Fame Day: Court TV

I and TV often find ourselves at odds. More often than not, what you get on television is hours upon hours of sensationalist news, vile game shows, and talk shows that swing between glorified bum-fights and thinly veiled infomercials. Sure, every once in a while you can find quality along the lines of Arrested Development or Ugly Americans or Scrubs or whatever wildly popular and inventive new show that NBC will cancel because **** you, but for the most part there are plenty more weeds out there than roses.

However, one such exception to the norm is- believe it or not- Court TV.

That’s right, Court TV.  Judge Judy, Judge Mathis, Judge Milian, and so on.

Now you might be trying to wrap your heads around why on earth these shows are any good, but that’s probably because of the general skepticism you have about daytime TV (and not without just cause). Think about it. Really think about it. What do we see on this show? Glamorization? Perhaps, but for all the strange cases that show up, the majority of them seem nevertheless perfectly plausible. And that brings us to the second point: sympathy. Who among us can say we haven’t had a situation, or haven’t known someone who had a situation, which would constitute a conflict without going so far as to be criminal? Who hasn’t had some petty yet long-running dispute with a neighbor? Who hasn’t had some tiff about splitting up a dead relative’s possessions? Again, Court TV has it all, and what’s more, shows the real-life consequences of all this (usual) pettiness and greed. We actually get to see some positive arbitration, and get educated on not only our explicit laws, but our social contract, our culture, and our state as human beings in general. However hyped up it might be played, the “hollywoodization” of the shows still can’t rob them of their core essence, which is genuinely interesting and relatable conflicts and the ways we resolve ’em.

I’m not saying you don’t have better things you could be doing with your time, but if you’re gonna be watching TV, there’s plenty worse to watch than this.

And just one last note. I understand that “Court TV” also used to be the title of the TV channel now called “TruTV”. Obviously what I’m talking about and that are two unrelated things. Just a heads up.

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