A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Lots of bad behavior that's treated comically, especially from the lead character whose job it is to make very serious decisions for other people but who doesn't take the job seriously.
Positive Role Models
The main character is designed to be ethically and morally corrupt, for the sake of comedy, and treats her very important job lightly. She drinks too much, has casual sex -- even in the middle of work -- and generally makes poor decisions. Her new relationship with a kid may turn her around somewhat.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
There are frequent coarse references to and indications of sex, including a woman taking a pregnancy test, a couple grappling on the desk in a judge's chambers, characters in lingerie or with clothes askew, and one character discussing throwing undergarments onstage at a rock show. A child draws a picture of his teacher with a penis head; this is laughed off.
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Some cursing: "How the hell did you get my number?" Other rough language includes a woman telling a child he's being a "smartass" and jokes about "dongs" and "boobs."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Frequent references to drinking. Characters suffer hangovers after drinking and casually mention drinking before work.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bad Judge is a comedy about a single, fortysomething criminal judge who takes her job lightly and her nightlife seriously. There are frequent references to drinking, including discussions of hangovers and blackouts. Sexual references also figure largely, with the main character cheerfully carrying on multiple affairs with few consequences besides the occasional pregnancy worries. The judge does a number of morally/ethically questionable things, including parking in a handicapped space and using a fake placard for her windshield, as well as calling a boyfriend to get frisky with her in chambers while a case is in session. Crimes such as bigamy are played for laughs, and young characters disrespect authority figures. Still, there is genuine affection among characters, and they generally treat each other with kindness, if mockingly.
Is It Any Good?
As with the main character, Bad Judge is a mess. It's more or less a rip-off of Bad Teacher and other well-trodden Workplace Irony: She's a judge, but she has bad judgment! You get it? Sigh, we get it. And we wish charming, louche Kate Walsh had better material to work with. Would a judge who hands her just-peed-on pregnancy test to her bailiff have a job for long? What about one who explains that she had wine and cake for breakfast before coming to work? Ummmmm, grounds for a mistrial much?
Pity, because Walsh is great, and the interplay between her and Bell is effervescent. But asking the viewer to buy Walsh's antics and then adding on a layer of schmaltz by putting a young almost-orphan in her life is just too much. Frantic, unbelievable humor followed by saccharine plot twists? Even Walsh can't put that over.
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