Perry Mason

One of the best things about the show is its sense of place and period. It feels rooted in reality.

I don’t really like it as a Perry Mason series. I have issues with the portrayal of the character. But I really like it as a “noir” style private eye series. So I enjoy it for what it is and try not to hold its divergence from its source material against it. I do still wish that they hadn’t plopped the Perry Mason label on it and had gone with a whole new character. But I also understand the branding thing, so it is what it is. Either way, I’ve enjoyed it so far. Perry had better be careful with that Hispanic chick he is seeing though, she is gonna break him in two some day.

May sound weird but I’ve found the Maslany/church storyline the most interesting part, and her crazy sermons the most fun. The rest is of course terrifically done but sorta bland and dreary so far.

This show has fantastic production values and is very well acted, but there is something about it that just isn’t catching our interest as we watch. We are invested enough into it now that we will watch the full season, but I’m not sure I’m coming back for a second one unless something changes dramatically in the second half of the season. I like the time period, I don’t mind that it’s a dark story, and the Sister Alice stuff is kind of interesting, but it’s just falling flat. I think the lack of any likeable characters combined with a story that is progressing at a glacial pace it pulling the show down for me.

yeah, I turned to my wife right about the time Reese was starting to tease the idea and said "Oh, shit, I remember now from law school, they mentioned that California is like the only state that allows an open bar exam. Anyone can take it. I guess that was true even back in the '30s!

Felt this was the best episode of the series. Story is now really moving along with multiple clues revealed for some solid twists. Also some good ole courtroom drama too.

Lily Tomlin Lili Taylor really pulls out all the stops in this last episode and Tatiana Maslany is as chameleon-like as ever in that role. And holy shit is Juliet Rylance a joy to watch. I won’t deny that Shea Wingham and Chris Chalk are fun to watch too, but the women are acting their asses off. This show has only gotten better with every episode.

And the gang is all together now finally: Mason, Street, and Drake.

Lily Taylor not Tomlin.

:P Who can keep their names straight? They even look similar (although 30 years separate their ages.)

A solid “okay” from me. Not great, but good enough.

I have to say, I thought this was a really good period noir. I enjoyed it start to finish. There was nothing special in the plotting, but the acting and characters were strong, the period detail was spot on, the drama was high, and I had a great time watching.

This for me as well. It made me want to go watch Chinatown again, which is a positive from my perspective.

I loved Della and Hazel, who I thought were adorable and fierce in equal measure. I don’t have a prior emotional commitment to Perry Mason, so whatever changes were made don’t really bother me.

I enjoyed it too. Liked the ‘grayish’ ending of the trial, and the aftermath of the characters. They didn’t just go with some huge twist that solved it in a dramatic courtroom finale like a typical court show.

Yup. Liked it. I was a little on the fence at the beginning of the season, but it won me over in the end. It’s a fascinating time period and the showrunner (same one was Boardwalk Empire?) has a knack for getting the feel right.

Yeah, it was a very noirish ending, which Perry Mason the Raymond Burr TV show was not. (I’ve never read the novels, so can’t speak to them.) I really loved the intro to the final episode, which subverted all the lawyer show expectations and forced Perry and the viewers to confront the fact that justice would not be served.

I like Street as a romantically unavailable full associate of Mason rather than a secretary who flirts with Mason but can’t marry him because the wives of professional men don’t work. (Also Juliet Rylance is awesome.) And I’m interested to see how they use Drake, who in the shows was a deliberately non-descript white guy so he could go unnoticed… in white settings. (Hey, I just recognized Chris Chalk as the newsroom investigator in Newsroom!) The scene in the penultimate episode where Drake calmly rescues Mason is pretty great.

This show was definitely stronger in the second half, the last three episodes in particular finally seemed to be building some connections between the characters and the audience. I still think they overdid it with Mason being such a sad sack, I mean, it’s difficult to buy in that a guy so absorbed in self-pity and blatantly self-destructive would somehow not only give enough of a shit to cram for the bar exam and then represent his previous employer’s high profile client, but actually be halfway good at it as well. On the other hand, there is no show without the redemption arc.

I did like that they didn’t play it up so that he had some kind of major courtroom victory where someone confessed on the stand (they even had Burger in the scene literally screaming “they never confess on the stand!”) and instead we saw Perry’s creative solution that turned out to be unneeded in the end. The supporting cast came on a lot stronger in the final episodes as well, and I feel like Perry, Street and Drake are actually a team I would watch work another case.

Halfway through I was playing out the string on this, but by the end I was thinking I’d like to see a second season and what they could do with it.

I thought that “creative solution” really undermined the entire rest of the show, however.

I’m with you. I hated that bit. It ruined whatever redemptive arc he had for me. Again, why is this called Perry Mason if he’s just going to cheat to win?

I know, brand recognition, blah blah blah. Whatever. At least we got the theme song at the end.

I got the impression that his friend did that on his own, off the books. While they were having the victory party he and the gals exclaimed what a surprise Juror #3 was. Or, at least, I think Mason was part of that convo.

Mason definitely put him up to it, and then he feigned surprise at the party.

Eh. It’s not the same Perry Mason. It’s a lawyer noir, not a hero lawyer show. He had already messed with the chain of evidence, stolen a body, broken into places, obtained documents by stealing them, etc. He clearly is not a law-abiding crusader. He has a strong moral sense, but isn’t a strong believer in the law; the law is just the institution by which society seeks justice. But the justice society seeks is applied to reinforce existing social mores and not for moral purposes. I don’t think this last gambit was out of character at all.

I think the thing that really undermined the themes of the show was Ennis’s ultimate fate, which was out of character with the general sense that justice was not going to be served here. There was no ringing denouncement with the perpetrators having to face up to their crimes. Evil was not routed and wrongdoers were not brought before the law. The church continued to rake in suckers, helped along by the very woman who’d been most victimiized by their corruption. Sister Alice was both a fraud and a victim who ran away rather than face up to it. I also think Perry being your typical 21st century slovenly white liberal was out of character. I would contrast his character with the Gene Krantz character from For All Mankind, who when he learned Waverly’s orientation was repulsed and never got over it, despite being a generally honorable, likable character, which seems more like how a guy like Mason probably would have actually behaved.