Perry Mason HBO Miniseries! Spoiler Alert Advisory

Walter Kittel

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My turn to concur with your comments, Robert. :)

Terrific second episode that definitely opens up new plot elements and complications in the case. There was really a lot to like in this episode - Mason's time in the war, the introduction of Paul Drake, the big argument/conversation in E.B.'s office, and Sister Alice's spin on the Beatitudes.

As far as Mason's basic competence goes, in this episode we definitely see him being ahead of the police. Seems like that story thread is laying the foundation for an eventual meeting with Paul Drake.

Nice to see Stephen Root and Lili Taylor on hand. Great series so far.

- Walter.
 
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Hollywoodaholic

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Yes, I agree that this Perry Mason is a terrific Noir, and anyone whining that it's not the Perry Mason they remember, should just not watch.

The WWI scenes were terrific and had all the production value of 1917 (except one take, of course). And his cleverness is beginning to show (except removing evidence, of course).
 

Mark Booth

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The second episode set the hook in me a little deeper. This series is definitely worth my time. But it still shouldn't be called Perry Mason. I looked up the very first Perry Mason novel by Gardner (1933 - The Case of the Velvet Claws) and Mason was an attorney, not a PI.

Soon, HBO will be releasing 'Gone With the Wind', a story set in 440 AD about a reporter in Europe and his battle against Attila the Hun. :)

Mark
 

Robert Crawford

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Who's to say that by the end of the next six episodes he decides to become a lawyer and that will be the premise for the second season of episodes?
 

Walter Kittel

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The show's creators seem to hint at multiple seasons for the show in this article...


I suspect we will see the evolution of the character from P.I. to attorney over the course of the show. ( Obviously, one of the variables in this arc is how many seasons are produced. )

I think the second episode hinted at this evolution when Mason sees E.B. and the District Attorney hobnobbing at the club after essentially throwing Emily Dodson to the the wolves; with this striking Mason as a violation of the greater cause of justice on some level. We've seen glimpses of Mason's troubled past, and perhaps the resolution of this season's case will both offer him some solace and provide a greater impetus to 'serve justice' to use that term again. A third factor may be his association with Paul Drake, bringing home the inequities in society and serving as another motivating factor.

I certainly hope it runs for multiple seasons if the quality approaches what we've experienced to date.

- Walter.
 
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Dave Blair

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Years ago I read a few early Perry Mason pulps. The first is ”The Cat with the Velvet Claws.”
Perry was always a lawyer in the novels that I read. He wasn’t a stickler for rules and refs. The novels were so popular they immediately started a series of movies which I enjoyed being a fan of pre-code and series B movies. TCM shows them occasionally. So far I find the HBO series a downer with no forward momentum.
 

Mysto

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Josh Dial

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Perry Mason is an attorney by the end of this first season series, according to info I read.
I assumed he is already called to the bar but not practicing. He was an officer in the First World War so he likely had a degree (and I think there was a shot of a parchment on his wall obscured perfectly to hide details from viewers). He was knowledgeable in civil procedure while giving expert evidence. Perhaps his discharge also impacted his ability or desire to practice.

Maybe something "pushes" him back in. Maybe EB dies or something.
 
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Wiseguy

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Watched episode 1 this morning. The production values are high and I don’t mind the period setting. But, so far, I hate that this is about a PI that apparently lacks the ability to outwit his opponent. Either make him a lawyer or make him very clever (or both). So far, he feels like a stumbling loser and that is not the Perry Mason I know and love from the TV series.

HBO should have just called this ’Steve Smith’ or ‘Joe Johnson’ so expectations would be adjusted accordingly.

It is entertaining (though dark, but I love film noir). I will continue to watch (episode 2 this afternoon). But this isn’t Perry Mason to me. I don‘t give a sheet what the early books were about, I don’t read books because they spoil movies.

Mark
Perry Mason was always a lawyer in the books. The only difference was in some of the early novels Perry used some perhaps unethical methods to achieve his goal and in at least one of the novels, we don't find out who the actual murderer was, Perry just raised enough doubt so that his client was declared "not guilty." Also, in the early novels, the police were depicted as arrogant, almost bad guys until the character of Lt. Tragg was introduced in 1940.

When going through the CBS series on DVD, in most cases, I would read the novel first, THEN see how it was adapted (either in the 1930s movies or the 1950s series).
 

Robert Crawford

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I assumed he is already called to the bar but not practicing. He was an officer in the First World War so he likely had a degree (and I think there was a shot of a parchment on his wall obscured perfectly to hide details from viewers). He was knowledgeable in civil procedure while giving expert evidence. Perhaps his discharge also impacted his ability or desire to practice.

Maybe something "pushes" him back in. Maybe EB dies or something.
I don't think it's the discharge as much as experiencing the horrors of WW1 trench warfare.
 

Mark Booth

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Perry Mason was always a lawyer in the books. The only difference was in some of the early novels Perry used some perhaps unethical methods to achieve his goal and in at least one of the novels, we don't find out who the actual murderer was, Perry just raised enough doubt so that his client was declared "not guilty." Also, in the early novels, the police were depicted as arrogant, almost bad guys until the character of Lt. Tragg was introduced in 1940.

When going through the CBS series on DVD, in most cases, I would read the novel first, THEN see how it was adapted (either in the 1930s movies or the 1950s series).
I've started watching the CBS series via CBS All Access. In one of the early episodes Perry tampers with evidence (adds "additional" evidence) to help get his client acquitted. You know, the kind of crap that some real defense attorneys probably pull.

Mark
 

Matt Hough

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HBO uploaded the pilot episode onto YouTube, and I watched it tonight. Quite violent (not surprised since it's HBO) and a completely different tone that took a minute to accustom oneself to. Won't make me subscribe to HBO just to see it, but I'll look forward to watching the rest of it eventually in some media form or other.
 

Wiseguy

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Years ago I read a few early Perry Mason pulps. The first is ”The Cat with the Velvet Claws.”
Perry was always a lawyer in the novels that I read. He wasn’t a stickler for rules and refs. The novels were so popular they immediately started a series of movies which I enjoyed being a fan of pre-code and series B movies. TCM shows them occasionally. So far I find the HBO series a downer with no forward momentum.
I believe you mean "The Case of the Velvet Claws" although there were later novels titled "The Case of the Caretaker's Cat" and "The Case of the Careless Kitten."
"The Caretaker's Cat" was one of the novels adapted for the 1930s movies although it was retitled "The Case of the Black Cat" to capitalize on the recent Boris Karloff movie "The Black Cat." What was odd was that the cat in the movie wasn't even black! Although there was a caretaker character.
WB has released the 1930s movies on MOD DVDs.
 
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Matt Hough

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Yes, and in those movies, Mason behaves more like a private investigator than a lawyer. He does most of his own leg work in investigating the mysteries. One look back at the TV series also shows Mason doing more than a little of the investigation although the road trips and heavy lifting were taken up by Paul Drake and his firm.
 

Mark Booth

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Just learned that HBO will be releasing a series based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character, Sherlock Holmes. In the new series, Holmes will be an overweight doctor who hangs around with a private investigator character named Watson and writes stories about Watson's exploits.

Mark
 
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Josh Dial

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I don't think it's the discharge as much as experiencing the horrors of WW1 trench warfare.
Yeah, that was partly what I was thinking, too (though I think that particular story has been told too many times recently).

I was also thinking that he may be officially prohibited from practicing in California. Where I live (I'm a lawyer in Alberta) our bar has a "good character" requirement that is actually enforced (it's debatable as to the quality and the effect...). Perhaps in 1930s California being administratively discharged ("blue ticketed") created additional hoops to jump through to practice law.
 

Hollywoodaholic

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Just learned that HBO will be releasing a series based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character, Sherlock Holmes. In the new series, Holmes will be an overweight doctor who hangs around with a private investigator character named Watson and writes stories about Watson's exploits.

Mark
And he owns one of the Fiji islands where he has unlimited access to young boys and few laws stopping him from exploiting them for his own twisted desires.

Oh, we're writing a parody. Nevermind.
 

Hollywoodaholic

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How did I miss that Drake is the cop that's going to end up as Mason's detective? Names just slip by... senior-itis. So this really is an origin story. And I think we're close to Perry taking over the case because E.B. is obviously losing it.

I don't know why Shea Whigham as Strickland reminds me of Ed Norton, but he just does. And Juliet Rylance, who plays Della, is the stepdaughter of the great actor Mark Rylance. That figures.

Great final visual, btw, with Sister Alice adrift in her 'epiphany.'
 
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