Ally McBeal: Season 2, Episode 8

Just Looking (16 Nov. 1998)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 67 users  
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When Ling is sued for owning a mud wrestling club, Richard gets Ally, Georgia and Nelle to defend her, and he and John go undercover. Georgia sets Ally up on a date with a former boyfriend ... See full summary »



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Title: Just Looking (16 Nov 1998)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Brown
Judge Warren Figueroa
Marie Stokes
Jack Clooney
Melissa Reigel ...


When Ling is sued for owning a mud wrestling club, Richard gets Ally, Georgia and Nelle to defend her, and he and John go undercover. Georgia sets Ally up on a date with a former boyfriend that she may still have lingering feelings for, but just before the date, Ally gets herself stuck in a tight situation. Written by napierslogs

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Release Date:

16 November 1998 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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One of the Worst Episodes
18 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was the only episode of the series co-written by Shelley Landau. This might explain the poor quality of the episode. It is easily the worst of the first and second season episodes I have watched so far. (I am watching them in chronological order)

The first problem is that the character of Ling has inexplicably changed. In the episode that introduced her, she was suing a disk jockey for creating a sexist work place environment. In this episode, we find out that Ling secretly owns a mud-wrestling establishment, which is obviously a sexist environment. This makes no sense. Ling has gone from a poor middle management feminist fighting sexism to a rich sexist business owner in less than two months. It is totally absurd.

The next absurd element is Ally getting stuck in a toilet. The entire ten minute scene is not funny at all, but painfully stupid. Ally has gone from a clever lawyer to a complete idiot.

The third element of Georgia being tempted by an old flame is the only thing that really works, but only somewhat. It is hard to believe that Georgia would really be interested in a man that she had one bad date with ten years before. The only scene that works here is when they are in an elevator at the end and Georgia is tempted to kiss him just to see what it is like. Courtney Thorne-Smith does some excellent acting here.

A scene with John Cage acting like a secret agent in Ling's Mud-wrestling club also falls terribly flat. Cage is generally eccentric, but he is not stupid and here he is simply acting stupid by wearing a trench coat to a mud-wrestling club.

Altogether the episode is silly and boring. If this had happened later in the show's run, one would be tempted to call it the "Jump the Shark" episode, but I recall their being many great episodes afterward.

Perhaps it is unfair to blame the poor quality of the show on the co-writer Shelley Landau. With the myriad of complex relationships among the characters, this must have been a difficult show to write for.

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