Returned tonight. Comments based on this evening's telecast, so spoiler-laden, after the jump ...
At the end of the first season, "Ugly Betty" hit a big dramatic note, with the shooting of Hilda's fiance. It felt out of place on the show, which is for the most part an outlandish comedy. And it set up a big challenge for the start of this season; how do you do comedy if you also have a death to deal with?
Well, the folks who build themselves plot boxes on Thursday nights have proven pretty good at getting out of them. ("My Name Is Earl" also a tricky plot development to deal with, with Earl in prison, and does just fine with it, as you may have seen tonight.)
"Betty" managed both to be comic and to deal with the situation from the first-season finale. Of course, it had to do so by tricking the audience -- letting us believe Hilda's fiance was alive while it went on to other issues, then revealing the truth at the end.
On the one hand, I was touched by it. On the other, I felt cheated. But, as I said, the show is mostly comedy. And it would have had to be a "very special episode" with lots of sadness if it had faced death early on.
That said, I enjoyed the opener (and a little bit I have seen of next week's episode), although "Betty" does seem to have gotten more farcical as it has gone along. But I find myself not caring about the soap-opera plots, preferring the sillier turns and asides.