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!


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

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    The Goldbergs - "Schmoopie's Big Adventure" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
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    American Housewife - "Senior Prank" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
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