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. Mearl Nelson says

    Well once again there can’t have a tv show with out bringing political issues in the show. It seems to me and offends me when they did the Bush clip. I will not be watching the show again and I didn’t even finish the first episode. My friends have the same opinion.

  2. Bev says

    Perhaps I stopped watching after the Bush clip or my DVR cut off the Clinton clip (if it was at the end) but I didn’t see the Clinton clip. I might have watched the show again even though it was rather weak. But not after that. Won’t watch it again and I don’t think it will be on very long.

  3. Jim says

    The Bush segment was highly political and screamed that Bush intentionally lied about the causus belli. If true, that cost thousands of American soldiers.

    They made a weak effort at balance by showing Clinton who certainly lied about sex. Consequences of that lie were minor compared to implications of Congress’s declaration to take action against Iraq (which was supported by Hillary and John Kerry).

    A much more interesting attempt to provide political balance would have been to use a clip of Obama talking about how much he cares about the deficit

    • James says

      The lie to the public by the media is that Bush alone out of everyone knew that Saddam did not have a current WMD program. Clinton bombed Iraq to divert attention from his perjury but he claimed it was because Saddam’s WMD program needed to be stopped. Sen. Clinton, Sen. Kerry and everybody else was convinced Saddam was still developing WMD and thats why Congress authorized the Iraq War. When we invaded we did find thousands of WMD but they were chemical weapons Saddam had hidden from the inspectors, not new weapons. He also buried his nuclear weapons program (literally) and certainly would have started up after the sanctions were removed but it was not active. For those who claimed Bush was stupid, they certainly must actually think he is the most brilliant man on Earth because (in their opinion) the most brilliant woman on Earth, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Clinton, the draft-dodging Rhodes scholar certainly thought Saddam was still producing WMDs.

  4. melanie says

    I have it on my dvr but now I’ll have to make sure it’s live – of course the people who whine about dubya being called out wouldn’t flinch at it being clinton. they have no consistency in their thinking – it’s the same group that yells keep your govt hands off my medicare.

  5. Redd Skyy says

    So sad that the writers chose to show their bias instead of entertaining us! I don’t need to watch shows that offend me! I was really looking forward to this show but I am done! Why didn’t they use the clip of Bill Clinton saying “I didn’t have sex with that woman!” or maybe John Edwards telling his dying wife how much he loves her while simultaniously impregnating his mistress? And how could we forget “Weinergate!” Lets face it, there Is an abundance of modern day McCarthyism in Hollywood today…where if you dare to offend the left you are left out. This was recently proven even further when Brad Pitts mother dared to speak her Conservative values. It is a cesspool of morally corupt spoiled rich people who survive because we support them. We know how to fix that.. stop watching!

  6. nikki says

    people its like watch doctor who the first rule is the doctor lies. actually more and more i believe that is the same for any and most politicians. so what if some one makes a joke about it in person but oh no that cant happen on tv. what is that oh yeah the constitution right of freedom of speech. personally i believe that there has NEVER been a president that has NOT lied to the people or used the position for their own personal gain. so if some one makes a joke about the president get over it. cause i didnt hear anything about when harold and kumar sat down and smoked a joint with Bush in their movie, but gosh say something about the pres lying and people come unglued.

  7. says

    I was beginning to enjoy the show – McCormack looks like a real person now, and it was nice to see Rachael Lee Cook, whom I haven’t seen since that cute movie with Freddie Prinze, Jr. Then, the politics. I groaned audibly, thinking, “Another writer is determined to slap us in the face with his own very slanted politics”. It’s rude, it’s arrogant, it’s unnecessary.

    Why not use “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” (Clinton)? That was later admitted to be a lie. Why not OJ professing his innnocence of murdering his wife? Instead, this example was chosen to offend at least 50% of viewers, deliberately. Even if you didn’t like Bush, I think it’s ridiculous to assert that he lied – bad information was given to him. And that’s really beside the point anyway – why bring political opinion into any show of which politics is not part of the plot? Why offend people needlessly?

    I live in Massachusetts. Liberal views are smacked in our faces every day. I certainly don’t need to have it done in my “entertainment”.

    Otherwise, the show might have had merit, despite the rest of the political views (drug companies are bad, blahblahblah.) Those you could write off as the main character’s quirky viewpoint. But the Bush example was showing it as “evidence”, not opinion.

    Too bad the show is a waste. It was just Monk mixed with A Beautiful Mind, anyway, but the casting seemed promising.

    I will not be watching.

  8. Duane says

    Pete’s right and Jay SHOULD TAKE A CHILL PILL. I saw nothing political about this very small scene. Just a funny moment. I’m not a Replicrat, so not taking sides. We all know Hollweird is mostly liberal but I/we should take things coming from there with a grain of salt.
    Will have to see more of this show to see if they make fun of both parties. But that won’t influence me and other intelligent people from liking this show.

  9. PalWel says

    Yes, I thought that was very inappropriate about Bush because every information gathering agency in the world said there WMDs and Bush acted accordingly. Will this change my mind about watching the series? No. I think the show has a very premise and the acting was convincing enough for me to continuing watch it. Though, if the writers continue to use things like the Bush incident I may stop watching it.

    • Sandy says

      What people seem to forget is that they did this very same thing on Lie to Me sometimes and no one said anything about it.

  10. says

    Lighten up people. It’s a show for entertainment but if you want to be sticklers, they had both parties represented. Republican Bush and Democrat Clinton. It’s a show for your viewing pleasure.

  11. Thnunumber6 says

    It shows like more liberal passive-aggressiveness in a very poor attempt to be “clever” to me.

    • Emrys says

      Are you serious? Gays whine all the time, feminists whine about how much they make compared to me, minorities whine about not getting enough goodies from the government, unions whine about not getting enough goodies from the government and the tax payers, etc. etc. The Democrat party is nothing but whiners. Conservatives succeed despite the government getting in the way, complaining only when the government that is supposed to protect our liberties tramples on them. Life knocks a conservative down, they get back up. Life knocks a liberal down, they whine, call a lawyer, call their congressman, call their union rep, call their psychoanalyst, call their lobbyist. Waa waa waa.

  12. Samara says

    Wow – some of you people just take yourselves way too seriously!!! It’s a fictional television show, solely made for the purposes of entertainment! It’s not like they showed someone being honored for beating an animal or child, or winning an award for rape and murder! It was a few clips of people who have purposely put themselves in the spotlight by becoming politicians! They showed both a republican and a democrat, and both times – they were lying! Even if they had been telling the truth, the name of the show is PERCEPTION, as in everything can be perceived in many different ways! I loved the show – and I will continue to watch it as long as it is on, just as I will continue to mock the people who are so uptight and uneducated as to be offended by clips of the past! Get over it, already!

    • Craig says

      The real issue is that Bush wouldn’t have thought he was lying during the speech, so the show was making up history.

      • Samara says

        Actually – you can’t say whether or not he was lying – he may have absolutely known it was a lie or he may have been unaware! The point is that the “perception” of the boy watching was that Bush was lying! It’s not a statement – it’s anecdotal at best!

        • Roger says

          The difference between the two clips was that the Bush one was much earlier in the show and was prefaced by the female character saying “Why are you making me watch this nightmare again?” (which based on my perception was referring specifically toward Bush) and it played for approx. 3 times as long as the Clinton clip which was played with very low audio and at the end as the show was ending, having no relevance.

          Had it been Obama, I have absolutely no doubt that you would have been outraged, wouldn’t watch it again and would post here and on Facebook how “offended” you were by it, followed by several of your beloved exclamation points that you ended EVERY sentence with. Relax! lol

          • Samara says

            First – I don’t do “Facebook” – I have no interest in it! Second – I like exclamation points because they emphasize what I’m saying (and because they tend to irritate the weak and small-minded)!!!!!! Third – a political opinion on a TV show would never “outrage” me, my sensibilities are not so easily offended! I am capable of discerning fiction from non-fiction! This is a fictional show! So, last, I would wonder why, out of all the people who have posted on here, you would tell me, personally, to relax! I suppose I should answer you with – take your own advice and leave the drama to the writers!

  13. zee chen says

    I was going to watch it on the saved play, but now I won’t.
    I am sick of being bashed by television writers. I stopped watching Law and Order for this same reason.

  14. JAY says


Leave a Comment

Your comment may need approval from a moderator before it appears. We review comments to weed out spam, duplicate postings and personal attacks. We welcome constructive discussion.