Judy! Judy! Judy!
I blame everything on the pandemic. My pants not fitting, an increasingly divided world, my sudden desire to watch Judge Judy…actually, I suppose two of those things are related.
The coronavirus thing has changed our lives in so many ways. For example, I used to mock cute animal videos — ’You’ll never believe how brave this tiny kitten is — just wait until you see how he reacts to a Great Dane!“ Please. Spare me…
Now, after two years of scrolling through reports of one variant after another, and death tolls that all blur together (is it 6000 or 60,000 today?), and basically living in abject terror of anybody breathing on me, my perspective has changed.
As far as I’m concerned, the algorithm gods at Facebook can curate my feed so that it’s filled with nothing BUT cute animal videos! I want to see all the doggos — and I’m calling them doggos now.
Which brings me to the Honorable Judith Sheindlin. If you had told me two years ago that I would be watching afternoon reality TV at all, let alone MULTIPLE episodes of Judge Judy, I would’ve hit you with my good arm and kicked you with my good leg.
I’ve come to realize, though, that once you get past her “crazy eyes” in the opening montage, and the over-the-top narration (“the cases are real!”), her actual adjudication (a Judy-cation?) is exactly what we need in these troubled times.
Part of what draws me to “Judge Judy” is the refreshingly low stakes of the cases. In a world where the word ‘apocalyptic’ seems to understate the horrors of daily life, I’m happy to spend some time with a couple of roommates getting all litigious about a security deposit.
And catchphrases? Anybody raised by television knows the value of a catchphrase. Would “The Big Bang Theory” have been as big a hit without “Bazinga!”—I think not. And on this show, you get sound jurisprudence with catchphrases galore!
You could develop a fun drinking game by just taking a shot every time she says, “Listen very carefully,” or “You ate the steak,” or “Where did you think you were going today? The beach?” “I’m talking.” “Shush!” The list goes on . . .
And if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I like the adversarial court system we have here, but I wish there were more Yiddish involved,” then Judy is your gal!
Her opinions from the bench are filled with words like “mishegoss,” and “verkakte,” and a word that, by itself, could speed up the entire legal process—“geshickte.”
Also, she is working, almost single-handedly, to revive the word “kerfuffle,” which apparently is not Yiddish, although it should be.
Now just imagine how Judge Judy, with her no-nonsense attitude, would handle some of the compelling crises of the day—
Mask Mandates: “So, you’re claiming that wearing a mask impinges on your freedom, is that right? Well, I’m not interested in any of that! Listen to me—I’m not interested in what someone on Fox News said—that’s called hearsay. Counter claim dismissed!”
Guns: “It’s your assertion that we need more guns, and that guns make people safer. Is that correct? IS THAT CORRECT? Well, I don’t buy it. That’s all. Goodbye!”
The War in Ukraine: “Now, Mr. Putin—first of all, put a shirt on in my courtroom. Secondly, you claim that Ukraine is committing genocide against Russia. Do you have any proof? Why not? I don’t care—your claim is dismissed.”
The 2020 Election: “Now from what I’ve read here, you expect me to believe without a shred of evidence that there was widespread fraud perpetrated in…2020. Is that correct? But according to what I’m looking at with my own eyes, voter fraud was not a factor in the election.
Now I want you to think very carefully before you answer me—do you have any proof—look at me–that Mr. Trump actually won the election? No? We’re done here!”
Judge Judy certainly wouldn’t tolerate ‘whataboutism’—she would have Byrd throw you out of her courtroom in a New York minute if you tried that crap. Is ‘Byrd’ a real bailiff, or an actor? It doesn’t matter!
Sure, it seems like she sometimes makes up her mind before she’s heard both sides of the case, but as I’ve gotten older, I gotta admit, I understand that instinct more. Sometimes, there just aren’t two sides to a story.
I don’t know if she gets ‘the law’ exactly right every time—all I know about the law is that murder is wrong, unless it’s committed by a white cop or a white teenager.
What I DO know is that the Honorable Judge Judith Scheindlin is right more often than not, and she doesn’t put up with anything meshuggenah when she has a gavel in her hand.