Perry Mason returns in a luxurious, gloomy and at times, version of excruciating toughness. The HBO production pays tribute to the classic 1960s series and Erle Stanley Gardner’s well-known crime novels.
When HBO announced the return of Perry Mason there were doubts about the production’s ability to honor writer Erle Stanley Gardner’s famous book series that includes the character.
But the HBO version does both, and it also reflects brilliantly on the perception of contemporary evil. All through a noir aesthetic that does not hide its heritage of the genre and a frenetic rhythm that give the series its best moments. For better or for worse, the new version of Perry Mason is ready to explore the evil, elegant and sophisticated background of his character and he does it with good skill, precision and an ingenious script that make the series into a rare mixture of procedural with something more bitter and strange.
Of course, from the first scene (bloody, graphic and hard) it is evident that Perry Mason tries to build a version of the criminal underworld from the fearsome. And it does so with much more interest in emulating the universe of the book than that of the Raymond Burr series; Known for her impeccable sense of consistency and a script based on the character’s ability for legal litigation.
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Return of HBO Show – Perry Mason
A dark version of Perry Mason
The HBO version is, in fact, an origin story that strips Mason of his stylized air and gives him a dark and painful background, which has a lot with the noir cinema of the golden age of Hollywood, although with a much more rhythm Worldly and less artificial than any of the great classics of the genre on the big screen.
The series shows the most disturbing and violent places in Los Angeles after the Great Depression. And it does so through the simple and well-constructed resource of asking questions about the character’s invisible background and undisclosed motivations. The setting, combined with impeccable setting and neat staging , make Perry Mason more than just a lucky and curious experiment, amid today’s TV offering.
Through mysterious places
As one might suppose, the Mason for a new generation is a hybrid between the antihero in use and a formidable investigator who must battle with his demons in a constant search for meaning in his decisions.
Does that sound familiar to you? Perhaps it is because the character is the umpteenth incarnation of the tormented detective, who for the occasion must also endure the rigors of an ambiguous moral code to deal with violence.
But although the script does not touch especially new themes or original twists, it does manage to sustain the proposal with some intelligent decisions that make this broken and afflicted man an effective resource to reflect on the moral hypocrisy of his time.
Perry Mason is a man heartbroken by a turbulent divorce, an alcoholism he barely overcomes, and the pressure to escape the consequences of a particularly dark moment in his life.
Matthew Rhys ( A Good Day in the Neighborhood ) gives his character three-dimensionality and does so through the actor’s conscious ability to bring a defined personality to one of the most famous detectives on television.
The weight of everything
Mason has tics, a tense and overwhelmed expression, but also, sustains the show that bears his name with an energy that has a definite relationship with the way the plot breaks the story down. In less skillful hands, this Perry Mason in a hat and cascading voice would have been a traditional cliche, but thanks to Rhys it is intriguing and mysterious.
When the case that the character is dealing with becomes a media event, the series makes its intentions clear: it is a tasteful procedure that analyzes the loopholes of the law, crime and the gray spaces between both things carefully. Perry Mason is the most visible piece of a complicated and well-built mechanism, which reflects on the culture of violence, the connotation of the law as a paradigm, but which in the end is based on the integrity of the men he follows closely. fierce.
Of course, a vintage narrative is riddled with platitudes and Perry Mason is no exception: there are tense expressions under brimmed hats, lots of characters smoking cigarettes while mysteriously whispering, and incomplete conversations, all in the midst of a fauna of gray suits of good cut that reflect a more elegant and simple time. Perhaps for that reason, it seems that the program is taken too seriously and is excessively severe, for the way that today reflects on the world of law and its unknown little twists and turns.
But in reality, Perry Mason is an atypical product of enormous energy and intelligence, which intersperses classic shots with something more elaborate and based on a look at the criminal act, very similar to that of small-scale trauma.
Rhys’s Mason is an intuitive investigator, who has an eye for mysteries and who also shows his human side with a certain reserve, like the lonely and anguished man he is. But the series is not limited to showing only the mental torments and pessimism of his character, survivor of the Great Depression and a country in ruins.
Cunningly, the character reflects on the dark moments of the nation under the auspices of a certain aspiration to something greater than his own personal pains. And it is there, where the series triumphs: without departing from its fatalistic and slightly sinister sense, the plot is able to emphasize the idea of redemption and also do it with a good pulse.
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With Hollywood behind
It is interesting that the series raises the existence of Hollywood in the background: despite the proximity of the plot’s motor center, the plot takes special care that the idea that the mecca of the seventh art is a tangential element around the true plot knot. Perhaps for the first time in a long time, the mere eloquence of the film world and its fascinating background is not of immediate interest to an argument in which he might be. One of Perry Mason’s triumphs is being more interested in the periphery of a radiant universe, than in its center and perhaps, it is that combination of chiaroscuro, what best defines the series as a television product.
With his hints of the blackest sense of humor – paying attention to Mason’s visit to the morgue – and his dynamic journey into the dark, Perry Mason promises to become a low-key event amidst the spectacular nature of the season series. Quite a feat for a show of its sober character.