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|Index||76 reviews in total|
Classy, smart, refreshing and delightful; these are only four of many
adjectives that describe "Judging Amy;" one of the best shows on
"Judging Amy" is a beautifully crafted, well-written and well-acted television series starring a very talented cast that includes Amy Brenneman, Tyne Daly, Kevin Rahm, Marcus Giamatti, Jessica Tuck and Karle Warren. It is easy to get excited about watching each episode because it will leave everyone with smiles on their faces.
Based upon the life of her mother, Brenneman serves as series creator and executive producer. "Judging Amy" is quality television that focuses upon family, the legal system and how one judge attempts to juggle and maintain an equal balance between both.
Excitement, anticipation and success are the outcomes which comes from a series that contains outstanding writing and strong performances. Quality writing and riveting performances set "Judging Amy" apart as one of the greatest crime dramas or legal series on television at the present time. Each episode is written with intelligence, and contains characters with great depth. It was a pleasant and refreshing surprise to watch "Judging Amy" come up with original ideas for each episode.
Daly's character, Maxine Gray, is the emotional core and matriarch of the series as she portrays the character as the stabilizing, inspiring force which holds the Gray family together. Her screen presence, honesty and class add credibility to"Judging Amy."
My heart skips a beat with anticipation and my face lights up with a smile with every scene Amy Brenneman is in. It is especially fun to watch Brenneman's performance as Judge Amy Gray at work as she uses great charm along with her great dramatic intellect to make the role of Judge Amy Gray someone television viewers can care about.
Among Brenneman's greatest qualities she brings to "Judging Amy" is charm, intelligence, honesty, character and class. Daly may be the emotional core of "Judging Amy," but Brenneman is the heart and soul of the series.
Watching Brenneman and Daly perform together is pure magic. I relish every opportunity there is to watch these two very talented actresses act together because their on-screen mother/daughter relationship can may be mistaken for an off-screen mother/daughter relationship.
I could not have asked for a better supporting cast than Rahm, Giamatti, Tuck and Warren because they bring their own brand of style, humor, charm and talent. They are a great counter-balance to Brenneman in their respective roles.
"Judging Amy" is one of a few television series' that I will set time aside to watch every week. Powerful writing and strong performances make me a devoted fan to the series and care about the characters and story lines. "Judging Amy" is one of the finest legal dramas on television.
As a TV drama addict, I have to admit that the premise for this show did
How wrong I was.
The storylines are challenging and the actors all give fine balanced performances.
My greatest praise, however, is reserved for Tyne Daly. Her performance as Maxine Grey is one of the best I have ever seen on TV.
She deserves an Emmy.
Did you ever notice your major network's morbid fascination with death?
Nearly every prime-time drama is a law enforcement drama from the
perspective of cops, criminal investigators, or lawyers. And nearly
everyone is about investigations into violent crimes. Take CSI, for
example, a forensics show piecing together the clues behind violent
homicides. Law & Order, no matter which one you watch, is usually about
brutal crimes as well. These two I give as examples considering their
popularity among network viewers.
But Judging Amy is quite a refreshing break from the world of violent crime, though it is not without it's share into the investigation of some violent crime. However, it is also not done so morbidly. Judging Amy is a show about the legal system as well as a regular drama about the regular, normal lives of the character. In a day and age of violent television, it offer a little bit soap drama (but not sappy drama) and a bit of humor (particularly from Amy's mom, the witty Maxine Gray).
Amy Gray (Amy Brennan) is a judge in family court. As a single mother, she lives with her mother, Maxine, (the wonderful Tyne Daily), and her daughter (Lauren Karle Warren). There's also Amy's charismatic and poignant friend, Donna, her clerk, and Bruce Van Exel (Richard T. Jones) who is Amy's coworker as well as her source of direction on many occasions. So, we see Amy on two fronts: as the family court judge and as single mother and member of a busy family.
Thus, the show caters to an audience just looking for a regular drama as we see the various situations surrounding the Gray family life such as the lessons Amy tries to teach her teenage daughter, or Maxine's or Amy's love life dilemmas, or perhaps what her cousin Kyle is up to, or the difficulties her brother and sister-in-law are going through. There's always something going on. And the characters are all interesting enough to care.
Judging Amy, too, is good as a critique into the legal system. Three members of the family work in public service (her brother works in insurance, so he doesn't count). Maxine is the brazen social worker at DCF and is determined to make the system work to help as many people as she possibly can, even when the bureaucratic processes try to slow her down (remember when they wanted to fire her for speaking against the mayor for the underfunding of the children's home). These are where most of the arguments about flaws in the cumbersome family law policy comes from because Amy, as a judge, can only make such arguments personally, so they occur sometimes rarely. And her cousin Kyle, worked in a shelter and now in a hospital, and is faced, too, with similar frustrations with a neglecting system of public service.
Likewise, even Bruce is interesting as a vehicle for the arguments against the family law system when he is working as a mediator, attempting to fix situations without having to send parents or children into state custody, and hoping they can fix those problems without an abundance of recidivism. All of these characters are there to make the policy arguments that the show intends.
So, Judging Amy presents two spheres, both enjoyable. And the actors do a terrific job. It's really quite a different show, breaking away from the strict examination of the legal system, but not being thrust into a pure soap drama (but again, even if it were, it's less sappy and much more viable than your soap dramas). The strikes a balance. Not only that, because the show involves a single mother and the dominance, too, of her own mother (Maxine), it is a likely quite a popular show among women. Even so, it is not female dominated. Other characters are probably given equal concentration even though Amy and Maxine are pretty much the main characters, both working as counterparts of one another. Amy sometimes seems less sure of herself, less willing to be on the offensive. Maxine is much more bold, more willing to break the rules if it going to help things along. And she always seems to know what she's doing and how to go about it.
It's a pretty good show, different than most of what's out there on network television, and probably worth your time.
I absolutely love this show and I am not one to enjoy much television.
I enjoy Friends, Oprah, and a few various movies that lose my interest
soon after I press play. But something about Judging Amy I absolutely
love and anticipate everyday from 11a-1p when it airs on primetime. I
love the different cases Amy encounters and I love the suspense leading
up to her verdict. I love watching Maxine and her ever exciting DCF
cases. They are always original and surprisingly real and a good
replication of what actually happens daily with social workers. I love
Vincent's excitingly boring life.
Lauren is always up to something interesting. And, overall, I think that it is an excellent show that portrays everyday life of a single mother, grandmother, and family. It is not unreal and does not portray any bizarre, unnatural occurrences. It is innocent and just someone's real life story. Excellent show! LOVE IT!!! Jess
judging Amy was one of my favorite shows that has been canceled. I watched it from the beginning, and felt very sad to know the show would not be back this season. Why should anyone be loyal to a show, and have it removed without any regard to the fans who continue to come back, wk after wk, yr after yr. All the networks deserve to tank, if this is how they treat their customers. NBC did the same thing with Third Watch, but tied up the story lines for us. I'd rather see Joan over Jennifer L any day. She at least has some real smarts. Shame on you corporate honchos. I think I'll just stay on the internet, from now on. A Disheartened former viewer.
I don't know what show some of the "critics" have been watching, because
many of the complaints can't possibly apply to the "Judging Amy" I've been
watching. For one thing, this show is about as nonpolitical as a show about
a judge can be. Issues which come up during the cases heard by Amy or
handled by Maxine are decided in the interest of the child--that's the whole
point of the juvenile justice system. The only reason I can see for lodging
the charge that "Judging Amy" is "left-leaning" is that characters who fall
outside the "married-white-protestant-middleclass-traditional-family" group
(in other words, most everyone) aren't stoned to death on the show. Other
than that, there is no left to lean.
As to whether this is a "woman's show:" first of all, I'm a man, and have loved the show from Week One. The two most important characters are women, but "Amy" has never been one of those shows concerned primarily with emotions and issues unique to women (like "Sisters" or "One Day At A Time")--the third most important character has always been a man (first Vincent, then Kyle). And to say that male characters are treated unfairly is patently ridiculous.
I do think that over the years the show has suffered from too much turnover in Amy's love life--she never seems to date anyone for more than 3 or 4 consecutive shows. My favorite of all the "boyfriends" was Stu (Reed Diamond); I found his history with Amy and the way the relationship was developing well worth exploring. I wish they'd bring him back. Also missed is Dan Futterman. Kevin Rahm as Kyle is doing a fine job, and the character is growing on me, but I really liked the affectionate/prickly/challenging relationships between the main triangle of Amy, Maxine, and Vincent. The other characters are often used in lighter subplots, but are compelling and well-rounded people in their own right. I guess it's possible that "Amy" detractors are NYPD Blue fans upset that "Amy" always beats it in the ratings, but that's hardly an excuse for trashing a good show.
It was a sad day when I learned this amazing show was canceled. This show had everything needed to last for years to come. The show had great actors, wonderful supporting cast, and gripping story lines. I felt that Amy Brenneman's character, Amy Gray, was one that could be related to on all levels. All of the characters had such solid structure, whether they were re-occurring players, or regulars. In my opinion, CBS made a dreadful mistake with this decision. I do look forward to more work from Amy Brenneman, her talents are so very under-rated. I for one will certainly miss it. Now all I can do is wait for the DVDs to be released.
This wonderful woman's drama is packed with great actors, and although the
sheer implausibility of a judge living at home occasionally shines through,
its quickly overshadowed by the fast pace of the episodic sub plots (court
cases, social work machinations, etc). Tyne daly is great, reprising her
role as Mary Beth Lacey...ooops! Maxine gray. Honestly, she is so good in
this (and not to disparage Cagney and Lacey, because that show was terrific
too) it makes you wonder what kind of career she could have had. Amy
brenerman really demonstrates superb talent which was hidden by NYPD Blue's
grunting, male oriented scripts.
Another example of how acting talent overcomes script originality deficits.
This TV series is absolutely wonderful to begin with, and it promises to improve as it moves forward. Catch an episode or two and you'll be hooked.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have watched "Judging Amy" since the beginning. Although some
episodes were too adult, I liked the story line. I especially enjoyed
seeing Tyne Daly on the screen again. I have been an admirer of hers
since "Cagney and Lacy". I am sorry the show has been canceled; I would
have liked to see Amy in the Senate. I, also, liked the actress who
played her court reporter and I really liked the actor who played
"Bruce". In fact, I believe all the actors played their roles very
believable. I was hoping Amy would marry, but, I guess the writers felt
that her marrying would take away from the plot. I liked Cheech Moran,
too. I was glad that he came into the picture.
Loretta E. Bates
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