Thursday, August 09, 2012

Judge Judy

I worked for Stu Billett and Ralph Edwards when they produced "The People's Court".  They were also producing "So You Think You Got Troubles." It was my show.  It didn't take off like "Peoples Court" but....That is a different much longer blog than time for today.  
"The Peoples Court" was a ground breaker, spawning so many other court shows it is hard to remember when television programing wasn't crammed with knock-offs. 
"People's Court" with Judge Wopner maintained an air of civil obedience closer to an actual court room than most  court shows try to recreate today.  The genera of court show has been "Springerized" into a public spanking and character lynching. 
It is the modern day equal of stocks and pillories in the public square. The public gathers round to mock the misbehavers and occasionally toss a vegetable at them. Only now the humiliation is witnessed by millions. 
Television voyeurs observe what it is like to be publicly humiliated and harshly judged by authority figures, while not suffering from the experience.  In fact it may give the viewer a rush, feeling the satisfaction of, at least, not being the person judged.  
Currently my favorite show to watch with my jaw hanging open, is Judge Judy.  Judge Judy has become less of a judge while becoming more judgmental, which sounds like an oxymoron.  She is no longer a Judge applying law to a dispute but your worst school teacher scolding you in front of the class.  Obviously the meaner Judge Judy is the better it works. The tipping point is when the cases no longer matter we just want to see the teacher go off on somebody, meaning somebody else. Why not just skip the court part of the show and go right to Judge Judy scolding someone. Just herd people on, Judy tells them how wasted their lives have been, then you bring on the next ones to be scolded. That's your show. 
I suggest that the shark jumping tipping point has already taken place. Judge Judy is now doing just that.  As the Internet is proof of all things here is the very moment it happened:

Change the title.  Just call it "Judy Judges"; it's now a show about  Judy condemning and looking down on people in public. Why confuse it with the trappings of a court show?  Why pretend that the show has anything left of the Wopner class other than ripping off the set?  Why watch people behaving their worst, which most often is Judy herself? Why am I drawn to watch it like a bug to the zapper?  I would not say it is like a fly being drawn to shit, because a fly is benefited by the shit. I think the harm done by this attraction is more like the zapper. This magnification of bad behavior has to be detrimental. Why did I write a blog talking about it? If you have the answers let me know.
That is all,
As you were,
Jay

1 comment:

bcnu said...

It's like watching a train wreck.