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Ally McBeal: Season 1 (1997)

Greg Germann , Peter MacNicol  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Greg Germann, Peter MacNicol
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009
  • Run Time: 969 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000TGURZ8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,829 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

All 23 episodes from Season 1 on 6 discs – on DVD for the first time ever.

Ally McBeal, Calista Flockhart, and Vonda Shepard fans are finally being given the entire first season of the groundbreaking, and wildly entertaining, show--all 23 episodes and original music collected and presented as originally broadcast. What a treat! David E. Kelley presents a legal series set in Boston (two of his favorite subjects) with a believable heroine reportedly loosely based on his lovely actress wife, Michelle Pfeiffer. As played by Flockhart, Ally is an intellectual, a brilliant legal mind--and one of the most neurotic young heroines ever to grace TV screens. It's not that Ally isn't confident--given a thorny legal issue or complex case, she's one of the best. But Ally's rocky love life, and vivid imaginations that materialize right in the middle of a scene, make her believable, slightly annoying, and altogether endearing.

Ally McBeal rocketed Flockhart to stardom when it first aired in 1997, and rightly so. Her Ally is nervous, hard on herself, yearning, vulnerable, a girl's girl still secretly (and not so secretly) hoping for Mr. Right. As a young associate at the law firm of Cage & Fish (Peter MacNicol and Greg Germann), Ally has to navigate around working with her first true love, Billy Campbell (Gil Bellows), who's now married to yet another associate, Georgia Thomas (Courtney Thorne-Smith). The entire cast throw themselves into their comic/serious/absurd roles and stemwinders--many of which take place in the now-infamous single-sex restroom.

Ally McBeal also launched the careers of Jane Krakowski (30 Rock), Lucy Liu (Charlie's Angels), and Portia de Rossi (Arrested Development). Additionally, it shone the spotlight on a crazy-talented singer-songwriter named Vonda Shepard, whose music provides the theme song ("Searchin' My Soul") and who anchors most of the episodes as a local bar singer reinterpreting '60s soul through a late-'90s prism--brilliantly. The boxed set has not only every episode, but every memorable Shepherd song from the first season for the true fan. Bring on the dancing babies! --A.T. Hurley 

Stills from Ally McBeal: The Complete First Season (Click for larger image)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Radiant Calista November 6, 2009
I just watched the Ally McBeal pilot again. David Kelley and Calista Flockhart were born for each other like Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick.

Calista is radiant. She is not quite beautiful, not exactly pretty, no raging sex-pot; but the total combination is irresistible. You can't keep your eyes off her. She can be a waif, then a courtroom shark, with no time and no transition. And she pulls it off. She is Ally McBeal, and she changed the culture in the process.

The show is outrageous. The music, the graphics illustrating hilariously how Ally feels from moment to moment; Cage, Fish, the sexiest woman ever on television--roommate Renee, played to mouthwatering perfect by Lisa Nicole Carson; Elaine--a whole new category of character. It was such a high-wire act that only pure genius could have kept it up for five seasons.

I loved every minute of it. I miss it. I can't wait to own it.

If you haven't seen it, see it. If you have, it's time to get reacquainted with these quirky old friends.

Now, pardon me, please. I'm going to watch Episode 2.
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44 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Show with a Nasty Heart -- Doesn't Age Well November 30, 2011
(Warning: Some minor spoilers on later seasons or boyfriends-of-the-week!)

Ally McBeal is a well put-together show, shinily produced, and the actors are all terrific, but going back and revisiting the show years later was definitely a shock. I'd remembered thoroughly enjoying some episodes, while becoming increasingly dissatisfied as it went along, so it's interesting to go back and re-view the pilot and early episodes and wow, everything I disliked is right there up front after all.

I realize I'm one of the few, so feel free to click "not helpful" and I will totally understand.

But hear me out.

The show is cute on the surface but the farther down you go, the meaner its spirit and less deep it becomes (a real paradox). Dig deep and there's no "there" there.

The show's premise is that Ally is this sweet, hapless waif who just wants love (specifically, the guy who dumped her), and who also wants to be seen as a good person -- while consistently making a neverending series of questionable, shallow, egotistical or downright disturbing choices. The law firm is supposed to be cool, edgy and awesome, but eight hours at that firm and the harrassment suits would be flying. Most of the men are not conventionally handsome, which is fine, except that they're also generally painted as massive entitled jerks who are nevertheless incessantly desired and/or pursued by the firm's females, almost all of whom are gorgeous ice-queen types. The more imperfect the man on this show? The more perfect the actress playing his love interest is guaranteed to be. The show's supposed to be be this single-girl fantasy comedy but in fact is much more a man's fantasy at heart (which is unfortunately where too many of Kelley's shows seem to end up).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's here, finally November 6, 2009
This was one of those quirky little shows set in a law firm. It uses its cases to set the mood for each episode but also relies on the peccadillos of its main characters to anchor the show. We have the wattle man, the Barbie doll, the nose noise man; even the unisex bathroom almost becomes a character.

Ally had once dated one of the other lawyers who works at the firm with his current wife which sets the mood for a lot of sexual tension. Ally is supposedly still in love with him though she manages to fall in love with most other hunky men who walk through her door.

As we move through the subsequent seasons we follow the loves and losses of most all of the Firms oddball ensemble cast. I can understand how the feminist movement pointed to this series with disdain. Ally was not an "I can do" female. In fact she was kind of an "I'm falling apart" type of gal. Sort of like me. Maybe that's why I'm so fascinated by this series.

It's too bad the music licensing issue keep this funny show out of the market for so long. There is a large current group of the purchasing public who will probably not buy this series because it's now just too old. I'm giving the same review to each year of the series because they're pretty much alike with interchangeable boyfriends and co-workers - but they're all
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ally McBeal: Just as funny now.... February 1, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When the series first came out I remember thinking how creative the writers all were and being pleasantly surprised by the unexpected complexity and depth of the characters, at least for a sitcom. A decade later it's still funny and at times, even thought provoking. Even though the ground they broke then has since been thoroughly tilled by the many series that followed, the topics and issues are still relevant. My wife and I are enjoying it!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ally season 1 is awesome May 7, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
this show is great. one of the best things to come from the 90's. has great romance and humor. ive looked on other sites and amazon is the only one who sales it for cheap. other sites have it for over 20 to 40 bucks. buy this dvd now now now now now!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Justice is only for the lawyers, not for all March 17, 2010
This series is hilarious and intends to be. Lawyers and lawyers and lawyers in all their antics to win cases every time they can, even more than they should. It is first of all a serious criticism of that kind of jury justice that essentially manipulates the members of the jury and at the same time surprises the judge and the various counselors and even the accused, the defendant and the accuser, and everyone in the case. Justice appears then like and as a farce, because it is a farce, the farce of a purely conventional and opportunistic institution for whom freedom and truth are absolutely unheard of as rules, and are at the most circumstantial elements. The series though is a lot more interesting if we forget about this justice. The people are mostly neurotic, if not psychotic, and they cultivate those characteristics to create some kind of funny, strange and bizarre and ah-ah of not oh-my-god plot and intrigue and never mind what else. Love in all directions and the impossibility to love in just the same number of directions. Love turned into exhibitionism or pure violence if not sadism. Fetishism turned into a fine art and hunting into a parlor activity if not a court distraction and entertainment. You laugh for sure but there is little depth in all that and it only aims at making you laugh. In the end we could even say that we are laughing at justice which is a sham, lawyers who are clowns and men and women in all their ages, colors and personalities who are all disposable pawns on the social board.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University Paris 8 Saint Denis, University Paris 12 Créteil, CEGID
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Finally available. Groundbreaking series even if a bit quirky.
Published 8 days ago by Paul Giannandrea
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Arrived in good condtion
Published 10 days ago by Julie
1.0 out of 5 stars e gads! its awful
Couldnt watch w/o Fast Forward 99% of time
Published 12 days ago by Jshopper
5.0 out of 5 stars the perfect "cheer up" show!
Ally McBeal is hilarious and an entertaining view with excellent writing - which always defines any TV show or movie. Read more
Published 13 days ago by James I dahle
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this one
Timeless show that is still as funny and poignant as it was in the beginning.
Published 1 month ago by Darryl K Stapleton
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I'm happy
Published 1 month ago by Bob Slingsby
5.0 out of 5 stars Calista Flockhart at her best.
Ally is a bit neurotic but amusing just the same.
Published 1 month ago by Tadster
5.0 out of 5 stars As much fun as I remembered it was
As much fun as I remembered it was! All the wonderfully dysfunctional characters are great- though Billy and Georgia never did seem to fit the show to me. But still love it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by reader and movie watcher
5.0 out of 5 stars ... first time seeing the show it was entertaining and funny, but it...
This was actually my first time seeing the show it was entertaining and funny, but it was the price that caught my eye.
Published 2 months ago by kevin adams
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Not happy. Just open product today and it skips and freezes.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
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