Heyday

Enter duck-faced McBeal, troubled over which thick-necked Ivy League chump she should swap for which other identical man with jutting chin. A hint of sincerity wafts over her visage. It quickly vanish

[I]ENTER DUCK-FACED McBEAL, troubled over which thick-necked Ivy League chump she should swap for which other identical man with jutting chin. A hint of sincerity wafts over her visage. It quickly vanishes. Music plays…[/I]

A horrible programme, [I]Ally McBeal[/I]. Forget the dialogue (“I don’t really feel I have, like, closure with you…”), the worst thing is her taste in music. Habitually troubled McBeal goes to a restaurant to console herself with ‘The Shoop Shoop Song’ sung by a woman who looks like Jo Whiley. My God.

She is Vonda Shepard, and her album is as harrowing as Lou Reed’s ‘Berlin’. Ballsily emoting at the pianoforte some nightmares of her own composition about ‘pulling through’, her terrible genius lurches forward like a reanimated corpse: she reminds you of an entire strata of society you hoped to forget exists.

Like Thom Yorke takes you to Hell, Vonda takes you to the wine bar, and leaves you there with a salad and people who “really admire Billy Joel”. [I]American Psycho[/I] was written to sort this kind of thing out. Unhappily, it appears not to have worked.

[I]Exit reviewer weeping. Music no longer plays[/I].