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2 Oct 2006

Ugly Betty Wears Prada and Loses a Guy in 10 Days


I have been meaning to post about The Devil Wears Prada (due for release in the UK in less than a week) for a while now, but I never got round to it. Instead it sat in my drafts folder gathering cyber dust.

However, (consider this a two-for post people, more blog for your ummm...anyway) the other day I was fortunate enough to watch the pilot episode of Ugly Betty, a new prime time programme on ABC and again thought about blogging something. Whilst thinking about what to write, it hit me, the similarities between the two. Let me explain...

I read The Devil Wears Prada a year or two ago and at the time I thought it was ok, not Pulitzer prize winning but something to read on my journey to and from work.
I am normally of the opinion that books that are made into films, never live up to the expectations or images built up by your own imagination. Whereas I was a little underwhelmed by this book as a piece of literature, I think the story will translate better on film and am looking forward to watching it on the big screen.
Now for those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, the general gist of it is -a girl who wants a career in publishing for a 'serious' publication but finds herself in the unfamiliar world of fashion as a personal assistant to the Editor-in-Chief (an Anna Wintour-esque character) of Runway magazine. The book charts her (mis)adventures in the job that she sees as a stepping stone to The New Yorker. Still with me?

So back to Ugly Betty...as I watched this I could not help but like it and the character of Betty. A plain, chubby girl from Queens, thick glasses, unkempt hair, braces with nothing but wide eyed optimism and a bucket full of hope. Betty has just graduated from Queens college and wants to work in publishing. She applies for an entry level job at Meade Publications and finds herself in the unfamiliar world of fashion as a personal assistant to the Editor-in-Chief of Mode magazine. The programme charts her (mis)adventures in a job that she sees as a stepping stone to another 'serious' publication within the Meade company.

Wait a minute I am getting deja vu.

Now I am not saying that one has copied the other but rather that this seems to be a tried and tested story. Plain Jane, big dream, faces challenges, transforms herself (not necessarily physically) and then succeeds. Prior to these two, the most recent example I can think of is How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days How To? girl Andie Anderson writes for leading fashion magazine, Composure but really wants to write about 'serious' events and issues in countries ending in -astan. She sees her role at Composure as a stepping stone to 'serious' journalism.
Seriously, deja vu, anyone?

Now when did working on a fashion mag get such a bad rap, be seen as fluff writing or as a stepping stone?.. Hmmmm. I am sure the late Diana Vreeland or Anna Wintour would have something to say about that.
To the fashion hungry fashionistas out there, the reporting of Spring/Summer or Autumn/Winter collections is 'serious'. How else will they know what to purchase for their capsule wardrobe? These editors are out on the fashion front line for them and ready to report.

Anyhoo, I will definitely be going to see The Devil Wears Prada and I will most definitely be checking in with Ugly Betty on a regular basis.

Till then Dahling *air kiss, air kiss*

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1 comment:

  1. You nailed it. Watching Ugly Betty was like watching Prada all over again. But both were too fun to pass up!

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