I hope you had a chance to watch the North London derby in the FA WSL over the weekend, because it was objectively fun and Spurs played fairly well.
Ramble of the Day
I realize I haven’t mentioned this before, but the first show I truly binged during the pandemic (Tiger King excluded) was The People’s Court. I’m pretty sure my sisters and I discovered it by complete accident, but it became a worthwhile binge for a few reasons:
- It was on every day, so it provided a seemingly endless amount of content. (They quickly moved on to airing reruns, which isn’t really a problem when you’ve never actually watched the show before.)
- The judge, Marilyn Milian, is a real judge, and it’s actual court! Real laws apply, and all of the rulings are valid. (That’s obviously pretty rare for court shows — I watched a tiny bit of an episode of Divorce Court around the same time and it was very obvious early on how fake it was.)
- There are some really bonkers cases in front of the court, and the fact that this is a real courtroom makes it all the more entertaining.
The primary reason I waited this long to ramble about it is because I spent quite a bit of time looking for a video of the wildest case I watched, “A Back Up Crack Up.” (I’ll talk more about the names of the cases in a bit.) I could never find a video, and months after watching the episode and looking around for the video, the details are a bit hazy to me. What I remember is one person suing another, and (I believe) unrelatedly mentioning he got a knife in the foot at work. He mentioned it matter-of-factly, and in a way that couldn’t possibly have prepared you for how mundane the incident was: he didn’t notice a knife slip out of his hand until it landed in his foot while working at Chipotle.
That was the thing that made the best cases on The People’s Court — mundane situations with some bizarre twists of fate. Sometimes, people walked into the courtroom with innocently outrageous stories, like the person who probably kidnapped a dog but said she couldn’t find the dog after said dog flew out of a window of a fast car on the highway. (I believe she also mentioned that there was a lot of traffic on the highway, so it would pretty weird if she was driving quickly at all.) Not every case would have it, but one was never starved for weirdness. After all, an altercation that happened because one woman didn’t visually thank a driver for letting her cross the road can hold the viewer over for quite some time.
The People’s Court main issue is that it is a completely unbalanced show. There’s legitimacy in the actual proceedings, and Judge Milian knows how to be on television; that’s not really enough to carry a show on its own, if one’s looking for quality. There are a ton of boring cases, but the production value is so low that I might classify this as one of the tackiest shows I’ve watched. The names for each case are horrible puns, and the other voices — a court reporter, Doug Llewelyn, who doesn’t care to be there and a presenter, Harvey Levin, who adds absolutely nothing — weigh down the product significantly. Even with some wild people coming in and out of the courtroom, there are a lot of pretty boring cases. It’s a surefire way to turn a habit into a chore, and I stopped watching it regularly within months.
It’s clearly not meant to be a high quality show, which is inherently fine. It gets fairly close to the art of being terrible but enjoyable, but The People’s Court just isn’t committed to that.
tl;dr: I forgot to mention that the first real thing I binged during the pandemic was The People’s Court, a show with some legitimacy and some wild entertainment but is inherently imbalanced.
Stay informed, read this: Christopher Clarey on WTA chairman Steve Simon, who called for an investigation in China after tennis player Peng Shuai was censored for accusing a former government official of sexual assault for The New York Times
Links of the Day
Ex-Celtic midfielder Bertie Auld died aged 83.
Plymouth’s Mike Cooper received homophobic abuse from home supporters over the weekend.
France, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, and Serbia qualified for the 2022 World Cup.
Barcelona signed Dani Alves on a free.
Premier League clubs will be required to tell the league when players and coaches are receiving supplemental payments from companies linked to the club’s owners.
A longer read: Jon Arnold on the celebratory feel of the US-Mexico rivalry for players (and their families) with connections to both countries for ESPN