TV & Streaming Reviews


Calista Flockhart as 'Ally McBeal'

Ally Mcbeal 1997-2002 (112 episodes)

Moral Rating: Avoid
Primary Audience: Adult
Genre: Comedy
Length: 1 hr.
Starring: Calista Flockhart, Portia de Rossi, Jane Krakowski, Lisa Nicole Carson, Peter MacNicol, Greg Germann, Lucy Liu, James LeGros
Ally Mcbeal

American legal comedy-drama series / Calista Flockhart portrays Harvard graduate Ally McBeal, a woman who finds success inside the courtroom but fumbles outside in her pursuit of personal happiness.

Set in the fictional Boston law firm Cage and Fish, the series begins with main character Allison Marie “Ally” McBeal joining the firm co-owned by her law school classmate Richard Fish (Greg Germann) after leaving her previous job due to sexual harassment. On her first day, Ally is horrified to find that she will be working alongside her ex-boyfriend Billy Thomas (Gil Bellows)—whom she has never gotten over. To make things worse, Billy is now married to fellow lawyer Georgia (Courtney Thorne-Smith), who later joins Cage and Fish. The triangle among the three forms the basis for the main plot for the show's first three seasons.

Although ostensibly a legal drama, the main focus of the series is the romantic and personal lives of the main characters, often using legal proceedings as plot devices to contrast or reinforce a character's drama.

viewer comments…
Avoid—Okay I like this sitcom but I don't support it. I think its original in the way its presented. However I think Ally Mcbeal is a very confused woman and thus I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. It appealed to me and will appeal to single women in their 20's and 30's, still I think it gives the wrong message to women overall. Ally thinks she needs a man to make her happy and complete, and the sitcom relies on sexual banter to pull off the comedy. I.E. the secretary at the firm gossips and acts like a total tramp. Its disgusting. I like this sitcom's premise for what it was a single gal trying to make it on her own. However its not enough for me to watch it again, since there is so much negative stuff.
Gwen, age 19
Avoid—I cringe when I change channels and find this show on. It might as well be Sex and the City. It is SO ego-centered and the only thing the people are alive for is sex and revenge. This may be what our world is really like, BUT we do not have to endorse it by presenting it as our "right."
Ampy Corales, age 25
Avoid—I use a computer in one room and overhear this show several times a month at my mother-in-law's. From what I'm hearing, the show is almost always about sex. The last one I remember was about Alley being accused of having sex with a 15 year old. Another show seemed to portray a funeral of an unsaved person as a pop-gospel party and no mention of God or Christ at all. This is a disgusting show. Not recommended at all.
Ken Bagwell, age 25
Avoid—I have to admit, I loved this show, BUT! The last episode I watched portrayed a Christian male suitor to Ally as a sniveling geek who sent Ally to the lengths of a homosexual kiss with a fellow female co-worker just to get rid of him. What really stunned me was, I caught myself laughing at the portrayal. That is where the danger lies. Shows like this break down Christian convictions through humor and soon your questioning "is it really wrong to…?" Keep those convictions intact. Turn Ally off, like my convictions told me I should.
Annette, age 29
Caution—Any comedy that leaves out the laugh track I'll give a chance viewing. I used to be a fan of "Ally McBeal". It takes a lot of cues from "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd" in the 80s; which was a better show altogether. Even though this is as liberal as they come, and even though evangelicals are often portrayed as glassy-eyed, cheerless fools, issues of honest faith have been respected. Overall, be careful how much you get into this show; know what its like beforehand. Not for all tastes.
Tony, age 45
Avoid—I would caution parents to not allow their children to watch this show. The show could be better without all of the immoral behavior. It mainly points out to me how futile and empty people's lives are without Christ.
Denise, age 44
Avoid—Wrong on the law, wrong on what it is like to be an attorney and wrong on its priorities. Everything is sex. Unmarried partners switch. Married partners lust after others. Not appropriate.
Anthony, age 28
Comments from young people
Avoid—I don't have a long explanation about the show because after the first time I saw it… I stopped watching it because it disgusted me. Free sex, dirty jokes, sexual talks and a lot more of negative elements in this show. I remember one episode which I watched (the one where Ally Mcbeal combined with the Practice cast) and one of Ally's colleagues said to Dylan McDermott "I was dreaming that we were having unprotected sex last night." Totally disgusting! I advise parents to forbid your children to watch this show or you can opt to guide them during the show.
Grace, age 17
While sometimes crude, this show also is at times thought-provoking and interesting. It explores the issues of loneliness, love, unconditional love, the consequences of adultery, sexism, and honesty, often with positive results. It also is one of the few shows in which actions have consequences. Yes, the show has some sexual innuendo, but I would rate it much higher than its companion show, The Practice. Worth a fair shot for late teen and adult viewers.
Jessica, age 18