Wednesday, October 01, 2014

NBC Fall Pilot Review: Bad Judge - Premieres Thursday, Oct. 2; Antenna TV's Hitch-O-Ween Marathon on Halloween

Bad Judge

Bad Judge - Thursdays at 9:00PM ET/PT on NBC
Premieres Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 9:00PM ET/PT


by Pavan

No excuses, no apologies, no compromises. Wild child Rebecca Wright (Kate Walsh, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice) knows how to have a good time, but she also happens to be one of L.A.’s toughest and most respected criminal court judges. She has a reputation for unorthodox behavior in the courtroom, including creative rulings and saying exactly what's on her mind. Her private life, on the other hand, is anything but innocent. While there’s no shortage of male admirers who would love to spend time with her, she's not ready to settle down.

Cast Details:

Kate Walsh as Rebecca Wright
Tone Bell as Tedward
John Ducey as Tom Barlow
Ryan Hansen as Gary Boyd
Miguel Sandoval as Judge Hernandez

Kate Walsh (Rebecca Wright) is widely known for her starring role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on Private Practice, a spin-off of the hit show Grey's Anatomy. The enormous success of her character on Grey's led writer and creator Shonda Rhimes to create a spin-off based solely on Walsh's character. During her two seasons on Grey's Anatomy, the show received a SAG Award for best ensemble in 2007 and won the Golden Globe for best television drama series in 2007. The show also received Emmy nominations for outstanding drama series in 2006-07. Most recently, Walsh co-starred in the TV adaptation of Fargo, alongside Billy Bob Thorton and Martin Freeman. Her previous small-screen credits include CSI, Karen Cisco, The Mike O'Malley Show, Mind of a Married Man and The Drew Carey Show.

Tone Bell (Tedward) began his career in the Dallas comedy clubs before relocating to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting and comedy. Shortly after his move, Bell won the Stand-up NBC Diversity talent search and signed a development deal with the network. After acting in a number of shorts, Tone went on to land a recurring role on the VH1 series Single Ladies and was soon cast in the comedy series, Whitney. Following that series, Tone continued to work on his comedy acts and made appearances on Creepy Caress and Key and Peele. Over the years Bell has been seen on Love You, Mean It with Whitney Cummings, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Mind of a Man and Chelsea Lately.

John Ducey (Tom Barlow) has appeared in more than 20 television shows. He was a series regular on Oh Grow Up, a sitcom created by Alan Ball, and had recurring roles on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and Will & Grace. Ducey also made a brief appearance on Malcolm in the Middle. Since 2003, he has also appeared on various TV comedies like According to Jim, Scrubs, Joey, Freddie, Hot Properties, My Name Is Earl, Desperate Housewives, How I Met Your Mother and Hot in Cleveland as well as Disney properties Jonas L.A. and The Suite Life Movie.

Ryan Hansen (Gary Boyd) first gained attention playing Dick Casablancas in cult fave show Veronica Mars. This past spring Hansen reprised his fan-favorite role in the feature-film revival of Veronica Mars, which premiered at SXSW. The film made headlines when a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign was launched that raised more than $5 million from fans to greenlight the movie. Some of Hansen's recent work includes a recurring arc on the comedy 2 Broke Girls as well as Yahoo! and Red Hour's popular web series Burning Love. Prior to that, Hansen starred in the NBC comedy series Friends With Benefits. He also amassed a following when he co-starred in the Starz original comedy series Party Down. He has also been seen this year in a recurring role in The League and House of Lies. Hansen was last seen on the series Bad Teacher, opposite Ari Graynor, Kristen Davis and David Alan Grier.

Miguel Sandoval (Judge Hernandez) has acted professionally for 40 years in theater, film and television. Among his 60 film credits, some favorites include Repo Man, Jurassic Park, Three Businessmen, Walker, Get Shorty, Mrs. Winterbourne, Blow, Do the Right Thing, and Clear and Present Danger. In 2015 he will appear in Sun Belt Express and Blood Father. With nearly 100 television titles to his credit, Sandoval's work includes Entourage, Alias, Law & Order, Seinfeld, Frasier, The West Wing, ER, and The X-Files. In 2010, he completed the successful seven-year run of Medium.

Pilot Plot:

"Pilot" (airs Thursday, October 2 at 9:00PM ET/PT)

Rebecca Wright (Kate Walsh) knows how to have a good time, but she also happens to be one of L.A.'s toughest and most respected criminal court judges. She has a reputation for unorthodox behavior in the courtroom, including creative rulings and saying exactly what's on her mind. Her private life, on the other hand, is anything but innocent. While there's no shortage of male admirers who would love to spend time with her, she's not ready to settle down. Chris Parnell, Horatio Sands and Theodore Barnes guest star.

Analysis:

Kate Walsh is back on television and that's always a good thing. Is it me or does she look younger and younger every year? This is Kate's show and after you watch the pilot, you'll know that because she is just about in every scene, if not all. The pilot starts off with a bang with Kate's character Rebecca in a raunchy outfit that will have all men hooked for sure. So don't blink! This show might be aimed more for men I think than women. The show comes from the minds of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, so you know their humor is raunchy and quite funny. This pilot however, is quite not there yet in the funniness department. I know it's just the first episode but by the middle of the episode it seems like it is dragging on a bit and not that funny. Time will tell, though, if this show will turn into the funniness of their other work like the big screen films Anchorman and Talladega Nights.

One good thing going for this series is there is nothing like it on television. The supporting cast didn't really have much to do here so far, which is a shame. I think the guest stars were more featured than them, especially the kid and Chris Parnell. Kate's character is obviously the lead and she is the hook to the show. She is the "bad judge" and not bad meaning horrible, but bad meaning "she is baddddd." Like naughty. Maybe my second favorite character so far after Rebecca is her van. It's like a brown Scooby-Doo van. Odd, but it really fits Rebecca well. I can see a lot of funniness and nautyness happening inside that van in future episodes.

Conclusion:

Maybe NBC is trying to lure the men demo to feel the void of The Office from a few years ago? That might be wise with ABC killing Thursday nights with #TGIT (aka Shondaland programming). I just don't see this show being a big player in the Nielsen's, as it is niche at best. You should at least sample the pilot to see Kate Walsh, because she is always good in everything. She's good here, too, but so far the show is not all there yet and needs a lot of work. Defining the supporting players needs to happen as soon as possible.

So far the new fall 2014 comedies have been average at best. Of the new comedies premiering so far (Sept. 22-Oct. 2), Bad Judge is not the best and close to the bottom. Will something premiering soon (Mulaney?, The McCarthys?) change that? We'll see, but right now black-ish is probably the comedy with the most potential in quality and ratings. As for this show, sample the premiere...or at least watch that first minute or so to Kale Walsh get naughty by herself, because right now, that's what this show is...Kate by herself. Maybe McDreamy or Taye Diggs will pop-up soon.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3/5
Funniness: 2.5/5
Overall: 2.5/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 9:00PM ET/PT on our message board.

Related Links:

  • NBC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Bad Judge Photo Gallery

    Preview:






  • Hitch-o-ween

    Turn out the lights and turn on the TV with Antenna TV's spooktacular Halloween programming, as the Tribune Broadcasting multicast network presents its annual "Hitch-O-Ween," an Alfred Hitchcock Presents marathon on Friday, October 31. Beginning at midnight, Antenna TV will celebrate "Hitch-O-Ween" with an Alfred Hitchcock Presents marathon of 56 episodes/28 hours on Halloween. A good evening indeed!


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

    The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

    09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
    09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
    09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
    09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
    09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
    09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
    09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
    09/20 - Veep - Season 5
    09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Thursday, September 29

    Superstore - "Back to Work" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Jeff (recurring guest star Michael Bunin), the district manager from corporate, tells the Cloud 9 employees he is going to be around for the day to see what can improve in the store. Amy (America Ferrera) tries to impress him with a perfect day, but a workplace accident threatens her plan. Meanwhile, Glenn (Mark McKinney) tries to come off as a tough boss in front of Jeff, Jonah (Ben Feldman) attempts to help an unyielding Dina (Lauren Ash) win over the employees she betrayed in the strike and Mateo (Nico Santos) discovers something about Jeff in his pursuit to win him over.

    The Good Place - "Jason Mendoza" (NBC, 10:00PM ET/PT)
    Eleanor (Kristen Bell) faces her toughest test yet in her attempt to remain in hiding. Meanwhile, Michael (Ted Danson) enlists Tahani (Jameela Jamil) to help a fellow neighbor fulfill her true purpose.

    The Big Bang Theory - "The Earworm Reverberation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Sheldon has a revelation when he realizes why a song was stuck in his head. Also, Amy invites Dave (Stephen Merchant) over for dinner despite their previously awkward date, and Wolowitz and Koothrappali become obsessed with a fan of their band, “Footprints on the Moon.”

    Kevin Can Wait - "Pilot" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Kevin James stars as a newly retired police officer looking forward to spending carefree, quality time with his wife and three kids, only to find he faces tougher challenges at home than he ever did on the streets.

    Better Things - "Woman Is the Something of the Something" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
    Sam gets really looked at.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 26)

    Thursday, September 29

    • Judith Light (Transparent/Phenom/Who's the Boss?) - Catch Judith on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Tim Meadows (Son of Zorn/Marry Me/The Michael Richards Show) - Tim appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
    • Max Greenfield (New Girl/Modern Men) - Max drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community), Dave Foley (Dr. Ken/NewsRadio) and Suzy Nakamura (Dr. Ken/Go On) - Ken, Dave and Suzy are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight. Ken will also be on Harry, so check your local listings.
    • January Jones (The Last Man on Earth) - January stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce/Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
    • Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men/The Powers That Be) - Holland talks about The Front Page on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
    • Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Guys with Kids) - Jamie-Lynn is a guest on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
    • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.