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!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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39 Comments
  1. Tran says:

    I would’ve given Bad Judge an F but overall I give it a C. Kate Walsh was great on Private Practice but I didn’t expect to see her in a sitcom. Hope Ryan Hansen would do great but I plead guilty in this courtroom style sitcom.

  2. Terri says:

    I loved seeing kate back on my screen again! Missed that adorable face. And she was awesome as usual in this ep. I’m very curious as of where this show will go from this point on. Possibilities!

  3. Cobra says:

    Well “Bad Teacher” worked so well, they might as well do “Bad Judge.”

  4. rebecca says:

    It had it’s moments. Her relationship with the little boy was cute.. I’ll most likely keep watching because Kate Walsh has had my heart since the second she stepped foot in Seattle Grace.

  5. Mary says:

    Isn’t she a bit old to be this much of a train wreck? When are we going to stop glorifying adults that refuse to show social maturity? Fail

  6. N says:

    I didn’t care for it

  7. Aleana says:

    I enjoy it Kate Walsh was hilarious even though I like that she came through for the boy I would have like that she kept him

  8. MzTeaze says:

    Where is the DOA button?

  9. Guest says:

    I love Kate Walsh so i scored this comedy a C but tbh its a mess.. The comedy is so confused about what it wants to portray.

  10. Jeff gunn says:

    Though the pilot was a bit uneven,
    The fly by its pants style gave star, Kate Walsh, room to give a tour de force, performance

  11. laurelnev says:

    Appropriately named…if you cut the title in half. THey warned us. And didn’t that dude LEARN from the whole Bad Teacher fiasco? NEVER take a job w/ the word “Bad? in the title.

  12. DavidSask says:

    This is Bad Teacher even with a same cast member, only difference is she apparently is not fraud in her profession. This show should not be on network but make it adult and try FX!!!

  13. james says:

    Rebecca, I guess you didn’t see the revised pilot? You recapped the original pilot instead.

  14. Tom says:

    It wasn’t horrible In fact if you don’t take it seriously, it was kinda enjoyable. I mean it’s never going to be “Must See TV” but it’s better than another Near Completely Indistinguishable Series starring Captain Archer/Steve Bartowski and Mrs. Frederic

  15. Sam says:

    I gave it a C but to be honest this was subpar. It had a few funny moments but the writers need to up their game extremely fast or else get cancelled like next week. They didn’t make use of their stars who were actually great but the material they’ve been given is baaaaaad.

    Not sure i’ll be back for the next episode. Such a pity with great talent like Kate Walsh and Ryan Hansen.

  16. Leo says:

    Ok, two things: 1. How did this show get picked up by a network? Did somebody owe somebody a favor or what?
    2. I smell cancellation. Probably the first cancellation of this fall season.

  17. Keith says:

    It was okay. I will have to give it a few more episodes to see how it develops.

  18. none of your bisomess says:

    Well NBC has hit a new low. Thank but I have cable and would never buy anything this show advertised.

  19. Terry says:

    Are we supposed to like that character?!? She’s horrible!!! I liked the kid but that’s about it, won’t be watching again.

  20. This show is wacky but in a good way. I’m on the fence with this one the pilot was decent and I think it has potential but we shall see

  21. I’ve never liked Kate before, but she had me laughing the whole time!

  22. Sara says:

    Is it me or the van she drove in the episode was th same as used in the sketch on Conan with Dave Franco?

  23. Jenna says:

    I was prepared to hate on this show, but I actually laughed several times and Kate Walsh has won me over. I’ll keep watching; there are some keeper quotes in it.

  24. RS says:

    Between a B and a C. Kate Walsh is definitely the star making this work, and I could have gone for more of her being a mess — which hopefully would have made it funnier — and less stuff with the kid. But, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many other likable actors/characters (Judge Hernandez, Gary). And the bailiff is FANTASTIC. I would watch an entire season just to see his and Rebecca’s dynamic.

  25. Greg says:

    It stinks

  26. Carolyn says:

    I was really looking forward to this show. I like Kate Walsh a lot and I liked bad teacher. However this is over the top stupid and ugh the van. I don’t even know why I hate the van so much but I cancelled the series on my DVR. Fail! Sorry Kate.

  27. DJFL says:

    I tried to watch the premier, but it was so bad that I gave up about halfway through and never saw the rest of it. I deleted it from my DVR and never watched another episode. Would we really want real-life female judges who dress and act like sluts? The whole premise is just too unbelievable. I would rather watch Judge Judy than this piece of crap.

  28. Joe says:

    Most new shows are not funny. This show was. People are getting too sensitive and don’t recognize satirical humor. Shows like All in the Family or Hogan’s Heroes wouldn’t have had a chance, if they were current. Lighten up!