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Hot Bench

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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I am so glad that Doggie Daddy got his little dog, Edison, back.  He was so emotional, it was breaking my heart!  If only the defendants had gone to visit the dog JUST ONCE, it might not have ended the way it did.  They were just in it for the money ($5000 or $18,000)!!

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I almost forgot about Mean Girl Beauty School.  Damn!  Poor plaintiff, unfortunately kinda fireplug-shaped, wanted her money back from this school because she was kicked out after 30 hours.  She also wanted her $1000 beauty kit that was included with her tuition, that defendant was holding hostage until plaintiff paid for a broken ELEVEN HUNDRED dollar window.  Mean Girls claimed that 4'11 plaintiff kicked out this ground floor window (She couldn't even touch said window with her hand, much less her foot). Smirking beauty school owner and her sidekick mentioned something about "guillotining" the plaintiff in the window!  Glad they got this one right and sided with the plaintiff!

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I'm not liking the premise of 3 judges. I think JJ should have given the entire show to Judge DiMango (the one in the middle).

Edited by MsTree
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I'm not liking the premise of 3 judges.

I don't like three judges either.  A panel of judges is for appeals, not a trial court in the US.    Feels more like American Idol then a court show.  I also don't like the deliberations and that they vote, but we don't know, though we can usually guess, where each judge stood.  From what I have seen so far, they just seem to decide who they like better and that person is deemed the winner.

 

They waste too much time trying to be courteous to their colleagues.  All those "May I ask a question, Judge?" wastes precious time.  But it really is the whole format that kills the show.  The judges just come out asking questions and it ping pongs between the three judges, all going in different directions, so much that the audience doesn't even get a clear understanding of the case.  Judge Judy usually presents the story of the case herself and has one of the litigants agree she got it right or has one of the parties tell their story.  Here they just start in with the questioning, without laying any groundwork.  I tend to just feel one of the litigants deserve to win without having a full understanding of the case to base my opinion. 

 

I really don't like the judges.  They are all just trying to show how tough they are by admonishing the litigants. None of the yelling is tempered by likability.

 

Judge Acker seems the most kind, but she just comes out yelling as a way of speaking.  Judge DiMango, she of the annoying New York accent (and I am from Brooklyn, too), just wants to seem tough and tries too hard to be funny. Judge Bakman is crusty.  I don't like any of them.  I also haven't found the first cases or litigants too interesting, either.

 

Last point is a pet peeve.  In the deliberation room, there are casebooks on shelves in the background.  These books are numbered.  If you look closely, there are books missing and they are all out of order.  I know they are just props to make it all look legal-like, but this is supposed to be a law library and casebooks would never be shelved out of order like that.  Just bugs that nobody could be bothered to get it right and put the books they bought just to look all legal, in the right order. 

 

So far, the show leaves a lot to be desired; I am not yet a fan.  I don't see it being renewed for a second season.

Edited by Bazinga
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Right there with you, Bazinga. Having three judges sort of implies that these cases are sooooo very complicated that one judge can't decide them without help. Jeez, we're not debating constitutionality here.

Superficially, I don't like DiMango because of the over tanned, long brassy hair, middle-aged Barbie look. Dude Judge has funny eyebrows and has a weird affect. I'm sure Sonia is a nice person, but that uniform looks like a Girl Scout leader from the 1950's.

I won't be surprised at a multi-season run. The backing of JJ and her huge audience is a powerful thing.

Edited by zillabreeze
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Just a thought.....what if Hot Mess was the appellate court for JJ?

 

Anyhow, I usually give a program 3 watchings before I stay with it or move on. I saw the first episode (Doggie Daddy), but missed the show on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Edited by Milz
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Just a thought.....what if Hot Mess was the appellate court for JJ?

 

Anyhow, I usually give a program 3 watchings before I stay with it or move on. I saw the first episode (Doggie Daddy), but missed the show on Tuesday and Wednesday.

An appellate court for JJ would be AWESOME! What a wonderful idea.

 

I'm not sold on this one, either. I thin it'd be better served by an hour-long format instead of cramming all this into 30 minutes. Or just do one case in 30 minutes. I don't know. It's not working well for me.

 

That lady with the historic mansion was a piece of work. Who the hell meets someone in the ER and asks for thousands of dollars within a week or so? What's even crazier is that the plaintiff gave her all her savings. WTH??!! Judge Bakman said she's nice because she's from the midwest. I don't care where she's from, that's a ridiculously stupid thing to do. 

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An hour format with 3 cases like TPC might be better; that gives each case 20 minutes (well technically 15ish minutes) which feels about right. 

 

As for how the show is going, I'm not sure if I like it or not yet; I'll leave it on the PVR for now and probably finish the week at least, but it will probably drop down to me "not much left on the PVR" list like Mathis is, instead of "watch soon as I get home" like JJ and TPC are. 

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"not much left on the PVR" list like Mathis is, instead of "watch soon as I get home" like JJ and TPC are.

LOL- That's how I kind of rate my DVR stuff.  Also, there is the sit and actrually watch; JJ & TPC and listen in the background while I'm doing something else which is Hot Bench & Dr. Phil.

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He has a habit of looking down while he's talking, looking throuhg his forehead basically; it's annoying since it makes him look like he's glaring a bit. 

 

It was especially noticeable in today's case with the woman who was glaring with a similar head stance.

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I didn't know when this show was on in my area, but happened upon it today while channel surfing.  I know that I didn't give it a fair chance at all, but I turned it off after about 5 minutes.  I found the 3 judge panel to be unnecessary and irritating. 

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Stewedsquash-if you want to see a weird ass ineffectual looking bailiff sometime, check America's Court with Judge Ross. That bailiff looks like he's wearing adult diapers (and carrying a load in them). Don't waste a half hour on the whole show though, it's badly scripted!

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Like a few previous posters, I'm not thrilled with the 3 judge format.  The only thing I like about it is hearing them talk about it before ruling.  I find being in on the thought process to be very interesting.  I wish we could Judge Judy to do a "think aloud" before ruling.

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There was a black female judge several years ago that would comment on the case after her ruling. IIRC, she would also sometimes take litigants back to her chambers and give them a little advice. Mostly stupid women making bad man decisions.

I didn't really hate the format.

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I call b.s. on the Three Stooges awarding $1,000 to the wannabe female prize fighter who never paid the poor trainer a penny.  It was her decision to pack up and move and It sounds like she then became romantically involved with another trainer and couldn't focus at all on her training with the defendant.  But I'm old and easily confused :)

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Rose- I got the impression that the boxer had dated the other guy previously and her advances had been/were being spurnned. Either way, this show is quickly smelling very scripted to me.

Edited by zillabreeze
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I am totally distracted by the dude judges weird arched eyebrows. He holds his head at a strange angle to accentuate "the look"; he rarely looks straight ahead. I think they are all wannabe actors.

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There was a black female judge several years ago that would comment on the case after her ruling. IIRC, she would also sometimes take litigants back to her chambers and give them a little advice. Mostly stupid women making bad man decisions.

I didn't really hate the format.

I think that was Judge Karen. I don't know if she's still around. I really liked her, but I don't think her show was popular. I'm the only person I know who was watching it, and my friends and I are a court-show loving bunch!

Are there any other new court shows I should check out? I'm currently only watching TPC, Hot Bench, and Judge Judy. There's room for at least one more.

Regarding the cases yesterday, I'll never understand how a member of a minority group can be a bigot. And it happens all the time. I'm a lesbian, and I can't tell you how many women have told me they don't date Asian women, or white women, or black women, or Mexican women. It's so freaking bizarre to me. Like the black judge said (sorry, don't know her name yet) if you've ever been a victim of a racial attack, how could you possibly do that to someone else? I imagine most gay people have been attacked at some point in some way. So when I meet a gay bigot I'm always taken aback. I liked the way they ruled on that case, and I noticed the racist Mexican plaintiff didn't stick around for a hallterview.

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Teebax - I think you may be right about Judge Karen. She was pretty good. Right now, court show picking are slim:

The Judge Mathis Fan Club. Every case includes the obligatory bowing and scraping to Mathis while he acts humble. And he lets the litigants get out of control too much.

Judge Ross- some cases could be interesting but the actors are too bad to endure.

Judge Mablean- I'll listen to her in the background

Divorce & Paternity Courts-Ugh!!! Nothing but stupid people whining and carrying on about needing to be rewarded for the incredibly dumbass choices they've made.

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Yesterday's case of the mother suing her son was really sad to hear. I read up on the story of her husband's murder. Apparently he owned a gun shop and was killed during a robbery by two juvenile delinquents, who beat him to death with a crowbar. So she became a victim's advocate and is pushing for stiffer penalties for minors who commit violent crimes. 

 

If the daughter's testimony about the son beating the mother with a crowbar is true, I just don't even have words for that. I suspect they were a normal, loving family that was torn apart by one tragic event. And the guilt the son seems to carry (because the one time he didn't stop by his father's shop was the time his father was murdered) has to be astronomical. The whole thing is just so sad.

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Watched for first time today. I loved it when he said, no I don't (owe her the money) judge said you do because we say you do!

It's kind of like project runway in that they say they've made their decisions but we don't know what it is, I'm enjoying it,

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On today's show, when the three judges were in their "chambers" deliberating, there was a lot of yelling noise in the background.  Where do they deliberate, in the deli section of a supermarket?

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This show is going off the DVR just because it's a lot of talk to get to the point and I just can't handle this many court shows- after watching JJ and People's Court I have my fill of other people's (generally self-inflicted) problems. But I will catch it "live" if I am home.

 

I think I spotted the long haired brunette with the dark framed glasses that is nearly always in the JJ audience. Has anyone else noticed? Is it the same girl?

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Judge Tanya is beginning to annoy me.  She keeps giving litigants repeated warnings and "one last chance" to behave properly.  She needs to take a lesson from Judge Judy and bounce their asses out.

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This show just doesn't do it for me. There's no need to have 3 judges sitting on the bench, one judge is enough. I tried many times watching it, but I just turn it because it's not holding my interest. You get little litigation because we have to be forced to watch the judges in chambers yapping away and don't know how they all come to one conclusion cause it seems they're still in the middle of debating to even reach a decision. Also during litigation all it takes is for one of them to say is "I have no more questions." They all agree and get up. 

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Wowie!  Defendant was Love On a Hanger, a terrible boutique that didn't honor gift cards, banned family from their store over a TEN DOLLAR discount they refused to honor!  I wouldn't go back there, either!  Calling them bad names or having her husband (a lawyer) yell at them is not a legal defense to theft!

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Wowie!  Defendant was Love On a Hanger, a terrible boutique that didn't honor gift cards, banned family from their store over a TEN DOLLAR discount they refused to honor!  I wouldn't go back there, either!  Calling them bad names or having her husband (a lawyer) yell at them is not a legal defense to theft!

 

Wasn't that bizarre?  The plaintiff had a $141 balance on a gift card after her daughter had bought for a blouse for $42.  She got an e-mail later that said, "We are cancelling your gift card."  So she basically paid $183 for a $42 blouse (that then went on sale for 20% off).  I'd call that theft.

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I think the customer stated that her 12 yr-old daughter had $500 gift card with that boutique, so the owners were not wanting to give a 20% discount on a $42 blouse, after spending over $300.  I would never darken their door again, and would tell ALL my friends about it.

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That's funny as I did returns for so many years that I totally thought there was something missing from that story.  Was wondering if the women or her daughter did a lot of refund fraud.  That's usually the only way you can not do returns again.  Although I did disagree with giving them a gift card then revoking it.   The store would never win no matter what the customer does so not sure why they bothered being on TV & getting the bad press.

    We had one custumer ram her cart into an elderly worker when the worker did not move fast enough out of her (customers ) way.  The customer called HO & complained.  HO gave that lady who assaulted the worker a $25.00 gift card. 

Edited by tribeca
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He yells a lot and always seems so mad.  The only time I have seen him smile was in the case on today with the 2 gay guy hairdressers.

   Judge "did you hit him"

   Plaintiff   "no"

   Judge   "did you lay your hands on him"

  Plaintiff   "well yeah "

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TriBeCa - the bad press is what I didn't understand. Why go on national tv for $141.00? Seems like they damaged their name way more than that. The only way the store could've made a good case was to have video of the plaintiff acting a fool in the store.

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I found the case involving Mr. Mbome rather annoying -- I was constantly distracted by the defendant's painted-on eyebrows, one of which was much longer than the other!  ;)

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I hope that Sonia has a regular chiropractic visit lined up because maintaining those "model legs" poses as she is standing by the bench looks painful!

 

And also as if she desperately needs to pee!

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