My wife and I have started to enjoy watching The Good Wife on Netflix. I know we’re a bit late to the show, but we got there anyway.
One of the things which I really appreciate about the writing is the host of comical judges that come through the courtrooms like an assortment of clowns on a pageant float.
There is the judge who insists on lawyers caveating every statement with “in my opinion”. Or the judge who makes lawyers “excuse themselves” if they try talking over anyone, virtually making them stand in the corner like a naughty child. Or the ancient judge who despite having two hearing aids and looking not-long-for-this-world is incredibly tech-savvy.
Television has taught us over the years that judges are serious and often pompous individuals. These reoccurring characters break the mould, pleasantly surprising and shocking the audience. Their unique and individual behaviour injects comedy into the stories. And the pattern of always-odd judges means that we anticipate meeting new judges to see how they will be humorous.
There is something in these comical characters that we can apply to writing. Even in a serious book not every character has to be serious. Or perhaps they just have a strange character quirk that makes them interesting.