20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment .
R4 . COLOR . 495 mins .
M15+ . PAL
Ally and "Little Chuckie."
Part One of Ally McBeal offered the first twelve episodes of the debut season and now the season continues with part two. In the first half of the season, Ally began working at the eccentric law firm Cage & Fish, alongside her lost love Billy. Ally handled the presence of Billy and his beautiful wife Georgia as best she could, but with her nosy assistant Elaine, insensitive boss Richard and the weird little man known as ‘The Biscuit’ continually intruding into every aspect of her life, Ally struggles to find her feet, and her sanity.
The adventures of Ally McBeal continue with the remaining twelve episodes of the first season.
The Blame Game Ally’s one night stand with model Glenn returns to haunt her when Glenn reappears. Ally and Renee take revenge on Glenn by giving him the “the penguin.” Fantasy highlight: Ally decapitating Glenn.
Body Language Ally and Renee serve as bridesmaids at a friend’s wedding. Ally represents a woman who wants to marry a convict serving life. Fantasy highlight: Renee dropping a boulder on Ally’s head.
Once In A Lifetime Ally attempts to let John Cage know, in the subtlest way possible, that there will be no romance between them because of the “ick” factor.
Forbidden Fruits Cage & Fish defend a U.S. senator who is being sued for stealing another man’s wife. Fantasy highlight: The dancing baby becomes a spear throwing cupid.
Avoiding the obvious
Theme Of Life Ally relents and goes to see John Cage's one of a kind psychiatrist, Tracey (Tracey Ullman). She also meets a potential true love in Dr. Greg Butters.
The Playing Field While defending her new love Greg in a lawsuit, Ally kicks the opposing counsel, child-prodigy Oren Koolie, thinking he is the dancing baby. Fantasy highlight: The dancing baby on skates with a hockey stick.
Happy Birthday, Baby Ally’s twenty-eighth birthday fast approaching, but instead of celebrating, she has to deal with the possibility of losing Greg.
The Inmates Part of an episode crossover with David E. Kelley’s other series, The Practice. The serious Donnell and Associates clash with the carefree lawyers of Cage & Fish.
Smile because you're happy.
Being There Billy and Georgia deal with the prospect of being parents, while Ally also tries to come to grips with the possibility of ‘her’ Billy becoming a father. Fantasy highlight: Ally's stomach jolting reaction to Georgia’s possible pregnancy.
Alone Again John Cage must go up against his long lost love in a case concerning bank robber who tried to escape from prison via a rubber-band trampoline.
These Are The Days Ally’s attraction to Bobby Donnell reaches the kissing point. The Biscuit has to defend his cousin, who has been attacking loving couples with a paddle, under the guise of being cupid. Fantasy Highlight: Georgia and Elaine’s tongues hit the floor at the sight of Bobby.
Ally McBeal is presented in its original 1.33:1 Fullscreen aspect ratio. Skin tones are realistic and shadow detail is respectable. Occasional incidents of both edge enhancement and film artefacts are visible, but are only minimal. Colours are spectacular with superb richness and depth. Although there are a few minor problems, the first season of Ally McBeal looks great on DVD.
The solid Dolby Digital Stereo audio package serves all aspects of this series adequately. Dialogue is always clear and audible and is directed, without any problems, through the front and centre channels. The rear channels kick in for the occasional effect, such as those involved with certain fantasy sequences. There are no audio sync issues and the musical numbers in this second half of season sound particularly impressive.
Just like Part One, this set contains no extras.
Elaine & Georgia hit the floor.
For a show that was a phenomenon for a moment in time, it's hard to understand why there are no extras on this release. There were a number of specials and behind the scenes featurettes making the rounds when the show was being broadcast and they would have served as sufficient extras. Alas, all we get are the episodes, but having the first and second seasons released simultaneously means plenty of ooga-chucking goodness for every Ally fan.
Watching this first season, I was reminded of how good this show was, and how terrible it became. But there is nothing terrible about Ally in this first season, even Vonda Shepard's incessant crooning is tolerable.