Somebody explain the TV show "Bull" to me

I don’t watch the show, but my wife does, and I’ve tried to pay attention to a couple of episodes but I have to admit I really don’t understand what is going on there.

So, Bull is a “jury consultant”? He works with lawyers to select a jury that will return a favorable verdict? Isn’t that what any decent lawyer should know how to do anyway, without hiring a consultant?

Also, it doesn’t seem like his business is a consulting business as such. Outside lawyers don’t come to him looking for help, but rather defendants come to him, and then he has his in-house lawyer(s) try the cases? Is that the way it works?

Finally, what’s with the woman back at the office who’s staring at some giant monitor full of faces and giving Bull a real-time rundown on which jurors are leaning which way? How does she know what the jurors in the courtroom are thinking? And is there any courtroom in real life that would let someone sit at the lawyer’s table and talk over a headset to someone back at the office while the trial is going on?

For someone who is just supposed to be a jury consultant, he sure does a lot of private investigating on behalf of the client.

Might help to know that Dr. Bull is basically an idealized Dr. Phil.

So, a “Gary Stu”?

Or, being male, Gary Stu. :slight_smile:

Which is one of the reasons I avoid watching the show… :wink:

Did Dr Phil really have a consulting business like that? If he did, I’m guessing it wasn’t successful? (Or he’d still be doing it.)

I haven’t watched the show, but this description immediately made me think of the 2003 move Runaway Jury, which was based on a John Grisham novel. Such scenes were prominent in the film, in which the villain, played by Gene Hackman, is a professional jury consultant.

In the film the jury consultant was hired by the defendant, a weapon manufacturer. The Hackman character’s employees look at big screens that follow the jury members and research and surveil those members thoroughly, offering opinions such as you describe the TV series showing.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the creators of the TV series were inspired by the movie (and/or novel), but wanted to make the jury consultant the hero rather than the villain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runaway_Jury
By the way, it’s a real profession; wikipedia has:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_consulting

I’ve watched it a few times and found it to be the TV equivalent of oatmeal. The premise is complete bull (hence the title), it’s just a goofy pseudo modern conceit to hang weekly “solving crimes” plots onto. The lead character is as much Dr. Phil as I am. What’s odd to me about it is it fits neatly into the genre of “past their prime star solves crimes now” shows aimed at the retiree set (Barnaby Jones, Diagnosis Murder) - the oddness being that Michael Weatherly is not really past his prime, yah? I mean, if he spent a few months at the gym, he could probably handle the running and shooting type of show that David Boreanaz got himself into. But, I guess he’s comfortable with his target audience and making modest ratings and TV star bucks.

The gimmick is that his people put together a “mirror jury” of people similar to those on the actual jury.

It’s called Bull after the main character.

He runs a jury consulting firm that sets up a ‘mirror’ jury. If Juror A is a white woman in her 50’s who hates men generally the chick with the huge monitor will have a live person on the mirror jury just like the real juror. If Juror B is an Asian man in his twenties who likes sports then the chick has exactly the same type of person on their mirror jury.

This mirror jury stays through the entire trial to give Bull (and his employees) insight on how to ‘sway’ the jury to their side. Because they have access to the mirror jury they have insight into the real jury. And they can manipulate the outcome of the trials this way.

I like Michael Weatherly so I like the show. It does highlight certain social questions though like how far anyone can be ‘just like’ someone else. It also poses a variety of privacy questions.

Going from memory here, but he was hired by Oprah Winfrey when she was sued by cattle ranchers after she had said on one of her shows that she would no longer eat hamburgers due to fear of mad cow disease. During the trial, she was down in Texas doing a remote version of her show. She eventually won the trial.

His “straight talk” impressed her enough that she made him a regular guest on her show, which led to a show of his own, which led to his current media career.

So, no idea how successful he was, but it wasn’t as lucrative as being blessed by Oprah.

I have this feeling that Weatherly’s career trajectory will end with him playing the annoying Dad of a major character in an NCIS spinoff :slight_smile:

OK, so is this “mirror jury” also sitting in the courtroom, and somehow in communication with the woman back at the office who is in communication with Bull? How do they find these mirror jurors? Are they employees of BullCorp or do they select them from the general public after the jury is seated?

I liked that guy on NCIS but when I heard the premise for the show I just couldn’t watch. There are no jury consultants that operate that way, and why isn’t he a lawyer or detective anyway. I may be old but I’m not old enough to watch that pap. It’s embarrassing enough to admit I watched NCIS.

No, they are somewhere not disclosed yet seem to have live access to the actual trial. The term “Suspension of disbelief” is really handy here.

My wife loves this show… I can tolerate it.

If you’ve had a tough day, where the jerks seem to be winning, and want a show that’s just for fun, where you *KNOW *the down-trodden defendant, wrongly accused by a heartless society, is going to be exonerated at the last second by some tricky sleuthing, watch it.

(Or, hang out in Café Society on your laptop while your wife thinks you’re watching TV with her…)

It keeps reminding me of the Tim Roth show “Lie to Me”, where an almost identical consultant pulled last-minute rabbits out of almost identical hats.

Do you have a camera in my family room?

[Outloud] Umm of course I’m watching… even with all that they only got one more juror to turn go green.[/Outloud]

[In My Head] I can’t believe how many people don’t appreciate the beauty of a Big Mac [/In My Head]

Tell me about it.

Such a fantastic show! I learned so much I still utilize currently.

It’s nice you respect your wife so much. :blush:

I saw the first few/several episodes and decided it’s going to be the same thing every week, so I stopped watching it.