Ally McBeal was a late-90’s cultural phenomenon that featured David E. Kelley’s legendarily electric writing and a phenomenal cast, including the previously unknown Calista Flockhart in the title role. The show was strikingly modern in its treatment of workplace dynamics and interpersonal relationships, and sparked a debate about the state of modern feminism because its female characters were allowed to be flawed and complex. It also knew how to draw buzz, with the unisex corporate bathrooms, dancing hologram babies, musical guest performers, and a timebomb arc from Robert Downey Jr. The show helped define the dramedy niche and shows like Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, and New Girl would follow in their footsteps. The Hollywood Reporter gathers the principles for a look back.