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“Judge Whatchamacallit” on TV

As if we crime victims don’t have enough problems with real judges in the courtroom… TV viewers are served up a daily dose of “reality judges” for entertainment purposes and hopefully a smidgen of education in the process.

LadyJustice is at a slight disadvantage here, as she has not had the opportunity to view all of the judge shows, because she is always working a real job when they are aired.  No problem… she has viewed some of them and conducted her own “unscientific research” with a large dose of opinion (Which she never lacks…).

Judge Judith Sheindlin: Ladyjustice is very familiar with her show, as it is aired when LJ eats her dinner – How fortuitous! Judge Judy deals in common sense justice, and frequently a large helping of maternal advice in the process. She cares about how the participants present themselves both in attire and verbally.  If you are not articulate; if you do not use good grammar and syntax, you are doomed despite how good your case is…   And then there are the crimes against persons and property, not to mention the snappy repartee.  Ladyjustice likes Judge Judy’s style of justice because she doesn’t fool around with the law!  However, she can be overly dramatic and rude.  On the positive side, she has some great lines in her bag of tricks…

This writer had a dream recently in which she was interviewed for her big debut (to be revealed at a later date).  This is how it went…

Question by Radio/TV Anchor:  “So… Donna, what do you think your most valuable asset is regarding your future goals and this new venture?”

Answer:  “Well, (Diane, Katie, Brian, Whomever) It’s like this…  I try to promote myself and help out Imagine Publicity wherever I can.  But, I don’t think they keep me around because I’m gorgeous-even though its part of my name…  They keep me around because I’m smart.”

Judge Marilyn Millian- The People’s Court: LJ’s former opinion…  Oh Yeah, She’s the one with the red hair and the “smart alecky” responses.  Internet sources reveal that she has 19 years on the bench, formerly worked in Miami County for five years in charge of the Domestic Violence, Criminal and Civil Divisions and then served ten years as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Dade County.  Millian was personally hired by Janet Reno.  Her show focuses on civil cases including neighbor to neighbor and family disputes.  Ladyjustice has seen her in action once or twice… Judge Millian seems likeable and fair! But civil cases… how boring!  The viewing public currently has her show tied for the number two spot in the demographic of 25 to 54 year olds.

Judge Jeanine Pirro: While on a very rare sick day or snow storm at home, this writer has seen Judge Pirro’s courtroom show.  To the casual observer, she appears classy and respectful.  No courtroom antics are remembered…   Her 30 year legal background includes a career as a former Westchester New York attorney.  She also has the distinction of being the first female to prosecute murder cases in that jurisdiction.         [LJ -Isn’t being the “first female” passé in 2011?]    A significant part of her career included her work prosecuting DV/Intimate Partner Homicide cases and was appointed as the head of the New York State Fatality Review Board by the Governor.

Judge Pirro also has a Saturday primetime show called, “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” reporting on high profile cases and interviewing key people.  This writer viewed her recent interview with Medical Examiner, Michael Baden regarding the Natalie Wood case “exhumed from the ashes.” The judge was inquisitive and challenging with her guest.  She’s not nasty or trying to be “a star.” Ladyjustice likes her!

Judge Joe Brown:  Ladyjustice’s viewing experience for this show is confined to memories such as … “He’s the jive talking no nonsense judge.”  Yahoo contributing author, Dwayne Nelson states, Judge Brown is “serious… but hilarious second only to Judge Judy.  He stands up and barks down on losers.”  Reportedly, Judge Brown’s “calling card” is tough love and a tendency to preach the responsibilities of manhood.  According to his website, this South Central Los Angeles bred judge is in his 14th season.  ‘Not too shabby…but his style is not LJ’s cup of tea.

Judge Greg Mathis: (Any relation to Johnny??…. Chances Are…. No!) This youngest ever Detroit based judge is new to this writer.  However, he knows from whence he came… Mathis’ background has as much drama as his show.  His resume includes being a former gang member, a high school dropout and was no stranger to jail. His life back to the straight and narrow was facilitated by a promise kept to his mother, who was dying of colon cancer. [LJ- IF ONLY… other “juvies” would do the same; this would indeed be a better world!]  Humor, humility and social commentary are his trademarks.  These qualities sound like a winning combination.  Judge Mathis’ syndicated program is in its 12th season.  The ratings capture a younger segment of the audience – 18 to 49 years.

***NOTE:  Don’t think for a minute that real life courtroom judges use a combination of entertainment and drama when deciding cases.  In reality TV, the dysfunctional clients are real…  But, don’t forget the camera never sleeps in these TV courtrooms… nor do they sleep on Jerry Springer for that matter!

LadyJustice Signing Off for Now….

Donna Gore is a champion of victims rights and justice.  She is a survivor of homicide and has turned her personal situations into a positive approach to life by participating in several areas of victim services. www.donnagore.com If you would like to schedule Donna for your next event, contact ImaginePublicity at 843.808.0859 or email:  contact@imaginepublicity.com

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2 thoughts on ““Judge Whatchamacallit” on TV

  1. Pingback: Crime Writing…Using the “Stone Soup” Method « Donna R. Gore

  2. Pingback: “It Died in Committee!” Re-Victimization of Crime Victims « Donna R. Gore

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