Linda Herrick: Beware the Wolf at the door

By Linda Herrick

I never thought I'd say these words, but I have finally come across an accountant with charisma. Connor Owens, the brand new chief financial officer for Meade Publications, joined the Ugly Betty team on Sunday.

The good news is he is given a tough Downunder flavour by scenery-chewer Grant Bowler (Outrageous Fortune's Wolf). The bad news, for Wilhelmina and possibly for the whole company, is that Connor is part of a devious plan.

Connor first "banged into" Wilhelmina on the street. She'd heard of him - he's a genius with money, apparently - and she needs a CFO as Meade, and Mode magazine, are in financial doo-doo as the US economy is starting to fall apart. Wilhelmina also likes the cut of Connor's macho jib. However, Mode editor Daniel hates Connor because of some past feud and won't have a bar of it. Opposing anything Wilhelmina wants is like a red rag to a bull. She will

get her way. And Bowler got some great lines like, "He couldn't find his nuts on a GPS."

He also emphasised he was a lad who grew up in a council flat in Sydney. Everything he'd done, he said while pointedly staring at rich kid Daniel, he'd earned.

The faked animosity worked a treat, a classy case of management manipulation, paralleling Betty's struggles with arriviste Kimmie, played with slit-eyed relish by Lindsay Lohan. Kimmie, already manoeuvring her way into an associate editor position on the magazine, has fatally made enemies with key Mode staff with her "busy busy" dismissiveness and sheer, if shortsighted, bitchiness. When Betty came up with a "sizzling hot fruit" idea for the upcoming

"sizzling hot" issue, Kimmie stole her ideas and sabotaged her right up to the day of the cover shoot featuring a supermodel with brains.

But Kimmie was doomed when she decided - outmanouevred by Betty, who briefly lost her nice-girl scruples - to stand up to Wilhelmina over the issue of a necklace.

She was fired, and escorted off the premises by security, shouting out that they haven't seen the last of her. I hope she's right. Kimmie is a terrific bitch and the arrival of Connor/Bowler and his covert collaboration with Daniel promise major mischief for the next 10 episodes. But its 5.30pm timeslot is ridiculous.

As one of my colleagues pointed out in last week's TimeOut, we are not in the habit of watching kids' programmes around here, although an awful lot of adult shows are actually quite childish. So I watched The WotWots, a 10-minute show each weekday at 8.50am on TV2, purely to see the new inventions from Richard Taylor's Weta Workshop crew.

It's a very busy 10 minutes, with bright colours, bells and whistles, levers and buttons, flying armchairs and animals from the zoo.

I couldn't understand a word Dotty and Spotty Wot said, but I gather the programme aims to teach very small children long words like "el-e-phant". Kids will probably love it but it went way over my head.

- NZ Herald

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