Since moving to Ohio, we haven't had TV service. Instead, we rented lots of movies and TV shows from Blockbuster, and downloaded new episodes of our favorite programs from the Internet. We thought we were thoroughly entertained.
But recently, we upgraded from nothing to bottom-of-the-line basic cable. We made the splurge so we could watch our favorite evening shows (The Office, Lost, Gilmore Girls) without being sued by the networks. (Apparently, networks don't take kindly to viewers downloading shows from the Internet. In my mind, downloading a show is equivalent to asking a friend to record it for you. And since we don't have friends with DVRs, VCRs, or indoor plumbing, that wasn't really an option. BUT NO MORE!! At the kind request of NBC, we've ceased and desisted our downloading.) Other than making sure we had access to the aforementioned programs, I hadn't given much thought to what I was missing during the day. But my eyes are now opened! I can never go back!
I know what you're thinking: "Daytime TV Sucks! Soap operas are raunchy and fake, talk shows are irritating, and infomercials are laughable." You're entitled to your opinion, of course, but I believe there's one daytime genre that redeems all the others: The Courtroom Drama.
Seriously. Have you checked these shows out lately? In addition to old standbys like The People's Court, there's the feisty Judge Judy, whom I will forever love for her decision in favor of the plaintiff in an assault case where the defendant had slapped the plaintiff after the plaintiff had screamed in the defendant's face and berated her (the defendant) for breastfeeding in public. And then Her Honor awarded the plaintiff damages in the amount of $1.00. You heard that right: ONE DOLLAR.
With all due respect to Ms. Judy, however, my new favorite TV judge is The Honorable Extreme Akim, magistrate in the nontraditional Eye for an Eye courtroom. The motto, "Sometimes justice is a baseball bat," just about sums up his conflict-resolution philosophy. For example, a woman sued an ex-boyfriend for the cost of dates, dinners, and gifts she'd paid for during the course of their relationship. He counter sued for the cost of a laptop she'd stepped on during a fight. The woman lost. Flabbergasted that His Honor did not rule in her favor, she said she did not have the money to replace her ex's laptop. So Extreme Akim ordered her to take her PDA from her purse and give it to the defendant to smash with a baseball bat. Earlier in that same episode, Judge Akim ordered a shady landlord to sit in the bed of a manure-filled pickup truck until he (the landlord) came up with a lease agreement that was fair to his tenants.
And then there was the episode where a diminutive exotic dancer sued for injuries received when he was tossed into a pool during the drunken revelry of a bachelorette party. At Extreme Akim's order, the defendants were, in turn, tossed by large men into kiddie pools filled with condiments (ketchup, maple syrup etc.). This punishment was, of course, in addition to paying the plaintiff's medical bill.
I'll admit, not all courtroom dramas are equally entertaining. I generally keep on clicking when I happen upon Texas Justice or Judge Joe Brown. But I never regret a few moments spent with The Honorables Judy and Akim. Go on. Give 'em a try. If you still don't believe TV judges are the bees knees, take a look at this*.
And for those already converted to TV's best daytime genre, tell me about your favorite verdicts. I know I've missed a lot of good ones over the years.
*(As with many Onion News articles, this selection includes colorful language. Reader discretion advised. Also be advised that this selection is pretty flippin hilarious.)