THEME OF LIFE-Ally agrees to see Dr. Tracy Clark(Tracey Ullman), John Cages therapist. Not only does Dr. Clark tell Ally to go ahead with her scheduled kickboxing match with Georgia, but she tells her to get a theme song,... more » "something with bounce." Will this help relieve Ally's stress over a "real" case, defending an attractive doctor from a malpractice suit? Or is it just another chance to fantasize? THE PLAYING FIELD-Dr. Tracy Clark (Tracey Ullman) tells Ally, "You can't stand being liked for your sex appeal and you can't stand not being liked for it." Then she tells Ally to get rid of the dancing baby. Unfortunately, Ally kicks a 'little person' by mistake thinking it's her dancing baby.« less
"Have to say, I realy feel sorry for all the americans in region 1. Not only are they insulted by Fox with this dismal 6 episode double disc offering, but they have to deal with the knowledge that we europeans in region 2 have had all five seasons of ally released with extras and at reasonably good prices (£15 or US$19 approx. per half season box). This show is undoubtably one of the best sitcoms to have been released in recent times. It is altogether fresh, neurotic, original, funny and well-written, and both David E. Kelley and Calista should be really proud with their achievements on this show. Although the quality was brought into question in the last season, I believe that it is these early season episodes that display the most genius and originality. If anyone over there across the pond has multi-region capabilities on their DVD players, I urge them to order the English box sets of the show through Amazon.co.uk (or similar), and sit back and enjoy what is truly one of the most vivacious pieces of TV programming in recent years. It is a shame that the show was cancelled, its true fans will really miss it."
WHY only 2 Stars?? TOO
Dr.Scooter | St.Louis, MO | 11/20/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Hey, it's up to you but Ally McBeal (Complete Set) will never be released (probably) in the USA. It's the cost of the copy-rights for the background songs that is the hang-up. Some places are now selling "all zone" versions for $300. However, I just bought the "Complete 5 Season" plus the Pilot for less than $100 and so can you, from Amazon (UK). Now HEADS UP this is for ZONE 2 so it will not play on a normal DVD player. But you can buy a Zone "FREE" player and in many cases convert your home unit to Zone Free by changing the code with your remote (a google search will lead to a lot of information). When my wife and I returned from Europe she had purchased several DVD of tourist stuff, not movies. We had picked up "USA" (we thought) versions when we had a choice. However, when we got home they would not play on our regular DVD player only on the computer? Why, Europe is Zone 2 the USA is Zone 1. DVD players are (usually) set up to NOT play other then their own region. After reading up a bit I decided to just get a cheap "Zone Free" DVD player. I didn't need one but my old RCA was well "old". So for less than $60 I found one (on the internet-google Zone Free DVD Player) and it WORKS- plays both USA DVD and ones from Europe no setting changes just pop 'em in and they play. Also some US DVD players can be easily switched to Zone Free but I will leave that up to you as I have yet to do it. I ordered a Philips DVP642 from Amazon that's listed to play/convert both PAL (Europe) and NTSC (USA) now we are getting complex. "Note" this is NOT a zone free unit and has to be "hacked" by code to be Zone Free (I got the code off the net) but it will play DVD marked "All Zones" without any conversion. So after that long winded speech I found Ally McBeal, the Complete Set, 30 DVD Disc at Amazon.co.uk listed for 54.99 "pounds" when puchased it rang up for (?) 47.88 "pounds" with shipping to the USA for 3.08 "pounds" so that would be 50.94 "pounds" delivered. So at todays rate thats $87.35. My order was placed 11/10 and arrived 11/18 put it in the "Zone Free" DVD player works great- so that one I give five stars to-too!"
THE BIGGEST LITTLE INSECURITY IN TOWN!
Nix Pix | Windsor, Ontario, Canada | 03/10/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"No matter what she does for the rest of her career, Calista Flockhart will always be known as the neurotic, short-skirt wearing Bostonian lawyer, Ally McBeal. Writer/producer, David Kelly's acclaimed series was a breakthrough comedy in many ways, not the least for its attention to character development and scathingly accurate humor. The series tanked in the ratings near the end of its run on Fox, but this is primarily due to the fact that Kelly had already departed, after the first two seasons, to write and produce "The Practice" on ABC, thus leaving "Ally McBeal" in less competant hands.
If you don't know the premise behind the series by now, everything hinges on Ally, a waifish love-lorn lawyer who is dumped by her boyfriend Billy while the two were still in law school. Ally returns to Boston and finds employment with another alumni from her university days, Richard Fisk, who just happens to be starting up his own law firm where, no kidding!, Billy is already working.
Sparks fly as Ally realizes that, not only is Billy married to another sexy young lawyer, Georgia, but she(Georgia) is coming to work at the same firm. All this happens in just the first hour long episode featured on this two disc DVD set.
All in all, you get six episodes from this Emmy-winning Fox series. Each episode illustrates why this is probably one show that we will be speaking of fondly in decades to come.
Fox really ticks me off with this double disc! In their zeal to quickly release a DVD during the show's height in popularity, Fox not only does not give us an entire season of the show on DVD, but they have the guts to randomly picked out episodes from their chronological order. Since every episode pretty much hinges on the one before it, characters like Judge Whipper (Dyan Canon)just sort of randomly appear and then disappear from the plot lines without any explanation for the first time viewer.
Although we get hints of Ally's neurotic behavior, the absence of a progression, fueled by these missing episodes, makes for a really dismal cohesion of plot elements.
Also, two of my all time favorite episodes, one in which Ally sues the Catholic church and ergo God on behalf of a little boy dying of cancer, the other, a bitter sweet episode in which a trans-sexual prostitute turns legit, befriends Ally and co. and is ultimately gunned down in cold blood in front of the law firm, are not presented on either of these discs.
Quality wise, the discs are pretty decently mastered, with minor aliasing, color smearing and edge enhancement just part in parcel of the overall disregard for television fare mastered to DVD. In light of Fox's dedication to releasing complete seasons of "The X-Files" on DVD, this brilliant little jem of a comedy/drama series definitely needs to be reissued by 20th Century-Fox. Here's to hoping!"
Where are the others!
morgannie | Los Angeles, CA United States | 02/25/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"How can they possibly expect an "ally" fan to be happy with a boxed set that contains less than half of the episodes of the season? And when will the other season come out? if they ever will?!"
FULL SEASONS PLEASE!
a Traveler | Tokyo Japan | 12/10/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I live in Japan, where we can RENT every episode of alley mcbeal from the pilot to the series finale-- in English with subtitles, or dubbed over into japanese at almost any rental store.
This teaser set of Ally is a joke. C'mon Fox-- just release the darn things for the US market.
Ally was a great show, and even the weakest season...the dreaded five has some redeeming qualities when watched for the second time.
My wife is Japanese, but speaks english well. To help her practice listening to more natural-- and playful english we started watching ally. It was good practice for her, and a nice break for me-- I dont really like most Japanese TV that much. It soon became a treat to head to the video store for the next video...
I liked the show when it was on TV... but came to appreciate it even more when I could watch the episodes without a week or more in between. Subtle running gags-- like the buzzing bee music that they played with ling buzzing around the office--- became more apparent.
Looking back... I think season 4 was the best-- and Robert Downey Jr.'s "issues" are one problem that hurt season five... I think they had planned on him being a fixture... and then couldnt go that way.
Season Five-- ok the worst-- but in some ways... i feel it was almost a victim of Sept. 11th... The mood of the nation was altered pretty quickly... and for a long time a lot of the zany, quirky, humor that made ally great just wasnt what people wanted. I dont think the writers knew how to handle it... and when things went wrong they panicked...
Downey Jr.'s character was gone... Jackson Dooper... and Mark apparently fell off the planet without explanation... Ling too... she became a judge... then what?
now that Ive watched it again.. its almost like there is a season 5A and a season 5B... 5a is the new characters like jenny, glen, coretta etc... and 5b is the kid and bon jovi..
Its like the writers couldnt decide what to do... They keep teasing at something... finally let it happen... and then the next week... everything was over and they were going another way. Glen and Alley... the law firm losing money.... Alley and Bon Jovi... The kid... (who was around, but not really for awhile)...
But even with all of these problems... even this 5th season was fun to watch. I really enjoyed Cage's speech about the firefighters... And in some ways, it really did seem that Alley had grown up... My wife and I were almost sad when we watched the final episode because it all seemed so rushed (the outcome of a sudden cancellation, not a planned series finale)... and the fact that we could never visit that world for NEW stories...
So as a surprise, I wanted to buy my wife these DVDs for X-mas. ANd this tiny set was such a disappointment. I guess I will have to buy a japanese dvd player...
I think Fox has treated this show pretty poorly considering how popular it was. Its webpage is still fairly pathetic. And if they are concerned about how poorly it did in its final season... that was their fault, not ours.... we loved the show, and deserve the chance to watch it again and again-- just like other people already do... all over the world!