Thursday, January 7, 2021


Screen captures from the second episode of the 2020 limited series HBO remake of Perry Mason, as set in 1931 Los Angeles. Great looking series with unpredictable plot twists, and time travel window into the very lost world of old L.A., where any building older than a year is considered a teardown.

Note extinct public transportation system "the Red Car" trolley in the background which they tell me went from the beach to the next county inland, hence the extreme spread of Los Angeles. Imagine, you could take comfortable public transportation from Santa Monica beach to San Bernardino county. Imagine, you could take comfortable public transportation from Santa Monica beach to Redlands. It took me a while to recognize the red car, seen in this first screen capture, because they had just been dismantled in my youth.

Perry Mason features great ensemble acting and diversity that's part of the normal tapestry just like in real life, with strong women's roles, and the best Private Investigator since Jim Rockford (The Rockford Files.) Granted,the character is a much more troubled guy, but just as interesting and gets beat up just as much! Three of its most interesting casting choices: Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) as a fictional Aimee Semple McPherson character; Chris Chalk (actor/writer/producer) as Paul Drake, whose character traverses the nasty Jim Crow vestiges of 90 years ago; and Veronica Falcon (iconic Mexican actress/choreographer) as a main character's love interest (and boy, does she convey instant acting authority!)


You can't beat the visuals, it's like a big budget film. In a place where so much of our history has been deliberately demolished, L.A. as it once was within living memory of some is fascinating for us locals. This looks like my paternal grandparents' daily world. Plus guessing what was filmed where provides extra fun for us locals. Here's a link for the curious *LINK


 That's a character weeping on the floor to the left of Perry Mason (actor Matthew Rhys.)

It's nothing like the dramatic but charming, 1950s original television series with Raymond Burr. With no small amount of violence, it's an intelligent re-thinking of the same Earl Stanley Gardner character as a younger man in 1931 L.A. In fact one of the writers placed an insider's joke with someone instructing Mason, new to the law, that "nobody confesses on the stand in court!" which of course was the hallmark of the TV series! This 2020 HBO 8-episode, limited series was much better received than perhaps even the cable network had guessed, with high audience approval and solid positive reviews. It was renewed for a second season, but disrupted like everything else.

My better half  Mr. Twister says the actor is looking in the wrong place for the viewfinder, despite the authenticity of the vintage camera, but adds "well, maybe he could see through the viewfinder of his Kodak (Nagel) Vollenda 127 like that."


No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...