While waiting to get called back at my doctor’s office I was treated to some afternoon television: Divorce Court.
Man, was it bad. The judge was mugging for the camera whenever the shot was on her, and the bailiff wasn’t much better. Everything was exaggerated to almost comic levels. The “litigants ” were ill behaved and had deeply unappealing things to say. Domestic violence (at a somewhat petty level, on the order of pushing and shoving) came out in “testimony” about disputes over money, and neither party seemed able to restrain themselves from interrupting the other. They both looked like liars and there was no way to figure out which of them (if either) was telling anything with a passing resemblance to the truth. The judge did what I would have done — she said “A pox on both your houses and get the hell out of here.”
Now, I realize that a daytime TV show has as much resemblance to real court as a pickup truck resembles chop suey. It’s the amazingly low quality of the programming that struck me. How can people watch this dreck at all? And if this is what they think real courts are like, it’s no wonder they act like kindergartners when they show up for the real thing.
As for the show itself, let me sum up by saying that I felt noticeably stupider for having watched it than I had felt before.