Critical Condition: Bull

Bull (Prime, 8.30 Thursdays)

Bull is based (rather loosely) on the early career of Phil McGraw, better known as ‘Dr. Phil,’ who became acquainted with Oprah Winfrey while working as a trial consultant. In the CBS drama, Michael Weatherly plays Dr. Jason Bull, a psychologist who works with lawyers by profiling jurors and tweaking trials to his clients’ advantage … The show itself is totally ridiculous, in concept and execution … slick and oversimple.” — Variety.

“The show follows the lines of most every CBS procedural (which is also to say most CBS dramas). A brilliant, insightful, somewhat troubled or troublesome genius — whose reading of people and situations is all but psychic and who never met a rule he/she wouldn’t break in a pinch — leads a crew of diverse types in the pursuit of justice … It’s a little ridiculous, and rarely convincing.”” — Los Angeles Times.

“No one in Bull’s crew stands out after the first episode; it’s a generic batch of hard-charging employees. Mr. Weatherly fares better, retaining some of the impishness of his N.C.I.S. character, Anthony DiNozzo, while growing up a bit. DiNozzo, a wiseacre, was often the least smart person in a room full of smarties. Here, Bull is the brains of the outfit, yet he has a dollop of rakishness. DiNozzo fans will be intrigued.” — New York Times.

“The science of jury analysis is fascinating, in the way the readings of facial expressions in Lie to Me were. But the procedural, case-a-week format is filled with legal cliches, and Weatherly’s know-it-all character, aptly named Jason Bull, is tiring.” — Boston Globe.

Bull doesn’t feel like it’s intended to be provocative or, despite the man-on-the-street opening, to have any real impact on our feelings about the system. Its adoration of Dr. Bull’s qualifications and smirky, growly omniscience and its awe at the technology his team wields takes the place of a meaningful legal critique, procedural precision or developing an ensemble.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

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