Ally McBeal was a legend. She not only had hallucinatory episodes about dancing babies and remained unsectioned but was allowed to practice law on a regular basis, and not like legal aid but rich people suing each other over the mint to rum ratio in their mojito (actual episode.)
She didn’t even try and keep her visions of melty faced bald midgets a secret either! She use to hide/talk to/dance with her auditory and visual phantoms (the worst kind according to NHS symptom checker) in full view of friends and clients, and they just thought she was quirky.
She was literally being attacked by her ticking ovaries and the rest of the cast would exchange a knowing smile and shrug their shoulders. It happened to the best of us.
In today’s television it would be the beginning of a slow awkward descent into schizophrenia, it would be a cautionary tale about the pressures on young women to be the best, the skinnest, the most successful and the kookiest.
It would be about what happens when the glass ceiling collapses into your MIND and the shards ruin your ability to “kill” the “inner” dancing baby all women “see” from time to time.
She would be sectioned quicker then you could say Knee Pit.
Look at Claire Danes.
Really look at her.
Can you imagine the CIA laughing fondly at her nutty room before patting her on the head and telling her they were just glad to have someone as idiosyncratic as her around?
No. Fucking no.
Ally would chase people down the street after they bumped into her and lecture them on how inconsiderate they were. Who does that? I mean, we all want to but it would not work in our favour….
Yesterday I told the man at T Mobile he was a dickhead and to go fuck himself (true story). He did not laugh, and ask me out on a date, but if I had been Ally it would have lead to a promotion and a date with a secret millionaire who moonlights as a guy at a mobile phone call centre from time to time.
Sure, she was taken to court a bunch of times accused of being crazy, but no one decided she might benefit from some medication and a vacation to a mental asylum, they thought that she was just a little spazzy and we all need someone a little spazzy in our lives to make it that little bit more colourful.
And that was not even the least realistic thing about Ally McBeal, the best show of the 90’s.
I mean, Lucy Liu and Richard Fish?
John Cage and Portia deRussi?
I watched Ally McBeal religiously (so every Sunday?) but at no point did I question how odd it was for that many lawyers to get sued themselves.
Do you remember the episode when Elaine sued her family for stealing her idea for a face bra??
And Robert Downey Jnr was in it, and he WON AN EMMY.
How did I forget all of this.
And Lucy Liu and Ally made out before 15 year old girls on myspace did. Before myspace existed!
And everyone sang a song at the bar downstairs at some point or another.
And Barry White was in it.
As was Sting… (try watching this all the way through. It’s actually quite hard.)
Al Green, Gladys Knight and Gloria Gaynor all rocked up but as misfires in Ally’s frontal lobe, so they don’t really count. Macy Gray was a bar tender. She couldn’t sing because they asked her if she could sing something other then Try and she was like “erm… i could do the one with Fatboy Slim?”
“No Macy, you go behind the bar.”
Unlucky for Bon Jovi. He was not allowed to play himself. He had to play a plumber instead. I will buy Sting and Barry White turning up and singing at the bar, but Bon Jovi as a plumber??? No. No way.
I was too young to understand the feminism uproar that surrounded the show. I didn’t even know how to balance chemical equations let alone comprehend Girl Power. To me it was a show about a lady with short skirts who fell over a lot and liked sniffing boys butts, AND DAMMIT you liked that.
The butt sniffing.
Maybe as a child you hoped that you too could become a powerful woman, yet have no control over your limbs.
The heart of the show was the will they/won’t they of Billy and Ally. They were the original Nick and Jess. Rachel and Ross. Don Draper and Sally.
They couldn’t be together but they would have been if it was not for Georgia and her ENORMOUS face.
But I did feel bad for Georgia.
She was married to Billy, who couldn’t even respect her enough to hide the fact he was in love with Ally.
He would go absolutely mental every time she had a date, and boy did that girl date, there was John Cage, Jon Bon Jovi, Robert Downey Jnr, the bisexual barista/judge (he was my favourite. She went ballistic at him over her coffee, and he later turned out to be a judge (who just loved making coffee in his downtime) and then DUH DUH DUH bisexual. Which she could not handle. She didn’t question the fact he was a barista judge. No, that was normal. But bisexual. Fuck.)
The set up for Ally’s love life was classic Bridget Jones territory. She would do something hysterical and soul destroying in front of a guy who would later turn out to be an important person in her employment. Like the judge, client or son of a client.
OH MY GOD I JUST REMEMBERED WHEN SHE HAD SEX WITH THAT GUY IN THE CAR WASH. LOLOLOLOL. She was the least sexual person who ever existed, as if she would sleep with a guy during the car wash and as if the memory of it would be that hot. I mean, how long does a car wash take? Two minutes?
I was traumatised when Billy died. I mean, it was great timing that he died from his undiagnosed brain tumour right after summarising his case (did he win?) but I also felt sad that he had died as a blonde. I loved how his chauvinistic pig dog behaviour could be pinned down to the tumour rather then the fact he was just a bit of a dick ALL ALONG. PHEW. It’s not like he stringed Ally and Georgia along, or cheated on them both.
Watch this and CRY
And everyone was so skinny. They were just sooooo skinny. Too busy working on their cases and singing to eat sandwiches.
I couldn’t watch an episode without my mother commenting on how skinny Ally was.
I stopped watched when the baby grew up and turned into Hayden “the cheerleader” Panettiere. I was old and wise and Bon Jovi was in it, and Billy was dead and everyone had left so I didn’t care. Calista didn’t care. She just wanted to go river boating with Harrison “charismatic” Ford.
It ended with Ally moving to New York with Hayden, who developed super powers and stuff.
But it’s legacy lives on….For example Greys Anatomy stole the whole “dead love turning up as a ghost thing” when Denny started talking to Izzy….Portia De Rossi wrote that book about how she developed a eating disorder whilst being on the show….Lucy Liu was surprisingly rubbish but is now surprisingly great in Elementary… Gil Bellows did not age well… the actress who played Elaine was good on 30 Rock… Robert Downey Jnr continuous to be the smuggest person who has every existed and will be the first to clone and fuck himself and live stream it….Vonda Shepard robbed that bank….