May 18, 2020

HBO Bringing Back Classic Character


HBO announced an ambitious new series idea-- just in time for everyone stuck inside due to the pandemic. The cable giant is reviving the old Perry Mason character. Mason was the lead character in the series that shared his name in the 1950s and 1960s. This time, Mason returns in a mini-series. In many ways, Perry Mason created the public's perception of how courtroom investigations happen. Furthermore, while the television show was wildly popular, Mason was also a major fixture on the radio for decades. The series was so popular that CBS launched another series-- the New Perry Mason fro 1973 and 1974.

The network followed this with a full 30 television films about the defense attorney. So, to begin with, this is a fascinating topic for me. Perry Mason has been around for almost a century now, debuting in 1933. As a serious criminal defense attorney, Mason was an exciting look into investigations and courtroom drama. As an attorney myself, the Mason character shaped why and possibly how I got into law. And he likely influenced my peculiar style in and out of court. Coincidentally, this series appears slated with serious star power-- with True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto slated to write. Also, Robert Downey, Jr was expected to star as Perry Mason. Furthermore, this is even better because Downey also played the most famous detective in history-- Sherlock Holmes. Now it seems like Downey will executive produce, and Matthew Rhys will star as Mason.

What's Real and What's Not?

Set in the era of the Great Depression, the new series will pick up in some ways that it left off. The character hasn't been featured in almost 20 years. Furthermore, with cable and Netflix viewership off the charts, it's a golden opportunity. For the most part, forensic accounting and investigations are not quite as fast as portrayed.

However, in my long time of watching the multiple series, it is not only interesting but also relatively faithful to the real-life struggles of trial attorneys. I know I'll be watching Perry Mason 2020. And I hope you will tune in too.