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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.
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?
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."
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.
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.
Who is in The Irrational cast?
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.
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.
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.”
Originally published Aug 28, 2023.