Why I Love Judge Judy

My cousin in Florida is a huge Judge Judy fan and watches her program every day at 4 PM.   As for me, I’m a latecomer to her attractions but now I am as dedicated a viewer as anyone.  Why?  Well for several reasons.  Is it just me who loves to see the dumb reasons folks turn to Judge Judy for adjudication?  Like the couple who were engaged, now split, and the girl won’t give the engagement ring back to her former fiancée. (Look, sweetie, it’s over.  Suck it up!)  Or the pit bull who ran amuck and savaged the next door neighbor’s Pomeranian who, somehow, according to the defendant, provoked said attack?  (Yes, a 4 pound Pomeranian attacking a 120 pound Pit Bull is so common!) Or is it the son who, after selling his mother’s TV for drug money, sees no reason why he’s obligated to pay her back?  (No comment.)

Sure it’s all the sketchy “litigants” and “defendants” who often seem to have lost any common sense or rational thought processes that form the continual stream of surprising, even astonishing, men and women, boys and girls, young and old, white, black, Latin, Asian – an entire cornucopia of humanity who just don’t seem to “get” how foolish and idiotic they appear.  “Are you nuts?” admonishes the Judge from atop her bench.  “Have you lost all the common sense that the good Lord gave you?” she roars at one litigant.  “You shouldn’t have children” she chides a 19 year old youngster.  You have no idea what it means to be a mother.”   It’s both funny and heartbreaking to watch the proceedings with Judge Judy dispensing justice along with healthy doses of uncommon wisdom and common sense. 

But for me, I think I am attracted to Judge Judy because she operates in a world that I would love to operate in myself.  Stage managed, controlled and carefully choreographed as it might be, there is something powerfully compelling about how the Judge Judy confidently calls out the prevaricating witnesses, fully expresses both her disdain and empathy as the situation dictates, demolishes a line of defense so casually and profoundly as if she alone knows the bottom line truth in every case, so forcefully pronounces judgment with that case-closing bang of her hammer on the bench or simply rolls her eyes at yet another totally insane “defense.”  Yes, if only life with all its murkiness would be as clearly delineated and as soundly decided as it is on Judge Judy. 

How much easier would it have been, for example, if in raising my daughter she had unquestioningly accepted my judgments about her life?  I could have used the Judge in dealing with the roofer who “forgot” to cover the then under-repair roof and allowed the third floor to flood?  Or how about the time when a real estate agent forgot to note that I had accepted a job but was not yet officially employed – as was clearly indicated on my application - that resulted in a long, protracted law suit that was eventually decided in my favor? Hey, a few minutes in Judge Judy’s courtroom would have sufficed. 

Ah, how wonderful it would be if Judge Judy could adjudicate all of our minor disputes with friends, neighbors, boyfriends and girlfriends, partners and fiancées.   Bang her gavel regally over our ever bubbling disagreement about the wisdom of purchasing that 52” television. How to split the check when we had no alcohol but our friends ordered a bottle of Dom Perignon. Who pays for the damage to our garage the neighbor’s tree limb caused?   Yes what a wonderful world it would be if, like on Judge Judy, we had swift, fair and honorable judgments to life’s irritating disputes and disagreements.    But then we wouldn’t need the services of the thousands upon thousands of attorneys this country is awash in.  After all, by spending a hundred thousand or so on their higher educations, they do need to recoup their investment don’t they.  Don’t they?



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