“Perry Mason: Season 1” (2020) / Z-View

Perry Mason: Season 1 (2020)

Written by: Rolin Jones & Ron Fitzgerald (ep. 1-3, 8); Steven Hanna & Sarah Kelly Kaplan (ep. 4); Eleanor Burgess (ep. 5); Kevin J. Hynes (ep. 6); Howard Korder (ep. 7)

Directed by: Tim Van Patten (ep. 1 – 4; 7-8); Deniz Gamze Ergüven (ep. 4 – 6)

Stars: Matthew Rhys, Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk, Shea Whigham, Tatiana Maslany, John Lithgow, Justin Kirk, Diarra Kilpatrick, Eric Lange, Verónica Falcón, Gretchen Mol, Gayle Rankin, Stephen Root, Robert Patrick, Lili Taylor and Matt Frewer. 

Tagline:  Everyone is guilty of something.

The Plot…

The year is 1932.  Perry Mason (Rhys) is a low-rent private eye. He’s a divorced parent, and a WWI vet who struggles with PTSD.  Mason’s main employer is a struggling attorney named “E.B.” Jonathan (Lithgow).  When EB takes on a sensationalized, highly publicized case involving a baby kidnapping/murder, he assigns Mason to investigate.  Mason follows leads that point to corruption at the highest levels and the fact that an innocent person is taking the fall.  As Mason gets closer to the truth, he and those around him become targets.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

This is not your grandparents’ Perry Mason.  Instead we are treated to the evolution of the great attorney from before he was even a lawyer.  The series captures the feel of the era.  It is well written, well directed, well acted and well, just an all-around superior viewing experience.

Perry Mason: Season 1 is one of the few shows were the supporting characters could actually be leads had the show been written differently.

  • Juliet Rylance plays Della Street, E.B.’s legal secretary and perhaps the most intelligent person in the series.
  • Chris Chalk plays Paul Drake, a beat cop who becomes a partner of sorts to Mason.  Drake was my favorite character in season one.
  • Shea Whigham, who is always great, plays Pete Strickland, Mason’s not too bright and somewhat shifty PI partner.
  • Tatiana Maslany plays Sister Alice McKeegan, the charismatic and beautiful religious leader who is either a true believer or one of the best religious shysters the world has ever seen.

The first season starts out very dark and Mason isn’t all that likeable.  Stick with the series and you’ll be rewarded.

Perry Mason: Season 1 (2020)) earns 5 of 5 stars.