William always wanted to be on a jury. Now, thanks to his central role in James Acaster’s BBC pilot We The Jury, he’s finally been given that honour.
Based on a stand-up routine that most of us have probably seen several times before on Dave (and if you haven’t, it’s below), We The Jury is Acaster’s first foray into the sitcom world.
We begin with William (Gein’s Family Gift Shop’s Edward Easton), who is basically a palette swap for Acaster’s stand-up persona. He takes his jury responsibilities very seriously and is delighted to be there. Unfortunately, not many of his fellow jurors feel the same, instead spending their time worrying about what the courtroom artist next door is up to.
Something needs to pique their interest as much as it does ours, and this comes in the form of a juicy murder trial.
Wilfully giving yourself the task of creating 12 interesting characters is brave, and Acaster has given it a good go. I could probably remember about nine of them if you held a gun to my head, which is an acceptable average at this early stage.
Standouts include exasperated Lucas (Oliver Maltman), who’s been made foreman against his will, moral compass Jen 1 (Sophie Thompson), who was given her nickname against her will, and weirdo Hugh (Kenneth Collard), who isn’t very good at drawing. Viewers will also recognise Diane Morgan, of Philomena Cunk fame, and David ‘Jay’s Dad off The Inbetweeners’ Schaal.
Sadly, the show’s most important character stands out for the wrong reasons. William is the only one who feels like a caricature, which somehow feels out of place even in a show this silly. The segments involving him and his mum, while brief, are an unwelcome distraction from the much more endearing courtroom action.
Should We The Jury get a full series? Well, I for one would be keen to see how this bunch of misfits handles having the power to decide the fate of a potential murderer. Despite its flawed main character, I’d much rather see something like this given a chance than sit through another soul-sinking remake of a much-loved classic. But maybe that’s just me.