Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Wannabe Actress Days & Judging Amy

I am a great fan of the television show from back home called, “Judging Amy” starring Amy Brenneman and Tyne Daly, as a mother and daughter who live together. Amy Brenneman’s character is called Amy Gray, who is a juvenile court judge, who has moved back in with her mother after divorcing and is raising her young daughter Lauren. Tyne Daly’s character is Maxine Gray, a social worker that is thoroughly dedicated to her work in saving children from bad homes and situations.

I used to always love this show back home when it was shown on TV from 1999 to 2005. I watched it every week. I would get home from a hard day’s work and a long commute from Atlanta and then sit down to watch it in the evenings. My mom was a big fan of the show too. So when I found that they show it on cable here in England, I started watching it again.

Brit Boy had never watched the show before, but he started watching it with me when he got home from work and very quickly became hooked on the show like me. The show is basically about Amy, her daughter Lauren, and the mother/grandmother Maxine who live together in the house where Amy grew up. But the show also does a great job at showing truthful family dynamics as they bring Amy’s brothers Peter and Vincent into the story, along with Peter’s wife Gillian and their son. So the show meanders through all of their lives and relationships and then couples their home lives with Maxine and Amy’s work lives, as a social worker and judge. A lot of the time there is an issue that comes up in Amy’s court room that mirrors her own life in some way or her relationship with her family. The transitions are just seamless and I often can relate to her and the universal things we all go through in our families. Brit Boy and I always say that it was one of the most well-written shows on TV. While the show was on the air, it won many accolades from the TV industry as well as respect from those who work with childrens’ issues in real life.

The only problem though is that Brit Boy and I can’t find it on DVD anywhere. It is hard to come by and we always halfway joke that we are going to start a campaign to get it on DVD. (smile) Also the channel that we watch it on here, seems to get to a certain point with the different years of the show and then stops abruptly and doesn’t finish the series of all the years. So we just hope that one day they will make all the years of the show available on DVD, so that we can relive them and Brit Boy can finally see them all like I have.

I do have a connection with two people from this show, but only vaguely. Many years ago, when I was a very young, bright-eyed girl, I did some work as an extra in movies and commercials. It was a great way to make extra spending money and I thought I might want to be an actress back then. (smile) Not anymore though. Anyway, once I did an extra part in an airline commercial and that same year I did a part as an extra in a TV movie.

Well the TV movie, starred none other than Tyne Daly who was Maxine years later on in “Judging Amy”. The movie also starred Richard Crenna who played Maxine’s boyfriend on “Judging Amy” for a while. The movie was called “Kids Like These”. Parts of it were being shot in Atlanta, so I was able to participate. In the movie Tyne Daly and Richard Crenna played a husband and wife who had a Down Syndrome child. I just remember both Tyne Daly and Richard Crenna to be very pleasant people and great professionals about their work. They were great to watch together. Richard Crenna sadly, passed away in 2003, during the time that he was on "Judging Amy".

So every time I see them together on “Judging Amy”, I tell Brit Boy that I have to watch my “co-stars”. (laugh) Yeah, right, I wish…but being an extra was great fun too.

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