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  • Writer's picturecasey

Jury Duty episode 1.03 "Foreperson"

This is the funniest thing I’ve seen on tv in a really long time. I’m so happy for Ronald- literally no one else in the world has had this experience and he was such a champ. I was pulled in by the premise- a guy reports for jury duty and essentially walks into The Truman Show. Ronald Gladden was appointed to a jury that was sequestered for 17 days, without access to his phone, and without knowing that the case is fabricated and everyone he interacts with the entire time is an actor. It actually sounds crazy to describe, and I initially started it with morbid curiosity because I didn’t see how this could possibly be an okay thing to do to someone.

But Jury Duty is somehow an incredibly wholesome, heartwarming, and hysterical piece of work. I can’t get over how much they lucked out with Ronald- he was so genuine and present and really did his best with all these bizarre situations. Just down for anything. This could definitely have gone another way with a different type of person, but the acting feat involved with the rest of the cast staying in character for days on end is also almost shocking.

Ronald’s laid back and willing attitude put my concerns for his wellbeing to bed pretty much immediately, but this episode is where I got fully invested. Ronald had just been appointed foreperson of the jury, which seems to just mean that he has to handle it when everyone else does weird stuff during the case.

To start with, Todd is wearing his chants (chair pants) to court today. No description can do them justice, you gotta see them, but they’re basically crutches with kneepads on top that attach around his waist so he can lean back into them and sit. He’s really proud of his invention, but he makes a scene everywhere they go because “the only part that is slightly inconvenient about these is interacting with other chairs while you’re wearing them”. When attempting to walk through the metal detector at the courthouse, the security guard just says “no”, and Todd then spends several minutes removing them inside the courtroom at the judge’s request. This all sounds too silly to believe, but I think David Brown’s performance is so realistic. And what would it take for you to start wondering if everyone and everything around you is fake?

Susan Berger, Ronald Gladden, Mekki Leeper, Ross Kimball, and Edy Modica in Jury Duty. Image courtesy of IMDb.

Todd is embarrassed after having to take off his chants in front of everybody, which makes Ronald feel bad- and admit that he may have given Todd the inspiration for chants when he showed him A Bug’s Life over the weekend. He thought that Todd might appreciate the nice tale “about the bug who’s making these inventions. He’s trying to introduce technology into their lives. That’s exactly what Todd is trying to do. You know, that’s what he’s passionate about. And I think it’s really cool. So I showed him that movie to kind of let him know that, you know, those people tend to be misunderstood in society, just like it’s portrayed in the movie. You know, he’s kind of an outcast. And all he’s trying to do is just help in his own way.”

This is both the funniest and sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s such a funny, silly thing that it’s amazing it wasn’t scripted. Ronald just decided to show this guy A Bug’s Life over the weekend. And David Brown hung out with him and watched it, in character.

Barbara, meanwhile, can’t stay awake during the depositions. Ronald taps her several times to wake her up, but the judge finally adjourns for a coffee break, telling Ronald to keep his jury in line. He understandingly pleads with Barbara to stay awake, and she reassures him that she just ate a cookie that has “sativa and Dexedrine in it”. Ronald was asked to keep her awake, not monitor her drug use, so he just laughs and says “as long as you don’t fall asleep”.

Barbara doesn’t fall asleep. Suddenly, she is very invested in the case, gasping and reacting to every twist in the testimony. Afterwards, Ronald gushes about how proud he is of her, innocently saying she must have taken a new interest in the case.

This stand-up behavior from Ronald continues throughout the case, even as the situations get weirder and weirder. The concept of Jury Duty seems like it’s opening new doors in comedy, but I can’t imagine this ever being replicated. It was a really involved, risky experiment that managed to turn out perfectly. Please watch it and tell me your favorite part.

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2 Comments


Deb Gribben
Deb Gribben
Jul 07, 2023

Ooh, never heard of this show and now can't wait to watch it! I'm going to have to hope I have access to this.

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casey
casey
Jul 07, 2023
Replying to

It’s free on Prime and Freevee! I hope you love it :)

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