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Everything to Know About NBC's New Drama The Irrational Starring Jesse L. Martin

Get ready to do a deep dive into human decision-making. 

By Jessica White

NBC's new drama The Irrational, starring the dynamite Jesse L. Martin as behavioral scientist Alec Mercer , has an intriguing hook: What is the art of rationality, and how do our preconceived notions dictate our decision-making?

How to Watch

Watch The Irrational on NBC and Peacock

These are just some of the questions The Irrational tackles head-on as Mercer weighs in on intense cases that leave him with no room for error. 

Below, read everything you need to know about The Irrational. 

What is The Irrational about?

The Irrational's official description teases: "Alec Mercer is a world-renowned leader in behavioral science who lends his expertise to an array of high-stakes cases involving governments, law enforcement, and corporations with his unique and unexpected approach to understanding human behavior."  

RELATED: “We Call Ourselves a Whydunit, Not a Whodunit:” The Irrational’s Showrunner Teases New Series 

As seen in the official trailer, which can be watched above, Mercer is asked to help in all sorts of investigations — a woman even asks him to investigate her own murder.  

"I know people and why they do inexplicable things," Mercer says, later dropping a variety of terms related to psychological phenomena like paradoxical persuasion and attentional blindness. 

RELATED: Myth Or Reality? The Science Behind Reading Body Language, as Practiced by Jesse L. Martin on The Irrational

A character later calls him "the science guy," before Mercer quips, "That's Bill Nye. I'm actually the behavioral science guy." The trailer then shows Mercer using his know-how to help solve all kinds of bizarre and dangerous cases.  

Alec Mercer (Jesse L. Martin), Phoebe (Molly Kunz), and Owen (Arash Demaxi) in a scene from The Irrational.

Who is in The Irrational cast? 

The Irrational features a stacked cast of talented performers, including Maahra Hill, Travina Springer, Molly Kunz, and Arash DeMaxi. It's led by the endlessly talented Jesse L. Martin. 

RELATED: Meet the Cast of NBC's New Series The Irrational, Starring Law & Order Favorite Jesse L. Martin

Martin is an accomplished actor of both stage and film. He originated the role of Tom Collins in Rent on Broadway and later reprised the part in the 2005 film adaptation. Martin's appeared in dozens of iconic projects, including The Flash, The Cake Eaters, and Smash

RELATED: Yes, Jesse L. Martin Sings on The Irrational and Shows Off His Broadway Vocals 

Martin also starred in Law & Order as Detective Edward Green, a dedicated cop who put away dozens of bad guys throughout Seasons 10-18 of the flagship series. He was featured in 198 episodes of the original series and guest-starred as Green in two episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. All of this is to say: Martin has experience with NBC nail-biters, so we know he's going to be an epic force for The Irrational

RELATED: Jesse L. Martin's Character on The Irrational Is Haunted by Tragic Crime — Is It Based on Real Case?

Martin spoke with NBC Insider about the thrills of playing Mercer and the unexpected nature of the script.  

“After the second read, I was like, ‘This is absolutely brilliant,’” Martin told us. “What a great gift to be given, to be handed, because I’ve never been given such delicious things to do and say.” 

Split image of Jesse L. Martin, Maahra Hill, and Travina Springer

Where can I watch episodes of The Irrational?

Episodes 1-7 of Season 1 are currently streaming on Peacock and on NBC.com.

The Irrational will then return for the final four episodes of Season 1 on Monday, January 29 at 10/9c.

Rose Dinshaw on season 1 episode 7 of The Irrational

Originally published Aug 28, 2023.