Screen Scene – Jury Duty: Improv Comedy & An Engaging Storyline

by Tabatha Golat – 

This month’s series recommendation invites you to the world of Jury Duty, a hilarious eight-part series that combines delightful improv comedy with plenty of surprises. Created by talented duo Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, known for their work on The Office, this Amazon Freevee production takes the concept of jury duty and transforms it into a ridiculous and engaging storyline.

Jury Duty follows the journey of Ronald Gladden, an LA-based everyman who reports for jury duty at Huntington Park Superior Court. Little does he know that everyone surrounding him, from the judge and lawyers to his fellow jurors, are actually professional actors, and even the trial itself is a sham. Gladden volunteered for the role of juror, having responded to a newspaper ad for a documentary on the juror experience. However, what he unknowingly signed up for was a documentary that revolves entirely around him.

As the series unfolds, Gladden finds himself immersed in a series of absurd events, with each passing day of the trial becoming increasingly outlandish. Throughout it all, Gladden maintains a remarkable level of kindness and compassion, which is captured by behind-the-scenes footage from hidden cameras. This unique premise sets the stage for a series of unpredictable moments that will leave you laughing uncontrollably.

Joining Gladden as a fellow juror is the talented James Marsden (known for his roles in Westworld and The Notebook), who portrays an exaggerated, egotistical version of himself. Marsden’s obnoxious behavior and impeccable comedic timing elevate the show’s storyline, providing hilarious interactions with Gladden. In one episode, Gladden even assists Marsden with rehearsing his lines for an audition, resulting in an embarrassingly over-the-top performance. Meanwhile, Gladden remains blissfully unaware that he’s essentially living in his very own version of The Truman Show. Despite the cast’s relentless attempts to challenge him, the comedy never turns mean-spirited, and Gladden’s genuine reactions add to the charm of the series.

While Jury Duty offers plenty of laughter and absurdity, it also possesses a heartfelt side. The show explores the bonds that form among the jurors during their sequestration, emphasizing the theme of community and the significance of the people we serve alongside. With its unique blend of hidden-camera pranks and elements of true crime documentaries, Jury Duty delivers a truly one-of-a-kind viewing experience. The series concludes with a heartwarming revelation where Gladden’s fellow jurors confess the ruse, showering him with adoration for his sweet demeanor.

If you’re looking for some other hilarious and heartfelt comedies, check out my recommendations below.
1) Parks and Recreation, Prime
2) The Office, Netflix
3) Best in Show, Crave
4) The Truman Show, Prime

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