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Ally McBeal is a new drama which highlights the life of a young professional woman's career and her private life.

Ally McBeal is a young female lawyer in Boston who recently joined the law firm of Richard Fish, a former law school buddy. Upon joining the firm, Ally is surprised to learn that her childhood sweetheart, Billy Thomas, also works there. Ally and Billy have a long history together, an on again- off again relationship since about age 7. Ally even joined law school to be close to Billy, but the relationship floundered when she made law review and he didn't.

Ally is a peppy, honest, straightforward kind of woman who has a hard time believing what a mess her life is already. Throughout the show, some of Ally's thoughts are projected out loud, and in "visions", such as the popular dancing baby. Ally and Billy still have deep feelings for each other, although neither of them would act on them. It creates strong tension between them at times, which is a recurring theme throughout this series.

Billy is an honest, gentle, caring man. He finds himself still connected to Ally although he has now moved on and married a lawyer named Georgia(Courtney Thorne-Smith -formerly of Melrose Place) Ally has a hard time believing that Billy has moved on, and finds herself trying to hate Georgia, but just canít. Ally and Georgia become friends, in spite of everything.

Other characters include Richard Fish, the owner of the firm who is out for the big bucks, no matter what the cost. He is flip, funny, and sometimes totally oblivious to others' feelings. His favorite saying is "bygones" which enters into most conversations. He likes older women, and is currently involved with a judge named "Whipper" played by Dyan Cannon.

John Cage(nicknamed the Biscuit) is an eccentric lawyer with quite a few quirks, such as "taking a moment" during law proceedings, or humming to get through a difficult moment. He is Ally's boss, and a partner in the firm. He is funny without even trying.

Renee is Ally's roommate and works for the District Attorney's office. She is funny, smart, and really understands Ally. In contrast to Ally, she is doesn't have a lot of the hang-ups, and is not afraid to go for what she wants.

Elaine is Ally's secretary and quite a busybody. She is always walking into rooms at precisely the wrong time, and always offers her opinion on things. She is quite a "wordsmith" as she likes to be called, and tells Ally often that she is "snappish".

Most episodes have a scene in a local bar, where Vonda Shepherd is singing some of her great material. She also sings the opening song "Searching my Soul".

This funny, well-written show explores Ally's life and career and the struggles she goes through in everyday life. All of the characters in the show play an integral part in her life, and help try to guide her.

Ally McBeal airs on Monday at 9:00 on the Fox Network and is a creation of David E. Kelly who also is executive producer. David also created the shows The Practice, Chicago Hope and Picket Fences.

It is so funny we laugh hysterically, yet other parts can make you cry.

Special thanks to Wendy S.and Papa C. for Ally's history.
Photographs courtesy of Fox Network

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