Ally McBeal - The Complete DVD Collection
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Every episode from all 5 seasons of Ally McBeal in one must-have collector's
Meet Ally McBeal, she over-analyses her relationships (and sometimes lack of) to the point of becoming emotionally neurotic. Sounds annoying? It can be. Sounds so-American? It can be. Sounds addictive? It will be...
They are young, successful lawyers, some of them could even be called beautiful, a lot of them could be called eccentric, and they all work and play together. From the first season we are introduced to the Unisex (the bathroom they all share). Ally is living with Renee, still trying to deal with Billy's marriage to someone who is not her, and is forced to come to terms with working with his new wife Georgia. Richard and Whipper are still together, Elaine establishes herself as the resident know-it-all tart, and John Cage is well, warming up to being John Cage....
It is from this season we all have to hold to our hearts, as the first time we were introduced to Ally McBeal, the quirky, original and (yet again) brilliance of a David E. Kelly creation!
It's easy to forget just quite what a pop cultural phenomenon "Ally McBeal" was in the late 1990s. Like "Friends" and "Sex and the City" of the same era, it acquired quite a devoted audience - particularly among twentysomething women - on both sides of the pond. Unlike "Friends" and "SATC", however, it hasn't been repeated to death on digital TV in the intervening decade, so it no longer holds a significant place within our collective cultural consciousness. Which is a shame, really, as it's actually a pretty good show.
The basic premise? We follow the day-to-day life of Ally McBeal, lawyer at Bostonian law firm Cage & Fish. She's a quirky, neurotic twentysomething with persistent relationship issues. We meet her co-workers (equally quirky) and friends, and spend roughly equal time learning about work life (each episode is home to one or two court cases; typically somehow bizarre, sex-related, or otherwise unusual) and her social life (wherein we get to know her co-workers in a more casual setting, and meet her roommate and friends).
As is typical for a David E. Kelley ("Boston Legal", "Picket Fences") the style of the show is hard to pin down. Every genre is worked into the mixture; from slapstick comedy to witty banter, romantic tension to intense legal battles. As is also typical for a David E. Kelley show, the cast saw significant churn; of perhaps fifteen major characters throughout the five-season run, only three or four are present from beginning to end. This, combined with an apparent weekly desire to out-crazy every previous episode, led to later seasons becoming a little tedious. But the first three seasons are wall-to-wall brilliance, and it's a real shame they don't get the repeats they deserve.
The boxset lacks extras (there's a few featurettes, but nothing substantial) but it's a great-value purchase anyway; there's hours and hours of good-value entertainment here.