Between HBO's The Rehearsal and Peacock's Paul T. Goldman, it would seem that genre-bending reality-based shows are having a moment. Among the more lighthearted and enjoyable ones out there is Jury Duty, which follows a trial involving improvisational actors, save for one: Ronald Gladden, a friendly everyman who has yet to realize that everything around him, from the inane case to his oddball co-jurors, is fake. Every now and then though, thanks to the sheer ridiculousness of it all, Ronald looks like he's at the cusp of figuring it out, but the guy (bless his soul) is just too damn nice to get there.
And that's what makes Jury Duty so watchable. It finds a heart in the ever-hopeful Ronald who, as the appointed foreman, goes out of his way to help his fellow jurors. Whether that means reading a script with James Marsden (who plays a hilariously narcissistic version of himself here), building up nerdy genius Todd's confidence, or even just encouraging ol' Barbara to stay awake, he's there every step of the way. More than just laugh at Ronald's ignorance, we're also asked to look at his capacity for caring for people, which makes Jury Duty not just funny and experimental, but unexpectedly endearing as well. If you're looking for a show that's both easy and eccentric, familiar and new, then you should put this on.
Genre: Comedy, Mockumentary, Reality
Actor: Ben Seaward, Cassandra Blair, James Marsden, Kirk Fox, Maria Russell, Mekki Leeper, Pramod Kumar, Ross Kimball, Susan James Berger, Trisha LaFache, Whitney Rice
Director: Jake Szymanski