I’m not much of a fan of daytime television, mainly because I don’t often get a chance to sit down and watch it, but every once in a while a TV program appears that takes the viewing public by storm. Appearing on televisions in the UK with little fanfare, Judge Rinder was destined to be one of those shows watched only by students and the unemployed on weekday afternoons, until a national radio DJ picked up on the comedy value of the show and introduced it to the masses.
Suddenly, Judge Rinder was THE only show to watch and the man behind it became something of an overnight celebrity. Much like Judge Judy, Robert Rinder is a qualified barrister and has a long history in the field of law. The cases shown are all real and so are the plaintiffs and defendants who stand before him. What makes Judge Rinder so watchable is the bitchy way that Robert Rinder presides over each case. If you thought Judge Judy was cutting, you’ve not seen anything until you’ve watched Judge Rinder in action.
As a person, Judge Rinder looks fairly unassuming. There is nothing particularly noticeable about his height or appearance, but as soon as he opens his mouth you get the feeling that he’s tougher than he looks. Some of the putdowns Rinder comes out with are truly inspired and he has the sort of sharp wit that means the people before him rarely (if ever) get the verbal upper hand with him.
The show is camp, fun and knows it and therefore plays up to its image of being nothing more than an hour’s worth of light entertainment. The type of cases heard are usually concerning arguments over relatively small amounts of money, people feeling that a small business owner has ripped them off or a neighbour who deliberately lets their dog crap on their next door neighbour’s front lawn.
I’m not sure if it has to do with some of the ludicrous cases that are heard, the farcical explanations that some of the defendants come up with or the fact that Judge Rinder is the bitchiest queen that law has ever seen, but something makes this show extremely watchable and I am so addicted to the show that I record it and watch the episodes when I am not at work.
Shows like this inevitably hit the big time by the third or fourth series and once they become mainstream some of the sparkle is gone. Cult TV programs work because they are just that, once you start giving the show a starring role in your schedules and throwing lots of money at it, it tends to lose its appeal quite quickly.
Judge Rinder is just the latest in a long line of throwaway TV shows that catch the eye of the nation and burn out as quickly as they appear. In a couple of years time we will probably have forgotten about Robert Rinder and his unique way of hearing cases in his ‘court’. The cases and the defendants will become so farcical that it fails to be funny anymore, and when that happens the show will quietly descend back into the realms of anonimity as it had before.
Such is the nature of TV and a generation that is obsessed with only the brightest and the newest things. Judge Rinder will entertain the viewing public for a while, but we will soon become bored and look for the next bubblegum piece of programming to whet our appetite for the downright ludicrous.
Judge Rinder is silly, throwaway television and not for those who have had a sense of humour bypass, but if a camp man with a gavel and a sharp tongue is your kind of thing then you’d do worse than to watch Judge Robert Rinder in action. You never know, you might also learn a thing or two about law!