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Ally mcbeal

Discussion in 'Television & Web Series' started by RonPrice, Mar 16, 2010.

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  1. RonPrice

    RonPrice Mr. RonPrice

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Location:
    George Town Tasmania Australia
    In 1999, the year I retired from full-time teaching in Australia, the Ally McBeal show was at the height of its popularity. It won an Emmy Award for the Outstanding Comedy Series. The show ran for six seasons, starred Calista Flockhart in the title role as a young lawyer working in a Boston legal firm and focussed on the romantic and personal lives of the people in a law office. The environment was highly sexualized with dating and flirting, drinking and humour dominating. The show, the series, was heavily music-oriented. Ratings dropped off in the fifth season and the program was cancelled after six seasons. Feminists complained about McBeal’s emotional instability and lack of legal knowledge among many of their other complaints.1 -Ron Price with thanks to 1Ally McBeal, Wikipedia, 2009 and a review of Tim Appelo’s Ally McBeal: The Official Guide, Harper Collins, 1999 by Ian Lace in Film Music on the Web, December 1999.

    Some called it the freshest, most deliciously
    politically incorrect show to have crossed
    the Atlantic: eccentric characters, outrageous
    madcap humour, cartoon-like fantasies and
    sentimental melodramas. A unisex restroom
    where the characters dance, sit on each
    other’s laps, discuss their innermost
    romantic yearnings, lose frogs down
    toilets and where toilet lids operate by
    remote control. Some lines like: "Men
    are like gum: after you chew awhile,
    they loose their flavour;” and "Tell me
    what kind of lie works here?" convey
    some of the tone of the series and.....

    Ally’s in the middle of a popular culture
    insistent on offering images of grown
    single women: frazzled, self-absorbed
    girls with male power and with female
    powerlessness seemingly harmless and
    cuddly, sexy, safe and sellable. Female
    bodies, traditionally sexualized & linked
    to emotionality operate as the barrier to
    women's full and effective participation
    in the professional and societal spheres.1

    And I was settling down into retirement
    away from the fast lane, from being job-
    bed, from endless meetings and endless
    conversations--into solitude, into a world
    of writing, Bahá'í studies and none of the
    Calista Flockhart and that Ally McBeal!!

    1 Michele L. Hammers, “Cautionary Tales of Liberation and Female Professionalism: The Case against Ally McBeal,” Western Journal of Communication, Vol. 69, 2005.

    Ron Price
    19 August 2009
     

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