NBC's Bad Judge: What's Your Verdict?

Bad Judge Series Premiere

It’s hard to tell whether we should be impressed by Rebecca Wright, or just feel a little sorry for her.

Based on the series premiere of Bad Judge, I’m guessing it’s a little of both.

In the freshman comedy, which debuted Thursday on NBC, Private Practice‘s Kate Walsh stars as the titular judge, who’s excellent in the courtroom — but outside it? Well, she’s a mess. (Exhibit A: In the first five minutes of the show, she oversleeps, grabs a pregnancy test on her way to work, then celebrates its negative results as she walks into a sentencing. Not the best first impression.)

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But even though it’s easy to pity Rebecca for her messy personal life — she’s got an on-again, off-again somethin’ somethin’ on the side with psychiatrist Gary (Veronica Mars‘ Ryan Hansen) — she does manage to pull it together multiple times during the half-hour pilot.

For one, she masterfully presides over her latest court case, which involves a bigamist who’s got eyes for his lawyer. Then, she comes through not once, but twice, for Robby Shoemaker (the delightful Theodore Barnes) — the son of two drug dealers that Rebecca previously put in jail — as he faces detention for drawing inappropriate (but extremely artistic!) pictures of his teachers. Things get hairy when Rebecca teaches Robby how to fight back against the bully in his group home, and he ends up getting thrown out — but Rebecca takes him in for a few nights, which is an unprecedented sign of maturity on her part.

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And, in the final act of Thursday’s debut, Rebecca manages to deliver a law school commencement speech and make it to her band’s first gig without making any new enemies. A feat worthy of a high-five, indeed.

It seems all hope is not lost for our protagonist — even if she does eat her breakfast burritos with coffee (blech!) and has a questionable fashion sense. Although Bad Judge needs to dial up the funny, the NBC comedy does have a certain charm.

OK, your turn. Do you rule in favor of Bad Judge? Grade the episode via our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!