December 07, 2008

NMAI in Ugly Betty

In the December 4 episode of Ugly Betty, titled Bad Amanda, Betty is pitching ways to have fun in New York without spending money. Her first pitch goes like this:BETTY:  Well, most museums have one day a week where you can go for free. But, the national American Indian museum is free every day. Its culturally sensitive and thought-provoking exhibits include pottery, basketry--

AMANDA:  (fake snore)

AMANDA:  I thought your pitch was how to have fun in the city, not put yourself into a coma.

DANIEL:  It is a little dry, Betty.
I spent only a couple of hours once in the old US Customs House, where the museum is housed. But I recall it as one of the best Native museums I've seen. It might actually interest someone who isn't interested in Indians.

But that's neither here nor there. The point is that this is yet another mention of Indians on television--the second mention on Ugly Betty alone. Good work, Ugly Betty writers.

For more on the subject, see TV Shows Featuring Indians.


Unknown said...

This actually marks the third reference to American Indians in Ugly Betty this season. In episode 3.04 "Betty Suarez Land" Betty and and Gio are grappling over his much loved Scamorza cheese which she found for him. After playing 'keep away' with him the exchange goes:

Gio: Stop being such an Indian giver!

Betty: Okay. First of all THAT is an outdated and culturally insensitive term. And second of all you are getting this cheese until we sit down and have spoken properly and gotten past this.

Not exactly the most flattering reference...but I figured you'd want to know ;).

Rob said...

Thanks for reminding me. I heard that bit, but I didn't think it was worth mentioning at the time. I didn't know it was going to be the start of a trend. ;-)

Rob said...

Another semi-reference also didn't seem to be worth mentioning at the time. In The Manhattan Project, the first episode of the season, Betty returns from a summer vacation. She sports a new dove pendant, which she says represents her "power animal."

This is an Indian (or New Age) kind of concept. The pendant appears to be made of turquoise and silver, Navajo style. And Betty bicycled on Route 66 to the Grand Canyon and California, which means she probably passed through the Navajo reservation.

While the episode doesn't have any explicit Indian references, it implies she encountered Indians on her trip. Her newfound interest in Indians may be the result of that experience.