My cable went out for a few days earlier this year. While it was a harrowing experience, I managed to pull through with minimal damage done. With no cable, I was forced to watch shows on regular tv that I would otherwise have never even known were on. The most surprising thing to me was the amount of so-called judge shows that exist…
The last I checked, before the cable outage, there was The People’s Court with Judge Wapner and ,later on, Judge Judy (who I only really knew about cause the SNL parody). Well, color me uninformed cause it appears I did not know shit…
So, with nothing but time to kill and a morbid curiosity, I set forth to actually watch a bunch of these judge shows. After seeing about 4 or 5 different ones I felt sort of confused. I had lots of questions.
Who the fuck are these people?
Are they even really judges?
What kind of judge decides to make the move to TV?
What college did these judges go to?
Is a boxing referee qualified to hand down judgments in a court of law?
Is “sassiness” a requirement to be a judge?
All of these thoughts swirled around my head as I watched case after case consisting of two people arguing over which one is less retarded. They would plead their cases to a person who may or may not be qualified to give you directions, let alone legal advice.
As far as the defendants and plaintiffs go, I kinda have a soft spot for when really uneducated people try to sound smart, misusing words while trying to be more eloquent then they could ever really be. I love it cause it’s interesting to see what one person’s idea of “sounding smart “means. However, it’s also sad cause any glimmer of respectable educated thought is cancelled out every time they say “y’all” or “axed”. Lucky for them, in this particular court of law, the judge also says “y’all” and “axed” so it’s a pretty even playing field.
In many cases, once the plaintiff and defendant are done saying their piece, it becomes apparent that the problem lays way deeper then “he owes me 250 bucks for car parts”. These are people who are very much towards the bottom of life’s totem poll. They have been dealt a bad hand by life and have decided to play that bad hand by putting their shitty life on TV. But that’s a whole other topic unto itself.
Beyond all that, the focus of the shows are the judges. They range from sassy black woman, to a sassier latina woman, to a crotchety (yet slightly sassy) old jewish woman all the way to a loud-mouth (that’s what men are called when they’re sassy) ethnic male. All these judges don’t take crap from anyone and certainly let it be known throughout every “trial” that they oversee.
Something that I couldn’t shake while watching was wondering how these judges got to TV. Were they really good and rewarded with a tv show? Or were they actors who have been told they have a gift for giving sound advice? Or maybe they were just mediocre judges who had a flare for being sassy and liked the attention? (My money is on that one)
Also, when the judgments are given, they’re usually just common sense. There is no legal mumbo jumbo or any citing of prior cases. You will never hear a TV judge say:
“in the Smith vs. Weinberg case of 1964, a precedent was set and because of that, therefore I rule that the defendant return all the feathered boas that she borrowed from the plaintiff”.
That will never happen. No, it’s more of a, “She did that shit? For real? Then just give her back the feather boas! What’s wrong with you?” kind of ruling. And , honestly, I can’t really hate on that. Sometimes a little bit of common sense and perspective is all you need to make a good decision.
Fuck all that law school and learning crap.
as a bonus, here are some judge show clips…the first is my favorite…