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Women Lawyers Group Urges Death Penalty for NBC's 'Bad Judge'

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By William Peacock, Esq. on October 27, 2014 10:11 AM

Let's be clear: NBC's "Bad Judge" will probably not last more than one season. Our review of the half-hour legal comedy's pilot could be summed up in one word -- awful -- and we're not alone in our sentiments. More importantly for the network, the ratings are terrible.

If all that didn't ensure the show's demise, this might help: The Miami-Dade chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL) has sent a letter to the network, asking it to shelve the show, which it says "depicts a female judge as unethical, lazy, crude, hyper-sexualized, and unfit to hold such an esteemed position of power," reports the ABA Journal.

Archie Bunker, but for Misogynists

After citing many of the ridiculous "OMG, she's such a naughty judge" moments that we pointed out in our review of the pilot, the letter compares "Bad Judge" to Archie Bunker (the show was actually called "All in the Family," but that's not important). FAWL cites a study that claims that while Archie Bunker was intended to be a parody of bigots and racists, his use of racial epithets actually reinforced those viewers' views.

FAWL worries that "Bad Judge" (if anyone is actually watching) could do the same for mysogynists.

An Aside on 'Muffin Tops'

The letter from FAWL mentions a line from the second episode where Judge Wright (played by Kate Walsh) is referred to as the "muffin-top" judge.

FAWL incorrectly says that this refers to her "breasts billowing out of the top of her shirt" (she was wearing lingerie while standing in front of the court, actually). Rather, a "muffin top" refers to the fold of fat that occurs when one wears tight pants or a skirt, pushing the fat over one's waist like a muffin. Wikipedia has a helpful comparison between a young lady and the baked good at issue.

And if they're going to call what Judge Wright was rockin' a muffin top, I'm rockin' a bakery -- where's my Weight Watchers app again?

Any Hope for 'Bad Judge'?

Probably not. The truth is, the thing that matters more than anything is ratings. And this show, unsurprisingly, has low, low ratings.

But, I will say this after recreationally catching up on the show -- it gets less terrible with each episode. Remember that whole "white lady saving black urban youth" cliche from the first episode? It didn't last beyond that. Instead, Judge Wright has a new person that she tries to help or hurt each episode (the case of the week, if you will), including that one time she engaged in an ex parte conspiracy with the prosecutor to nail a defendant, and the other time where she did the opposite to save a mentally ill defendant from a third strike. Your annoyance will vary by week, then, depending on whom she's "helping."

The point is: The first episode was utter, utter crap. By Episode 2, it was only utter crap. By Episode 4, it's still awful, but not painful. Of course, four episodes is a lifetime to critics and audiences. We wouldn't count on Judge Wright seeing a second term, in other words.

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