By Anubhuti Kumar
The third episode of “Bad Judge” is more of the same. Like the previous two installments, the sitcom does manage to evoke a few chuckles, but little else. The chuckles are mainly accredited to tired jokes that have been overused. The situations are overly ridiculous and do not ring true, with the plot-line mostly relying on clichés.
The episode starts with Wright’s good-looking but not so sharp date teaching her some self-defense moves. When he asks her to go to the Fireman’s Ball with him, she uses the newly learned moves to gently knock him unconscious in order to avoid the awkward situation of saying no, since they can barely hold a conversation. She heads to work, leaving him there.
When he wakes up and pursues her Wright and manages to avoid him until he shows up at her courthouse and they get trapped in the elevator and he confronts her, but with her being so much more intelligent than him, she changes the subject and they go car shopping, as her van burst into flames at the end of the last episode. When they get there, she picks out a new truck (at the impound lot because Wright decides that’s where she will get the best deal) and drives off in it, leaving her fireman stranded.
At the courthouse, the comedy revolves around how Wright cannot remember the name of her courtroom’s stenographer though they have worked together for at least a year. Unbelievably, the stenographer seems honored that Wright even asks what her name is, rather than irked at the fact that Wright could not even make the effort to remember her name before this. This would seem more realistic and hold the potential for more laughs if she took advantage of Wright’s desperation to find out her name. The relationship between Wright and her bailiff, Tedward also get some time – he plays the role of an exasperated best friend trying to lead Wright onto a more sustainable path in life and basically make her a better person.
There is still no sight of Robby Shoemaker, the boy to whom Rebecca was presented as mentor in the first episode. It seems like a technical inconsistency that he was shown as such a huge part of the plot early on and seems to have disappeared, shifting the plot hugely from what was expected. It seems like a bit of a disappointment because the audience is left to wonder his fate, but it does help the show avoid some more major clichés.
One of the highlights of this episode was the case on the judge’s plate this week. It was a sexual harassment case concerning a boss and owner of a restaurant who took advantage of his waitresses. The way Wright and the waitress’s lawyer and Wright’s friend Tom handled this case was perfect. They are both determined to put him behind bars, and though he weasels his way out, Wright makes sure he knows that if he is accused of anything similar again, he’ll be locked up in seconds. It was a cool way to bring light to a common and often overlooked issue.
Like always, “Bad Judge” is a fine way to spend an otherwise unoccupied 30 minutes on a Thursday night, and is good for a few laughs if entered into with minimal expectations.
Anubhuti Kumar is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.