We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Like many fans of 'NCIS', a big chuck of my interest in the show went out the window when Michael Weatherly left a season ago. It just wasn't going to be the same without our lovable ol' Tony.
Just to get us into that Tony mood, I'm going to include a couple of clips from his NCIS days, then we'll move on to his new show.
What's interesting is that Weatherly played a multi-faceted persona on the show, sometimes being sentimental, and sometimes comedic. Here's a short clip that puts both facets on display.
Gibbs has received (yet another) medal of achievement, doesn't even bother to attend the ceremony, so Tony accepts it in his stead, as usual.
More on this interesting story below the fold.
And then we have Tony's shrewd side. Below, the idea is to get the director of Mossad to admit that the 'rogue' agent Tony killed wasn't so rogue after all. Note how Tony disarms the director by playing the lovable fool part, with the director now feeling like he can say anything to this bozo and it won't matter, thus walking right into Tony's trap.
And note how Vance, as well, is fooled, yet Gibbs isn't. Gibbs knows that Tony is much shrewder than the happy-go-lucky persona would suggest.
So, season 13 ends and Tony heads off into the wild blue yonder.
And just where does our young-at-heart, movie-quoting hero go?
How about turning into a sharp businessman, exceptionally skilled at what he does, and always with a trick or two up his sleeve? I give you Jason Bull.
And yes, sometimes he's full of said bull, but it's always with the ultimate goal in mind of getting his criminally-charged client off the hook.
The premise of the show takes 'jury selection' to a whole new level. Bull runs a business called Trial Analysis Corporation (TAC), which approaches the upcoming trial in different stages. During jury selection, he has the lawyer ask specific questions that demonstrate that particular juror's character. Once the jury is selected, Bull's team digs up every scrap of information on the jury panel. They then assemble a 'mock jury' composed of people with the same traits as the real jurors. Pre-trial, the mock jury assembles at TAC headquarters where the in-house lawyer practices different methods of approach in an attempt to come up with the best plan during the real trial. The mock jurors wear biofeedback sensors which enable the team to gauge their responses.
During the real trial, the mock jurors attend and the team closely monitors their biofeedback to gauge how the trial is going. Usually, things go more-or-less as planned, but occasionally Bull steps in and alters the lawyer's approach on the spot.
The following clip demonstrates this nicely. A large ISP may have records in their massive database of a terror group that set off a bomb, killing some people, and the FBI wants it. The company refuses, citing the right to privacy, and that their customers depends on the company protecting their clients' personal info. The FBI has taken them to court to obtain the records.
The show also touches upon a few societal flaws, such as gender bias. That is, all hairdressers and secretaries are women, all firefighters and airline pilots are men, etc. In the following clip, a female airline pilot was caught in a violent wind shear and the place crashed, killing many. Bull and the team prove that, at the last minute, she managed to eke out a few more seconds of flight, thereby avoiding a densely-populated area below, thus saving innumerable lives. Three of the jurors, however, simply refuse to see her as a hero, whereupon Bull's lawyer goes to work.
And then we have Bull's powers of persuasion. In the following clip, a woman believes her husband was wrongly accused of killing a drug lord. She sets off a small bomb, effectively sealing Bull, his team and the mock jury in the room. She wants the mock jury to hear the evidence and if Bull is convinced her husband was framed, he'll then use his influence to get the DA to schedule a retrial.
I hope I've given you a taste of what a marvelous show this is. When it comes to career advancement, Weatherly scored a home run.
As with my NCIS posts, I always include a full episode for your viewing pleasure. In this case, I have my favorite two episodes of 'Bull' online. Since Maggie is kind of a stickler when it comes to copyrighted material, you can watch them here.
Season 2 of 'Bull' begins on September 26. See you there.
Bull is a pathetic show. I watched five or six episodes, you really only need to watch one, because it is the exact show every time. I really am surprised that they renewed it for a second season. I thought for sure that Bull would at least lose one case. You know, to at least make it somewhat suspenseful. After six episodes and never losing, it was just to predictable. Why bother watching when you know the outcome?
Well, er, because it's how he wins that's so different with every show. Sometimes it's a masterful job by the lawyer, sometimes it's some compelling testimony by the accused, sometimes it's a critical piece of evidence introduced at the last minute, sometimes, as in 'Callisto' (one of the two shows on my site), it's some outright trickery on Bull's part. I mean, first he fakes a tornado, then he works it so the jury overhears the two parties talking, and voila -- the case is dismissed. Good stuff in my book.
You totally nailed it, Doc. When I first read a synopsis of the show before it aired, I thought it sounded a little dry, but it's anything but that. The casting is superb, good background music, wonderful writing, great directing, and some of the episodes, like 'Callisto', are a total hoot. Can't wait for season two!
Agree 100%, JB. The interplay between the cast is just perfect. I thought the last ten minutes of the final episode was simply brilliant, the way they got the judge to partake in their little sham to protect the sister of the drug dealer, and all without telling her lawyer. The look on her face when they were outside and she was trying to figure out what just happened was priceless.
I re-watched the last 10 minutes of that episode last night, and you're right. The music swelling in the background really adds to it. The next morning, when she's finally figured it all out and meets up with Bull, was also some fun writing.