Ally McBeal

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A whimsical American comedy/drama devised by David E. Kelley, with Calista Flockhart in the title role as a young, attractive lawyer working in a major city law firm filled with a cast of similarly young, attractive lawyers who live and love highly melodramatically.

Despite its legal settings, the show pays no attention to the actual practice of law, using any legal manoeuvers as plot devices to push the main thrust of the show, the romantic lives of the main characters, forward.

The show's use of fantasy sequences to illustrate the character's inner thoughts was particularly notable, along with the character's regular visits to a particular bar where Vonda Shephard always seems to be performing (though occasionally handing over the microphone to the characters).

Ally McBeal was hugely successful, but received much criticism from TV critics and feminists who found the title character annoying and demeaning to women because of her lack of demonstrated legal knowledge and extreme emotional instability and unreliability. However, Ally's search for true love struck a chord with young female audiences.