Robert Parker replaces Judge JudyJune 17th, 2012 | Posted by in Taking the stuffiness out the fine wine market
One man – so many possibilities… what if Robert Parker replaced Judge Judy?
We love Robert Parker. But sometimes it seems like he isn’t in the spotlight enough – sure, he tweets some great stuff, and once a year the old ‘Parkerisation’ debate rears its head (yawn), but for much of the time, he seems to live a relatively quiet existence. We’d love to see more of him. He’s kind of become the Simon Cowell of the wine world, the one we all love to hate, who get booed when he tells the truth, even when we all secretly agree with him. Now, in a previous post we explored the notion of the annual Bordeaux tasting becoming a televised Saturday night phenomenon with Parker in Cowell’s chair, but maybe Parker’s place is not on Saturday night live TV – maybe he would be more at home in a daytime slot, replacing the USA’s undisputed queen of afternoon TV. I know what you’re thinking – and you are right. It’s Judge Judy.
For those of you who don’t know (and I am judging you already for this), Judge Judy has her own daytime show in which she arbitrates over seemingly trivial disputes between American citizens, usually when they have fallen out with their neighbour who they have accused of stealing their goat or setting fire to their trailer, etc. Judge Judy listens to all the evidence and then makes her decision, usually by making them give back the goat or buy a new trailer. Judge Judy is never wrong and her decision is final. She has been judging Americans and settling their small claims, and bullying them into getting on with their neighbours since 1996.
So, what could Parker bring to the table as a successor? Well, let’s look at the facts. He loves to judge things. Also, he’s a lawyer, by trade, so he knows his stuff. He’s always drinking so he might be slightly more mellow than Judy, who tends to come across as a little frightening and angry at times. The only thing that might hold Parker back is that I am not sure he has spent a great deal of time around blue collar Americans – he might find some of their dilemmas a little trivial and tedious. Let’s face it, ‘Rudy Kurniawan has caused me to drink a bottle of Lafite which may not have actually been Lafite but in fact an inferior wine’, is unlikely to be a topic on the show anytime soon. ‘My brother slept with my goat’ is much more likely.
So maybe Parker pitches his show at the higher end of the market – it isn’t just blue collar America that has disputes that require settling in the small claims court. Have you ever taken an amazing bottle to someone’s house only to have them repay the favour by bringing you a bottle of Black Tower? Worse still, have they topped up your glass with a different one than the one you’ve been drinking without asking you, or paired a delicate Dover Sole with an aggressive Californian Zinfandel? All of these unforgivable offences could be taken to Parker’s Wine Court and I guarantee he will resolve each and every dispute. Probably with wine.
So there you go – yet another ingenious idea for Parker’s future career. There’s plenty of life in the old dog yet, and while the wine industry is lucky to have him, going forward there is so much more that this great man could do. TV producers, you saw it here first…
And to finish, a quote from Homer Simpson, that might sum up Parker’s strategy for solving disputes on the show… ‘Alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems’….
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