No Bull, he's back.
Michael Weatherly officially made his debut as the titular
jury consultant trial scientist on CBS' newest procedural Tuesday night. What were your first impressions?
For me, some aspects of the show — i.e. Bull's uncanny ability to read potential jurors — worked nicely, setting up a conceit that it's easy to foresee carrying on for several seasons. But other elements (the awkward fourth wall-breaking, split-screen talking heads of potential jurors and their mirrors, the clunky chemistry among Bull and his support staff) are going to take some work.
Here's what the series premiere taught us about Jason Bull:
1. Glasses make the man. It's no secret that Weatherly is hoping to leave NCIS' Tony DiNozzo firmly behind him with the launch of Bull. And what better way to do that than with a pair of thick-rimmed spectacles? "The nice thing is not wearing a gun and a badge. Sitting in a vehicle with a gun on your hip is very uncomfortable," Weatherly says. Like Alex from Orange Is the New Black, Bull has a habit of taking his glasses on and off to great dramatic effect. And that's not their only benefit. "If Bull were to stay on the air for a while, glasses are very helpful," Weatherly admits. "Because if you're tired, they hide lots of sins." Plus, he's a smart doctor, duh.
2. He's divorced. And a Neil Young fan — apparently listening to Harvest on repeat was the only thing that got him through the breakup. According to Weatherly, it won't be until around Episode 5 that we find out exactly what happened with Bull's failed relationship — which ended "years ago," but suffice to say the repercussions are still being felt.
3. He knows how to sling a one-liner. Whether he's insulting the former Attorney General's knockoff Rolex or his strategy when it comes to dealing with juries, Bull isn't afraid to hurl an insult here and there. He's got a swagger about him that can be pretty intimidating both in and out of the courtroom.
4. He perhaps has daddy issues? Based on Bull's heart-to-heart with Brandon in the series premiere about Brandon's father accepting him for who he is, it's a safe bet that Bull wasn't hugged enough as a child. Might we meet Jason Bull Sr. in a future episode? Paging Robert Wagner...
5. He leaves work at the office. For Bull, the outcome of the trial seems to matter more than whether his client's actually guilty. "This is not a show that's trying to change the jury's mind, because that's a fool's errand," Weatherly says. "This is a show about understanding the jury's mind and then shaping your argument so that they'll find you on the better end of the result." Will that create some moral dilemmas for our hero as the show goes on?
6. He's unflappable... for now. Bull seems like a savant when it comes to juries, but, in the words of Weatherly, "What happens when the guy goes home? As [Bess] says to him, it must be a really lonely place. ... You have to look at that as an indication that Bull is struggling with something. We'll learn more about that as we go."
What are your first impressions of Bull?
Bull airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)