Ally McBeal

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FOX (ended 2002)

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User Score: 77

Ally McBeal
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
1,827 votes
77

SHOW REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Show Summary

FOX's hit dramatic and humorous show tells the story of the trials and tribulations of a 28-year-old lawyer by the name of Ally McBeal (Calista Flockhart), who is just fresh out of Harvard Law School. Ally was harassed at the firm where she was originally working, and when she told the firm's partners, she ended up losing her job. However, she then runs into an old friend and he offers her a new job at his brand new firm where she meets tons of new people and her old boyfriend, Billy with who she'll lead her new life full of cases and Ally's fantasies.

Once the darling of the network, rumors of anorexia plagued star Calista Flockhart. The second and third seasons, therefore, introduced more and more eccentric characters who were given essentially "nothing" to do, and original seriesa regulars Gil Bellows and Courtney Thorne-Smith both left to pursue other projects.

Ally McBeal was revitalized in its fourth season with the addition of Robert Downey Jr. as the lead character's love interest, Larry Paul. However, Downey's personal problems and numerous arrests, eventually wore out Kelley's patience and he was dropped. Lisa Nicole Carson, who played Ally's roommate, also left at the end of the fourth season following a brief stint in an institution and admitted problems with substance abuse.

Without Downey, the fifth season had floundered more than ever; bringing in Jon Bon Jovi as a love interest, and giving Ally a daughter played by Hayden Panettiere) hadn't helped. Lucy Liu's character was dropped to a recurring role, while James LeGros left. James Marsden and Julianne Nicholson were added to the cast, only to be dropped a few weeks later. David E. Kelley decided then to cancel the show instead of having FOX executives do it for him.

Awards/Nominations:

EMMY AWARDS:

> 1998 - Nominated - Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series [David E. Kelley; for episode "Theme Of Life"] > 1998 - Nominated - Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Series [Tom Moore; for episode "Cro-Magnon"] > 1998 - Nominated - Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series [Calista Flockhart] > 1998 - Nominated - Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series [Allan Arkush; for episode "Cro-Magnon"] > 1998 - Nominated - Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series [James Frawley; for episode 1] > 1998 - Nominated - Outstanding Costuming for a Series [for episode "Cro-magnon"] > 1998 - Nominated - Outstanding Comedy Series > 1998 - Nominated - Outstanding Casting for a Series > 1998 - Nominated - Outstanding Art Direction for a Series (for episode "Boy to the World") > 1998 - Won! - Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special (for episode "Boy to the World") > 1999 - Nominated - Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series [David E. Kelley; for episode "Sideshow"] > 1999 - Nominated - Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series [Lucy Liu] > 1999 - Nominated - Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series [Peter MacNicol] > 1999 - Nominated - Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Series [Philip Carr Neel] > 1999 - Nominated - Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series [Calista Flockhart] > 1999 - Nominated - Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series [John Ritter; for episodes "George Madison"; "It's My Party" & "Story of Love"] > 1999 - Nominated - Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series [Arlene Sanford; for episode "Those Lips, That Hand"] > 1999 - Nominated - Outstanding Costume Design for a Series [Rachael Stanley; for episode "Making Spirits Bright"] > 1999 - Nominated - Outstanding Casting for a Series > 1999 - Nominated - Outstanding Art Direction for a Series [for episode "Making Spirits Bright"] > 1999 - Won! - Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series [Tracey Ullman; for episodes "Tracy Clark" & "Sideshow"] > 1999 - Won! - Outstanding Comedy Series > 1999 - Won! - Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special [for episode "Love's Illusion"] > 2000 - Nominated - Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series [Bill D'Elia; for episode "Ally McBeal: The Musical"] > 2000 - Nominated - Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series [Peter Macnicol] > 2000 - Won! - Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special [for episode "Car Wash"] > 2001 - Nominated - Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series [Robert Downey Jr.] > 2001 - Nominated - Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series [Calista Flockhart] > 2001 - Nominated - Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series [Bernadette Peters; for episode "Cassandra Lewis"] > 2001 - Nominated - Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series [jami gertz; for episode "Kimmy Bishop"] > 2001 - Nominated - Outstanding Cinematography for a Single Camera Series [Billy Dickinson; for episode "Cloudy Skies, Chance Of Parade"] > 2001 - Won! - Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series [Peter MacNicol] > 2001 - Won! - Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series > 2002 - Nominated - Outstanding Cinematography for a Single Camera Series [Billy Dickinson; for episode "Reality Bites"]

GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS:

> 1998 - Won! - Best TV-Series - Comedy/Musical > 1998 - Won! - Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical [Calista Flockhart] > 1999 - Nominated - Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical [Calista Flockhart] > 1999 - Nominated - Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture [jane Krakowski] > 1999 - Won! - Best TV-Series - Comedy/Musical > 2000 - Nominated - Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical [Calista Flockhart] > 2000 - Nominated - Best TV-Series - Comedy/Musical > 2001 - Nominated - Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical [Calista Flockhart] > 2001 - Nominated - Best TV-Series - Comedy/Musical > 2000 - Won! - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV [Robert Downey Jr.] > 2002 - Nominated - Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy [Calista Flockhart] > 2002 - Nominated - Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy

Theme Song: "Searching My Soul" by Vonda Shepard

FOX Broadcast History September 1997 - May 2002 -- Mondays 9:00 PMmoreless
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  • Calista Flockhart

    Calista Flockhart

    Ally McBeal

    Greg Germann

    Greg Germann

    Richard Fish

    Jane Krakowski

    Jane Krakowski

    Elaine Vassal

    Lisa Nicole Carson

    Lisa Nicole Carson

    Renée Raddick (Seasons 1-4)

    Portia de Rossi

    Portia de Rossi

    Nelle Porter (Episodes 33-112, recurring previously)

    Gil Bellows

    Gil Bellows

    Billy Thomas (Seasons 1-3)

    Sunday
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    Monday
    No results found.
    Tuesday
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    SUBMIT REVIEW
    • Awful, just awful

      1.0
      Wow. What a difference a decade makes. I watched this show when I was in my early twenties, and at the time it seemed unusual and quirky, with an unlikely heroine and a bunch of unorthodox characters. I did hate Vonda Sheperd's voice, though. That woman clearly never took voice lessons, otherwise she would know that this method of voice delivery is ghoulish.



      Anyway, now that I am a decade older, I can't watch this series, not even for the sake of nostalgic feelings. The plots are just ridiculous, the character of Ally McBeal is so over the top, so ludicrous, so stupid, the tip-toeing around her is implausible and annoying, her gestures and incessant bleating silence fillers are impossible to tolerate.



      I think I hate the series now. Ms. Flockhart is either a bad actress, or her take on Ally is intolerable. While trying to portray Ally as one of the last romantics, she created an out-of-control teenager who is permanently in PMS mode. Yuck.



      There is only one (!) character that is worth watching this show for, it is Portia De Rossi's Nelle Porter. This character is suave, poised, intelligent, elegant, not to mention, absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, there is not enough of Nelle in the show, and far too much Ally...moreless
    • About the series

      10
      It great writing episodes in season 2, casting in season 4 and acting for Tracey Ullman in season 2 & Peter MacNicol in season 4.
    • Missing Ally

      10
      I have just rewatched the final episode of Ally McBeal and still find it hard to believe the show ended 10 years ago. I also find it difficult to understand why David Kelley didn't create a spin-off show. After all, Ally is the one who leaves, but Cage & Fish as a law firm still existed when the show ended. Perhaps I'm being selfish, especially seeing as John Cage was my favourite character, but I think a Cage & Fish spin-off would have made great tv viewing. Also, the romantic in me still likes to think Ally and John would have got together in the end. So yes, after all this time I still miss the show and would love to see a cast reunion sometime soon. So how about it Mr Kelley if you read this?moreless
    • Get Serious with Ally and her crew!

      7.0
      The beginning of law shows might've started with Ally for the 90's. Who really knows?! All I know was I looked up to her as a lawyer despite her dealing with love issues. The cast knew what they were doing and so did Ally. That's why I liked this show. Reliable to watch, conservative role playing, and great cases!
    • Lawyers push the envelope in this show.

      1.0
      Was this one of the first shows involving lawyers and the way they are in real life? If so, I truly feel sorry for some of the lawyers out there, to a point. The Cage's of this world must be miserable. Cage has so many strange little things that he does just to calm him down it started to get annoying. Fish is what I thought a lawyer was; he is so money hungry its not funny, but every once in a while he shows emotion. The relationship between Ally, Billy, and Georgia made me uncomfortable. And Elaine; what a woman. She is the only character that I really liked on the show. She was who she was, face bra and all, and didn't care what people thought. I also liked the woman judge that dated Fish in season 1.moreless
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    More Info About This Show

    Categories

    Comedy, Drama

    Themes

    Legal, Love & Romance, Adult