Readers respond to soap operas, ''Ally McBeal,'' and our picks for '99

By EW Staff
Updated February 19, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Readers gave rave reviews — ”extensive,” ”brilliant,” ”simply fantastic”— to ”Our Guide to ’99” (#468/ 469, Jan. 22/29). But even more letters were directed at our recommendation that Calista Flockhart leave Ally McBeal. ”How dare you suggest that Calista would be better off leaving the show,” asks Rick Delmonico of Minneapolis. ”If she is actually considering your absurd notion, I have two words for her: David Caruso.” Meanwhile, soap opera fans had many words for us, and not all of them bubbly, about our piece on the genre’s soggy state. Sara Stoner of Columbus, Ohio, agreed with us, though, and even had some advice for soap writers: ”Wisen up and come up with something original.” Like a dancing baby, perhaps?

Reading the Future
Your preview of 1999 was the best I’ve ever seen! You left no stone unturned — from the new Stephen King novel turned into a movie to the new Grisham novel! And to top it off, you even had a tidbit on Michelle Pfeiffer. You’ve outdone yourself!
Kristopher Roedig
Winter Park, Fla.

Loved all the great reasons to be alive in 1999! Could it be that the entertainment media has been saving its best distractions for Clinton’s darkest hour?
Chris Coleman
Hoboken, N.J.

Don’t you think that we’ve heard enough (and will continue to hear much more) about ’99 projects like the much-hyped Star Wars prequel and the money-driven Austin Powers sequel? Why not talk about other potential works that we don’t know enough about — like the new Guns N’ Roses album, or Kevin Smith’s latest project, Dogma?
Greg Johnson

If the layout of EW’s guide to ’99 is any indication, this year will be one confused mess. A belated resolution: fewer fonts in the new year.
Karl Kline
San Diego

It was nice to see daytime drama covered by your magazine. I’d like to point out, however, that Another World‘s current stories featuring time-traveling hunks and scheming sisters have begun to pay off with improved ratings. We are confident that these and other compelling romantic story lines will attract viewers and keep them tuning in to the show, not just for the next few months but for another 35 years.
Chris Goutman
Exec. Producer, Another World

After reading your article on soaps, I was compelled to write you. I’ve watched most of the soaps at some point in my life. But the quality has declined in the last couple of years (along with the ratings). The same boring story goes on for months, sometimes years. Frankly, I’d rather watch Monicagate; it’s much more interesting than anything on the soaps.
Emily Nance
Charlotte, N.C.

Just wanted to thank you for your Pop Culture 101. I’ve been searching for the song [”Your Love Gets Sweeter”] that’s in Banana Republic’s holiday commercial and, let me tell you, it was a rather intense search. I work at a large radio network, so I had several disc jockeys helping me. None of us could find it. Then today I was browsing through EW and there it was!
Jaimi N. Butler
Canyon Country, Calif.

Ally Rally!
I strongly disagree with Ken Tucker’s review of Ally McBeal. Even in its sophomore season, it is the funniest show on TV. Ally’s tales of suffering, like falling into a toilet or sliding down a bowling alley, are plots that fit perfectly into the show. And the addition of characters like Nelle and Ling only adds to the quirkiness of it. Tucker’s suggestion that Ally McBeal should leave Ally McBeal is just ludicrous.
Kim Wise

In regard to ”Ally Oops!” — EW Oops!! It may not sound good, but neither did Ken Tucker’s commentary on one of the funniest and most creative TV shows. Ally McBeal has won the Golden Globe two years in a row for being the best comedy on television. It’s not meant to be a drama but weekly entertainment. My male and female friends enjoy the antics and dialogue written by outstanding writers and delivered by great actors. I settle down every Monday night to watch Ally McBeal and to enjoy my laughter out loud.
Tina Nielsen
Bloomington, Ill.