I’ve been in a TV slump ever since Daisy Jones & The Six ended. Lucky for me, clips from Amazon Prime Video’s newest show Jury Duty have completely taken over my FYP in a matter of days. My toxic trait is that I’ll watch entire TV shows and movies on TikTok just from three-minute clips. Suddenly, an hour has gone by and I’m on part 37 of a movie I could easily watch on a real TV. The Jury Duty clips I was seeing on TikTok weren’t enough, though. They literally had me in tears, and I knew I had to commit to watching the whole thing — I was not disappointed.
Jury Duty is an Amazon Freevee original “mockumentary” that’s available for streaming if you have Amazon Prime Video. And lucky for us broke college students, it’s free with ads. The series debuted earlier this month on April 7. The series currently has six episodes out, with two more coming our way this Friday, April 21. The episodes are only about 30 minutes long each, so it’s the perfect series to binge-watch. This is your sign to take a study break, bestie. It’s worth it.
Wait, what’s Jury Duty about?
The concept of Jury Duty is wild, and it took me a hot minute to figure out what was going on. Obviously, real jury duty in America is kept strictly confidential. Some people called to jury duty are even sequestered, being completely cut off from the real world without social media. But the Jury Duty show focuses on a completely fake court case with eleven fake jurors and one “real” juror, Ronald Gladden. Gladden has no idea that everything and everyone around him is fake, and he’s the only “real” juror who believes that he’s actually fulfilling his jury duty. He thinks that the show is a documentary to show the realities of the American jury duty system, and he agreed to be filmed. The producers tell him that they got special permission to film the court case. In reality, everything that happens is actually planned by producers and played out by the actors – and Gladden has absolutely no clue that it’s fake.
The series follows the fake civil court case as it progresses, and all of the actors take on hilarious personas to fake out Gladden. Famous actor James Marsden plays himself, acting like an arrogant A-list celebrity who was called into jury duty. Mekki Leeper, who you might know as Eric from The Sex Lives of College Girls, pretends to be a nerdy teenager. There are so many different personalities from the various actors, and I have no idea how they didn’t break character more often.
James Marsden explains the concept of Jury Duty more extensively in his recent interview with Access Hollywood.
TikTok is obsessed with Ronald Gladden.
With all the clips that have circulated about the show, one thing is clear. TikTok has fallen in love with Ronald Gladden (and so have I). Even after he was put through the most ridiculous situations and had the actors trolling him the whole time, he remained so patient and kind (and oblivious to what was really going on).
In one viral TikTok clip of the show, Gladden takes one of the fake jurors “Todd” under his wing. He tries to instill some self-confidence in Todd by suggesting they watch A Bug’s Life together.
Gladden explains how people think Todd is a weirdo and an outcast, but really he’s just misunderstood. Gladden wanted to show him A Bug’s Life to let him know that people like Todd “tend to be misunderstood in society, just like it’s portrayed in the movie.”
The comments under the TikTok are so real.
“RONALD NEEDS TO BE THE NEXT BACHELOR,” one user writes. Agreed, who’s gonna start the petition?
Another user writes, “Imagine being the actor though [referring to the actor who plays Todd] where you’re intentionally trying to weird this guy out and he’s showing you a bug’s life to connect w you.” My heart…
Like the rest of TikTok, I can’t wait for more Ronald Gladden content. I’m dying to see his reaction when the producers tell him the documentary and the jurors were fake the whole time. I just hope his friendships with the actors carry over into real life.