Ally McBeal, Series 5 Box Set 2 [DVD] [1998]

(as of 23/10/2011 01:14 - more info)

£19.99

Listed Under: Ally Mcbeal

The fifth season was the last series of Ally McBeal, and probably the least satisfying, While always at least slightly entertaining, it was troubled by two conflicting imperatives : first..read more

The fifth season was the last series of Ally McBeal, and probably the least satisfying,
While always at least slightly entertaining, it was troubled by two conflicting imperatives : first, to steer its neurotic characters and multiplicity of sub-plots towards a coherent and credible resolution; second, to sustain another series of a programme that had, by now, exhausted all the plot possibilities that were remotely believable,
The result is a bemusing onslaught of new characters (Ally’s Mini-Me Jenny and a barely distinguishable phalanx of lantern-jawed male leads), celebrity cameos (Edna Everage, Christina Ricci, Barry White, Matthew Perry, Jon Bon Jovi), several storylines that would test the credulity of any of the curiously indulgent judges before whom Ally’s firm practises (notably the arrival of a 10-year-old daughter that Ally didn’t know she had) and one misbegotten attempt to anchor the programme to the real world (the “Nine One One” episode, an unwatchably mawkish allegory about the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States),

Granted that Ally McBeal was never intended to be realistic drama, but when the programme spirals entirely off into the realms of the surreal, any possibility of the sort of identification with the characters on which the programme once relied is lost,
Though not without its moments, the sudden redemption of Fish, always the best-written character, is deftly handled,
Season Five will be of chief interest to adherents who stuck with it through the first four and so wanted to see how it all ends; in keeping with the central character’s defining motifs of solipsism and self-pity, it does so with a whimper,

On the DVD : Ally McBeal has episode selector on each disc, and a scene selector within each of those,
The final disc contains two short and desultory documentaries on the series billed, somewhat hopefully, as “Special Features”,
A French audio soundtrack is available, as are subtitles in English, French and Dutch,
–-Andrew Mueller

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