Perception: Is the Eric McCormick Series Too Political?

TNT Perception TV show A new TV series on TNT, Perception revolves around Doctor Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormick), an eccentric neuroscience professor with paranoid schizophrenia. He’s recruited by the FBI to help solve crimes. The show also stars Rachael Leigh Cook, Arjay Smith, Kelly Rowan, and LeVar Burton.

During last night’s premiere, McCormick visited Jimmy, a young man with Aphasia — a disorder that causes someone to lose the ability to comprehend spoken language. To compensate, many Aphasiacs become highly tuned to subtle speech inflections. They are heightened when someone lies and, to people with this condition, lies seem funny. In short, they are human lie detectors.

To demonstrate the young man’s abilities to his former student (Cook), Pierce first shows Jimmy a video of President George W. Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address, when he said that Saddam Hussein amassing materials to build weapons of mass destruction. The young man laughed, inferring that Bush was lying.

The scene lasted a minute or so and wasn’t the focus of the episode but many people have expressed upset over it and have vowed to never watch the show again. (Despite the fact that Jimmy was later seen laughing over President Clinton’s “I did not have sex with that woman.” speech.)

What do you think? Was this a poor choice? Will the Bush scene influence your decision to watch the Perception series again? Is the show too political?

Canceled and renewed TV show

65 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. LHutch says

    I watch entertainment tv for entertainment. I watch the news for political, national and world events. Please don’t dilute entertainment by inserting political prejudices. Please don’t try to indoctrinate me or insult former presidents under the guise of entertainment. Lying means a person purposely tells an untruth. If that event were purposeful, then every person in congress is a liar because they all believed it as well as did the president. The indictment in the show reveals the director’s prejudices.

  2. Nick says

    Yes, it was poor judgement to use that clip. But that doesn’t mean the show is too political or unwatchable. Nothing remotely politically incorrect happened during the entire rest of the show. This isn’t that bad compared to other stuff on TV. In a recent episode, a main character in HBO’s The Newsroom directly made fun of a bonehead statement Sarah Palin made in 2010. Perception just took a point in history when someone lied that people would remember. Maybe they should have used anything that came out of Snooki’s mouth recently instead. 😉

  3. Amber Chapel says

    How stupid of the writers to offend half of their viewing audience. Probably over half of their viewing audience. So long Perception, I perceive you will be short lived.

  4. Tha Critic says

    I had no interest in watching anyway, but I don’t think that would turn me away from it if I did. It probably would make me mad if it was Obama, but that’s just one episode. It’s no worse than seeing a ton of sex happening on all these cable shows.

  5. Tad Halbach says

    I was interested in the show until the Bush set up. No need for it. It will turn off many, just like it turns me off.

  6. says

    Oh please spare me the constant TV show drumbeat of bashing Republicans.
    If they wanted to use nuances of inflection in voices the best candidate would have been Barak Obama who voice inflections and lies are legendary!

  7. Craig says

    It is probably a poor choice. We have seen several times where a show makes a political statement about something that the public has strong and differing feelings about, and the ratings for the show have fallen. To do that during the pilot before the audience can even make a connection with the show just makes it a larger mistake.

  8. Sandra says

    I was looking forward to seeing this show. I was taken aback when the scene played. I was angry that politics was introduced. It cements my belief that a liberal bias is permeating the media. I was disappointed in Eric McCormack for going along with it.
    Furthermore, Bush was telling the truth as he knew it at the time, along with Colin Powell, Brittains Prime Minister Blair etc. I am sorry to say that I will NOT watch it again.

  9. Susan says

    Because of that scene, I will not watch another episode of this show. I turned the channel as soon as the scene ended. Once again Hollywood is pushing their agenda in the form of entertainment. Every evil politician portrayed in movies or television shows is republican, every warm-hearted politician is a democrate. People need to stop eating the propaganda that Hollywood dishes out.

  10. rick says

    Haven’t watched the show yet, but that sounds very similar to Lie to Me. On that show they used the Bush clip several times.

  11. Darvedd says

    Seriously-people are upset that a TV show has someone calling G W Bush a liar when he lied the US into a war with dead people, devastation etc?

  12. says

    The issue I had with it is that the Clinton quote was an admitted lie. Bush was reporting the content of some report that he referenced. It was a true statement. The report itself is debatable in its accuracy, but Bush not only believed it was accurate, but was telling the truth about what the report said. As such, it was an unfair representation. You would NEVER see them do something similar to Obama making some claim about ObamaCare in the State of the Union address where he says something that nobody really believes.

  13. Bliss Glow says

    Too Political? Please! What is wrong with showing that ALL politicians lie? It goes with the territory of being a politician. Now that some people do not want to wake up and grow up and be accounted for gullibility is their problem not the people who produced this show. Excellent in production, a very good choice with the actors and the theme is so insightful. Perception and reality dealt through a TV show is refreshing and comical in a way. The media is all about playing on peoples thoughts of what is real and what can be considered an illusion. Well done so far and I hope this show keeps up the good work at exploring these concepts through such rich characters, plots and twists. This series is definitely worth watching.

  14. says

    As a general rule for me, scripted shows should stay completely away from politics unless they are about politics. You’re here to entertain, and if you make the slightest hint of bias in either direction you will fail at that and offend SOMEbody.

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