HBO’s reboot of ‘Perry Mason’ is a story with ambiguity, conventionality, and many other things that don’t stand strong in today’s time.
On June 21, 2020, the reboot of the legendary series ‘Perry Mason’ met us all on our screens. While everyone was excited to witness the era of the 1970s, it turns out, that the show left many feeling bewildered, peculiar, and out of place; in short, the series evoked a sense of obscurity, as it failed to match and appease the liberated ideologies of today’s times.
- Why is the ‘Perry Mason’ reboot different from the original version
- What did the critics say about the ‘Perry Mason’ reboot?
What makes the reboot of ‘Perry Mason’ different from the original version?
The plot, the essence, and even the setting of the reboot of the show invoked the feeling of noir films. In the rebooted version, starring Matthew Rhys, we don’t see him focusing on a single crime. As a matter of fact, as we move forward in the show, some believe that Matthew aka Mason looks more like a private detective than a lawyer. In a conversation with “Town and Country”, the writer of the show, Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald, opened up about their intention with the reboot:
“It was revolutionary TV for the time and was like a giant shot of adrenaline. But we had no interest in repeating that because they already did it so well. There was a pathway to revive this for the here and now.”
“We realized we could go back to the source material and do a Chinatown sort of thing—we didn’t have to remake the black-and-white Raymond Burr series”, Jones further added.
Jones also discussed a few important aspects which can never be replaced.
“It’s the one television show for all of the crime dramas out there, and it’s astonishing the legacy that the series has, especially in terms of form and structure. There’s always a need for Perry Mason, and at this particular time, someone standing up for people who don’t have a voice feels like it might be the perfect thing.”
What sort of reviews did the reboot of ‘Perry Mason’ receive?
Well, just like how we have had mixed feelings about this rebooted version of the series, the critics also shared varied reviews about the show. Matthew Gilbert from the “Boston Globe” said,
“I don’t think you’ll be bored or outraged watching ‘Perry Mason’. The cast is filled with big, broad scene-stealers, with Lithgow’s moving turn at the top of that list … Just don’t get too caught up in trying to tie all those moments together”.
One another critic, Kathryn Reklis, from “The Christian Century” talks about the intriguing plot of the show in her review.
“There is something thrilling in wondering what new stories we need to tell about institutions of public life when we no longer trust that they are inherently just or righteous.”
While these reviews depict the strong plotline of the show, there are other critics, who found the show to be too ambiguous. Tom Long from “Detroit News” found the series to be wandering at times: “Strained at times, wandering at others, “Perry Mason” finds its footing eventually and by its end you may want to watch a second season even as you hope it’s better than the first.” On the other hand, critic, Brian Tallerico, from “Roger Ebert” found the writing to be a little weak: “A gorgeous show in terms of production design and the cast is strong from top to bottom, but writers Rolin Jones & Ron Fitzgerald struggle to find a story worth investing in for at least the first half of the eight-episode season.”
In the end, we can only say that the audience has been divided into two parts, those who support the reboot, and those who feel that it has tarnished the image of the original ‘Perry Mason’. What do you think about the reboot of the show? Let us know in the comments below.