Ally McBeal
'Tis The Season

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Gwen: C+ | Grade It Now!
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Jingle Bells, This Show Smells

Back in court, Little Jacob Ray tearfully testifies about the way he felt when he heard Kendall Stevens's commentary. Ling goes up to cross-examine, calling Jacob "honey" and warming him up with some sweet talk. Then she talks about the implausibility of eight reindeer hauling a guy around the world in one night. She wonders how the boy could believe that, since he can read and he's been on a plane. "Are you retarded, Jacob?" she asks. At this point I feel compelled to mention that I have a son named Jacob who is also eight years old. What a coincidence. Ling finally gets little Jacob Ray (Ray is my husband's middle name. We often jokingly call our son Jacob Ray.) to admit that the idea of Santa Claus is stupid. John smirks.

In his office, Larry wears a blinking red ball on his nose and apologizes to Ally for being a wet blanket. He clicks a remote and the nose turns blue. Ally hauls him off to see Elaine's performance.

Elaine giver her heart-rending rendition of "Tomorrow" while her co-workers look uncomfortable. Mark's the only one smiling. Kimmy and her mom are singing along, though. Then everyone in the bar sings along except the Fish & Cagers. These people are supposed to be Elaine's friends, aren't they? Larry does the final harmonizing note jokingly.

The pantyhose commercial that I hate comes on. It's the one about a woman meeting her husband's new female colleague at an office party. Subtitles show us that the woman is insecure because the colleague is "a waif." Then we're shown the product being advertised, which is control-top pantyhose. The voice-over says, "We know how it is." This commercial is the perfect complement to Ally McBeal because its message is confusing and offensive at the same time. Are they telling us that the colleague looks thin because she wears control-top hose? Or are we supposed to believe that we can keep our husbands from having affairs by wearing the hose, ourselves? All I know for sure is that the woman in the commercial is insecure about weight issues, and that we're being asked to buy a product that makes us uncomfortable but slim-looking. I think they should have just shown the wife punching the colleague with lots of silly CGI effects. Then the husband could say, "She's the most amazing woman on earth!" to the camera, and we'd all feel just as good about ourselves. And I still wouldn't buy the pantyhose, either.

At the courthouse, Larry runs into Kimmy. She's there to see her John's closing. Larry has some time, so he goes along. Okay, this is it. This is the most contrived scene. John starts out saying that Kendall Stevens wasn't traumatizing children -- he was trying to protect them from trauma. Then John segues into something smarmy about adults needing Santa more than children do. Then that turns into a piece of tripe about Stevens safeguarding the "sacred union" between parent and child. Larry looks like a sad robot, presumably because he hasn't had any kind of union with his son for the past four years. The defense attorney states that WKGB has the right to terminate Stevens for violating viewers' trust and employers' wishes. Get it? They're called WKGB because they're restricting Stevens's right to tell the truth. So they're commie pinkoes. Did you get it?

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Ally McBeal

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