“Perry Mason”: TV review – Variety

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In the context of the numerous HBO triumphs over the past five years, the cable operator wanted to continue the particular and somber success of “True Detective”. There have been two other seasons of the Nic Pizzolatto anthology, those which, with varying degrees of artistic success, have managed to maintain the general working atmosphere of this program, its feeling that breaking a case does not cure it. broken soul of the world. Earlier this year came “The Outsider”, an adaptation of a crime novel by Stephen King which continued in an atmosphere of discomfort; now, HBO’s quest for black comes back to the source.

With “Perry Mason”, HBO re-uses the most famous character in the legal drama directed by Raymond Burr of the 1950s and 1960s, depicting him both before his legal career and – above all – before the previous series, a first television procedure, a indicated that every move Mason made was to build towards a victory. Played by Matthew Rhys of “The Americans,” this 1930s mason is an investigator to a lawyer played by John Lithgow. He is an efficient louse with limited ambition, walking around in private homes and drinking outside working hours to maintain a fragile balance. This balance is threatened both by memories of the Great War and by a particularly disturbing case involving a horribly killed baby (whose face, eyes sewn open, lingers for free).

Both Parents (Nate Corddry and Gayle Rankin) Live Their Times in Glare of Doubt, and the Public Interest in this Case Is ignited by a Charismatic Preacher of Aimee Semple McPherson (Tatiana Maslany, with Her Mother Played by Lili Taylor ) as well as the apparently endless appetite of the police to put their audience, and even the black officers within their forces (as illustrated by a Chris Chalk example) in the heel. In this way, at least, “Perry Mason” feels ahead of its time. Elsewhere, however, many subplots can feel the wheel spinning – Maslany is so lively in his scenes that it can be easy to get lost in their endless whirlwind, forgetting that there’s not much going on in them. episodes exceeding one hour.

Too much of this show, a punishment of eight installments, looks like another iteration of what we have already seen, elsewhere and often superior. Rhys, so gifted at letting sentiment and vulnerability show through in “The Americans”, feels here inhibited by the tension of social constraints around Mason, which are drawn with care but not especially in an interesting way. The show combines a setting that we have already seen (“Penny Dreadful: City of Angels”, currently broadcast, takes place in the same medium, up to the sub-plot of McPherson-aping). His approach is based on two decades of prestigious television, with a stern and broken man using work as a means to defeat demons. The show is beautiful to watch (when it’s not deliberately ugly) and features great work from Rhys, Chalk, Maslany and Taylor, Rankin, Lithgow and Juliet Rylance (as all-purpose legal assistant on Della Street), and yet gives us little reason to look further. Why revive a title like this only to do with what has been done, in the anti-hero era of prestige television now so many times, so many times before?

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