The Judgement Game

Every now and then Sliders seems to defy the odds, more so than any other sci-fi television series. Science fiction becomes reality and as the old saying goes truth is stranger than fiction. The FOX broadcasting network will air a new reality TV series on April 7th, 2017 titled, “You the Jury” hosted by Jeanine Pirro. The fate of someone’s life will be in your hands! Just download the app.

It’s a direct take from the 1996 Sliders episode “Dead Man Sliding” where the team travels to a world where the legal system is a game show. I remember watching this episode when it aired and reminisce at how outlandish it seemed at the time, not necessarily as a parallel world idea but how outlandish it would be for our own legal system. Replace the Simon electronic games with cell phone apps and you have yourself a way to be judge and jury!

In 1984 a television show named “You are the Jury” debuted where a courtroom case would be reenacted from an actual trial and then viewers would call a 900 number to decide whether or not the defendant is innocent or guilty. Then there’s the small claims TV shows such as People’s Court and Judge Judy. Never before however, to my knowledge, has an audience decided the verdict.

In this season three episode, Quinn is apprehended by bounty hunters and put on the televised entertainment stand to face judgement for someone else’s crime. The cases are presented as the audience and viewers at home decide the verdict in the case. The judicial system as we know is turned upside down and is merely a form of entertainment. Well, FOX’s new series “You the Jury” has made the legal system entertainment for YOU to decide. It is dubbed as a reality show and as we all know reality TV is usually deceptive of the truth. Will these cases be reenactments of the past or will a true jury decide the case later? It’s unknown right now as there’s little information to go on, however with my research I’m finding that the results of the viewers poll will be “100 percent live and binding.”

It’s almost too hard to believe, but given the state the world is in, its likely 100 percent true. To take it a step further the series will showcase high profile attorneys that have worked in popular cases such as Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin. Like the Sliders episode, what won’t the show stoop to, to get ratings at the cost of the defendant. Manipulative audio and video? CGI? Altering the poll results?

All of this beckons the question as to how far we will go as a nation for entertainment. What’s next, allowing the audience to watch a death sentence? Pick a door and let the chips fall where they may. Obviously there are details that we aren’t aware of concerning this show, however, it is a dark step for America not only in entertainment but values we hold dear in a court of law.