Jury Duty Season 1 Review – All rise for this hilarious comedy

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Episode 8

 

Jury Duty is well worth a watch. It’s a funny, clever and witty series, split across 8 episodes that racket up the comedy across each 25 minute chapter. The premise is simple, and while you could write this off as a simple prank show, Jury Duty actually leans closer to feeling like a mockumentary/sitcom, something akin to American Vandal, which makes it all the more endearing.

The show follows the workings of an American jury trial, documenting all the highs and lows of a case brought before the honourable Judge, who’s serving his final case and wants to make it a memorable one. There’s only one problem… it’s all completely staged. Everyone in the room is an actor except for one poor average joe on the jury panel, Ronald Gladden. He is completely unaware that everyone else around him is in on the joke. Everything has been carefully planned, from the different jurors being picked, to the pieces of evidence shown before the courtroom. And the ensuing result is a chaotic storm of hilarity.

Jury Duty is produced by the same team behind The Office and you can absolutely see the influences here. The deadpan humour and awkwardly contrived bits of dialogue work so well for the comedic tension. we see things like members of the jury clapping (with Ronald tentatively holding his hand out to stop them) or another juror claiming he’s racist to try and get out of jury service, only to retract his statement and apologize quietly, all whilst eliciting plenty of laughs along the way.

The episodes shine when everything is confined to the courtroom, but as the episodes progress, the staging becomes more elaborate and the jurors find themselves outside the courtroom too, taking numerous breaks, being held up in a hotel and even exploring other areas which I won’t spoil here in this review. Personally, it would have been good to see everything confined to just the courtroom and keep this as a contained, simple 4 or 5 part series, but honestly the series has enough laughs packed into its run-time that you won’t wind the slightly dragged out feel of the story.

The case itself is pretty funny, but it’s Roland’s reaction to everything that makes this so enticing. In a way, it bears some similarities to An Idiot Abroad, with Karl Pilkington’s reaction to his various adventures helping to make that show so good.

To add an extra layer of depth to proceedings, Jury Duty takes the time to give each of the characters a backstory and motivations, with many feeling like they have their own arcs. You have actor James Marsden who plays himself, hilariously frustrated that no one recognizes him, while the different men and women on the jury have their own misadventures and arcs that develop over time. As I said earlier, this only reinforces the feel of this being more like a sitcom than a prank show, and Jury Duty is all the stronger for it.

Jury Duty is simply a good fun show. It’s not particularly difficult to understand, and the jokes are plentiful and varied in design so that you won’t find yourself growing bored. There are both long-running and short-form jokes, while the run-time is perfectly poised so you won’t feel like the action is stagnating at any time. It’s not the best comedy of the year, but it is the best way to blow off some steam over the next few weekends, making it well worth a watch.


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  • Verdict - 8/10
    8/10
8/10

1 thought on “Jury Duty Season 1 Review – All rise for this hilarious comedy”

  1. What happens if we’re all judged by a “jury of our peers?”. Something that’s haunted me all of my life, in a
    “sue you soon” society.,where it seems even into the twenty first century, far too many civil law suits clog up the American Court systems.
    For eight episodes, you’ll laugh, you’ll possibly tear up, but mostly find there’s inherent value in everyone on earths personality foibles. Well cast, looked like a possible California smaller county court room.
    Go ahead an Binge it, sometime when insomnia has grabbed you. Parts of it reminded me of the old 1960s Candid camera reveal, albeit better done, with higher production value and writing.

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