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Bad Judge - Meteor Shower - Review : "Make It or Break It"



1.02 - "Meteor Shower"
Written by Jamie Rhonheimer
Directed by Jake Szymanski
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

Bad Judge had a rough pilot, I'm not going to lie (though I do swear on the Bible that the original pilot was better). Moving on from that, reviewing the second episode has been a little more enjoyable for me to write. That's because I don't have to compare the episode to an earlier version so I can take this episode completely at face value - no comparisons, no nothing.

Is the show worth keeping on your schedule?

Season Guide

Click on an episode title to be taken to my review of the episode.

1.01 - "Pilot" (Advance Preview) (Review)
1.02 - "Meteor Shower" (Review)
1.03 - "One Brave Waitress"
1.04 - "Knife to a Gunfight" (Review)
1.05 - "Judge and Jury" (Review)
1.06 - "What is Best in Life?" (Review)
1.07 - "Communication Breakdown" (Review)




'Meteor Shower' Recap

The episode opens with Rebecca allowing an elderly lady in a wheelchair to cross the road. There's a queue of cars behind her with the man behind her honking. Annoyed, Rebecca crosses the road to where a fire truck is with several firemen outside and grabs an axe. She marches over to the man's car behind her and swings the axe into his tyre. She gets back into her car as a fireman comes up to her. Rebecca tells him he's cute but he tells her that she can't just use the firemen's axe. Rebecca gives him her card and tells him if anybody wants to argue, they can go down to her courthouse. Outside the courthouse, Judge Hernandez is telling Rebecca that she has to look the part since she is the judge for a pop star's hearing. The paparazzi see Rebecca and confirm her as the judge and rush over to her. Rebecca sticks her fingers up to the cameras. While listening to her headphones, she exits an elevator and runs into Gary. He is testifying across the hall and wants to go over to Rebecca's that night. She lets him before they depart. In her office, Tedward is at her desk and shows Rebecca the photos of her sticking her fingers up at the paparazzi. The article calls Rebecca a "Muffin Top Judge" and she wonders if she does have one but Tedward confirms she hasn't.

In the courtroom, Brianna is being snapped by the paparazzi which appears distracting with lots of flashing lights. Rebecca walks in and begins the session. Brianna is charged with one count of felony drug possession, one disorderly conduct and one criminal trespassing. Rebecca gets Brianna to take off her headphones and confiscates them. A mobile phone starts to ring and Rebecca warns them that the next phone to go off, the owner will spend a night in jail. She then asks which of the paparazzi came up with 'Muffin Top Judge' which no one responds. The defence pleads no contest and will move straight to sentencing. Rebecca says that's wonderful and exits the courtroom. At her house later that night, Gary arrives. Rebecca is excited to see him and reveals she has a couple of special brownies from the evidence locker. Gary can't stay as he is only there to grab his Magic Mountain pass. This is a blow to Rebecca and she asks if he's going by himself, but he's taking a girl from the Coroner's office. Rebecca tries to act like she's not upset and scolds him since they were supposed to have plans. He asks if she wants to see a meteor show on Friday but she isn't sure. Gary says she needs to give him 8 hours notice or not be upset when he says no. He leaves.

Rebecca has drowned her sorrows by eating everything, including the pot brownies. She realises she shouldn't have had that second brownie as everything starts to become dramatic (including dramatic music). While standing, she's breathing audibly but stops. She frantically looks around for her phone before dialling 911 and tells them that she forgot how to breathe and that there's giant fruit. She's obviously stoned. Some time has passed when a fireman knocks on the door. She lets him in, thinking he's the only one but more run in in slow motion while "Holding Out For a Hero" plays. Her blood pressure seems fine when the fireman from earlier realises she's the judge who borrowed his axe. She tells him she ate some special brownies ("wink wink"). He says he checked out her books and that "The Outsiders" is his favourite. Turns out it's the only book he's read since seventh grade as there's no point after finding your favourite book. At Rebecca's office, Tedward is listening to music on Brianna's headphones. Rebecca walks in and they both take their headphones off. Rebecca tells Tedward about her night and that a hot fireman asked her out on a date. Her phone rings (noticeably the same ringtone as the phone that went off in the courtroom) and reveals it's the third time since the fireman called her that morning.

Back in the courtroom, even though sentencing will be passed, Tom wants the court to know the nature of her crime. He calls Gary to the stand. Tom asks Gary about Brianna's state of mind and Gary says she did it for the attention. Gary then seems to talk to Rebecca directly saying she doesn't know exactly what kind of attention she wants from people. Brianna drops something on the floor and bends to pick it up, making the paparazzi go crazy for photographs. Rebecca warns her not to do that again and the cell phone rings again. Since no one is coming forward, Rebecca arrests everybody in the court. She also reveals Brianna's real name which shocks her. Tedward and Rebecca walk into her office where Judge Hernandez is waiting. He scolds her for arresting the entire courtroom and calls it "unprofessional". He also repeats to get rid of her hideous van. When he leaves, she tells Tedward that he doesn't have jurisdiction over her van but Tedward tells her to ring the fireman to rebound from Gary. Rebecca says she is not calling the fireman, but he is later in her bed.

In the morning, the fireman walks out of her bedroom (shirtless, thank the heavens!) where Rebecca is making coffee. He says he will come over later as he's the firehouse chilli guy. Rebecca didn't realise firemen actually ate chilli, calling it a stereotype, a cliche, but he doesn't understand those words. He ates chilli with everything. Rebecca tells him that there's a rule that judges and firemen are not allowed to date and what they did last night was illegal and they both could be fired. Rebecca says she will do everything as a judge to rectify the situation. He says he will go home and write a letter to the Governor. Later in her office, Rebecca is eating a muffin when Tedward walks in with good news - the paparazzi are down the hall trying to get their charges dropped which makes Rebecca happy. Tedward realises Rebecca is having her "got some" morning after drink but she tells him she didn't. He then grabs a book and tells her to swear it in and she confesses to going out with the firemen and he slept over. Rebecca says she cut him loose. Tedward questions what she truly wants from men.

In the courtroom where there is hardly anybody there anymore, Rebecca asks for final words. Tom tells her she needs to send a message and says it costs a lot to fund the court cases. Rebecca doesn't care about how much it costs and says she is looking at a sad girl who is so terrified of being alone that she can't do anything without the paparazzi witnessing it. Rebecca sentences Brianna to be alone for four weeks doing community service at a convent deep in the mountains, well out of cell phone reach. Rebecca tells Brianna it is an opportunity to get out of the city and to clear all of the voices in her head to figure out who she is. Tedward tells her it's good advice, knowing Rebecca also means herself.

Later that night, Rebecca is driving when her van fails and she is forced to pull up on the side of the road. Rebecca phones Tedward to come and help. She lies on top of her van watching the meteor shower when Tedward pulls up in his car. Rebecca climbs down and she apologises for her behaviour as his relationship is the only manageable one in her life. Tedward thinks the van might just be overheated as Rebecca pulls off a beer bottle cap with her hands. Rebecca understands why Hernandez wants her to get rid of the van but she says it holds memories, such as she found out her boyfriend cheated on her in that van and then took him to the hospital afterwards in that van. It's the longest relationship she's ever had. Just then, a truck smashes straight into the van without stopping, completely destroying it. Rebecca screams. A little bit later, Rebecca and Tedward rummage the remains looking for things to salvage and Rebecca thinks it's not that bad, despite the van being totalled. They sit on a seat before jumping back up, realising it's still on fire.



'Meteor Show' Review

I must admit, I still enjoy watching Bad Judge. It's sort of like a guilty pleasure (haha I cannot get through one review without a pun) even though the sitcom isn't all that funny. I mean, I never really laughed out loud once during the episode, but there were moments that made me chuckle. Sitcoms are supposed to have your sides splitting but I find I have a hard time laughing all of the time to even my favourite sitcoms like 2 Broke Girls and The Big Bang Theory. They just have episodes where you just don't laugh. I mean, I'll smile at a part that's mildly funny and I will laugh at things that are funny. I do cringe when it tries to be funny, and Bad Judge has those moments where I can see they just tried too hard to be funny that I end up shouting out "Objection!" whenever those moments arise.

For example, the pot brownie fiasco wasn't really funny. Rebecca giving the paparazzi a one-fingered salute wasn't all that funny (but it highlights her fun, care-free personality). The fireman having more tits than brain-cells wasn't funny. The highlight of the fireman character was the fact that he was literally hot. I mean smokin'! I recently saw the guy on recently cancelled Mystery Girls so it was a pleasant surprise to see him again. And I mean pleasant, because he really was smokin'. Rebecca had it very lucky with him! Anyway, the episode demonstrated moments of desperate comedy that can be found in almost every sitcom. With it being early days, I'm going to forgive this show for giving into tired comedic clichés. It's fine, the show wants to be funny and I can respect that, it's supposed to be. But if the show strayed from those repeated storylines and characteristics, it could be much better.

Also, I'm a student of English Literature at University and the fireman's philosophy about not having to bother with other books after finding your favourite... isn't such a bad philosophy. It is stupid, don't get me wrong, but in a way it makes sense. I'm still searching for my favourite but right now, I can't really beat a good Harry Potter book.

Anyway, I did enjoy other aspects of the episode. Again, I enjoyed the court case with Cassie Scerbo as Brianna. Maybe that's a shout-out parody to Rihanna, as well as the constant legal troubles that celebrities find themselves in lately. At the beginning, I wasn't sure I was going to like it, hashtag totes-been-done-before. But by the end I could appreciate what the storyline was trying to do - demonstrate how pathetic some of these celebrities can be when they're trying desperately for attention. The hashtag thing was shot down by Rebecca later which I loved "hashtag contempt of court", which is probably why they stuck the hashtag thing there in the first place. I mean, I hate when people say hashtag. That is the most annoying thing ever. Fortunately, I love Cassie Scerbo ever since Make It or Break It so it was good to see her here and she played the attention-seeking pop star well.

After we got passed the whole pot brownie bit, the episode did get better and I enjoyed the ending when the van got destroyed by the truck. Why that truck didn't slow down or stop after hitting that van is beyond me, I mean does the driver not have ANY manners? What if somebody had been inside it? But what I loved was when Rebecca started screaming. It was such a funny-sounding scream and it totally made the episode for me.



Funniest Quotes

Rebecca: Miss Barton, I'll remind you that you are in a court of law, not on QVC. And if you do the little pouty duck face again, I'm gonna fine you ten thousand dollars. (Does duck face)

Rebecca: That's literally the only book you've read since seventh grade?
Fireman: When you find the book you love, no need to keep searching.

Rebecca: Objection! ... I would say if I was the defence attorney, this is purely speculative.
Attorney: Objection?
Rebecca: Sustained.

Brianna: Hashtag embarrased.
Rebecca: Alright, alright! Order, order in the court! And Brianna, if you do that again it's gonna be hastag contempt of court. Understood?

Rebecca: What's the matter? Cat got your hashtag?

Judge Hernandez: Rebecca, I heard something very disturbing in the middle of my triple-murder trial.
Rebecca: Well, sir, that's not totally surprising.

Tedward: Well, well. Caramelised coffee. Your morning-after-I-got-some drink.
Rebecca: Please, I drink this all the time.
Tedward: Yeah, that's also true!
Rebecca: Oh, shut up!

Rebecca: Okay, I see the duck face so I'm going to spare you the fine this time. But you pull that crap with Sister Catherine and she will slap the Reslin right out of those lips.




Closing Argument

I have my doubts, sure. This is only episode two though so I am willing to keep going with this show. The episode had some great moments, such as Rebecca's scream and her court case, but other moments weighed it down when trying too hard to be funny. The show remains to be enjoyable with Kate Walsh leading and I can only hope the show gets funnier from here. Not a great episode, but not a bad one either. I'm still waiting for that truly funny episode that I hope we will get sooner rather than later, or it's getting sentenced to the TV show graveyard. Hashtag contempt of court!

VERDICT: Sister Catherine will slap the Reslin right out of those lips! C-


What did you guys think of 'Meteor Shower'? Are you keeping this show on, or letting it go? Do you love it when somebody says 'hashtag' in real life? Let me know in the comments and be sure to watch the next new episode of Bad Judge, October 16th on NBC!

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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