A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Viewers will learn more about the legal process in the United States, even while they may start to realize the process can be swayed, ethically or not.
The law is a fickle, changeable creature on this show, though criminals generally are punished at the end.
Positive Role Models
Main character Dr. Bull doesn't care about the innocence or guilt of the clients he represents; he cynically tries to get off anyone who pays for his services (though handily, his clients are always innocent).
Violence & Scariness
A drowned dead body with grayish skin is shown; details on death are discussed during court cases. A woman hits a man in the face with a book; one man shoots another point-blank.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Discussion of sex, including anal sex, in a criminal justice context, i.e., an activity that leaves evidence that proves or disproves guilt. A woman is pictured nude and tied up bondage-style; no private parts visible.
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"Hell," "damn," "screwed over," "prick," "dick."
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Products & Purchases
Some brand mentions: "That almost looks like a real Rolex!" (while a character examines a watch).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drugs sometimes play a part in cases, like the death of a woman who sold "crystal" and "Molly." A woman takes three and a half Xanax to be calm for a trial.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bull is a drama about a team that does psychological analysis of criminal juries. Violence, sex, and drugs are all alluded to in the context of criminal justice cases. Dead bodies are shown (no gore), and violent crimes are discussed in court. Characters are shot point-blank on-screen. Drugs may play a part in cases; photographs of sexual practices such as bondage may be shown during trials (no private parts are visible). Mild cursing and off-color language includes "hell," "damn," "screwed," and "prick." Viewers may learn more about jury trials and the way our justice system works; they may also feel cynical about justice after watching people try to influence trials.
Is It Any Good?
It's hard to escape the feeling that this thoroughly average legal/crime show was cobbled together, Frankenstein's monster-style, out of pieces of other, better shows. You've got the cohesive team of attractive experts similar to those in How to Get Away with Murder or Criminal Minds, led by one brilliant hotshot (Lie to Me, The Mentalist) taking on cases no one else can solve. Bull even cribs the smart, snotty young goth girl from NCIS.
So, not fresh, and not innovative, but at least BULL isn't exploitative, like other criminal case programs in which the camera lingers lovingly on wounds, gore, and scantily clad young dead women. The show won't naturally appeal to teens -- it's too talky for that -- but they might linger if it's on after dinner when they're in the room playing with their phones. Fans of Dr. Phil may get a particular thrill from watching, imagining him in the Weatherly role.
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Our Editors Recommend
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