Bull is back for Season 2.
The legal comedy-drama stars NCIS alum Michael Weatherly as Dr. Jason Bull, who has a special ability to read people, most specifically members of the court. Bull can tell if someone is biased, bigoted or outright desensitized to the proceedings and help out his employers as necessary by determining how a jury will vote before the trial has even begun.
The sophomore season of the crime drama is under the direction of new showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron. He is best known for creating the series, Moonlighting, which starred Bruce Willis, and the supernatural drama Medium, which starred Patricia Arquette. The shows ran for five and seven seasons.
The series, which is inspired by the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw during his days as head of a trial-consulting law firm, also stars Freddy Rodriquez, Geneva Carr, Jaime Lee Kirchner, Annabelle Attanasio and Chris Jackson.
Global News spoke to Weatherly and Caron about the changes we can expect to see in Season 2.
Global News: Bull was renewed for a second season. How do you feel about the fan reaction so far?
Michael Weatherly: The first reaction that I get is on set when we start blocking a scene and making choices about where to stand and how to say lines. Sometimes the crew just stands around looking at their phones or thinking about what they’re going to have for lunch. Sometimes they actually pay attention to what you’re doing because it’s kind of compelling and, I will tell you, we had a screening last night for the cast and crew. And it was really wonderful to see all these people who work so hard together, as a community of technicians and artists, come together in a room and get to see something…you know, television is mostly watched alone or with a small group of people.
So for several hundred of us to get to be in a theatre together and get to experience this and there were peals of laughter, people were cheering, they were shocked, oos and aws. And I have to say, if that’s the first audience reaction, I know it was focus-grouped as well. But I think people are in for a wonderful surprise.
Get ready for your new favourite show, if it isn’t already your favourite show.
Global News: I can’t wait to see Season 2! How will Season 2 compare to Season 1?
Glenn Gordon Caron: Season 1 accomplished a lot of really important things and I came on board in March. But the one thing I felt like maybe attention hadn’t been paid enough to was ‘who are these people? Who are they actually?’ Not just, in terms of the cases that they work and all of that, but ‘who is Bull? What happens when he goes home at night? How does he feel about the work he does? What’s it like to work with him? Is he a difficult guy?’ And what about these people around him. ‘Why does he pick them? Why do they put up with him? What are their lives like?’ So you are going to see a lot more of that in Season 2.
And then the other thing you might pick up on is… I’m a big believer in life being sometimes dramatic and sometimes it’s comedic and sometimes it’s romantic and sometimes it’s filled with dread and the more we can get all those single colours happening in a single episode, the more surprising the episode will be, the more life-like.
Weatherly: There’s a learning curve in making this kind of television. Last year, some of the things that would happen in terms of character development, I could almost hear the writers’ room say, ‘Well wouldn’t it be funny if Bull was afraid of skydiving?’ And it didn’t really come from anywhere, there was no reason for it and it would be a funny thing but it never came from any place and it never paid off anywhere else in a meaningful way.
I can say, with Glenn’s contributions to the show there’s never a ‘wouldn’t it be funny if’ that comes out of thin air. It’s something that happens to have stacked up in a crazy way and if someone is afraid of something you’re going to understand how it happens, the context of it and how it’s impacted their lives. There’s no one-off joke just for the purposes of that..Sometimes you have four or five different people writing one episode so a joke that’s set up in Act 1 doesn’t get paid off in Act 2 because there’s different voices to different people. The big difference between Season 1 and 2 of Bull is there’s a purity to it, there’s a voice and a strong sense of character and direction.
Global News: Will there be any major changes to Jason Bull’s character? So now, kind of, we get to know him more outside of just the workplace?
Caron: There will be no major changes to Bull’s character, he will skydive every week. I wouldn’t say there are changes to Bull’s character rather that Bull’s character is revealed. What kind of person is he, in their middle 40s, single, who’s poured pretty much all his energy into getting this enterprise off the ground, an enterprise which revolves around the sort of narcissistic belief that he knows better than anyone else who’s ever been here before about how to do something. Who is that person? And who is Marissa? It’s clear these two people have some sort of bond or connection, they’ve worked together for a long time. He clearly trusts her in a way that’s different from the other people there… What’s the glue between him and Chunk? All those sorts of things.
Global News: Where is Bull’s romantic life heading in Season 2?
Caron: Well that’s for me to know and you to find out. He will be encountering a number of different people. Archie Panjabi will be joining us in episode 8. I’m not suggesting anything romantic is going on. Jill Flint joins us in episode 1 for the premiere as does Minka Kelly. I think there’s a restlessness to Bull that manifests itself in the romantic world and you’ll be seeing that from time to time.
Global News: Have either of you ever served on a jury yourself?
Weatherly: I have been called for jury duty but I never served. I’ve never sat for a trial.
Caron: I’ve been called number of times and I think they see the drool and opt out.
Bull airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.
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