Bull

3 out of 5

Created by: Phil McGraw, Paul Attanasio

covers season 1

Bull is a pretty dumb and obvious show.

That’s okay.  Within that dumb, obviousness, it manages to find 22 solid variations on its there for its first season, and is so happy to remain dumb and obvious that it doesn’t bother “exploring” its characters with any extended subplots, and lest you think that’s a back-handed knock, let me confirm: For popcorn TV whose job it is to entertain, it is not a knock; it is very much a plus.

For the deluge of cookie-cutter TV available, a lot of the genre stuff – Bull being legal procedure genre of a sort – seems to assume that we want / need family or relationship drama mushed into our genre.  While I’m sure that’s occasionally true, let me tell ya, bub: Keep that shit to the relationship drama shows, and let Bull show off his fictionalized version of court science without any pesky baby drams diversions.

Writers of Bull: Mission Accomplished.

Show co-creator / Bull template Phil McGraw was at one point a trial consultant, which is the potentially-evil-but-CBS-would-have-us-believe-it’s-used-for-good practice of somewhat kinda using social engineering to help guide one’s jury selection and trial approach in order to sway the verdict to go your way.  And thus does our good fictionalized version of the Doctor, Jason Bull (Michael Weatherly), take cases which intrigue him – and allow us to root for him – staying behind the scenes as a psychologist and interpreter of the data and leading his team through quirky case after case.

You know how it will go, but it’s all portrayed with enough officiousness and zing to not offend, and the actors are a good selection of believably attractive and intelligent, slotting into the techy / uptight / suave / etcetera roles with enough individual panache to not annoy.  And this are we entertained.

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