At the end of the 1990s it was as if television executives suddenly discovered a totally new market – women! Not just normal women, but aspirational, idealised women who were strong and independent and didn’t need no man, but were also kooky and vulnerable and basically really, really wanted a man. Not just any man though, some kind of perfect unicorn of man. They would search for this mythical beast in between kicking ass in life and proving what a strong, independent woman who didn’t need no man they really were, while spending 90% of the available plot covering that search for a man. In this era, before Sex And The City made women everywhere feel terrible about themselves, there was Ally McBeal.

The kook is off the charts.

Men, meanwhile, just went back to watching re-runs of The A-Team.

Ally McBeal was a legal comedy and drama television series that aired on Fox from 1997 to 2002. It was created by David E. Kelley, and starred Calista Flockhart in the title role as a lawyer working in the Boston law firm Cage and Fish, with other lawyers whose lives and loves were eccentric, humorous, and dramatic. McBeal was kooky and vulnerable yet kicked ass as a lawyer and was strong and independent and didn’t need no man. The main thrust of the show was her kooky and vulnerable misadventures while searching for a man.

The show won a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy in 1998 and 1999, and also won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1999. Now, over 20 years later, somebody has decided it needs to come back. A sequel series currently in early development at ABC.

Written and executive produced by Karin Gist (Mike), the new series will follow a young black woman who joins Cage And Fish. The character is rumored to be the daughter of Lisa Nicole Carson’s Renee Raddick from the original series. So nepotism and identity politics? Sounds full of win.

Strong, independent women who don’t need no man objectify a naked man.

Original McBeal, Calista Flockhart, has reportedly been approached to feature in the series and is on-board as an executive producer if the show flies. Creator Kelley is not involved but supports the idea of the project.

Hollywood remains not a serious town. Now, I wonder if Airwolf is on the other channel. Pass the remote.

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