Tuesday, 4 March 2008

My dirty little secret: I love Judge Judy

One of the nicest things about being a freelancer is that the organisation of your time is, by and large, your own. So, for instance, I choose to work in the morning (starting at 6am, when my kids leave for school, and breaking at about noon) and at night (from about 8pm to midnight, depending on my workload). This leaves the bulk of the day free for me to be Mom’s taxi, family shopper, internet homework researcher, chief cook and bottle-washer, and all the other delightful pastimes that come with parenting.

The highlight of my weekdays is, however, my 12.30pm appointment with my television. That’s when Judge Judy entertains me for half an hour, arbitrating in some of the most astonishingly petty cases brought by some of the most astonishingly stupid life forms possibly in the entire universe.

Judy Sheindlin, a former family court judge (and reportedly one of the 30 richest women in entertainment in the world), is anyone’s idea of a mother-in-law from hell. With her white-lace-collared black judge’s robe, sprayed-to-stay hairdo, pinched little mouth and a pair of glasses she wields like a weapon, she settles disputes over piffling issues brought by ex-cons, unemployed nogoodnicks, shady salesmen, slutty young things, bitter middle-aged women, obese old men and the like. Most of the cases are laughably simple: my own teenage children would have absolutely no problem ruling on them.

It’s the way Judge Judy handles them that has me in stitches. Irascible at best (and don’t, just don’t, interrupt her, okay?), and sometimes so blatantly rude and cruelly insulting it makes me gasp, she listens with ill-disguised impatience to the drivel these people bring to her TV courtroom. She slices through lies with staggering perspicacity, irritably sideswipes all attempts to be distracted by extraneous information, and often, when she announces her judgment, you can practically hear the unsaid end to her statement: ‘I rule in favour of the plaintiff, in the amount of $321,45c, [and what unbelievable cretins the two of you really are].’

Unfortunately for Americans, whose popularity isn’t exactly soaring right now, viewers of Judge Judy might think that the people who appear on the show represent a fair cross-section of the American public. And who knows, maybe they do. In which case it’s no surprise they made George Dubya president – because he’s possibly the brightest of the lot. What a truly terrifying thought.

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tonypark said...

I have been known to watch Springer, for similar reasons.

meggie said...

Occasionally if I want a horror story, I watch her myself. Ditto Springer, though I don't think he is 'on' over here anymore?
It is so easy to sit & hoot with derision, & agreement as Judy tells fat freaking idiots what she thinks of them.