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Fondly Recalling ALLY MCBEAL

I've been recording it from REELZ channel, where it's on twice a day, weekday afternoons.

It's shocking how such a hugely popular show that helped define TV in the 90s is so overlooked now. The humor and music really hold up. The women, including Lucy Liu, Portia de Rossi, and of course, Calista, are all so young and beautiful here. And the guys are cute, if mostly forgotten.

Take another look: it's sexier and funnier than you remember.

by Anonymousreply 4003/05/2013

Calista you need those rerun checks to come in, huh

by Anonymousreply 109/06/2010

If I could get ahold of it on dvd I would, but because of licensing problems (for the pop music they used) they were never able to get the distribution rights. Oh, how I would love just to have the bathroom dance scene on Bluray....

by Anonymousreply 209/06/2010

Calista married Harrison Ford. I don't think she's short on dough.

by Anonymousreply 309/06/2010

OP = Lucy Liu r1, you can tell she mentioned her name first.

But seriously, Ally McBeal is one my top five favorite shows.

I often wonder if Portia and Lucy ever had the lezbun sex...

by Anonymousreply 409/06/2010

"licensing problems (for the pop music they used)"

Why do music publishers have to be such insufferable cunts?

by Anonymousreply 509/06/2010

"It's shocking how such a hugely popular show that helped define TV in the 90s is so overlooked now."%0D %0D Maybe it's "overlooked" because it wasn't "hugely popular." I remember it as being kind of a faddish tv show that lost steam quickly. No wonder; it really was never that good. %0D %0D The "music" ( I assume you're referring the musical brilliance of Vonda Shepard) was forgettable garbage. %0D %0D The "humor" was overwrought and clumsy. Ally makes a social error and an actual foot goes into her mouth; how devastatingly clever.%0D %0D Calista Flockhart looked terrible; dry, stringy hair, pasty complexion and a body like a toothpick. She looked like she was dying of an eating disorder and probably was. Ally McBeal was neurotic, twitchy, socially awkward and sickly-looking; nevertheless, handsome men continued to fall madly in love with her. %0D %0D The OP must work for the REELZ channel.

by Anonymousreply 609/06/2010

No it wasn't the Vonda Shepard songs that were the source of conflict, it was the Barry White and other hits, like the REO Speedwagon song used to herald Ally's dancing/spear-chucking baby hallucinations. The problem, apparently, is that back in those days TV shows weren't released on DVD so none of the songs were licensed for that kind of distribution and everything got hopelessly tied up in residuals negotiations.

I haven't seen the show since it originally aired on TV all those years ago so it's certainly possible that I'd be completely underwhelmed if I saw it today. But I do think, at minimum, Ally McBeal was innovative and original at the time and it definitely influenced a lot of later shows (Boston Legal springs to mind immediately).

by Anonymousreply 709/06/2010

It's on DVD now, morons.

by Anonymousreply 809/06/2010

R6 must be a real hit at parties. Pompous prick.

by Anonymousreply 909/06/2010

R8 is right -- the entire series is on DVD, and with all the original music intact.

by Anonymousreply 1009/06/2010

I had forgotten about Robert Downey Jr being a cast member late in the show!

He looks adorable. And Jamie Lee Gertz is a guest star.

Quel hoot.

by Anonymousreply 1109/06/2010

Thanks, r10! They finally released it... only took a little over a decade!

by Anonymousreply 1209/06/2010

I think RDJ was at his peak hotness on Ally McBeal. Was this before or after he was raped?

by Anonymousreply 1309/06/2010

Such an awful show.

If for nothing else, I can never forgive it for making possible the creation of SEX AND THE CITY.

by Anonymousreply 1409/06/2010

Loved it then and love it now. I bought the entire series on DVD at Sam's Club for something like $120 last Christmas. Love the storylines, the musical numbers, the guests, the twinkly white lights, and even Vonda.

by Anonymousreply 1509/06/2010

OP, the title of this thread is an impossibility. One can recall it, but it can't fondly.

by Anonymousreply 1609/06/2010

r6, r14 = Own "According to Jim" on DVD.

by Anonymousreply 1709/06/2010

I watched the first season on DVD.

Really insufferable and annoying though the cast was good.

Was very surprised how poorly it has held up.

by Anonymousreply 1809/06/2010

For some reason ever time I see this headline I think it says, "Recalling Fondling ALLY McBEAL."

by Anonymousreply 1909/07/2010

Don't forget Lisa Nicole Carson before she went crazy.

by Anonymousreply 2009/07/2010

Dancing baby bump!

by Anonymousreply 2109/20/2010

When I wrenched my back last year and was laid up for a week I plopped in the entire first season. Wonderful and sweetly sentimental in alot of ways. Fish is annoying in large chunks like I watched it, though.

by Anonymousreply 2209/20/2010

Jane was so funny and beautiful as Elaine.

by Anonymousreply 2307/11/2012

I rewatched the first season last year. It was fine, but not as outrageously funny as I remembered thinking it was when I first watched. I think some of it is just that it wasn't new to me, but I also think what was fresh and original then has now been done a million times.

by Anonymousreply 2407/11/2012

Who keeps bumping these stupid threads??

by Anonymousreply 2507/11/2012

The introduction of Josh Groban to prime time audiences was stunning.

by Anonymousreply 2607/11/2012

Weak 'n' bland, just the way we like women on The Datalounge.

by Anonymousreply 2707/11/2012

As someone else stated, it was a faddish show that lost it's appeal VERY quickly.

I remember Calista Flockhart used to be talked about a lot; she looked like a concentration camp victim and was always denying she had anorexia. Those up to her ass short skirts she wore on the show emphasized her toothpick legs. She looked like a Blythe doll: gigantic head and stick body. She showed up at an awards show wearing a revealing gown that gave the world a good look at her fleshless, boney back. Her hair was like straw; her complexion an unhealthy white. But on the show every man that crossed her path fell for her like a ton of bricks. It was stupid and implausible.

Portia Di Rossi was the same. She was anorexic thin and had a pinched face, but since she had long, golden hair extensions she was considered to be a breathtaking, gorgeous babe.

Ludy Lui's character was so annoying you wanted to kill her. And what was with the knee pit fingering sex? What the hell kind of dumbass writer thought THAT would be "sexy?"

"Ally McBeal" isn't remembered anymore because it was just a superficial, lightweight trifle that doesn't hold up at all.

by Anonymousreply 2807/11/2012

Frau garbage that quickly passed its best-before date.

by Anonymousreply 2907/11/2012

Ally McBeal is still immensely satisfying years later. I happily purchased the complete series on DVD and it's really a delight to rediscover.

I don't know what everyone's complaining about, but the actors are charming and the writing is witty and hilarious.

Calista was robbed many times by Helen Hunt. She should have put several Emmys on the shelf for her brilliant turn.

by Anonymousreply 3007/11/2012

Calista did not look so bad the first season. She lost weight, and looked sickly the next season. So did Courtney, though not as bad.

by Anonymousreply 3107/11/2012

R30 - Ally was a difficult position for Emmys as it fit right between comedy and drama. Mad About You was strictly comedy, and Helen was very good as Jamie.

by Anonymousreply 3207/11/2012

This thread should have been Vondaly recalling....

That dancing baby creeped us out That Vonda Shepherd was so bad we tuned it out Ally so thin she grossed us out Plots got so bad we turned it off

by Anonymousreply 3307/11/2012

I've been fond of David E. Kelley ever since Picket Fences, which is why I gave Ally McBeal a shot. I enjoyed the show at the time, until the last seasons when it got too ridiculous even for me. I remember feminist complaints about how it portrayed women in the workplace, but the truth is that men weren't portrayed any better. That's part of what made it so fun.

by Anonymousreply 3407/11/2012

They over used Vonda.

by Anonymousreply 3507/11/2012

ally mcbeal is why 9/11 happened

by Anonymousreply 3607/11/2012

I miss Gil Bellows. Or rather I miss what Gil Bellows used to look like. Recently saw him in a trailer for some godawful new film (can't remember which one, there were so many) and he looked ravaged.

by Anonymousreply 3707/11/2012

"And what was with the knee pit fingering sex? What the hell kind of dumbass writer thought THAT would be 'sexy?'"

Oh, and don't forget Fish's "wattle fetish." Just soooo stupid.

by Anonymousreply 3807/11/2012

[quote] Calista Flockhart looked terrible; dry, stringy hair, pasty complexion and a body like a toothpick. She looked like she was dying of an eating disorder and probably was. Ally McBeal was neurotic, twitchy, socially awkward and sickly-looking; nevertheless, handsome men continued to fall madly in love with her.

You forgot to mention insufferable. That show was awful. A dancing baby? that show was fucking stupid

by Anonymousreply 3907/11/2012

I didn't pay much attention to Ally McBeal until the 4th season with Robert Downey Jr. Love the episodes, especially the one where they had the auction and the head of the law firm was bidded on by a bunch of guys. Also loved everyone dancing to Barry White.

by Anonymousreply 4003/05/2013
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