We find Ally at a coffee shop. After she’s obtained her drink and gone over to the milk/sugar station, the (pretty cute) male barista hops the counter to say that he’s sorry to bother her, but “I’m desperate for you to know my name”, which is Hammond Dearing. He asks if they’ve met before, but Ally doesn’t think so. Well, at the very least, he points out that he’s been making her drinks for three months now, and he was hoping she’d looked at his face at some point. Are we to believe that she didn’t even recognize him from three seconds ago? Ally is uncharacteristically mean as she says she hadn’t. He asks if she would, so she glances at him uninterestedly and bids him good-bye.
Hold up, we have a new record for Earliest Bullshit in an Episode! Last week, LAST GODDAMN WEEK, Ally RAN HER CAR INTO A MAN in order to meet him. She’s complained constantly about there being no good men, and how maybe she has to change her standards to include married men or Rob Schneider. And a cute guy comes up, very interested, and she blows him off? Where has the internal continuity gone? Why is she being a jerk now? Hold that question though, we’re about to even the score.
Hammond says he gets if Ally is wary of strangers, but if she knew a bit about him… she tells him she feels like she does, which is why she’s leaving. He asks if it’s because he makes coffee for a living, but it’s not that, it’s that her coffee is getting cold. I think it’s about here where the line is crossed, as he blocks her once more to ask her to dinner. She says he’s beginning to get annoying, and starts to elaborate when he leans in and kisses her. That’s a dealbreaker, ladies! After a moment, he explains that his ex said he was a good kisser, so he’s playing to his strengths. Ally says it’s a good thing he makes a cold cappuccino, and proceeds to pour hers on his head. She adds that his ex lied, and leaves the shop. Well, show, we’re two minutes in and I hate everyone in the episode. Great job!Continue reading “S3E13: Don’t Forget to Tip Your Bi-rista!”
Ally is in her car, singing along to VONDA. She realizes that a handsome lad in the next car is watching her, and looks away, smiling coyly to herself. When she looks back over, Handsome Lad has been replaced by an old guy who makes a kissy face. She realizes that (even though we haven’t seen traffic move) Handsome Lad has managed to pull in front of her car. He speeds away when the light turns, leaving Ally to grumble about him fleeing the scene. When she catches up to him at the next light, she stares at his driver’s side mirror, where she can see his face, and mutters: “Here I am. Look back. What are you, married? What’s wrong with you? I gave you car smile!” I talk to myself in the car as much as the next person, but yikes. She declares that life is short and it’s Valentine’s Day (although there will be no evidence of that the rest of the episode), floors it, and rear ends the Handsome Lad. “Oopsy daisy”, she sing-songs, now fully unhinged. CREDITS!Continue reading “S3E12: In Which the Real Issues Are Obscured So We Can Indulge in Whimsy”
Previously: Richard was obsessed with sex, as were a bunch of other people at C&F; Cage spanked Nelle and she freaked; Billy had A Change and became a dick and the women at work hated it; Georgia quit and went to work for Renee, after admitting she couldn’t work with Billy any more; Billy made out with a client; Georgia filed for divorce. Phew.
Small Ally (about 12) stares out a window, watching the snow fall at night, while VONDA sings. We fade into Present Ally doing the same, only she’s interrupted by Billy. She tells him that she’s “waiting for it”, then babbles a bit about whether “it” means the rain will let up, or her life will start. Ally asks if Billy’s waiting for it too, and doesn’t believe his response that he’s doing fine, considering the bleached head and the Billy Girls (the show’s name for the LAB). She says he should be smart enough to realize how ridiculous he’s become. Billy is offended and goes to leave. Ally asks if he’s mad at Georgia, and his Change is his protesting how life turns out. When he claims that life is “one giant pretense”, she wonders if he’s headed for a breakdown.
Billy tells her that she’s no better, standing around waiting, but she argues that whatever “it” is, it’s out there. Billy has her look around the empty office, pointing out that everyone has gone home to their lives at the end of the day. Not him though, because the office emptiness is better than his lonely apartment. Billy thinks that Ally is addicted to the elevator ding, literally and metaphorically, because every time she hears it, she hopes her life will come out. Ally says that’s ridiculous, but sure enough, when the elevator dings, her head whips around. A tall, handsome man exits, and Ally asks if she can help him. He asks for her name (trivia fact: her middle name is Marie), and she asks his: “Process. Process Server.” Whomp whomp. Mr. Server hands Billy a summons on behalf of the firm. It turns out it’s from Georgia, who’s suing C&F for breaking up her marriage. CREDITS!Continue reading “S3E11: The Decline and Fall of the Thomas Empire”
Ally is in her office at night, when she hears disconnected VONDA singing. She goes out to investigate, and runs into Cage at the elevator, who was also working late. Ally hears VONDA sing “touch me” and looks confused. Cage asks what’s wrong, but Ally assures him she’s fine: “I don’t even like dating.” Cage continues talking about what he’s working on, but he’s drowned out by more VONDA. When Ally re-focuses, he’s asking how they can’t see what’s right in front of them. They drop their briefcases and start making out. Ally wakes up with a start, because of course. She goes to wake Renee up and tell her she had a dream/epiphany about Cage. She thinks he’s The One. Renee ducks under the covers and her nose whistles. CREDITS!
Elaine greets Ally at work, noting that Cage is looking for her. Ally freaks, although she’s distracted by Richard asking her to second chair a case. They’re both distracted by the entrance of Billy and the Legal Asscuity Brigade. Ally asks warily if he’s still doing that. Richard flags Billy down, causing Billy to tell the ladies to “stay”. They comply. Billy informs everyone that he has a big client meeting with the head of a computer company. Ally asks if that guy also likes an entourage of bimbos. Billy: “It’s a look.” Ally agrees, and Billy continues that he doesn’t have much of a chance to land the client, so if he has to “drip with girls” to do it, he will. Once he’s taken off, Ally spots Cage. “You want me?” she asks him. It turns out he was just looking for a trial schedules, so Ally tries to make small talk, which makes him suspicious. She babbles about taking an interest in other people until he asks if she’s sick. She tells him to forget it and heads to her office. Cage looks thoughtful.Continue reading “S3E10: Love Means All Your Shitty Behavior is Justified”
Ally is bundled up walking down the street (they won’t mention this but it’s 2000 in show time! I’ll have to up my game from 90s jokes), and passes by a homeless man, who starts taunting her for ignoring his existence. He calls her a “rich bitch, single, lonely-heart lawyer”, which, how could he possibly know that? This is interrupted by Richard, who flips the guy a quarter and pops off. The homeless man tells Ally not to be late for Fantasyland. He assures her he can spot the dreamers, and hers aren’t coming true. CREDITS!
At work, Ally stares at her reflection in her coffee. Elaine comes in, so Ally can wonder if it’s obvious how pathetic she is, seeing as a homeless guy basically knew her life story. Elaine says yes. She tries to stop Ally from going back to find the guy, as “these people have germs”. Nice. Ally heads to the elevator, and Elaine is distracted by the policemen getting off of it. I guess she’s over the whole baby/character development thing from the last episode. That was fast. The police ask for Ling– they have a warrant for her arrest. As they cuff her, we find out she’s been running an escort service for underage boys.
Cut to Ling in a cell, huffing that you can’t just arrest someone in her office. Richard and Cage are there to consult, and Richard recaps that they have twenty-one high school boys who can testify that they got dates from Ling’s escort service. She assures them that there was no sex, just cute girls, because high school boys have trouble getting dates. Richard notes that one boy’s mom found him having sex with one of Ling’s escorts, and she insists that’s not part of the service. Cage agrees that these are very serious charges. They ask how much she’s making from this, and she replies that it’s $80k-90k per year. Well then. Continue reading “S3E9: Sex is Like Pizza: It’s Only Illegal if You Pay for It”
Previously: Elaine’s aunt sued her for stealing the face bra, Elaine had a reputation as “easy”, Elaine made out with Ally to chase off Rob Schneider, Elaine kissed a bunch of dudes, Georgia walked in on Billy making out with a client and decided she was done.
VONDA sings over wintry Boston as Ally and Elaine walk down the street. Elaine is trying to convince Ally to sing at the Christmas party, as when you’re the center of attention people don’t see you as dateless. Elaine stops to look across the street at a life-size nativity scene, because she thought she saw the baby Jesus move. They both approach the manger, and sure enough, it’s a real baby! Elaine picks it up, looking stunned. Ally pokes it with an “ooga chaka” to make extra sure it’s real. CREDITS!
Ally explains to Richard at C&F that she can and will sing at the Christmas party. She retreats to her office, where she’s surprised by Elaine, bottle-feeding the baby. She’s shocked that Elaine still has him, and apparently even wants to keep him. Ally points out that he was abandoned and she doesn’t even know if he’s healthy, but Elaine has taken him to the doctor and he’s fine. Ally wants to give him to the police, but Elaine thinks he’ll end up in a foster home. Ally’s not backing down. Elaine gives a bit, asking if there’s a way she could still keep him once they notify the police. Continue reading “S3E8: The Life and Trials of Elaine Vassal”
No previouslies this week. Instead, we get an Ally-adjacent promo for VONDA’s new (as of 1999) CD. Here are some images that they thought might help sell this album:
ANYWAY, in the episode proper, Georgia is trying on some “Boy Fit” jeans in a department store, trying to ignore the saleswoman’s discourse about the awful youth these days and their fashions. Saleswoman has also noticed Georgia’s ring tan line, so she notes that she’ll want tighter jeans, since “if you’re gonna get a man, you gotta sell your ass a little”. This is thankfully interrupted by a kerfuffle on the other side of the store, where Santa Claus (apparently we’re close to Christmas) is fighting with a man in a business suit. Santa is shouting that he’s been there for 17 years. Continue reading “S3E7: Dammit, Santa!”
As we know, it’s currently 1999 in the MCU (McBeal Court Universe), and this week the New York Times is back there as well! Their spread is trying to get in the heads of the Gen Xers, which is generally out of my wheelhouse (see blog header). But today, the very talented Taffy Brodesser-Akner highlighted one of the generation’s premiere romantic guidebooks. Remember ‘The Rules’, that book that told Ally she wasn’t allowed to have any romantic agency? It appears that the show wasn’t actually exaggerating all that much, and the single panic really was that bad. Reading about the social atmosphere of the time actually gave me new appreciation for our intrepid heroine and her incomprehensible romantic strategies, so click through if you want to bask in the world of dating pre-smartphones.
Previously: Whipper stormed out of Thanksgiving, pursued by Richard, who abandoned Ling in the process; Billy transformed into Bleach-head and Georgia freaked, and he became a New Man
Cage, Billy and their Client of the Week are in the courthouse elevator, steeling themselves for media attention. Client (her name is Robin), an older woman, asks why there’s so much interest in the case. Billy says “because you’re beautiful”, which is a great start for him this ep, and it could raise the bar on sexual harassment law. The elevator opens to a wall of reporters, and Billy defends Robin from the crush of people. Some of them accost Cage about C&F’s sexual harassment case history, and he stammers and can’t get a straight answer out. CREDITS!
Later, in the conference room, Richard and the C&F women watch back Cage’s courthouse stuttering. Richard is disappointed that his partner put on such a performance, and the others accuse him of making fun of Cage, who happens to walk in to see Richard re-watching the clip over and over. He notes that he’s on his way back to court, Richard tells him he looks great, and Cage resignedly leaves. The women scold Richard, who gets defensive, and Ling notes that C&F needs more men, which she’s also working on at a personal level. There’s some more irritable sniping between Georgia, Nelle, and Ally, and when Elaine comes in to propose ideas for the Christmas party, she’s shut down immediately.
Previously: Billy hired Sandy, Ling was faking her orgasms, Georgia was fed up with Billy’s bullshit and flirted with an older guy named George.
Ling and Nelle are in the Unisex, gossiping about Billy’s dye job. Nelle thinks maybe it’s the sign of a crisis, but Ling says he’s too dull for that. Predictably, a toilet flushes and Billy leaves a stall. He snarks at them, and Nelle says that they didn’t mean to hurt his feelings: “Show me the boo boo, let me kiss it.” God, I love her. Billy says he’s getting tired of her treating him like a “Beanie Baby” (?), and asks if it’s to titillate him, or to offend Georgia. Nelle says since Georgia’s not there, it must be the former. He responds that if she wants to turn him on, she shouldn’t act like a high schooler, so she grabs his balls. Having been shown up, Billy leaves, and Nelle and Ling giggle.
Georgia is meeting with George at the bar again. He asks if Billy’s having an affair, but she doesn’t think so. He asks if she wants to, and Georgia gets all coy, noting that they don’t even know each other’s last names. He doesn’t mind this, as it makes the whole thing exotic. George asks what her husband thinks of her going out every night, but she doesn’t care, and almost wishes he’d follow her and see them talking. She asks what his wife thinks, and he admits that she thinks he’s just working late, so he must bid her goodbye. Georgia asks if she’ll see him tomorrow, but apparently it’s Thanksgiving! He’ll see her Friday, though. They do some flirty hand holding, and George asks if Billy would be jealous if he saw her kissing another man. Georgia takes this as permission and goes for it, leading us into the CREDITS! Weird place to put them.Continue reading “S3E5: Happy Thanksgiving, Bleach-head!”