The new Perry Mason



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  • The new Perry Mason

    On the TV series, Perry Mason would be grilling someone on the witness stand and have that one pivotal question; that one knock-out punch. If he had the creators of the new HBO series PERRY MASON on the stand he would ask, "Why should anybody GIVE A ****?-

    Okay, I only watched the premiere, and yes the production values were lovely, and it boasted a star-studded cast headlined by Matthew Rhys, John Lithgow, and Tatiana Maslany.

    But I sooooo didn't care.

    About anybody.

    And mostly I hated "Perry Mason.- I added the quotations because they could have called the series ROB PETRIE - that's how much he had in common with the iconic lawyer. In this version, Perry is a dyspeptic private eye in LA in the '30s. Maybe by the end of the series he becomes a lawyer, but I doubt I'll get that far.

    Here's my question (if it pleases the court): Why call this guy Perry Mason? Why just trade on the name to do a completely different character? Were they afraid we wouldn't watch if the show was called BEN FENTON?

    There's a real trap in calling it PERRY MASON. And everyone else has fallen into it too that has tried to revive the franchise. Raymond Burr IS Perry Mason. Period. I guarantee you if Sean Connery made 271 James Bond films no one would buy Roger Moore (not that everyone does anyway). There have been other actors playing Perry Mason (Monty Markham springs to mind), but it's just weird.

    There's something else PERRY MASON has to compete with - CHINATOWN and LA CONFIDENTIAL. Both covered the arena and time period brilliantly. So far I'd rather screen either of them than this PERRY MASON.

    But those are quibbles compared to my main question: Why should anyone GIVE A ****? It's not that they have to be heroic, but at least interesting, intriguing, involved. I normally love Matthew Rhys, but he's so disgruntled and so bitter that I just keep hoping Mr. Rogers will show up and fix him again.

    I think I'll give PERRY MASON one more week to see if it rights itself, but if it doesn't I'll be calling a mistrial.

    What did you guys think?