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Bad Judge - Pilot - Advance Preview : "Addison Montgomery, What Are You Doing Here?"




I don't know about very many other people, but when it comes to comedies, I can watch anything. My track record with comedies include the classics like Friends and 30 Rock, to current hits The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family, to moderately successful 2 Broke Girls and The Goldbergs, to some recent stinkers The Crazy Ones and Trophy Wife (just to clarify, I loved both of those stinkers). When selecting which comedies I want to watch in the 2014-15 television season, I had to consider whether I would find the show a good fit with my tastes, which seems a little all over the place at the minute. I enjoyed CBS's recently-cancelled series Bad Teacher to some extent, but when that show failed, I was a little reluctant to give this show a try. Having been blessed with an advance preview of the pilot, I have to say I will be found guilty of enjoying it and sentenced to adding it to my schedule for 2014-15.

My name is Gavin and I will be the judge (wink wink) of NBC's Bad Judge coming October 2nd. I'm new to SpoilerTV so let me know what you guys think of my very first article in the comments. If you guys want to know anything about the show or anything else, feel free to ask.

Introducing the characters

As a fan of Kate Walsh from hit shows Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice, I just knew that whatever character she would play next would be awesome. Her Bad Judge persona Rebecca Wright isn't too far removed character-wise from Addison Montgomery. Who could forget that moment from the Private Practice premiere where Addison danced naked at her window for her friend and colleague Sam to see her in all of her glory? Well Rebecca is like that but minus the restraint that Addison had when it came to everyday life. Rebecca is care-free and a whole lot of fun even when it comes to her very serious job regarding being the "most honorable" judge of the courtroom. Rebecca is the kind of judge I would want at my trial, not that I'm going to be charged with anything (they'll never catch me!!), and quite frankly even if they stripped away the every day personal life elements of the show, I would still enjoy watching yet another courtroom procedural with this character. She would make every court case refreshingly fun. Kate can play the judge well and shows she has excellent comedic timing. She proved that on some of the funnier moments on the Shondaland shows but in this sitcom she can truly shine, bringing the comedy front and center.

Kate also has the benefit of having some great supporting characters that prove they can be just as funny. I was a little skeptical for a kid to be a co-star because they can either be done completely right (such as Lily from Modern Family), or horribly wrong (I have examples but would much rather hear what you guys think in the comments). Fortunately for Bad Judge, the child actor Theodore Barnes proves he can deliver as Robby Shoemaker, the kid of the parents that Kate's character locked away (this also leads to a hilarious conversation later about buying each other off). Robby is a very grounded character and provides the more serious conflicts in the pilot, but shows he still has positive charisma with his many scenes with Rebecca. The guy can perform. He doesn't even try to be funny, he just does it. His interactions with Rebecca are quite possibly the best parts of the pilot and will be very interesting to watch over the course of the season (and hopefully beyond).

Rounding out from the two main characters are Tone Bell as Tedward Mulray (a very funny bailiff), Mather Zickel as Gary Boyd (Rebecca's boyfriend, recently re-cast with Ryan Hansen), and Arden Myrin as Jenny (Rebecca's best friend). Also making a special appearance in the pilot is Chris Parnell as Douglas Rigger who was definitely one of the funniest characters in this episode. I loved him as Dr. Spaceman on 30 Rock and once again he can make me laugh at the drop of a hat. He makes Rebecca's courtroom case all the more enjoyable with his very bizarre but hilarious predicament.

Verdict

I'm not going to go into elaborate detail or reveal the best moments of the episode until the show's premiere in October as I have a plethora of quotes I loved. I was also very lenient for the pilot episode, as I usually am with new shows. Pilots have that hard job of setting everything up and here I think Bad Judge did a very good job at starting up this world. The characters were fully enjoyable and already they seem to be settled and comfortable with each other, which is something I look for in a Pilot as they're supposed to have known each other for years, and they play that very well. The script is solid for its comedy and I cannot fault the actors. Maybe it's my undying love for Kate Walsh that sold this for me, I don't know. What I do know is that she can overrule my objections to the show any day. I'll keep watching and I very much look forward to seeing where things will take off to next. The show felt like the sitcom version of Drop Dead Diva but add standout comedy and subtract the supernatural element.

In a nutshell, I enjoyed the Pilot and I would encourage anybody who would love to balance out the horrors of The Walking Dead, or the fantasies of Once Upon a Time, or maybe even the sci-fi goodness of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with a comedy that has a lot of heart, a lot of humour, and a hell of a lot of potential to grow into one of the surprise comedy hits of NBC this season.

What do you say guys, will you be checking out the Bad Judge premiere on October 2nd at 9:00PM on NBC?
(As an added bonus, you will get to see a lot more of me, too!)

About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of 'Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned'. Gavin joined SpoilerTV on August 9, 2014 and will be reviewing 2 Broke Girls, Mistresses, Orange is the New Black and Salem in the 2014-15 season. Gavin's favourite shows include Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Scandal and much more. You can contact Gavin at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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