It looks like they're going back to the early novels as it takes place in LA circa 1932. Mason is a mess suffering from his experiences during WWI. Apparently, he's a PI and not a lawyer, perhaps he eventually becomes a lawyer later on. There is a black Paul Drake. I'll be watching this two part series just to see where it goes as I love period pieces and it has a great cast. It premieres on HBO and HBO Max June 21st.