Ally McBeal

Watch Ally McBeal

  • TV-PG
  • 1997
  • 5 Seasons
  • 6.8  (31,312)

Ally McBeal was a groundbreaking late 1990's television series that followed the professional and personal misadventures of a young female attorney in Boston. The show was an often ingenious confection of comedy and drama, frequently mixing a comic subplot with a relatively dramatic overall theme. Many of the characters in the series enjoyed a healthy fantasy life that was depicted on screen in the form of daydreams, hallucinations or nightmares. One of the most well-known hallucinations that Ally experienced during the series was the dancing baby, symbolizing her ambivalence about motherhood, which quickly become a pop culture phenomenon. The series was set in the fictional Cage and Fish law firm where the title character was employed. Partners Richard Fish and John Cage enjoyed their reputations as quirky employers, often taking on cases from which other firms would shy away. Their unconventional approach to the legal practice made for entertaining plot lines and created a great deal of conflict with Ally and other series regulars. One of the most notable facets of Cage and Fish was their unisex bathroom facilities, a device that was much talked about when the series premiered. The Ally McBeal character was often the subject of controversy during the five season run of the show. Critics felt that her ultra short skirts and overt emotional problems did a disservice to professional women. However, fans suggested that Ally McBeal simply highlighted many of the insecurities and pressures that all modern women face. That Ally could take a lighthearted, and often bittersweet, view of many of these problems underlined the complexities for women who feel they must choose between a career and a family. Many of the plots in the series dealt largely with Ally McBeal's personal travails. She regularly visited a therapist, and many episodes revolved around her search for love and fulfillment. These plot lines were frequently dovetailed with a courtroom plot that might help characters make personal realizations. Unconventional storytelling methods and a distinctly modernist outlook made for compelling viewing. Most episodes were heavily driven by music. Employees and clients of Cage and Fish regularly patronized a bar where recording artist Vonda Shepard performed on a nightly basis. Many cast members performed numbers throughout the series run, displaying their gifts for multiple talents. Characters within the show often connected through songs, and the music is considered to be an essential component of the series.

Ally McBeal
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Seasons
Bygones
21. Bygones
May 20, 2002
When Maddie suffers a nervous breakdown, Ally decides to move to New York, leading to tearful goodbyes with her friends; Fish and Liza decide to wed.
All of Me
20. All of Me
May 13, 2002
When Maddie suffers a nervous breakdown, Ally decides to move to New York, leading to tearful goodbyes with her friends; Fish and Liza decide to wed.
Reality Bites
19. Reality Bites
May 6, 2002
When Fish's father is sued for sexual harassment, Fish's mother asks for a divorce; Elaine has high hopes when she tries out for a role in "A Chorus Line"; Fish finds himself increasingly drawn to Liza.
Another One Bites The Dust
18. Another One Bites The Dust
April 29, 2002
When Fish's father is sued for sexual harassment, Fish's mother asks for a divorce; Elaine has high hopes when she tries out for a role in A Chorus Line; Fish finds himself increasingly drawn to Liza.
Tom Dooley
17. Tom Dooley
April 22, 2002
Ally represents Victor when he's sued by an ex-girlfriend, and is appalled to discover that Victor created a painting of her... complete with cellulite; Wilson plays dirty when a client's ex-girlfriend threatens to go public with a videotape of their lovemaking; with Claire's assistance, Fish makes advances on Liza.
Love Is All Around
16. Love Is All Around
April 15, 2002
Ally grows nervous when her third date with Victor approaches; Cage meets his match -- a tiny, beautiful, and masterfully manipulative attorney nicknamed "Lolita"; the attorneys attempt to arrange a pre-nuptial when Claire suddenly announces that she's getting married.
Heart and Soul
15. Heart and Soul
March 4, 2002
Ally does a lot of soul searching after she asks Victor out on a date; Fish, Raymond, and Claire represent a woman seeking a heart transplant from her father -- who is serving time for killing the woman's mother.
Homecoming
14. Homecoming
February 25, 2002
Ally decides to have a DNA test performed to determine if Maddie is her daughter; a woman suffering from dementia mistakes Victor for her lover; Claire arranges a meeting between Fish and his first love.
Woman
13. Woman
February 18, 2002
Ally fires two of the firm's employees; Fish defends Claire Otoms when she's accused of sexually harassing co-workers; Nelle and Ling lip-synch a song at the bar; Maddie throws a slumber party for her friends.
The New Day
12. The New Day
February 11, 2002
Fish offers to make Ally a partner; a woman with AIDS sues after she's fired from a law firm; Ally adjusts to the responsibilities that come with parenthood.
A Kick in the Head
11. A Kick in the Head
February 4, 2002
A little girl claims she is Ally's daughter; Fish and Cage take on their first murder trial, defending a man accused of kicking his wife in the head.
One Hundred Tears
10. One Hundred Tears
January 21, 2002
Ally aids a man determined to make a lifelong dream come true by flying across a river using a pair of wings; a matchmaker sets up Elaine and Fish on dates.
Blowin' in the Wind
9. Blowin' in the Wind
January 14, 2002
Ally falls in love with a dumpy house being renovated by construction worker Victor Morrison; a woman sues after her adoring ex-husband goes bankrupt by lavishing her with gifts; Jenny's chiropractor's chair proves sexually fulfilling.
Playing with Matches
8. Playing with Matches
January 7, 2002
Frances' fiance hits on Ally; Kimmy takes a matchmaker to court after she spends a great deal of money and fails to find a man; Ally encounters the ghost of a young boy.
Nine One One
7. Nine One One
December 10, 2001
As Christmas approaches: a minister loses his job because he no longer believes in God; a town mayor cancels Christmas celebrations; a woman sues for sexual harassment after a man kisses her under mistletoe during a party.
Lost and Found
6. Lost and Found
December 3, 2001
Ally, Glenn, Raymond, and Jenny go out on a double date; Cage returns to the office after his mysterious disappearance only to learn that Fish accessed his "hole" during his absence; a fifty-six-year-old man asks Fish to overturn a judge's ruling that forbids the love of his life from marrying him because she scammed older men; Ling poses nude for a photo shoot.
I Want Love
5. I Want Love
November 26, 2001
Jenny's mother, who is marrying a 22-year-old man, sues her former employers for sexual harassment; Elton John sings at the bar.
Fear of Flirting
4. Fear of Flirting
November 19, 2001
Jenny represents Raymond in a sexual harassment case; complications arise when Raymond expresses an interest in dating Jenny and Glenn expresses an interest in dating Ally; Fish moves into the hole behind Cage's toilet when Cage mysteriously disappears.
Neutral Corners
3. Neutral Corners
November 12, 2001
The attorneys develop a novel approach to gain leverage against the telephone companies; Cage expresses his feelings for Ally.
Judge Ling
2. Judge Ling
November 5, 2001
Ally and Jenny are shocked to discover that the name plaintiff in the telephone company solicitation case is a man in drag; Ling becomes a judge in small claims court; Coretta convinces Cage to have a make-over.
Friends and Lovers
1. Friends and Lovers
October 29, 2001
The firm hires attorneys Jenny Shaw and Glenn Foy; Shaw sues all the telephone companies for making annoying solicitation calls; Cage believes Ally loves him.
Ally Mcbeal: The Bar And The Music Acts
Ally Mcbeal: The Bar And The Music Acts

Clip - 1 min 14 sec

Ally Mcbeal: The Unisex Bathroom
Ally Mcbeal: The Unisex Bathroom

Clip - 1 min 27 sec

Ally Mcbeal
Ally Mcbeal

Trailer - 43 sec

Description

Ally McBeal was a groundbreaking late 1990's television series that followed the professional and personal misadventures of a young female attorney in Boston. The show was an often ingenious confection of comedy and drama, frequently mixing a comic subplot with a relatively dramatic overall theme. Many of the characters in the series enjoyed a healthy fantasy life that was depicted on screen in the form of daydreams, hallucinations or nightmares. One of the most well-known hallucinations that Ally experienced during the series was the dancing baby, symbolizing her ambivalence about motherhood, which quickly become a pop culture phenomenon.

The series was set in the fictional Cage and Fish law firm where the title character was employed. Partners Richard Fish and John Cage enjoyed their reputations as quirky employers, often taking on cases from which other firms would shy away. Their unconventional approach to the legal practice made for entertaining plot lines and created a great deal of conflict with Ally and other series regulars. One of the most notable facets of Cage and Fish was their unisex bathroom facilities, a device that was much talked about when the series premiered.

The Ally McBeal character was often the subject of controversy during the five season run of the show. Critics felt that her ultra short skirts and overt emotional problems did a disservice to professional women. However, fans suggested that Ally McBeal simply highlighted many of the insecurities and pressures that all modern women face. That Ally could take a lighthearted, and often bittersweet, view of many of these problems underlined the complexities for women who feel they must choose between a career and a family.

Many of the plots in the series dealt largely with Ally McBeal's personal travails. She regularly visited a therapist, and many episodes revolved around her search for love and fulfillment. These plot lines were frequently dovetailed with a courtroom plot that might help characters make personal realizations. Unconventional storytelling methods and a distinctly modernist outlook made for compelling viewing.

Most episodes were heavily driven by music. Employees and clients of Cage and Fish regularly patronized a bar where recording artist Vonda Shepard performed on a nightly basis. Many cast members performed numbers throughout the series run, displaying their gifts for multiple talents. Characters within the show often connected through songs, and the music is considered to be an essential component of the series.

Ally McBeal is a series that is currently running and has 5 seasons (112 episodes). The series first aired on September 8, 1997.

Where to Watch Ally McBeal

Ally McBeal is available for streaming on the FOX website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Ally McBeal on demand at Hulu and IMDb TV.

  • Premiere Date
    September 8, 1997
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (31,312)