the intriguing (Christina's husband returning) and the boring (the fight over who will become boss of Mode). Unfortunately, we have had a truckload of the latter thrown at us, and very little of the former two.

Tonight's episode is a case in point about the mixed blessing of this series. On the one hand, we have the tedium of Betty being annoying (she is not very nice to Henry in this ep, nor Hilda particularly. In fact, when did Betty go from being loveable to just annoying? Can they sort this out please? We just think Henry is too good for her right now) and of Daniel vs Alexis vs Willy (still. Yawn). Marc, Amanda and Christina are yet again relegated to the sidelines, despite having the most interesting potential storylines of anyone. However, we see Alexis being incredibly fierce and the way she and Daniel try to solve their dispute is pretty stupid, but also pretty fun. And then, moving the show firmly back in the right direction, is a cameo from the legendary Betty White (of Golden Girls fame). We won't say anything about the details of this cameo, but as you might expect, she pretty much steals the show.

We're really not sure where the rest of this series is going to go. Maybe the writers will have a Heroes style U-turn during the strike. Maybe they have some grand plan worked out to get it back wonderful again. We hope so. The signs are still there that it has lots of potential in it, let's hope the glimpses of the magic in tonight's episode are hints of something exciting in store, and not the desperate gasps of a show that is running out of steam.

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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