While the focus of the Bull Season 5 premiere last week was Dr. Jason Bull finding his place in the world during the coronavirus pandemic, there was a reference to other real-life events. In Bull's dream, he took on the case of a data-collecting company being sued because some of the data provided to landlords turned out to be incorrect. Racial bias and equality played a part in this case, but showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron said he is working on finding a balance between entertaining and "preaching" when it comes to how the series tackles current events.
In a recent exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Caron said he has "no interest in preaching to people" when it comes to difficult topics. "Those sort of stories are best presented in the way they were presented in the episode," that is weaved into the "fabric" of the story. "You can't win the case of how do we create racial equality in this country, but you can try and present as much of the reality of the way people live and the challenges that they have as part of the fabric of the show," Caron further noted. The show could "maybe wake people up who haven't been as aware of that or as sensitive to that as they might be. That's kind of the way I look at it."
The premiere mostly touched on the coronavirus pandemic, and how Michael Weatherly's Bull could keep the Trial Analysis Corporation (TAC) running. During his dream, Bull worried he would lose his livelihood, especially if he could not see the jury in the courtroom. When he woke up, he learned things would not be quite that bad. He found out that juries will be in courtrooms, just wearing face masks, and people will be testifying in person, just with protective shields around the witness stand.
The dream was not the "literal truth" of the world Bull will face in the rest of the season, Caron noted. "But it does give you a hint of what's going to happen," the Moonlighting creator explained. "And more importantly, I think it gives you a new insight into [Bull] and to the things he values." The show's handling of the pandemic moving forward is "a way for the show to echo, hopefully, a lot of what people have felt at some point during this extraordinary period of our lives that we're going through right now."
The pandemic left Caron wondering if he would be able to tell more stories about Bull in the first place. As the pandemic continued over the summer, "I realized I was starting to think, 'I wonder if this thing that I do, how it's going to survive this,' because in order to make television shows and movies, which is what I do for a living," Caron said, "you bring 200 people together in a closed space and you work 12 or 14 hours a day. So it seemed like, 'Oh my gosh, this may be the end of something. People aren't going to movie theaters, people aren't congregating. How can you make a television show?'" Bull runs 16 episodes this season due to the late start caused by the pandemic. New episodes air Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.