Ally McBeal
What I'll Never Do For Love Again

Episode Report Card
Alex Richmond: C- | Grade It Now!
Kiss This Show Goodbye: All Sweetness And No Sorrow

We're in a theater. It's huge, old, and gorgeous. One guy onstage, wearing black dance clothes, sings "Stepping Out With My Baby." The camera meanders through the house, showing us the band in the pit (though the guy onstage is accompanied by a piano), then the director and other casting folks seated in the middle of the house; the camera then pans backstage. A bunch of people in dance clothes are waiting in the wings, and a stage manager barks out their instructions expositionally. When called, the actors go onstage. Then, they sing. Wow, this is like a documentary. I feel like I'm getting a glimpse into how Things Really Work in a Real Stage Production. Elaine, in a flowery leotard, stretches and clutches some pages. Then, she sees Dame Edna, in a pinky-gray leopard muumuu and turban, stretching and holding some pages, too. Oh, crap. Elaine heads over to see what the hell the wet blanket is doing at HER audition. It seems that "before" Dame Edna "go[es]," she wants to make her mark somehow. To "come out." Hey, did everyone hear that? Dame Edna is GOING! YAY! Will it be before the end of the season? Anyway, Dame Edna is auditioning because Elaine "inspired" her, and if La Edna doesn't get it, she hopes Elaine does. Elaine smooshes her breasts around. Dame Edna smooshes "her" own "breasts" around. Sigh.

Court. Fish Sr.'s former secretary is testifying that "Executive Secretary is a career," and one she took "very seriously." She didn't like being fired for the feelings of love her cheesy boss had for her. Liza steps up to cross-examine. Is the witness married? No? Well, someday she hopes to be. And how many times? Well...once? "Odds are," says Liza, that won't be the case, since most marriages "fail." And why do they fail? Because they're "fragile" and "aren't treated as such." Yes? So, when the witness gets married, will she be okay with her husband working with a woman he's falling in love with? No? So, he should choose his wife over his secretary, then, yes? Liza sits down, then says there's "a very angry woman in the back. Do we know her?" Richard and his dad swivel in unison. Yep. It's Mrs. Fish. Both men bite their knuckles at once. Oy.

Away from court, Mrs. Fish wants an explanation. Fish Sr. offers this "Senior Fishism: love without sex is an empty experience." So he canned his secretary and is now being sued. How he kept all this from her, and how she found out anyway...well, who cares. Who cares about this whole plot, anyway? It's showing us that Fish is exactly like his dad; sure. But other than that, it's Yawnsville. Snoozetown. Boringford and Dullshire. You get me? I'm more entertained making up names of terms for being bored than I am by watching this episode. If TV has a hell, it's Monday nights on FOX. (Notice how I'm leaving the time open to include Boston Public?) Richard's dad says he's "in court because of fidelity" to his wife. Nice spin, dude. But she's not buying. Fish Sr. leaves, and Liza jiggles after him. Richard asks his mom -- rather unkindly, too -- what "the big deal is here," since Fish Sr.'s "track record" has more hits than not. Wow, way to respect your mother's feelings, Richard. She tells him exactly what the big deal is: she's been humiliated enough staying with Fish Sr. throughout his various affairs. But this falling-in-love shit? Never happened before. She was always "the one he loved," before. That "was [her] claim." Now, it ain't. Sigh.

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Ally McBeal




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