20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment .
R4 . COLOR . 336 mins .
M15+ . PAL
Part One of the second season of Ally McBeal introduced new blood into the ensemble cast of characters. Now that Nelle and Ling have established themselves as part of the Boston lawyer troop, the focus of the series returns to where it all began – namely, the love triangle between Ally, Georgia and Billy. These are the episodes where things get very tricky. Billy and Ally lose control and Georgia ends up with a knife in her back. While Ally thought she had found a genuine partner in Dr. Greg Butters, she manages to sabotage the relationship by being too honest. Elaine’s standout first season invention, the face bra, also makes a comeback, when Elaine gets an infomercial to advertise her product.
This season of Ally McBeal is really where the show loses the charm it had in the beginning. While most of the episodes are entertaining, as Calista Flockhart becomes gaunter and strange looking, and each character becomes less quirky and more annoying; this very appealing series begins to lose its magic.
So delight in the last enjoyable episodes of Ally McBeal with the final eleven episodes of the second season.
Billy & Ally
Angels and Blimps Ling convinces a dying boy to sue God and the firm defends a man who shot his wife’s lover.
Pyramids on the Nile A huge corporation unleashes a seven lawyer legal team to go up against Cage & Fish in a case involving office romance. Ally and Billy finally give in to their feelings. Fantasy highlight: Ally using her legs to object in court.
Sideshow Ally and Billy fret about their kiss and go to Dr. Tracey to try and resolve their feelings. Her solution, belting out Soft Cell's Tainted Love.
Sex, Lies and Politics Georgia learns the truth about Billy and Ally. Ling, the lawyer tries a case. Fantasy highlight: Ally’s bug eyes.
Civil Wars Ally and Cage take on Georgia and Richard in court and the case becomes more about the lawyers than the clients. Fantasy highlight: Ally pulling a woman’s head out of the phone.
Those Lips, That Hand Ally and Cage defend a man who cut off his wife’s hand after she died, so he could hold her hand forever.
Let’s Dance Elaine and Ling becomes partners is a swing dance contest, while Georgia and Billy face their problems in therapy.
Only The Lonely Elaine finally gets an infomercial for her ‘face bra,’ but has to defend that she actually invented it when her own family claims her cousin Martha invented the bra.
Yes, he is!
The Green Monster Ally hires a man to make Dr. Greg Butters jealous and Georgia reinvents herself, much to Billy’s disgust. Fantasy highlight: Ally inhaling Antonio Sabato Jr’s head.
Love’s Illusions Ally and Cage defend a woman whose husband discovers she was never in love with him. Ally confesses the real reason behind her belief in true love.
I Know Him By Heart Ally’s hallucinations go in overdrive and start to take over her life. Her friends are all concerned about her bizarre behaviour, except Nelle, who thinks that the firm’s constant concern over Ally’s welfare is unwarranted. Fantasy highlight: Ally dancing with Al Green.
"Now is not a good time you annoying little b**ch."
The 1.33:1 Fullscreen presentation of Ally McBeal continues to impress with only minimal imperfections affecting the visual transfer. Occasional softness is still visible in most episodes, but it is never overly distracting. Edge enhancement and film artefacts continue to appear, but again, these small issues are not a major problem. Colours are, as always, rich and vibrant with skin tones realistic and the general colour scheme of the show always visually appealing.
The Dolby Digital Stereo audio package always serves every aspect of the show adequately. Every McBealism and Fishism is clear and audible with no hint of any sync issues. The music of Ally McBeal is an important part of the show and both the score and song selections creep into the rear channels for excellent ambience.
Finally, after a season and a half of no McBeal extras, part two of the second season offers one solitary extra. A two minute (!) TV spot featuring interviews with Calista Flockhart and David E. Kelley as well as various clips from the show. Entitled Behind the Scenes, it is too short to be a featurette and can only be deemed a TV spot because it contains FOX network advertising. This is in no way a worthy extra. But hey, as least it’s an extra.
"Don't look at me like I'm a nut."
It's a real treat for fans to be able to pick up both the first and second seasons of Ally McBeal simultaneously, as the first two seasons contain the most hilarious and charming episodes the show ever had to offer. Most television shows have some kind of slump and Ally McBeal is no exception. But almost every episode is this second season, and the first season for that matter, is an appealing, smart hour of comedy.