26 September 2023

Bull, Season One

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Directors: Rodrigo Garcia, Doug Aarniokoski, Jan Eliasberg, Dennis Smith, Peter Werner, Paul Edwards, Peter Leto, Dan Lerner, Brad Turner, Holly Dale, Jet Wilkinson, Edward Ornelas, Laura Belsey, Larry Teng, Tricia Brock, Russell Fine, Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Cast: Michael Weatherly, Freddy Rodriguez, Geneva Carr, Jamie Lee Kirchner, Christopher Jackson, Annabelle Attanasio.

A renowned psychologist heads a prolific trial consulting service in this drama series based on the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw, the founder of one of the most prolific trial-consulting firms of all time.

There’s no denying it: psychologist Dr Jason Bull (Weatherly) is an expert jury consultant. He knows full well the meaning of the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ theory as he helps his clients to rebalance the scales of justice.

A first-class team skillfully supports Jason in creating winning strategies that tip the scales of justice in his clients’ favour. Trial Analyses Corporation (TAC) is a company that analyses juries to help develop defence strategies.

Bull’s admirable team of TAC experts help configure winning narratives down to the very last detail. Heading the list is his intelligent former lawyer brother-in-law, Benny Colón (Rodriguez); joined by Marissa Morgan (Carr), a neurolinguistics expert from the Department of Homeland Security who monitors shifting jury reactions in real-time; former NYPD detective Danny James (Kirchner) the firm’s tough but relatable investigator; Cable McCrory (Attanasio), the team’s computer expert who is also a skilled hacker; and Chunk Palmer (Jackson), who helps clients prepare their look and testimony for trial.

In ‘The Necklace’, Bull is hired to help defend the son of a millionaire who is accused of murdering a drug-dealing girl from his school. Episode two is remarkable. A female pilot, Captain Taylor Mathison (Trieste Kelly Dunn) is the lone survivor of a commercial plane crash due to wind shear, causing the deaths of 62 people. The airline is complicit in getting a negligence lawsuit brought against Mathison. When Bull and his team learn juries would more likely acquit a male pilot, they work on a plan so Mathison is not judged by her gender and to help her get her life back.

The third episode, titled ‘Unambiguous’, is clear-cut. Bull and his team defend Reese (Celeste Arias), accused of the previously unsolved murder of a star college basketball player. This is after popular crime blogger Ellen Huff (Sarah Steele) reveals Reese was raped by the murder victim and had made threats against him. The case pits Benny against his former colleague and flame, Amanda (Tiffany Villarin).

Episode 19 does more than ‘Bring it On’. When the captain of a pro basketball cheerleading squad is killed, her fiancé, popular defence attorney Jules Caffrey, (Isaiah Washington) is charged with her death. Bull’s team gets onto the case, but Caffrey’s penchant for courtroom theatrics soon finds him at odds with Bull.

‘Benevolent Deception’ is the last episode in this season that involves a moral dilemma for Bull.

Brilliant, brash and charming, Dr. Bull is the ultimate puppet master as he combines psychology, human intuition and high-tech data to learn what makes jurors, attorneys, witnesses and the accused tick.

In high-stakes jury trials with Bull’s remarkable insight into human nature, the variety of procedures initiated by the TAC team – and the number of wins – are a masterstroke!

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