Perry Mason is a character whose story has been told many times in various mediums in over 50 years. Starting with the novel " The Case of the Velvet Claws " which came out in 1933, the story and character of Perry Mason has appeared on radio, novels, television shows to films. And now, in 2020, Perry Mason is getting another reboot in the form of a TV series on the HBO channel and played by Matthew Rhys ( A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood ).
Perry Mason does not hesitate in presenting his story in a brutal and gruesome way, as when this series does not hesitate to show the corpse of a baby with his eyes sewn openly, even making our main character shocked when he sees it for the first time. Of course considering that this show is on HBO, the same channel that streams Game of Thrones , I shouldn't be surprised to anticipate how this show has more freedom than shows on other channels.
The baby is Charlie Dodson, son of Matthew (Nate Corddry) and Emily Dodson (Gayle Rankin). At the beginning of the first episode, we learn that Charlie has been kidnapped from his parents and to find his son, Matthew and Emily have to pay $ 100,000 to the kidnapper. They paid for it, but Charlie still lost his life. And this is where Perry, our private investigator, comes into the show.
From what started as a kidnapping case it turns into a huge conspiracy as the first season progresses and each puzzle gets solved, and this is what I love about Perry Mason , which is how the show manages to develop its truly complex - and sometimes confusing - story. but all the mysteries are so neatly resolved that at the end of the first season there are no more questions or awkwardness in my head, and that's what I really love about a detective mystery story.
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Even so, I still feel the stories in this series get choked up, especially when the series begins to focus on Alice McKeegan (Tatiana Maslany), a preacher and leader of the Radiant Assembly of God Church. She does have a connection with one of her church members, Emily, Charlie's mother who for most of the season was a suspect in her infanticide, but for about half the season we always take the time to tell her story Alice who hasn't even seen what to do with the main story of this series. until the last few episodes just started getting in touch.
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But it is only when Perry Mason begins to tell the main story of his mystery that the series really feels thrilling, clever and also interesting. Not only is the story like a labyrinth with a thousand paths, what makes this show really come alive is the characters. Starting from the main character to several supporting characters have unique and eccentric traits and personalities, making the first season always alive and never feels flat.
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Let's take a look at the main character, Perry Mason. Matthew Rhys perfectly portrays a character who is messy, both in terms of appearance and life. He also perfectly balances Perry's angry nature that often explodes because of the difficulty to contain her and her cleverness, in which Perry knows when to calm down and think and execute her plans with a cool head. Perry Mason is not the best detective in the world, but he is someone who never gives up even to the point where he gives up his social life for his work.
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Then his two colleagues, Pete Strickland (Shea Whigham) and Elias Birchard Jonathan or commonly called "EB" (John Lithgow) also perfectly complement the unique set of characters in Perry Mason . Pete likes to read romantic stories in the newspaper to the point of even irritating Perry. “Have you never felt tension in life? Love, romance, joy? " he asked Perry. "Never heard of that," Perry replied. "Maybe you should read Lipstick Girl," said Perry, referencing the story she was reading.
If Perry and Pete are a duo who always provide an element of wildness to Perry Mason , in contrast to EB and his assistant, Della Street (Juliet Rylance) who offer calm into it. If you have never seen John Lithgow's talent in the film, then his character here can show that he can take full control of a story, even his character shines and becomes the best character in one episode, namely the fourth episode where his presence adds dynamics to the story that is not. other characters can be assigned.
Apart from them, a character whose presence also adds depth to the story is Paul Drake (Chris Chalk), a black policeman who always works alone because he believes that because of his skin he never gets a partner on duty and only always becomes a patrol cop. He believes in doing the right thing, but he can't do it because of pressure from his corrupt boss and his wife who always says that he is lucky to have a job and must always be obedient to his boss. His presence here presents polemics and dilemmas in the story, which certainly adds depth to the story.
What supports the character in Perry Mason , apart from the flawless acting of each player, is the dialogue that is both authentic and clever. One of the conversations I enjoy having a lot of meaning is when Paul Drake is talking to one of his friends. "Who are you after anyway?" asked his friend. "Another cop," Paul replied. "Other police? Aren't you black and blue enough (symbolizes the two colors of the police)? " asked his friend back. "I think it's time to choose one or the other," Paul replied, saying that he would choose between black which means his skin or blue which means police.
And of course, what I really love about Perry Mason is how beautiful the series is visually. What I admire the most is the lighting in the first season especially how they take advantage of the sunlight shining into the room through the window, making almost all the shots in this series really pretty and captivating despite the dark story. Not only that, the series is also amazing in terms of decoration and environment where they can really make the atmosphere go back to Los Angeles in 1932 with their vintage vehicles, classic clothes to the buildings around.
Previously, Perry Mason was rumored to only be made as a miniseries, meaning that it would only consist of the first season and there would be no sequels to it. But in the middle of the first season, HBO decided to turn Perry Mason into a TV series and the second season has been renewed. I, of course, hope to return to see what the next adventure is for our main character and what kind of madness will befall him.
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