I’ve been watching a lot of afternoon television lately and first of all, I’ve just got to tell you – I don’t understand how anybody could just sit around and watch TV all day long! I mean, don’t get me wrong – it sounds like a great lifestyle, not having any rules or responsibilities to go by, eating whatever you want, and generally loafing about to your heart’s content, but show of hands – how many of you have actually flipped through the channels at about three in the afternoon on a weekday? There’s a couple of game shows, there’s a few dozen lawyers and doctors and secretaries having sex with each other on the daytime soaps, but if you’re looking for something that has, oh say, an actual plot or storyline, then you’re much better off finding something else to do with your time during the week, like maybe a job?

But wait! There does happen to be one brand of afternoon television that I’ve come to love and adore regularly from 3:00 – 5:00 PM and that, my friends, is the glory that is known only as Court TV! Covering cases ranging from stolen boyfriends and automobile vandalism to even the neighborhood Chihuahua that just won’t shut up while everybody else is trying to sleep, these are the real issues that matter in today’s rough and tough, no-holds-barred world. Anything goes, and usually it does, because we seem to have an excess of idiots in our society and guess what?! They live right next door to both you and me!

We’ve got a number of different judges that lay down their fury throughout the daytime hours, but I can’t really choose a favorite – Judge Judy is the straight-up, hardnosed one that has no problems informing the sobbing housewife that she’s full of shit, Judge Joe Brown is the voice of reason who’ll try his best to understand both sides of each story and give you the benefit of the doubt, even if you’re full of shit, and of course, let’s not forget Judge Larry Joe of Texas Justice, the kind-hearted man who’ll see you to the electric chair for stiffing your best friend on the rent money and then help your Grandmother cross the street to the funeral afterwards! I’m sure there are even a few that I’ve left out, like Judge Hatchett with her grace and elegance, or Judge Wapner with his headstrong outlook, or even Judge Mills Lane with his nobody’s-losin’-an-ear-in-my-courtroom attitude – who could really choose between so many unique bringers of justice, really???

Nevertheless, I think what I absolutely enjoy about these shows more than anything else, though, is the fact that Oprah isn’t on any one of them. Well, that and because these brief, half-hour programs are just enough to show you that no matter how much your life sucks, there’s somebody else out there who’s got it a whole lot worse! Sure, you may have the occasional fight with the vending machine at the office, but at least you’re not the guy who took his boss to court because he got mad, stuck his arm up inside the machine through the bottom and couldn’t get it back out! You might get a bit peeved yourself when you loan a buddy twenty or thirty bucks and they forget to repay it, but do you take the guy to court because he argues, “Hey, I thought it was a gift…”?

In this day and age, just about anybody can sue anyone else and that can kinda be a scary thing, when you really start to think about it! Fortunately, most of us never have to hear about the really big cases because not nearly as many people can come up with the cash necessary to back up a claim with any of the major burger joints or retail stores, but when it’s one Joe Nobody against another, boy do the studios perk up and start singing your tune. Think about it – not only do you finally get to settle that pet peeve of yours about the neighbor’s cat always lounging around by your front porch, but you’ll also score an easy $1,000 and a free trip out to Hollywood at the same time! What a deal…

Of course, you might be concerned about your friends and family seeing such a petty display that could’ve been handled over lunch instead blasted out over the airwaves on national television, but then again, who really watches that stuff, anyways?