Quick note: To anyone that I owe a reply to – I am the world’s slowest replier to comments but I always get around to them eventually 🙂
After a year long hiatus from reality TV, I have returned to it because I’m watching an actual TV for the first time in a long time. Mostly it’s been cooking shows, but I have stumbled upon the court based reality shows. Obviously Judge Judy is one but meh. I love her eye roll but not how she rolls (if you know what I mean).
I decided to do a post about them because technically this blog is about me watching bad television. Let’s call this my on-topic post of the month 😀
Anyway, first up we have…
Different than other court shows, “Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court” acts only on family issues. There are no battles over rent money or damages caused by a car accident, these emotional cases can have life-changing consequences for participants and sometimes new beginnings for individuals. While most suits relate to a child’s paternity — including deadbeat dads and DNA-test determinations — others involve things like grandparents fighting for visitation rights. Lake’s lengthy legal career has specialized in family law, making her a natural fit for this court.
This show is entertaining if you’re bored at three in the morning but damn Gina, this show is a guide on How Not To Live Your Life.
The DNA test is the pinnacle of a lot of these reality shows so dedicating a show to one makes sense.
Not knowing the father of your baby is one thing. Having two or three possible contenders is another thing. Bringing this messiness onto TV for five thousand dollars (or something similar)? No. Nothing is worth the potential embarrassment to the kids involved. The judge Lauren Lake seems to be in ‘stereotypical black woman’ mode which can make for noisy viewing but for the most part she does add some reason to the proceeding. Her advice is pretty good as well and not just Judge Judy yelling, “I don’t believe you” over and over like the show doesn’t pay all of the money owed anyway.
And the contestants, oh, the contestants. I hope the money is good. You’ve got people sleeping with cousins, couples cheating in retaliation for the other one cheating and then after twenty minutes of yelling reality hits them when the DNA tests are revealed.
The DNA tests are revealed very dramatic, almost like the audience are expected to have some personal investment in it. Think Seacrest cutting to a commercial before he tells you who the lucky escapee from American Idol is.
If I was the producer, I’d just start with the damn test and go from there. It seems almost cruel to let these people talk themselves into migraines when the damn truth is already in the magic envelope.
Many popular court shows are on TV. How can the genre improve? How about using a three-judge panel? That’s the concept of “Hot Bench,” created by Judge Judy Sheindlin. After hearing each case, the judges discuss it among themselves before rendering a verdict. The jurists are experienced civil litigator Tanya Acker, New York State Supreme Court Justice Patricia DiMango, and former criminal defense attorney Larry Bakman. The show’s title comes from a term describing a court action in which a judge frequently interrupts lawyers with questions.
This show is…a mess. I watched a few episodes and I was just howling with laughter at the ‘cases’. It’s even dumber than the mess you see on Judge Judy. One was about a dog biting another dog. The owner of the injured dog was suing for the medical costs and…loss of earnings due to the trauma. I mean, yes, your dog getting hurt is dramatic and all but you gotta go to work and make that money. The bills won’t pay themselves and Hot Bench might not approve your application.
Others include a girl who gave her boyfriend $5000 (or something) before jetting off to Burkina Faso. While there she couldn’t get in contact with him because the internet was bad. And then she told him she was pregnant and he bailed – along with her money. Supposedly she told him that he could keep the money. Except, the money was from the government – some kind of study grant or loan – so….clearly she couldn’t have told him to keep it. He insisted that she did and said that she only wanted the money back because he dumped her.
…..sounds ridiculous, right?
Papers (so called evidence) is handed in and then the judges discuss it and ask questions. And then they go to their ‘chambers’ to discuss it and vote on it…
It’s sort of entertaining up until that point because who fucking cares once we’ve heard the messiness?
In fact, I wonder what the application process for these shows are like…
Hot Bench’s is a simple(ish) online form. I wonder what kind of tale one has to spin to be chosen for TV. There are so many episodes churned out that it must be relatively easy.
People get to be on TV and the producers are allowed to make them look like a clueless idiots. I guess that’s the price these people have to pay for justice.
And the price I pay for watching TV at three in the morning.