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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that some of the cases that family court judge Amy Gray presides over might upset young or sensitive viewers -- particularly those that deal with sexual abuse, neglect, and battles between foster and birth parents. But overall, this is a much more family-friendly hour than most other legal-centric dramas on TV.
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What's the Story?
In JUDGING AMY, Amy Brenneman stars as Amy Gray, a divorced single mother to Lauren (Karle Warren) who leaves her job in New York City to become a family court judge in Hartford, Connecticut. She and her child live with Amy's outspoken mother, Maxine (Tyne Daley), who presides over the family as Amy reconnects with her brothers Vincent (Dan Futterman), and Peter (Marcus Giamatti), and sister-in-law Gillian (Jessica Tuck). Amy also finds herself managing the personalities of her co-workers, including her court services officer, Bruce (Richard T. Jones), and court clerk-turned-lawyer, Donna Kozlowski (Jillian Armenante). Judging Amy, which is based on the life story of Brenneman's real-life mother, a judge who was one of the first women to graduate from Harvard, explores both Amy and Maxine's personal relationships and Amy's career cases, which almost always involves making difficult decisions regarding kids' welfare.
Is It Any Good?
In an era of bawdy, sensationalistic reality shows, Judging Amy gives viewers an hour of solid family drama. Parents will feel good letting older tweens and teens tune in to a show that has positive messages about respect and doing good, and viewers of all ages will likely be fascinated by the machinations of the family court. Some of Amy's cases, however, might be upsetting for sensitive or younger viewers, particularly those that involve neglect or abuse.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why the law sometimes has to intervene in a family's personal life. What defines neglect? Why do some parents put their kids in harm's way? What is the role of a foster family?
- Premiere date: September 19, 1999
- Cast: Amy Brenneman, Dan Futterman, Tyne Daly
- Networks: Syndicated, TNT
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: March 1, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Fun coming-of-age drama that's great for teens.
Engaging but controversial show for teens.
This uplifting family drama keeps the faith.
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