There is no fool like an old fool. At this stage in my life, I have found a new love, actually an old one — Ally McBeal.
As you probably know, Ally is not a real person but one played by actress Calista Flockhart which, all right, is a ridiculous name. For some reason I stumbled upon an “Ally McBeal” rerun and impulsively sent off for three DVDs from my spiritual home, Netflix.
I am in love.
Blue Eyes, my faithful companion for 27 years now, has nothing to complain about. She often hijacks the Netflix “queue” and stacks it with movies featuring Clive Owen. I believe we have seen everything the man has made. Often his dialogue is drowned out by Blue Eyes’ sighs.
So I can carry on with Ally with impunity.
In a past life, before the latest DVDs arrived, I always thought that “NYPD Blue” had the most astounding women on board. (Amy Brenneman, Gail O’Grady, Sharon Lawrence, Charlotte Ross, Kim Delaney, etc.) But Ally is now my favorite.
Ally was another creation of David E. Kelley which ran from 1997-2002.
First of all, Ally is a sprite of a thing, flouncing around a Boston law office (Cage, Fish and Associates) in short skirts, hair which falls in her beautiful eyes and wrap-around lips that were created on one of God’s best days.
I believe she ran off and married someone called Harrison Ford in “real life” last week. I will forgive her.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, there also is the sparkling Jane Krakowski as Elaine, Lisa Nicole Carson as the bombshell roommate and the dazzling (still) Dyan Cannon as Judge Whipper. Then there is the arresting Courtney Thorne-Smith as Georgia.
I have a problem with Georgia. Often I am so fixated on the way her cascading blonde locks caress her face, shoulders and other body parts that I miss her dialogue and I have to replay the scene. More than once.
She could be my new favorite. Don‘t tell Ally — and don’t tell Blue Eyes.
I know that this is all old hat to you because you have seen the show and relegated it to your mental attic. But I never saw a whole episode before and this is all new to me, thanks to Netflix.
Ally is a lawyer new to Boston who lands in a law firm, which also employs (surprise) her old friend and lover, now married to the aforementioned Georgia. Good luck, Ally. There apparently are some men in the cast as well.
I find it delightful, but don’t take my word for it. Members of the jury, consider the British website www.ew.com which reviewed, “Ally McBeal is without a doubt the freshest, most deliciously politically incorrect show to have ever crossed the Atlantic. Already gathering a stack of awards, it is deservedly popular on both sides of ‘The Pond.’” The bane of feminists, it flaunts its collection of eccentric characters, outrageous madcap humor, cartoon-like fantasies, and its sentimental melodramas. Where else but in the offices of Cage and Fish would there be a unisex restroom where the characters dance, sit on each others laps, discuss their innermost romantic yearnings, lose frogs down toilets (with heated seats), and where toilet lids operate by remote control?
“But Ally McBeal also raises some important universal concerns that must have made volatile conversation around countless dinner tables. And there are always thoughtful issues behind the cases that come to trial each week,” the review stated.
Nothing is perfect. I have worked in a number of large offices in Boston and I can testify that no one would ever linger around the toilet on a Monday morning to discuss anything at all. And there would never, ever, be any lap-sitting in the stalls. But the imaginary office does have a street-level bar where each episode is closed with a drink, dance and R&B selection by Vonda Shepard, still another babe.
I want to work there.
One reviewer called the show a cross between “Twin Peaks” and “The Andy Griffith Show.”
To the jury I would also cite Televisionheaven.com which gushed “Stylish, subtle, witty, thoughtful, insightful. Yet paradoxically manic, in your face, full-on-lunacy on a hilariously epic scale simultaneously, ‘Ally McBeal’ is U.S. television’s mid-90s love affair with the navel gazing, self-absorbed inner lives of 30-something professional baby boomers given a slick, hallucinogenic makeover for the millennial MTV-bred generation.
“Ally is a tangled mass of conflicting emotional traumas barely managing to keep afloat in a hurricane tossed sea of intermingling fantasy vs. reality, a wide-eyed designer dressed Alice who somehow took a wrong turn and found herself lost in a hyperactive Neverland, whose God had taken — but never completed — a crash course in world design from [cartoonist] Tex Avery.”
See? And you thought I was in it just for the legs.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case. I am sending for three more DVDs.