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Now for Part Two of my review of the Ally McBeal Season One box set, exclusive to EzyDVD. Disc four is first up.

DISC FOUR: The Blame Game: Ally has to deal with a case involving an airplane crash and is also reunited with old fling Glenn, the male model. He gets a little more than he bargains for, however, when Ally, Georgia and Renee turn him into a “penguin”. There’s even more bartime fun and Ally has a pretty big smile on her face.

Body Language: Poor old Fish is dumped by Whipper and is terribly upset. Cage tries to lighten him up by using “smile therapy”, but to no avail. Ally tries a saucier version of smile therapy in the courtroom, also without success. Ally dances in the snow with another big smile on her face.

Can I cut in?

Once In A Lifetime: The Ally/Cage first date rears it ugly head, with Ally being more than a little apprehensive about dating her co-worker. Barry White rocks the episode and Ally is assigned the case of Seymour Little.

Forbidden Fruits: There’s more for all you dancing baby fans as well as a high-profile case involving a U.S Senator. Look out for some really interesting moments with Billy, Georgia and the controversy-creating Ally. A really good episode this one.

DISC FIVE: Theme Of Life: Tracy Ulman makes her first appearance as the “smile therapist”, a term we don’t even think twice about after the bizarre methods used by Fish in the Body Language episode. The highlight of the episode is a kickboxing match between Ally and Georgia. You go girls!!

Playing The Field: Fish has to tackle yet another sexual harassment case but at least this one is somewhat different. Watch it and see. The introduction of the child-prodigy attorney Oren Koolie leads to the little fella suing Ally for damages after she gives him a great big kick. I thought it served him right.

Happy Birthday, Baby: Hooray! It’s Ally’s birthday, but she’s not all that enthused by it. Meanwhile her co-workers are planning a surprise bash that’s written perfectly for maximum laughs and quirks. It gets even quirkier when Ally has to deal with a foot fetishist in the courtroom.

The Inmates: This is the first part of the crossover episode between Ally and The Practice. A murder case calls for the introduction of some more specialised lawyers, which is where the boy and girls from Kelley’s other show come in. Unfortunately we don’t get to see the results of the cases because it was primarily on The Practice’s timeslot. A great episode nonetheless.

Pretty in pink

DISC SIX: Being There: The trend continues with major cast member being sued when Cage must defend Renee who is up on assault charges. Glenn gets his revenge on the girls, in particular Ally, when he takes to the witness box and tells the court how the woman “penguined” him. Ally subsequently gets kicked off the case and there’s a pregnancy bombshell that brings about an hilarious dream sequence from Ally.

Alone Again: A man wants to leave jail just one month early and Cage has to defend him. Whipper is the judge on a case Fish is working on but refuses to step aside from her little conflict of interest. The highlight is Elaine’s husband CD, which plays all those sounds us men make with pride. Yes, those sounds.

These Are The Days: The season finale is yet another crossover-type episode. This time Bobby teams up with Ally on a bizarre case involving the swapping of hearts between humans. Ally stumbles upon some serious love-making and shed’s a little tear to close the show.

Well, that’s the run down. But what about the quality of the discs? Read on.

VIDEO

As with many television shows transferred onto our favourite format, this one looks decidedly like it was lifted straight off the box. Which it was! There’s the trademark softness to everything as well as the usual amount of grain which was probably to be expected. We’re just thankful this one even made it onto DVD so having a serviceable transfer is a bonus.

"Show me your teeth."

AUDIO

Not surprisingly the audio of choice with this release is Dolby Digital 2.0. Dialogue is always clear and the famous music from Barry White and Vonda Shephard sounds particularly good, even though Ms.Shephard can get a little grating after a while. Overall, a decent sound mix.

EXTRAS

Unfortunately the EzyDVD deal didn’t come with any extra features, but this set really doesn’t need any. Nothing to see here, but just be thankful this series had a release Down Under.

OVERALL

Read this paragraph then go order your copy before they all disappear. This series started off with a bang and never looked back. If the pilot is actually half decent and interesting then you know you’re onto a winner of a television show. Ally McBeal is no exception. Calista has some meat on her bones, Elaine comes up with the most bizarre ideas imaginable, Fish and Cage are the quirkiest characters on television and the courtroom quirk-fests are not to be missed. Six discs will keep you entertained even without any extra features. EzyDVD have given us the pleasure of reliving arguably the best of the series thus far with the release of this Season One box. Decent video and audio give us the best we could have hoped for. Now go and grab it before I buy them all.


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