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. SubtleTees says

    Sorry, I just realized I didn’t really answer your questions, except for writing what I thought. (You did ask!)
    “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?”

    No. It was a brilliant choice.
    No. The whole world was happy and knows America is finally Bush-less.
    No. The show is not too political. Mental-health issues are real and this show has a platform to help those that are still ignorant.
    (To me: Being stupid is the inability to learn, being ignorant is the refusal to learn.)

  2. SubtleTees says

    This show is quite information and thought provoking. It is: SMART TV, which seems to be an oxymoron, based on real science as known – pertaining to the human brain. Meant to be entertaining and yet happens to be “informative” in the dramatization of the life (lives) of the characters portrayed.

    It seems that many people just don’t “get” SMART TV. Hmmm… I am wondering if a person doesn’t understand a TV show, are they too dumb for TV? ‘…Now I am wondering just how dumb a person must be to NOT understand a television program?… Now I am wondering how dumb are politically-minded people to not “get” the teaching moments in REAL political news out-takes of the two major parties in the US? I thought those news clips were BRILLIANT, visual examples useful in helping to understand (teach) about medical condition of some people’s brains. Non biased, just factual…Now, I am wondering why political discussions talking about those “leaning” to the left OR those “leaning” to the right, cannot hear (see) that they (both) are off balance?

    Now, with my child-like mind…I am wondering/thinking: Should dumb people have smart phones? A child asks: “Aren’t all crimes hate crimes?” How do you answer that child? …Now I am off to try and understand more of life’s subtleties. Regards to all, remember to have fun!

  3. Fake Me Out says

    The scene did not make a whole lot of sense to me really … you don’t need any special abilities to know when Bush was lying … if his lips were moving, he was lying, easy peasy. Of course I should point out this only applies if he is indeed speaking with/to others … his lips moved when he was reading the Captain Crunch cereal box at breakfast but that was just him trying to sound out the words. I should also point out he ate Captain Crunch because he thought he was supporting the troops by eating a military cereal as opposed to some liberal/leftest granola brand.

  4. Speedy says

    If someone is truly obsessing over this small clip and thinking that it implies that the show is too political has NO LIFE. Geesh how much thought was wasted in going there like that over the fact that it is a slam on Bush and the Republican view. Doesn’t seem that Democrats got all bent out of shape about the sane scenario regarding Clinton. I think “someone doth protest too much”, LOL. I wonder how hard the right leaning commenters had to think about this to come up with a complaint. Poor lost souls with so little to do or focus on in their lives, LOL. SMH.

  5. Cheryl says

    Since most every one knew Bush and Clinton both lied, as do so many polititions, I thought it was great. Wish I could borrow Jimmy for a day!

  6. Connie says

    I am not suprised but disappointed. I wonder if everyone would have thought it was stupid or “get over it”, if their beloved golden child Obama was the subject of the “human lie detector”. God knows there is enough “recent” lies going on in politics. Why did they have to have a President as the subject anyway? I wonder if they will have a subject on the crappyacademia at UC mental health follow up on their buddy Holmes. The left so bad wants to paint out the “crazies” to be the gun toting conservatives when they only need to look in their own back yard for a virutal buffet of short circuits. No I won’t watch it anymore. I actually love process dramas, but if you are going to put politics in it then put them “ALL in it”. ( Yea I saw the Clinton scene), too late in the show. Maybe if they had someone that could find narcissists, they could put Obama on and have him pee himself laughing.

  7. max says

    All I’ve heard about “Perception”, from the reviews I’ve read to the words of a few coworkers, is about how bad of a choice that scene was to include; that’s definitely starting the show off on the wrong foot! I think it’s fine to include a bit of political commentary, but it’s risky to do that, especially on the pilot episode! I’m sure it cost them a ton of viewers. At the same time, they may have gained some audience, since it certainly has captured my attention!

  8. Clarissa says

    Must everything be an argument? There weren’t any WMDs in Iraq and the war was nonsensical. I think we’ve all come to agreement on that, right? The show is not meant to be political. That was just an example of misinformation going out to the public and lie detection. No need to get all sensitive about it. It’s just television. Watch it a little stronger. Show that TV you’ve got some strength left in ya!

  9. Betty Barstow says

    I will never watch this show again. To project the falsehood that Bush lied when they certainly could have shown the previous president in a known lie is devious. After watching Rizzoli and Aisles (sp) try to take down fracking as if it were the ultimate evil and then seeing this, I am very wary of anything TNT shows. I will continue watching The Closer unless it becomes equally biased.

  10. Bandit says

    Too (NOT “to”) political?? get real. 1 or 2 minutes of a single show ruins the entire show?
    I think we all now know that both Bush & Clinton were lying.
    Overall, the show touched several topics, informing us while entertaining us.
    I’ll be watching it, looks like it will be good.

  11. Lyn says

    Yup to political – but when I watch TV and for that matter, Movies, I expect left coast liberals to think the rest of us are so unenlightened they need to spoon feed us their ‘truth”…I’ll watch the show a few more times and if the “stupids” continue down this road I’ll watch something else…the way I look at it is that show needs me to watch it – I don’t need it ~~~

  12. Jen says

    I did not like the Bush scene, especially when he wasn’t lying. I’m definitely turned off and the Clinton scene did not appease me. The two things were not the same.

  13. says

    I think it is a good show and why should anyone get upset over the fact that it has been proven there were NO weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Don’t people watch the news? Did they miss Colin Powel’s speech re: the conclusion was NO WMD’s were ever discovered?

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