If you spend any time on TikTok I’m sure you’ve already heard of this show but in case you haven’t, let me tell you about it! I first saw it recommended as an upcoming show and added it to my maybe I’ll watch it at some point list. And then I saw allll the clips on tiktok and just had to dive in. So let’s talk about Jury Duty!
It follows the workings of an American jury trial through the eyes of Ronald Gladden, a juror who is unaware the entire case is fake. Everyone except him is an actor, and everything that happens is carefully planned.
Jury Duty consists of 8 30-minute episodes. And the concept is pretty wild! A guy shows up for jury duty and is told the trial is filmed for a documentary. But unbeknownst to him the trial is fake and everyone is an actor.
There is a script and some of it is planned, but they also went along with whatever Ronald (our non-actor MC) was doing and saying. So all the actors had to improvise all the time. They also had to be in character all the time because they’re all together and of course you don’t want Ronald to become suspicious.
One of the first things coming up in conversations about this show is ethics, is this ethical? I think because the show wanted to be really good-natured this isn’t an issue. But it easily could’ve been! James Marsden is one of the actors (playing himself, or an exaggerated version of himself) and he said he would only sign on if it wasn’t mean spirited. Ronald was chosen because they wanted a ‘hero’ and he was incredible.
I think this shows works so well because of Ronald. It is absolutely hilarious and I laughed out loud a lot. But you are really invested because of Ronald. He is such a genuine good person and that creates some wonderful moments in the show. All I can do is urge you to go watch it if you haven’t yet. It is hilarious and I’m pretty sure you will love it!