I never watched it when it was on TV because I was …an infant. BUT growing up I heard so much about it. It seemed like a show that people had strong opinions about. It had something to do with feminism, maybe? I remember my mom fighting with her friends about it. Which was odd because she didn’t watch it. We watched The Pretender and X-files, so I have no idea why she was even talking about it.

It’s been off the air for 15 years, and I still hear it referenced. In one of the earliest episodes of The Office Michael makes a joke with the line “Today’s woman. Or as I like to call her – the Ally McBeal woman” and clearly that’s supposed to be something bad or wrong, cause it’s Michael, but I don’t get why. And I’m tired of not understanding the big deal with this show. Grey’s Anatomy is next on my list of Big Deal Shows, and maybe ER if I can find it.

I’m on season 1, episode 12. I finally made it to the episode with the creepy dancing 3d baby! It’s just as terrifying as I remember from my childhood. I don’t get why it’s supposed to be funny yet, but I’m about 5 mins into this so we’ll see what happens.

My thoughts on the show so far –

It starts out cute. I like the back story and her past romance with ‘Billy.’ I do not recognize this actor at all, so my guess is he’s only in the 1st season.

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Same with Renee. My guess is Ally won’t have a sassy female roommate much longer. Most of the time I wish I could follow her day instead though.

I’m already over Calista’s awkward/flustered shtick. Rambling single woman trope is the mother to clumsy teenage girl. Bella Swan – your mom is Ally McBeal.

I fucking hate how mean Ally is to her assistant. And why am I supposed to think she has a big head? Cause she speaks? Cause she tries to be helpful? They’re all such assholes to her, and it’s classist as fuck too. She’s the secretary, so natch they all think she’s stupid. Hate it so much.

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What is John Cage’s deal? Why is he always so weird? At this point am I supposed to get why he’s weird?

I would be ok with it if at some point Ally gets together with Richard Fish.

This show is very 90s.

All the female characters were written by men. White men. That’s obvious because the hot women are always innocent and cool. And average-looking women like dumb assitant are the worst and always wrong about sexism. And situations are always set up to make the women understand the men. Never vice-versa, unless it’s Ally/Mary Sue.

Were any of you there for this show’s hey-dey? Did you watch it every week? What did you think of it? Can you explain to me WHY it was such a big deal? I’d like to hear from actual people as opposed to googling for journalist opinions.

I really wonder why this show was so talked about. There were other shows before this about professional women, no? Maybe I need to watch the rest to understand.

Another note – I like watching pre-internet shows. It’s a unique era in television. Cause they had the internet, but it was new. Writers really didn’t ‘get’ it, so they just ignored it. There will never be another show that authentically happened in that time. They can make good shows like Mad Men ABOUT pre-internet days, but it’s not the same. It can’t ever be again. 90s shows and before are a special set.