If you aren't immediately suspicious of every new TV/movie production called “Bad [Something],” we must not be on the same planet. Considering CBS just canceled its own “Bad Teacher” and we're only a couple months out from movies like “Bad Words” and “Bad Grandpa,” it's easy to say the formulaic title is a lazy way to indicate that we're in for a naughty, rambunctious time. But then again, “Bad Grandpa” scored an Oscar nomination, so what do I know?
Enter “Bad Judge,” NBC's new comedy about a well-respected and tough judge named Rebecca Wright, played by the striking and dependable Kate Walsh. She's essentially a legislative revamp of Ari Graynor in “Bad Teacher” who hands down attitude and gross-out revelations to the shock and dismay of the people in her chambers. Here's what we learned from the first trailer of the new series.
1. Kate Walsh is believably ridiculous.
For a woman who has spent the past decade in deadpan dramatic roles, Kate Walsh manages to come alive with the insane dialogue she's given here. Some of it is funny and some of it is straight-up annoying, but she's likable enough to make both types work. It's actually easy to hear the voice of executive producer Will Ferrell in some of the lines, namely that joke about the hickey she gets from Gary.
2. She has a verrrry casual relationship with the bailiff.
It can't be too often that a judge hands over her fresh pregnancy test for the bailiff (Tone Bell, in this case) to deal with. I'm sure that's an unusual move. It also can't be often that a bailiff barges in on a judge having sex and offers up a couple of one-liners in response. Pretty zany. I haven't seen a judge-bailiff relationship like this since the old “SNL” sketches with Cheri Oteri as Judge Judy and Tracy Morgan as her attitude-spewing bailiff. “The judge is READY TO RULE.”
3. Oh, she's a drummer too!
Apparently this judge is literally rock 'n roll — she can be seen for just a millisecond behind a set of drums. The lead guitarist and vocalist looks to be none other than “Chelsea Lately” alumna Arden Myrin.
4. Naturally the blowsy judge has a serious side too.
As expected, Rebecca's wackiness gives way to a loving, softer side. She becomes a mentor and guardian for a young child whose parents she threw in jail. Awwww. But come on, can't we have just one rowdy female character on TV without any redeeming qualities? I prefer my hot messes piping, not lukewarm.
5. Wine and cake for breakfast? Sigh. Fine.
That concluding joke about how she had wine and cake for breakfast means we're in for a lotttt of heavy-handed humor. I'm not saying wine and cake doesn't sound delicious, but I imagine this show still has to navigate how crazy Rebecca can be in various professional settings while being believable. Feel like she could be thrown in jail for bringing up her Franzia breakfast while discussing the personal care she's giving a child.
What say you? Hand down your drunken verdicts in the comments.