Vonda's been doooooown, she's been down, down down....
I'd like to say that all the papers across the country that wasted space to eulogize the cancellation of Ally McBeal are wack. This was a popular show, an award-winning show, but never a good show. It was outrageous and had lots of visual style, but at its heart (and soul), it just wasn't good. Crazy and daffy, yes. Good? No. Plus, it really sucked lately (many critics took space to explain recent plot developments to their readers), and was generally unwatched all season. So, why all the fanfare in the papers? I really don't get it. Fuck all that "quirky" "catchphrase" shit. Ally McBeal was a live-action Cathy cartoon, celebrating insecurities and neuroses, presenting fucked-up ideas about gender, and showing a totally false workplace environment. Not to mention all the very bad fashion. Good riddance. Plus, you could have called me for a quote. XM Satellite Radio were the only ones who called.
Okay, Boston at night, lit-up and lovely. Woo, whee, we fly through the air. The piano pounds with authority. We land back at Ally's house, where Maddie lies on the couch and says how embarrassed she is for passing out. A doctor inspects her; firefighters mills around in the background. Ally called the fire department. Ha ha, how quirky! The doctor says Maddie isn't running a fever. Then why did she faint, asks Ally? The doctor says it could have been a panic attack, or Maddie could be pregnant. Wow, I thought she was ten. That is some hardcore shit. Ally just stares, blank and frozen. Hello? Hell-ooo?
Cage, Fish and McBeal. Staff meeting. Richard has an announcement. Nelle asks if he's changing the name of the firm to Cage, Fish, McBeal and Bump. Close! Richard and Liza are getting married. Or rather, he's "taking Liza for [his] first wife." And Liza takes him for her "very first husband." Elaine says, "What?" Ally stammers out that those two are getting married? Yes. They're getting married. Liza chirps that "after the age of thirty, [a woman] has a better chance of being struck by lightning!" I think that's untrue. Kaboom, sizzle sizzle. Just kidding, she said, smoking gently. They're planning a big wedding in June. This June. What's the rush? asks Ray. They want to be married for their "sexual peak years. And what is love if not a risk?" And if it doesn't work out? "Bygones!" Aww. The happy couple kiss. Ally looks blank again, some more.
Ally sits nervously, facing a guidance counselor. Hey, remember when Maddie first came on the scene and Ally was all aggressive with her, going to school with her and defending her against bullies and milking a cow? Well, now she's relying on the school guidance counselor to find out what's going on in Maddie's world. Sad, yes? That's what happens when you have a quirky single mom who's fucked in the head. The guidance counselor asks if Ally -- who's had a million shrinks -- knows what "relational aggression" is. Bullying, basically. Which "boys do with fists, and girls do with gossip." Then, the doc asks if Ally knows what a three-way is. Ally stammers out that a three-way is when three people...um...engage in..."a phone call," the counselor interrupts. When Maddie was listening in, one girl got another girl to say mean things about her on the phone. So, Maddie had a nervous breakdown. That and the fact that Maddie feels "enormously displaced" because all her friends in New York are far from her, and her dad is "gone." Ally stares.
John follows Richard into his office, sputtering. He's shocked about the whole Richard-getting-married thing. He asks if Richard "even knows this woman." Richard makes a very stupid allegory about how every relationship "is like a cave; you mine it, explore it, you have to be ready to venture into a little darkness." And some caves go back a really long way. John says, "This is insane, this is worthy of Ally!" Because it's all about Ally. John asks why Richard is getting married. Liza walks up and says hi, and John screams like a woman. Liza pinches his cheek and says he's cute. John says point-blank that he has a "problem with this," and asks what Liza's "reasons for getting married are." Instead of smacking him, Liza answers that women shouldn't wait too long to get married, since men will then think there's "something wrong with them." And Fishy-wishy is "so cute!" And, she doesn't want to walk down the aisle: she wants to be suspended from the ceiling: "If you love me, you'll say yes!" Oh, barf. An older man walks in and says hello. It's Reverend Buck, who'll be performing the ceremony. He's like a father to Liza. but not literally. He hugs Richard, then collapses onto a desk, pinning Fish beneath him. Um, what? "Emotions make him go vasovagal." Sorry, what was that? "Vasovagal." You know, all faint-y and collapsible-like. But he snaps right back, after the emotion makes him faint. Hold on; Ally has called a meeting. She can do that, you know. She's a partner now.