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Ally McBeal - narrative structure, characters and setting

Uploaded by chalice on Dec 11, 2001

Ally McBeal. What is it about her that makes people stop and notice? Perhaps it's her girlish voice, her complex insecurities, her quirky yet realistic thoughts, and her simple nature. As a girl, I must say, I totally identify with Ally. Let's face it, we've all had arrows shot through our hearts, felt like our faces were burning when we've said embarrassing things in front of others, and, surely, at one point or another, felt a scary sense of loneliness. In any case, Ally McBeal is a reflection of human essence. Intelligent yet underestimated at times, funny yet lacking a sense of being, dark yet focused, insecure yet hopeful. Combine that with a stunning lawyer and what do you have? A giggly, repressed, tense, yet wonderfully charming character. Ally McBeal.

The episode “Compromising Positions” teaches the viewer several things about Ally. She is the show’s main character, and many of her distinguishing traits are revealed; her conservative personality, her morals, and her opinions on certain issues, in particular love, trust and morality. Her outlook is a curious mix of angst and optimism. Her mission on the show is not to win lawsuits but to figure out who she really is, what she wants, and if she has any hope of attaining it. It is revealed to the viewer, that what Ally is looking for, is in fact true love.

Different characters in the show assist in developing different themes. The incident with Richard Fish’s girlfriend, “Whipper” kissing prospective client, Ronald Cheanie, for instance, helps to explore the themes of love and the truth. When Ally walks into the bathroom at the restaurant to discover Whipper and Cheanie engaging in forbidden kiss, she is thrown into a spin. Should she tell Richard about the kiss, confront Whipper and make her tell Richard herself, or just stay quiet? After all, as Ally is quoted to say, "Sometimes there's no point in the truth if all it's going to do is cause pain."

Ally meets the firm’s other founding partner, John Cage, when Fish assigns her to defend him on charges of soliciting a prostitute. At the hearing, Ally and Billy represent Cage, and Billy asks for a sidebar, and it becomes immediately clear that the judge and Billy know each other. The judge drops the charges, to Ally’s shock, and the case is closed. The next morning, Ally learns that the Judge attended Billy’s...

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Uploaded by:   chalice

Date:   12/11/2001

Category:   Film

Length:   5 pages (1,130 words)

Views:   1504

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