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The Practice

Cage/Fish & Associates

Web Guide Monthly - June '98

  • Go to "The Real Ally McBeal" site reviews (where my review is)
  • Please click on the cover and after it's done loading a larger image, look towards the lower left. You'll find my personal creation on the front page.

Getting Your Celebrity Fixation on the Web

award_web-guide-monthly-july-1998-small.jpg (16957 bytes)The pounding on my door shortly after midnight could mean only one thing. Since I’d developed the Bewley Spew System (BS2) in 1994, fans have searched for me and many have found me. Frantic e-mails, faxes at all hours of the day and night, and, yes, even pounding on my door have signaled celebrity-obsessed souls searching for their fixations on the Web.

The BS2 is simple. Celebrity sites on the Web should evoke responses such as surprise, laughter, gasps of awe, and in some cases, immediate catatonia. The BS2 rates the intensity of those responses from 0 (no spew) to 10 (spew that shoots through your monitor and hits the wall behind it). What prompted the development of the system was the movie Speed. After its release, there was an explosion of fan-built Web sites. Home pages devoted to Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock blossomed across cyberspace like, well, rush hour traffic across Los Angeles.

What’s more, those sites had longevity. While some homages to celebrities disappear virtually overnight, sites such as KeanuNet, Chateau Ke, The Sandra Bullock Super Star Page, and Sandra Bullock Movie Queen are still around almost four years later. These sites have solid, hard-won rankings in the BS2.

When I opened my door, a woman grabbed me by my T-shirt. “More,” she sobbed, “I need more.” Her swollen eyes and tear-streaked face belied her recent binge of three consecutive screenings of Titanic. She had popcorn in her hair and passion in her heart. I led her back to my office. Opening my bookmarks file to “Leo Worship,” I copied the list to a diskette and handed it to her. She whimpered, clasped it to her bosom, and ran out into the night.

Long ago I learned not to let fans use my computer to view the sites. The men drool, leaving puddles on my keyboard. The women press their faces to my monitor. If you’ve ever had to remove Revlon’s Dusty Rose lipstick off your screen, you know what I’ve suffered through.


The Real Ally McBeal

The most common element of sites devoted to women is lack of text. Images, oh yes. Sound files, sometimes. Sandra Bullock even had movie files on some of her sites. But text is the highest level of praise for a woman in this world of worship. One woman who inspires a fair amount of text is the fictional Ally McBeal, and the woman who plays her, Calista Flockhart. The new show on Fox has both admirers and detractors, but has inspired sites with a fervor similar to “X-Files.”The sites are irreverent, smart-alecky, and talky—very much like the show.

The official Ally McBeal page has good episode synopses, information about all the actors, and a forum for the fans to share their thoughts. For something built by a corporation, it’s not bad (BS2-6).

Once again, though, it's the fans who make the Web the place to find your favorite star. Arthur Tham’s McBeal site offers a couple of worthwhile items. My favorite page? The Ally McBeal Stress Reduction Kit (found under “Humor”). Print this page out. The kit consists of a large circle with instructions to “Bang Head Here.” There are more extensive instructions below the circle, but you get the idea. You can also find the 20 signs that you’re addicted to Ally McBeal. For the kit alone, I've given this site a BS2-8.

Ally isn't the only one getting attention. Calista Flockhart has several pages that include her filmography and biography and, of course, the usual 101 photos. You can always find the straight-forward, uninspired pages such as Calista Flockhart. Calista Flockhart's Realm boasts 57 images, while the Ally McBeal’s Premiere Web Page has its own episode synopses and links to online articles and interviews.

The Unofficial Ally McBeal Home Page has some graphics problems, but is interesting enough to get a BS2-8. For one thing, I’ve never seen a pie chart on a celebrity site. The webmaster has surveyed how fans feel about Vonda Shepard, who sings the Ally McBeal theme song. (Shepard has an 81.8 percent approval rating, in case you’re wondering.) Aside from the usual, there is Talk Like Ally, a crash course in McBeal speak essential to those just discovering the show.

Ally McBeal Searchin’ My Soul site is well-designed and even contains “connect to an Ally Hearsay” and “Discussion.” You can also McBeal Web ring, which is a quick way to link to sites that will tell you even more about what’s new with the show and cast.

And not to be left out of the newest and hottest features on the Web, the Ally McBeal site has a virtual postcard with a photo of the woman herself. What more could a fan want?


Sarah Bewley is an award winning playwright and screenwriter who supports her theatrical habit by writing about the Web.

1. Legal Notice: "Ally McBeal" TM and (or copyright) Fox and its related companies. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, duplication, or distribution in any form is expressly prohibited.; and

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Sara Evans
Sara Evans

1. Legal Notice: "Ally McBeal" TM and (or copyright) Fox and its related companies. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, duplication, or distribution in any form is expressly prohibited.; and

2. Disclaimer: This web site, its operators, and any content contained on this site relating to "Ally McBeal" are not authorized by Fox.

Copyright 1998-2001 Arthur Tham . All rights reserved.
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