So far I’m liking this new series. It’s based in part on the Perry Mason novels from the 1930’s, rather than the old TV show. This Perry Mason is a disheveled private eye in Los Angeles. They do a good job of making everything look like it’s from that period. I suspect that we’ll see, eventually, how Perry goes from this scruffy war vet to the dapper lawyer that we know in the TV series….just like other prequel series, such as “Gotham” and “Smallville.”
In the first episode, Perry is following and taking photos of a rotund film star (similar to Fatty Arbuckle), to see if he’s staying true to the morals clause in his Hollywood contract. He has some rough dealings with the studio when he hands in the photos of the man, having sex with one of their up-and-coming starlets (and asks for more money). Meanwhile, Perry is helping his lawyer friend E.B. Jonathan (the always-terrific John Lithgow) by investigating the kidnapping and murder of a baby. Police corruption is an important part of the show.
While I enjoy the show, I wish they hadn’t told us in the first episode who the murderer was. That’s one of the best things about the original Perry Mason and most other old cop and detective shows. We learned whodunnit at the same time as the heroes. Seeing the “spoilers,” as it were, really did spoil it for me. I’m sure there are other, bigger mysteries, but that was disappointing.
Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”) plays a preacher woman. We also get to meet Della Street (Juliet Rylance) and Paul Drake (Chris Chalk). Check it out and see if you like it.
Drama Series PERRY MASON Debuts June 21
1931, Los Angeles. While the rest of the country struggles through the Great Depression, this city is booming! Oil! Olympic Games! Talking Pictures! Evangelical Fervor! And a child kidnapping gone very, very wrong. Based on characters created by author Erle Stanley Gardner, drama series PERRY MASON, starring Emmy® winner Matthew Rhys, debuts SUNDAY, JUNE 21 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. The series follows the origins of American fiction’s most legendary criminal defense lawyer, Perry Mason. When the case of the decade breaks down his door, Mason’s relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and just maybe, a pathway to redemption for himself.
The series will also be available to stream on HBO GO, HBO NOW, and on HBO via HBO Max and other partners’ platforms.
PERRY MASON stars Matthew Rhys as Perry Mason, a low-rent private investigator who is living check-to-check and is haunted by his wartime experiences in France and suffering the effects of a broken marriage; John Lithgow as Elias Birchard “E.B.” Jonathan, a struggling attorney and a semi-regular employer of Mason; Juliet Rylance as Della Street, E.B. Jonathan’s creative and driven legal secretary; Tatiana Maslany as Sister Alice McKeegan, the leader of the Radiant Assembly of God, preaching to a hungry congregation and a radio audience across the country; Chris Chalk as Paul Drake, a beat cop with a knack for detective work; and Shea Whigham as Pete Strickland, who is hired by Mason as an extra set of eyes on his various investigations.
The series also stars Stephen Root, Gayle Rankin, Nate Corddry, Veronica Falcón, Jefferson Mays, Lili Taylor, Andrew Howard, Eric Lange, and Robert Patrick. A full list of character descriptions is available HERE.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda
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