Balancing Out the Serious

I really run hot or cold on this blog, y’all: either I’m writing post after post of super-serious theology and Life Stuff, or I’m churning out vapid/self-congratulatory fluff, and you know what? I am totally ok with that. It is my blog and I’ll do what I want! 😉

Anyway. If we’re Facebook friends, you already know this and are probably sick of hearing about it, but I’ve been watching Ally McBeal on Netflix for the last few months. Couple reasons for this. I watched it while I was living in Hong Kong in college, so there’s a nostalgia factor there — it was my “American show” (I also watched Indian and French soaps… oh, and like studied and stuff) and I really looked forward to it every week as a sort of unadulteratedly Western thing. There’s lots of Western influence in Hong Kong but it was a nice respite to be able to experience just one thing that wasn’t also super Eastern (not that I didn’t love HK; on the contrary, I miss it painfully at least twice a week). The second reason is that Robert Downey Jr. is everywhere right now, rightly, so the show makes me nostalgic in that area too, since it (along with Elton John’s 2001 “I Want Love” music video) was the genesis of my ongoing crush on RDJ, who had a recurring spot as Ally’s therapist/lawyer/boyfriend in season four, the season that was showing on Hong Kong television in 2002. Of course, in the early aughts, it was Distressingly Coked-Out RDJ being completely gorgeous and charming in every episode, not the cleaned-up, settled, together, happily married RDJ of today.

I highly recommend that you watch it, if you like any of the following: quirkiness, Robert Downey Jr., gratuitous musical numbers, ensemble dramedies, groaning at bad late 90s fashion (square-toed clunky heels! twinsets! taupe! The Rachel! midriff tops! miniskirts! casual chic!), hallucinations for comic effect, people with no filter between their brain and their mouth, or personal theme songs. It’s really, really cute, and occasionally has a moment of being genuinely insightful and/or touching.

Do you have a nostalgia show? Tell.


6 thoughts on “Balancing Out the Serious

  1. Super topic, Laura, and really well written too! I’ve never seen a single episode of Ally McBeal, but you’ve given me a great feel for it’s attraction for so many people. I’ve never gotten that from any other comments I’ve heard about the show.

    My nostalgia show: Full House. Did you ever watch that one? The late 80’s hair, the bulky sweaters, the vapid music (coming after the heights of New Wave and the rise of indy/alt-rock). Plus it was set in San Francisco, so like you I have a type of physical connection to the show. Only for me it wasn’t where I watched it, but that it was set in the City in which I was born. I love watching TV shows and movies (oh who am I kidding, even commercials!) that put that wonderful City to good use.

    Thanks for the memories, Laura.


    • Girl, what you need to do is borrow some of my many mystery novels. I am a sucker for a good detective story, highbrow or lowbrow or in-between. Help yourself next week if you like/have time to read for fun during the semester (I always had to or I’d have lost my mind).

      • I make time to read for fun during the semester or else, like you, I would lose my mind. I read before bed every night…sometimes this is a bad idea when I get too caught up in a story and find myself up waaaay too late. I might just have to check out what you have.

  2. So two, not one, but two babies have been born in my church in the last 6 months that are both dead ringers for the Ally McBeal dancing baby… creepy…

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