Beautiful TV: The Art and Argument of Ally McBeal by Greg M. Smith

By Greg M. Smith

In the course of its five-year run from 1997 to 2002, the preferred television exhibit "Ally McBeal" engaged audience in debates over what it potential to be a girl or a guy within the smooth office; how romance elements into the healing figuring out of relationships; what worth eccentricity has and what sort of oddity society may still tolerate; and, what application myth has within the pragmatic global. as well as those social matters, in spite of the fact that, "Ally McBeal" stood out for being well-constructed, narratively complicated, and stylistically wealthy - briefly, attractive television. ranging from the idea that a lot of tv this present day is 'drop-dead stunning' and that television can be studied for its formal features in addition to its social effect, Greg M. Smith analyzes "Ally McBeal" by way of its aesthetic ideas and narrative construction.He explores how 'Ally's' leading edge use of tune, lighting tricks, fable sequences, voiceovers, and flashbacks buildings a particular fictional universe, whereas it additionally opens up new percentages for televisual expression. Smith additionally discusses the complicated narrative recommendations that 'Ally's' author David E. Kelley used to increase a long-running storyline and exhibits how those serial narrative practices might help us comprehend a variety of prime-time television serials. through taking heavily the paintings and argument of "Ally McBeal", "Beautiful television" conclusively demonstrates that aesthetic and narrative research is an imperative key for unlocking the richness of latest tv.

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After sniping at Richard through the legal proceedings, Whipper says that the law is expanding into “broken hearts,” and therefore she should recuse herself from the case. In the background we hear, “You made me cry when 36 Greg M. ” In the same episode, John is in court with a former best friend with whom he was secretly in love. 61 Repeated songs ask us to reinterpret the lyrics as they apply first to one situation and then another. 62 The set piece that foregrounds this musical pliability is Ally McBeal’s music montages.

After he is acquitted of sexual harassment charges, Raymond suddenly starts speak-singing to Jenny when they are alone in the courtroom: “Some of you ain’t been down south. ” The most remarkable Ally McBeal set piece emphasizing the musical rhythms of spoken language occurs when Ally talks to her therapist about dancing to “Turn the Beat Around” with Glenn at the bar.  .  . 10 We cut back and forth from the therapist’s office to Ally and Glenn, now passionately kissing in her apartment. ” just at the moment that Ally says “no” to Glenn’s advances.

Music does not have to form logical linkages to be practical in this world. Although in Ally music may be effective, it may take a while to get the hang of using musical tactics, especially in the face of real obstacles. The characters hope that life will proceed like a romantic song, but that song is frequently interrupted by everyday opposition. Ally shows this difficulty formally when the music is interrupted by a rip of a needle across a vinyl record or grinds to a halt. When the music is violently interrupted, it emphasizes that life is not like a song on Ally McBeal.

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