2001 rang in with “There's a new judge in town.” The popularity of Judge Marilyn Milian of The People's Court has grown astronomically over the years. She was promoted as the first Latina judge on television, and her popularity has now sprung forth other Latina judges hoping to ride her coattails to success.
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but I'm finding Judge Maria Lopez very disturbing. Lopez has copied Marilyn's hair, her way of dress, everything down to Spanish sayings during cases. She even has a deep voice, but she sounds more like Freddy Kruger rather than the sultry voiced Milian. One viewer said she's not convinced Lopez is a female. I would rather sit and listen to an hour of someone scratching the chalkboard than suffer through another episode of the Lopez show.
How Lopez was chosen is beyond me. I can understand her high drama in the courts being something that may interest producers, but further checking should have stopped them. Maria let a convicted child molester off with the lightest possible sentence. I don't see how this kind of person could possibly appeal to the public. Lopez wasn't liked in her hometown; what made them think the rest of us would want her?
The People's Court was the first TV court show and the first to bring a Latina judge to the viewing public. What the Lopez producers didn't do was go beyond the culture to find out what kind of person would be wearing the robe.
Judge Milian has a respectable resume and a balance of intellect and emotion to make cases fair and compassionate. She has the “it” factor. It will take more than a similar heritage to copy the phenomena of what The People's Court has been able to accomplish with Judge Marilyn Milian.
I'm a courtroom junkie and was looking forward to more court shows. I'm very disappointed with what we were given. Lopez is trying really hard to copy the much younger Milian. When Milian came on the scene, she was unique; that's what made viewers love her. She has an essence that can't be copied.
Viewers want quality, not clones. If Judge Maria Lopez is around for another season, it is because Lopez is offering up more than her mediation skills to someone behind the scenes. She lacks the moral fiber required of a judge or the look and personality required for television.
If you are looking for a quality judge who teaches viewers about the law, with a mix of compassion and spunk, look no further than The People's Court with Judge Marilyn Milian.