Tag Archives: Ally McBeal

Fall 2012 TV What I am excited about

29 Aug

I can’t believe it has been a year since I was going all weak in the knees for Ringer, Revenge and Once Upon A Time.  It’s that time again, what to watch this year.  

So what am I excited about this year? Quite a bit actually, and as always the 3 episode rule applies, its rare when a pilot nails it, you have to give a new show at least three episodes to settle and give the viewer some indication of where it is headed.

So which shows get at least three episodes?

666 Park Avenue – Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa Williams star, it looks pretty campy and the premise sounds silly. Click on the title to read it. But, I will give it 3, who knows it could be the big break out of the fall. But I doubt it.

Revolution – Bill Burke and the electronic apocalypse. Interesting premise, no more power, simpler times, maybe maybe not. Created by Eric Kipke (Supernatural),  it plays on a basic fear and a simple desire, to return to a quieter time, a slower pace.  Lets see how it plays out, its either Lost or The Event.  

Vegas – Dennis Quaid and Michael Chklis star in this period drama, its sheriff vs mob in old school Vegas. Expect lots of Rat Pack references. 

Go On – Mathew Perry sitcom, he is getting over the death of his wife with the help of a support group.  We’ll see sitcoms are tricky.

Emily Owens, MD – I loved Mamie Gummer on The Good Wife, lets see how she does on her own. It looks like Ally McBeal meets Grey’s Anatomy meets Mean Girls,  but I will give it a shot.

Nashville – Connie Britton, that’s all I needed to hear and I was in.

Chicago Fire – This is all about the eye candy for me Exhibit A and B.

Arrow – And more eye candy, based on how succesful Smallville was and how pretty Tom Welling was, I am all set to watch this al season. CW knows how to bring the pretty boys to my screen.

Elementary – The BBC Sherlock re-boot airing on Masterpiece Mystery is fantastic, and Benedict Cumberbatch‘s take on Holmes is genius.  SO why do we need this version, I guess we will have to tune in to find out if we really need another “quirky” detective series. Just like lawyers before them, they seem to be all the rage lately.

Beauty and The Beast – Curiosity factor only, I wan to see if Kristin Kreuk can play anything besides Lana Lang. I doubt I will stick past three, but The CW could shock me and make this nonsense work. Note to CW, how can a beast be a beast with one huge scar, that’s not much of a beast.

Returning Favorites, Once Upon A Time, The Good Wife, Revenge, 2 Broke Girls, Bones, Smash (mid-season), Happy Endings, Hart of Dixie, Supernatural, Scandal, Big Bang, Glee, Blue Bloods.

And the biggies, my favorites, the reason I love Thursday and Friday, The Vampire Diaries and Fringe.  Dude, Elena’s a vampire and this is Fringe’s last season.  Can’t f’ing wait, its on!!!

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Ally McBeal – Does it still hold up

13 Nov

In the late 90’s Ally McBeal was a hero to single women everywhere.  Ally is an attractive perky Boston lawyer, who recently started   working at a new law firm, Cage/Fish and associates.

I dare anyone who was a fan of the show not to sing along when you play the clip below.

On  her first day she finds out that the love of her life, with whom, she broke up several years before is also working at the same firm and is married.  The Ally (Calista Flockhart) Billy (Gil Bellows)  dynamic is the center of the show for many seasons, it is a scenario many women can relate to, pining over lost love.   This storyline wasn’t original, it had been done before.

So what made Ally McBeal so popular, it was FOX’s highest rated show for many years.  The originality was found in the characters, the music, the voiceovers and the cut aways that dramatized the fantasies of the characters. The show was created by the prolific David E. Kelly, click the link to read his IMDB page, you will see what I mean.

The music, the theme written and performed by Vonda Shepherd was so popular it landed on the radio and became a Top 40 hit. Shepherd’s music was regularly featured between scenes and Shepherd herself was the singer in the bar the characters frequented at the end of almost every episode. In addition, songs by Barry White, Anastasia, Josh Groban, Tina Turner among others became signatures for the show and a compilation album, Songs from Ally McBeal was released.

The characters, partner Richard Fish, played by Greg German, his cut to the chase say it like it is way of handling things was refreshing. His wattle fetish, and his humourous mottos, “Fishisms” he called them like “bygones” became catchphrases we used in everyday life and were instantly recognizable as references to Ally McBeal.

Perhaps the most endearing of all the characters, was  John Cage, (aka The Biscuit) played by Peter MacNicol.  His remote toilet flusher, he likes a fresh bowl and dismount of the bowl became his signatures. His character was both a legal mastermind and painfully shy around women. The first time we met him, he had been arrested.

Ally’s secretary Elaine, played by Jane Krakowski, always dressed inappropriately and making sure everyone knew how much she contributed, and always butting into Ally’s life was a fantastic character. She was annoying and fun all at the same time, her catchphrase, “snappish” also became a part of our daily lives.

Over the years they added several other memorable characters, Ling Woo (Lucy Liu) and Nelle Porter ( Portia de Rossi) and of course the collection of Ally’s boyfriends, judges and clients.  Two of the most notable recurring characters were played by Dyan Cannon and Robert Downey Jr.

Not everyone loved the show, its critics were vocal and blamed Ally for killing feminism, her skirts were too shirt, her knowledge of the law pathetic and she was emotionally unstable.  Oh people if a television character could really kill a whole movement then maybe the problem is the movement.

The show ran for five season, its ratings dipped midway thru the third, that’s when Robert Downey was brought in as Ally’s boyfriend, but was written out by the end of the season due to his real life struggles with drugs.

The season 5 saw many of its regular characters depart the series without explanation and the show was cancelled.

Aside from the issues, like the uproar over Calista and Portia’s weight, and the behind scenes drama with the actors that seems part of the course on a David E Kelly show.  Ally McBeal was an orginal and her struggles still hold up today for any women searching to find that someone special, and her place in the world.

If you have a rainy weekend stream it on Netflix.

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