Juice is now airing on BBC Three
If you’re on the look-out for a new 30-minute laugh, then BBC Three’s surreal comedy Juice starring Mawaan Rizwan might be just what you’re after.
Written and created by the former YouTuber, actor and comedian, Mawaan also takes the lead as millennial marketing worker Jamma.
He describes the show as a “trippy joyride that’s got the adventure and chaos of a cheese-induced dream but the emotional truth of a good therapy session”.
After all six episodes landed on iPlayer earlier this month, here’s what you need to know...
What is Juice about?
An official BBC synopsis reads: “Juice is a surreal comedy that follows Jamma on his quest for attention as he navigates chaotic family dynamics and literally stumbles through love.
“Mum, Farida, always makes everything about her, dad, Saif, ignores him and brother, Isaac, steals the limelight at work – the one place Jamma feels like he’s doing well.
“And when he finally does get the validation from boyfriend Guy, he can’t handle it. When Jamma’s emotions peak the world physically transforms around him.”
Mawaan teases: “It’s a very physical show with big set pieces and some unexpectedly moving moments.”
Mawaan Rizwan plays Jamma in Juice
How did Juice come about?
Mawaan’s sitcom is based on his 2018 Edinburgh Fringe show of the same name.
The title derives from his mother’s advice to him growing up that if “life gives you mangoes, make mango juice”. While the show is not autobiographical, Mawaan told Radio Times that the “emotions and spirit that are in it are completely personal”.
There is also another element of the show that is pretty true to life, however...
Who is in the cast of Juice?
Creator and writer Mawaan Rizwan takes the lead as Jamma, having previously started out his career as a YouTuber, before moving into standup comedy and acting in shows such as Two Weeks To Live and Next Of Kin, as well as writing for Sex Education.
Mawaan’s real-life mother and brother appear alongside him in the show.
Mawaan's real-life mum Shahnaz Rizwan plays Farida
Shahnaz Rizwan plays mum Farida, while Nabhaan Rizwan (Informer, 1917) plays brother Isaac.
Mawaan’s on-screen father Saif is played by actor Jeff Mirza (We Are Lady Parts, The Good Karma Hospital), while Russell Tovey (Him & Her, Gavin & Stacey) plays Guy, Jamma’s boyfriend.
Mawaan's real-life brother Nabhaan Rizwan plays Isaac
Russell was cast in the show after coming to see Mawaan’s Edinburgh show.
In a press pack interview for the show, Mawaan said: “Half way through the show I remember thinking what the hell is Russell bloody Tovey doing in the audience? He must have come in by mistake. But the he came backstage after to tell me how much he loved it.
“He was so lovely – he recommended it to all his followers on social media. When the TV pilot got commissioned, I messaged him on Twitter and that was that! He’s been a dream.”
Other cast members include Nathalie Armin (Electric Dreams, The Flatshare), Marc Elliot (Holby City, EastEnders), Hugh Coles (Dreamland, Defending The Guilty) and Neelam Bakshi (Ted Lasso, The Wheel Of Time).
Russell Tovey plays Jamma's boyfriend Guy
What are the reviews for Juice saying?
Guardian (3 stars)
“So much of Juice is raucous and purely entertaining. In many ways, it’s a love letter to slapstick comedy rendered in the millennial vernacular: Buster Keaton transplanted to agency offices and mid-century furniture stores, and forced to hop and flop his way around a serious world that doesn’t really make much sense.”
Chortle (4 stars)
“Joyfully bucking the trend for realistic comedy-dramas, Mawaan Rizwan has successfully harnessed his on-stage silliness into a delightfully bonkers sitcom. Juice, which feels both fresh and refreshing, has a playfulness running through every scene yet doesn’t neglect its emotional core.”
Telegraph (3 stars)
“Juice careers through genres and set-pieces with have-a-go glee, never quite reaching laugh-out-loud funny but remaining novel and peculiar throughout. There is a sense of short skits without any real connection being bundled together in the guise of a sitcom. In place of narrative, Juice prefers imagery and symbolism.”
When is Juice on?
Juice is airing Mondays at 10pm on BBC Three. All six episodes are also available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.