Dec. 12/08: The law finally catches up with Nick Purdon

Hello villagers! Nick Purdon here…representing Sook Yin Lee this week on DNTO.

First up I have to say…big shoes to fill…big shoes…as who didn’t think Jonathan Torrens was great? And he wears a size 9.5.

Anyway this week on the show we approach the bench. DNTO goes to court! And it's about time. After all, second to the desert island, the courtroom is the most inherently dramatic place in pop culture.

Think To Kill a Mockingbird. The Verdict with Paul Newman. Remember Night court?

I love the cinematic courtroom. All that polished wood. People in their tidy rows. Good and evil on their respective sides. And truth winning out in the end.

I learned about court as a kid from TV. When I got home from school my parents weren't there, so I spent 30 minutes of those high-risk hours between the end-of-school bell, and the dinner bell, in warm embrace of court.

The people's court with Judge Wapner. It's almost as if the judge helped raise me.

And at the end of every 30 minutes, when Doug Llewelyn summed things up, the world was in harmony.

Court made things right. Everyday after school between 4:30 and 5:00…after Happy Days.

Then at 17 I ended up in court myself…on a charge of prowl by night (Can you believe that’s a charge?). It was quite an awakening. First of all it was day…there was no Wapner. No Doug. In fact from the moment I walked into the courthouse I had no idea what was going on. The judge never looked at me. I wasn't asked to speak. I couldn't understand most of what my lawyer was saying. And the whole episode took about 3 minutes. Before I knew it me and my suspended sentence were riding home with my parents in the Chevy malibu.

When I think about it now…what I learned that day, probably more than anything, was that TV and real life aren't the same thing.

TV makes us believe that there are good guys and bad guys... the difference is always clear... and that at the end of the day, there's order in the court.

But in the real world, is there?

And this is where we’re looking this week…into the crevasse between the court in pop culture and the real courthouse.

From the Perry Mason effect to the CSI effect. We'll talk with David Papke, a lawyer with his finger on the pulse of pop culture, on how TV is changing court.

Also we go behind the scenes and get the stories of the court rats. Regular everyday people who spend their time watching court cases….(though that probably excludes them from being ‘regular’).

And David Boulanger - now a Juno-winning musician - on what's it like to be the guilty one in court.

The Dnto court is officially in session. So Rise, Villagers, Rise…the judge is coming and his name is Manford.

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