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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 September 2017
this plays on my laptop but not on my tv. why?
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on 6 August 2017
Thank you arrived quickly and thanks for extra DVD.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 December 2011
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. And if it doesn't quite measure
up to the best 'grown up' TV of today, it still deserves praise for being one of the series that broke
the mold of what a TV show was supposed to be in the US.

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 special, and
in fact now feels a little limited. 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 plague the show.

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 to actually work brilliantly in any series.

The writing is sharp and full of wit and pathos. The music is integrated in a way that was rare for
TV before, but much imitated since, with montages to songs played and sung by Vonda Shepard
(a great voce) who often also appears in the series as a singer at the lead characters favorite after
hours watering hole.

I do have to say, some of the music now feels, in retrospect, too on the nose. The songs chosen (or written) almost
always have lyrics that are too spot on, too obvious a commentary on the action, That good and bad
side to the music sort of sums up my perspective on the series looking at it again in 2011. I appreciate and admire
it for what it gave us and TV, I still enjoy it, but I'm no longer just blown away by it ' not in a world of Breaking Bad,
Weeds, Mad Men, Nurse Jackie, Arrested Development, etc. etc.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. And if it doesn't quite measure
up to the best 'grown up' TV of today, it still deserves praise for being one of the series that broke
the mold of what a TV show was supposed to be.

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 TV in the years since.

I'll admit, with years of even braver shows since, Ally McBeal no longer feels quite as special, and
in fact now feels a little limited. 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 plague the show.

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 to actually work brilliantly in any series.

The writing is sharp and full of wit and pathos. The music is integrated in a way that was rare for
TV before, but much imitated since, with montages to songs played and sung by Vonda Shepard
(a great voice) who often also appears in the series as a singer at the lead characters favorite after
hours watering hole.

I do have to say, some of the music now feels, in retrospect, too on the nose. The songs chosen (or written) almost
always have lyrics that are too spot on, too obvious a commentary on the action, That good and bad
side to the music sort of sums up my perspective on the series looking at it again in 2011. I appreciate and admire
it for what it gave us and TV, I still enjoy it, but I'm no longer just blown away by it ' not in a world of Breaking Bad,
Weeds, Mad Men, Nurse Jackie, Arrested Development, etc. etc.
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on 12 March 2005
If you love Ally McBeal then you must buy this box set. It is incredible value for money - a whole series for £15 Wow!! This(and possibly season 2) are undoubtedly the very best of Ally. The characters are brilliant and just as cooky as each other. There are so many moments that just make me laugh out loud no matter how many times I see them.
I wasn't too keen on the packaging and it's a shame there aren't any special features, but as i said it is great value for money and it's the episodes that count.
If you love all things wacky, not conforming to society and need to believe that true love is out there somewhere then this original show is for you. Brilliant.
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on 21 January 2009
Ali McBeal is a lawyer working for a quirky firm. Her first love is also a lawyer and has married a fellow lawyer. He also works at the same firm. Things get complicated when her former lover's wife joins the firm. Although Ali is uncomfortable with the set up she just has to accept it.

This show deals with a lot of social issues regarding romance and general relationships. It uses court cases to make a point. It is more about the love lives of the lawyers concerned than about real law. Funny, while at the same time serious. We see Ali get emotional/logical/cynical about her love life. Some may find this show depressing sometimes, but there's usually an uplifting tone to most of the episodes.
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on 28 March 2005
Very watchable especially for Ally McBeal fans of the series. Better than the soap operas we now have on TV - the characters are fresher, cleaner and more inspiring than the gloomy cast of down and outs in English 'soaps'. A few later episodes in this series become boring with added excessive shouting/arguing which spoils the style of 'Ally McBeal'. This multiple CD set prepares one for the next season of quirky characters who compliment each other well in the serious setting of a law firm, with occasional (surreal) flights of fancy.
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on 31 December 2014
If you've never seen the Ally McBeal series then this is a treat for you. This box set represents great value for money - at 22 episodes make thouroughly entertaining viewing. There are 5 series in all and without doubt I found the first 2 the strongest. Most characters are really well acted to the point of being believable. You'll laugh, wince, cringe and cry along with them as they lurch from one life crisis to another. The show deals with many social situations and relationship concerns at all different levels and is not afraid to tackle head on sensitive issues.
There aren't any special features (as in later series), but it is still great value for money.
Built on the central premise that Ally believes true love is out there somewhere for her. it's a great love drama series. With spashes of surrealism for good measure, for me this was 5 star entertainment. Well worth a watch (again and again) and an important addition to anyones TV series archive.
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on 11 January 2013
Purchased this for a surprise Xmas present for my daughter. This series on tv in the nineties inspired her to become a lawyer, which she is today.
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on 28 September 2009
A little late coming to watch this programme, but after watching series 1 I'm hooked! Nearly finished series 2 and looking forward to all 5 series. It has a good mixture of comedy, romance and pathos. Some of the court cases are a bit bizarre, but they usually come up with moral/social dilemas that make you think.
I recommend it.
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on 8 January 2013
Just what I remembered from watching years ago on the TV! Great to see the "beginning" and understand a few more of the subtleties. It just makes me LAUGH OUT LOUD!
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