Oh, I’ve got wounds

Sometimes I feel like that’s all I got


Fair use from Amazon

Alex Geretz

Ronald Gladden stars in “Jury Duty,” a hilarious new reality-bending mockumentary series that chronicles the experience of a jury over the course of a three-week trial. He just might not know it yet. 

In the style of Nathan Fielder or “The Truman Show” and run by the creators of “The Office,” “Jury Duty” sees a real person thrust into a false premise surrounded by actors. In this case, a fake trial populated by fantastical characters is the setting of Gladden’s deception.

Told he was in a documentary about jury duty, Gladden was removed from the internet and his friends and family for three weeks under false pretenses. Some of his surrounding “jurors” include the antisocial tech nerd Todd (David Brown), the awkward, immature Noah (Mekki Leeper) and hotheaded actor James Marsden.

I loved this show. Not only was it hilarious, but it was also inspiring. Ronald Gladden is a gem, making all of the morally-correct decisions in what can only be described as a “moral obstacle course” being surrounded by insufferable people for three straight weeks. Without a guy as nice as Ronald, the show wouldn’t have so much charm. 

Take Todd, the isolated tech-guy who brings various inventions to the courtroom each day, including a pair of “chair pants” made of two crutches strapped to his pants. The producers intentionally put this weirdo in the adjoining room to Ronald when the jurors went into sequestration, but instead of avoiding him or giving him the cold shoulder, Ronald instead went out of his way to show Todd the movie “A Bug’s Life” to make him feel seen.

All of the characters are hysterical. Watching a regular guy react to insane situations spun by convincing actors never got old — I binged all eight half-hour episodes in one sitting. Whether it be Todd’s stupid inventions or Noah worrying his girlfriend is cheating on him while he’s on jury duty, I loved every single joke and stunt throughout the series.

Despite very much pranking Ronald Gladden throughout the show by gaslighting him for three weeks of his life, the show paints him in a very positive light where other similar shows make the central person look like a fool. Ronald is shown being extremely nice and a good sport at every turn.

That’s not to say the show doesn’t have any residual ethical implications. Even though he’s shown in a positive light, some of the jokes easily could have gone too far and put Ronald, an unwilling participant, in an uncomfortable or demeaning position he didn’t know would be aired on TV for everyone to see.

Although considering this drawback definitely makes the show less fun, Ronald has mentioned in many interviews that he’s had a wholly positive experience and continues to be good friends with all the actors and crew involved even after the show ended.

All in all, “Jury Duty” is a witty sitcom that keeps the audience in on the joke throughout. I loved the show, and now that it’s over, I can’t find any fitting equivalent that doesn’t lack the charm or humor of Ronald Gladden’s own “Truman Show.”

“Jury Duty” is free to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

“Jury Duty”: ★★★★★