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Ally McBeal 5 Seasons

Season 1
4.5 out of 5 stars (135) IMDb 6.8/10

A quirky series about a wistfully idealistic -- If perennially insecure -- Lawyer and her chaotic life at a boston firm.

Starring:
Calista Flockhart, Greg Germann

Available to watch on supported devices.

Episode 1 is currently unavailable

Our agreements with the content provider don’t allow purchases of Pilot at this time.

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Season 1

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1. Pilot

Young lawyer Ally McBeal experiences emotional turmoil when she takes a job at a firm where her childhood sweetheart and first love also works.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 42 minutes Release date: September 8, 1997

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2. Compromising Positions

Ally meets the firm's other founding partner when she defends him on charges of soliciting a prostitute, and feels like a prostitute herself when Fish asks her to date a prospective client.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 42 minutes Release date: September 15, 1997

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3. The Kiss

Ally has a confusing first date with client Ronald Cheanie... and teams up with Georgia to represent a television anchorwoman fired because of her age and sex.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 43 minutes Release date: September 22, 1997

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4. The Affair

The widow of Ally's former law professor asks Ally to speak at his funeral, not knowing she once had an affair with him.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 43 minutes Release date: September 29, 1997

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5. 100 Tears Away

Ally is arrested for tripping a woman in a supermarket, then faces a Bar Association hearing on her emotional competence to practice law.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: October 20, 1997

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6. The Promise

Ally saves an obese man's life, only to become the object of his affection.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: October 27, 1997

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7. The Attitude

Ally clashes with a client's rabbi and dates a handsome District Attorney while Georgia considers suing her law firm for sex discrimination.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: November 3, 1997

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8. Drawing the Lines

The firm helps the wife of a rich man negate a prenuptial agreement; Elaine's sexual harassment complaint comes to a head; and Ally and Billy negotiate personal boundaries in their still-tenuous friendship.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 45 minutes Release date: November 10, 1997

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9. The Dirty Joke

The delivery girl sues the firm for sexual harassment; Ally tries to prove she's no goodie-two-shoes by learning how to appreciate, and tell, dirty jokes.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: November 17, 1997

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10. Boy to the World

Ally defends and befriends a young transvestite prostitute; Fish sues for the right to discuss his dead uncle's prejudices in a eulogy; and Cage ponders dating Ally.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 45 minutes Release date: December 1, 1997

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11. Silver Bells

As Elaine plans the firm's musical Christmas party, a case involving a man with two wives causes Ally, Billy, and Georgia to examine their relationship; Fish deals with Whipper's holiday marriage blues; and Cage asks Ally out.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 45 minutes Release date: December 15, 1997

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12. Cro-Magnon

As the firm's men plan to view a big boxing match, Ally dates a male art model with one large attribute, fights a sexual attraction to a 19-year-old client accused of assault... and is haunted by hallucinations of a dancing baby.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 45 minutes Release date: January 5, 1998

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13. The Blame Game

As Ally, Cage and Georgia try a case about liability in an airplane crash, Ally is reunited with male model Glenn, her recent one-night-stand, who makes her feel guilty about using him as a sexual object.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: January 19, 1998

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14. Body Language

Ally comes up with a "creative" strategy to convince a prison superintendant that an inmate should be allowed to marry; Whipper breaks up with Fish; and Cage undergoes "smile therapy."

TV-14 CC Runtime: 45 minutes Release date: February 2, 1998

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15. Once in a Lifetime

Representing an artist who can't forget his dead wife conjures up ghosts of once-in-a-lifetime love for Ally and Billy; Cage worries about kissing Ally as their first date looms.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 45 minutes Release date: February 23, 1998

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16. Forbidden Fruits

The firm represents a U.S. Senator accused of breaking up his wife's former marriage; Ally's legal arguments about true love get her into trouble with Georgia and Billy.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 45 minutes Release date: March 2, 1998

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17. Theme of Life

Ally defends a doctor accused of transplanting a pig's liver into a woman without her permission; Ally and Georgia square off in a kickboxing match; and Whipper dumps Fish for toying again with Janet Reno.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 45 minutes Release date: March 9, 1998

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18. Playing the Field

Ally faces off against a child prodigy-attorney; a woman claims she is the victim of harassment because, unlike her female co-workers, she refused to use sex as a means of advancing her career.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 42 minutes Release date: March 16, 1998

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19. Happy Birthday Baby

Ally is mortified when her friends throw her a surprise birthday party. A man with a foot fetish refuses to use insanity as a defense.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 45 minutes Release date: April 6, 1998

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20. The Inmates

The firm joins forces with Bobby Donell and his staff when a client is accused of killing her husband; Renee is arrested for assault; a waiter alleges he was fired because he isn't gay.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 45 minutes Release date: April 27, 1998

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21. Being There

Cage defends Renee against assault charges; a home pregnancy test reveals that Georgia is pregnant.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 43 minutes Release date: May 4, 1998

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22. Alone Again

Cage defends a long-time convict who used a trampoline to break out of prison a month before his release; a woman intends to sue her ex-fiancé for leaving her at the alter.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 43 minutes Release date: May 11, 1998

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23. These are the Days

Bobby Donnell asks for the firm's help when two men seek an operation to switch hearts. Cage's cousin is arrested for assaulting "happy people" with a paddle.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: May 18, 1998

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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(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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I had forgotten that the early episodes of this series were a bit creaky, and at first Ally seemed so young, goofy and nervous that she felt more like a teenager than a smart 27 year old lawyer.

But by episode 5 or the show and the character finds it's stride. If it doesn't quite measure up to the best 'grown up' TV of today, it deserves praise for being one of the series that broke the mold of what a TV show was supposed to be like.

It had an openness to complicated tones that seamlessly mixed wild, sometimes surreal humor, more subtle humor and drama, to long story arcs and not easily solved once a week problems, and to being more about character than event, making TV a more novelistic and sometimes cinematic medium in the process.

Certainly Ally McBeal wasn't the first show to do any of these things, but it was one of the first shows that was a big success with these new approaches, and that helped paved the way for many of the best dramas dramadies and comedies on American TV in the years since.

I'll admit, with years of even braver shows since, Ally McBeal no longer feels quite as unique. Especially with DVDs allowing more than once a week viewing, a certain sameness to Ally's constantly fearful, broken heart and her funny/sad attempts to overcome it starts to be more apparent.

But there's still a lot to enjoy here. The performances are terrific from top to bottom, and every 'silly' character is given their serious and moving moments, and every 'serious' character is allowed to be laugh-out-loud funny at times. Special mention has to be made of Peter MacNichol's 'The Biscuit', one of the oddest, funniest characters in any series in memory.

The writing is sharp and full of wit and pathos.
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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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As a slapstick comedy I'd give it five stars. Unfortunately while this IS a comedy it also tries to be serious at times and that totally ruins the show.

Hollywood seems to love ditsy women. Ally is not brilliant, she's a total idiot and it's totally unbelievable that anyone like that made it through law school.
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