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Door County Cherry

S01.E01: Chapter One

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Airs June 21, 2020

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Los Angeles, 1931. On the heels of an unsavory investigation involving a famous comedian, Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) – a PI struggling to make ends meet – and his right-hand man Pete Strickland (Shea Whigham) are hired by attorney E.B. Jonathan (John Lithgow), Perry's mentor, to solve a perplexing case: the brutal kidnapping of one-year-old Charlie Dodson, whose parents Matthew (Nate Corddry) and Emily (Gayle Rankin) were targeted for a $100,000 ransom. After meeting with Herman Baggerly (Robert Patrick), a millionaire elder at the Dodsons' church, Perry, E.B., and E.B.'s legal secretary Della Street (Juliet Rylance) ponder why a family of unmistakably modest means would be extorted for such a steep price.


Written by Rolin Jones & Ron Fitzgerald; directed by Tim Van Patten.

 

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There is absolutely no comparing this with the classic Perry Mason episodes.  I know we’re not supposed to but... You have to look at it as a whole different story/series; just the names are the same.  I’m not a prude but I can do without the profanity, nudity, and sex scenes.  Why didn’t they just produce this new show with new names so I don’t have to picture Raymond Burr in the sack with that woman.  I don’t know if this storyline was based on stories by Erle Stanley Gardner or not.  I really liked Matthew Rhys in The Americans, and he is a good actor, but I couldn’t watch even the first episode to see if I would like to watch.  

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I thought it was great. All the characters seemed like real, interesting people right away, including the Hot Mess that is Perry Mason. There was nobody on screen that wasn't doing a great job and the show is gorgeous. Don't care that yeah, it seems like it's a totally new show that is for some reason using the Perry Mason name, though that's kind of a shame, really, because it seems like this new character easily stands on his own as an original, new creation.

Didn't think I'd see Matthew Rhys in a sex scene even funnier than his Kama Sutra scene in The Americans, but that sex scene was hilarious.

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I'm in. I love a good noir, and this met my expectations. Matthew Rhys is as great as I knew he would be.

I watch this the same way I watch Endeavor and separate that character from Morse by thinking of them as  being in two different universes.

Raymond Burr will always be the slick Perry Mason defense attorney to me, but there's room in my heart for Matthew Rhys as the gritty R-rated private eye Perry Mason.

Edited by dramachick
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Having Eli as a partner inevitably leads to pandemonium! From this show to Penny Dreadful to L.A. Confidential, no wonder that LAPD needs copaganda...

Edited by paigow
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1 hour ago, sistermagpie said:

Don't care that yeah, it seems like it's a totally new show that is for some reason using the Perry Mason name, though that's kind of a shame, really, because it seems like this new character easily stands on his own as an original, new creation.

To me it seemed like the point was in the contrast -- for us to wonder how you get to famous defense attorney Perry Mason from this sadsack PI who thinks "everybody's guilty." I'm assuming this is going to be his origin story: he'll probably end up implicating an innocent person in the Angels Flight murder, then regret it and scramble to set things right, and in trying to prove someone not guilty for the first time he'll also learn how to forgive himself and become a better man.

26 minutes ago, Blakeston said:

So, I'm terrible with faces. The guy who blew away the three accomplices - had we seen him before?

He was the cop who tangled with Mason in the Angels Flight apartment, right?

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3 minutes ago, Dev F said:

To me it seemed like the point was in the contrast -- for us to wonder how you get to famous defense attorney Perry Mason from this sadsack PI who thinks "everybody's guilty." I'm assuming this is going to be his origin story: he'll probably end up implicating an innocent person in the Angels Flight murder, then regret it and scramble to set things right, and in trying to prove someone not guilty for the first time he'll also learn how to forgive himself and become a better man.

Oh, I get that's the idea, and I understand there will be things that point him in that direction--that is, specifically showing signs of things he's known for as Perry Mason. But still, it's not like the story needs a connection to known character to work, just as the original character didn't need an origin story.

Not that it bothers me watching the show. I don't think I've even ever seen a full episode of the 50s show and Perry Mason is a cool name (as is Della Street).

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1 hour ago, sistermagpie said:

I thought it was great. All the characters seemed like real, interesting people right away, including the Hot Mess that is Perry Mason. There was nobody on screen that wasn't doing a great job and the show is gorgeous. Don't care that yeah, it seems like it's a totally new show that is for some reason using the Perry Mason name, though that's kind of a shame, really, because it seems like this new character easily stands on his own as an original, new creation.

Didn't think I'd see Matthew Rhys in a sex scene even funnier than his Kama Sutra scene in The Americans, but that sex scene was hilarious.

 

1 hour ago, dramachick said:

I'm in. I love a good noir, and this met my expectations. Matthew Rhys is as great as I knew he would be.

I watch this the same way I watch Endeavor and separate that character from Morse by thinking of them as  being in two different universes.

Raymond Burr will always be the slick Perry Mason defense attorney to me, but there's room in my heart for Matthew Rhys as the gritty R-rated private eye Perry Mason.

Maybe I misunderstood it but is Perry suppose to evolve into the character portrayed by Raymond Burr?

I didn't watch that show but he's some slick lawyer right, who turns cases on his legal eloquence?  Very low affect, purely about grand legal concepts?  Or maybe I got the wrong character/show.

Also, isn't the original show based in the 50s or 60s?  So he's got 20-30 years to become the smooth talking lawyer?

The fat comedian is suppose to be Fatty Arbuckle, who supposedly had sexual feats which would have been scandalous back then?  And was that really Groucho Marx who shook down Perry for those pictures?

Perry is hard up for money but he's taking pictures of everything like he's got an iPhone.  He may develop his own film but was film cheap back in 1931?

My guess is one of those parents of the kidnapped/murdered child is the illegitimate child of Baggerly?  Otherwise how did they pay a $100k ransom?

The shot of the child with his eyes sewn shut looks like something out of ...  present day HBO, like True Detective or The Outsider, like the murderers weren't content with just the kill, they had to stage some scene or look.

So either this season is a backstory before Perry becomes this iconic lawyer or did they just decide to make a LA Confidential/Chinatown type of noir but decided to attach the Perry Mason name to it?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Enigma X said:

I liked it but think it will take a couple episodes for me to love it.

I think this is kinda where I'm at, too. I've seen the occasional episode of "Perry Mason" on MeTV, but beyond that I'm not super well-versed in the history of this series in general. The cast was what had me curious about this version-some of them are people whose work I haven't seen any of (like Rhys and Maslany), but I've heard good things, and then there's people like LIthgow, whose work I am familiar with and like :).

But yeah, there is good stuff here and an interesting story being built. I like seeing Perry all down on his luck and struggling (and on a shallow note, Rhys is working that 1930s detective in the rolled up sleeves and suit look really well), I especially like Perry and E.B.'s interactions, as well as Della, I love the whole noir feel, and the case is intriguing in and of itself. 

So yeah. I'm in and willing to see where this goes :). 

Also, the guy who worked at the morgue looked really familiar. I'm gonna have to look him up and see what all he's been in. 

Edited by Annber03
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I randomly started watching a few episodes of the Raymond Burr Perry Mason before finding out that tonight was going to be the debut of the HBO series. 

So a little culture shock going from black-and-white to color and from G-rated shennanigans wrapped up in an hour to a serial where we have a bunch of threads that we presumably will see more of over the season/series.

Never read the books and the TV series as far as I know never did any back story on Perry other than he was an established and successful defense attorney who had a knack for getting clients who looked guilty as hell but were in fact innocent.

The episode seemed sortof slow. But I'm up for seeing what develops.

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It was okay.  It looked gorgeous and the music was perfect, but it felt really LAZY.

I get that it's a noir detective story and there's going to be elements that will show up like clockwork, but it felt like not a whole lot of effort went into the story to distinguish this in any way. It's paint by numbers. The actors are all great, but the material is extremely limp. Like, did you know Lupe is from Mexico and speaks Spanish? Because she punctuates nearly every one of her lines with a "Papi" because I guess that's how white male writers think women like Lupe would talk?

I did like that Lupe was age appropriate and so is Della.  Also, I wanted to know more about Lupe! She's a woman pilot in 1931, from Mexico, been married twice and  knows how to control her liquor and a gun.  Oh, and she's got money too. Make a mini-series about something we haven't seen a zillion times already! But of course, by the looks of it, she's only in one episode.

Plus, the nudity left a bad taste in my mouth.  Rhys never even takes his undershirt off but 3 guest actors bare it all and 2 of them have less than 5 lines to say and do not feature prominently in any way?  Just, no. Don't do that. If you cannot even bother to take the undershirt off your lead star after he's been badly burned on his chest, knock it off with getting unknown actors to get naked.

That goes double for the lingering shots of the dead child.

I am expecting that once Maslany shows up, things will kick up a notch.

 

Edited by Vella
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52 minutes ago, scrb said:

The fat comedian is suppose to be Fatty Arbuckle, who supposedly had sexual feats which would have been scandalous back then?  And was that really Groucho Marx who shook down Perry for those pictures?

The fat comic is obviously based on Fatty Arbuckle, but Mason mentions that his name is Chubby Carmichael. Chubby seems to be a version of Arbuckle who didn't get blacklisted at the height of his fame in the 1920s but instead hung around into the '30s until audience got sick of him and the studios were itching for an excuse to cut him loose.

According to the closed captions, the Groucho-looking guy is Mr. Hammersmith, the head of Hammersmith Pictures that Mason's studio contact said he had to consult with when Mason demanded more money. I don't know if Hammersmith is supposed to represent a particular studio head of the era; he looks sort of like a cross between Carl Laemmle Sr. of Universal Pictures and Jack Warner of Warner Bros. But maybe someone who knows more about the era can discern clearer parallels.

In any event, it's clearly a heavily fictionalized version of Depression-era Hollywood, with different stars, executives, and such that don't correspond one-to-one to anything in the real world.

50 minutes ago, Annber03 said:

Also, the guy who worked at the morgue looked really familiar. I'm gonna have to look him up and see what all he's been in. 

That's Jefferson Mays. He's mostly a stage actor, I think, but I know him from a memorable turn as Walter Taffet in several episodes of Matthew Rhys's previous series The Americans. And he starred in another classy 1930s period piece: as "Daddy" in the excessively homoerotic musical Daddy's Boy, as seen at the end of a first-season episode of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Edited by Dev F
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9 minutes ago, Vella said:

Plus, the nudity left a bad taste in my mouth.  Rhys never even takes his undershirt off but 3 guest actors bare it all and 2 of them have less than 5 lines to say and do not feature prominently in any way?  Just, no. Don't do that. If you cannot even bother to take the undershirt off your lead star after he's been badly burned on his chest, knock it off with getting unknown actors to get naked.

And when we actually see a naked man, it's played for gross-out laughs. Not someone conventionally attractive enough to make some audience members uncomfortable, god forbid.

Speaking of which, I found it completely unnecessary that they included the sound of glass breaking when we first saw the Fatty Arbuckle character in that sexual scenario. If you're not familiar with the old Hollywood legend being referenced there, rest assured that you'll be happier if you don't look it up.

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1 hour ago, scrb said:

Maybe I misunderstood it but is Perry suppose to evolve into the character portrayed by Raymond Burr?

I think he's supposed to evolve into the lawyer of the books but I don't think they're committed to turning him into the version that was on the other TV show. And that's probably why I felt it pretty easy to watch.  I'd have a tough time if I felt I had compare this character to Raymond Burr's but they were so different that it's pretty easy for me to separate them.

1 hour ago, scrb said:

I didn't watch that show but he's some slick lawyer right, who turns cases on his legal eloquence?  Very low affect, purely about grand legal concepts?  Or maybe I got the wrong character/show.

It usually wasn't legal concepts but rather he'd get the real perpetrator to confess on the stand under his questioning, usually assisted with information from a P.I.

I had read the reviews so I was a little nervous about it and while I do think it could be sharper, overall the cast and look of it will keep me invested.  

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Not overly-familiar with the Perry Mason character outside of knowing he exists, but the cast alone was able to make me give this a go.  They pretty much could have just called it "Detective Matthew Rhys and the Case of the Religious Cult Led by Tatiana Maslany" and I would have been set!

All in all, a bit of a slow start, but I'm curious to see where this all goes, and why the baby ended up dying (way to just jump into the darkness, show!)  So far, we know that the cop played by Andrew Howard seemed to be involved and that's why he killed the other guys.  But I'm sure there will be more to it.  Especially with whatever is going on with this religious group.  They are clearly being set-up to be major players.

This version of Perry is certainly a mess, huh?  Seems to have hit rock bottom both professionally and personally at the moment.  Rhys certainly excels at that, to say the least!

Della is probably my favorite so far.  Followed by Pete/Perry's partner played by the always excellent Shea Whigham.

So many familiar faces!  Robert Patrick!  Eric Lange!  Charles Baker!  Gayle Rankin!  Nate Corddry!  Madeline Zima!  And, of course, John Freaking Lithgow!

This being HBO, I knew what to expect, but the sex and nude scenes were pretty much screaming "This isn't your parents/grandparents Perry Mason, folks!"  I did like that Perry's love interest (or fuck buddy, really) isn't just age appropriate, but the actress (Veronica Falcon), is actually about eight years older than Rhys.  I didn't know that was allowed in Hollywood!

Bummed that Tatiana was absent here, but since she's a regular in the credits, she'll hopefully be getting more to do in the upcoming episode.  Also noticed Chris Chalk was listed as a regular as well, so I guess he'll come into play eventually.  And I'm looking forward to seeing Stephen Root in the upcoming episodes as well!

So, I'm in.  If nothing else, it's good to have a more old-school noir on the TV again. 

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22 minutes ago, thuganomics85 said:

Della is probably my favorite so far.  Followed by Pete/Perry's partner played by the always excellent Shea Whigham.

I liked Juliette Rylance in The Knick.

Haven't seen her in other roles but she seems to be a supporting character here.

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Hmm, not sure this is for me. Perry Mason is always going to be Raymond Burr to me, not this noir stuff.

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3 hours ago, Vella said:

 

It was okay.  It looked gorgeous and the music was perfect, but it felt really LAZY.

I get that it's a noir detective story and there's going to be elements that will show up like clockwork, but it felt like not a whole lot of effort went into the story to distinguish this in any way. It's paint by numbers. The actors are all great, but the material is extremely limp. Like, did you know Lupe is from Mexico and speaks Spanish? Because she punctuates nearly every one of her lines with a "Papi" because I guess that's how white male writers think women like Lupe would talk?

 

Lazy is the perfect description. It’s gorgeous and the cast is fantastic but the story was flat and boring. I found myself focusing the the aesthetic and the music because I couldn’t be bothered to focus on the plot. 

I did really like the courtroom scene. It felt true to who the character is right now and a nod to the characters past. Although it does make me think a noir series with Mason as a lawyer would be better. I didn’t watch the original series so that’s not my problem but changing him into a PI is boring. 

3 hours ago, Vella said:

I did like that Lupe was age appropriate and so is Della.  Also, I wanted to know more about Lupe! She's a woman pilot in 1931, from Mexico, been married twice and  knows how to control her liquor and a gun.  Oh, and she's got money too. Make a mini-series about something we haven't seen a zillion times already! But of course, by the looks of it, she's only in one episode.

That just pisses me off. My interest in shows with zero diversity is at an all time low. 

 

3 hours ago, Vella said:

Plus, the nudity left a bad taste in my mouth.  Rhys never even takes his undershirt off but 3 guest actors bare it all and 2 of them have less than 5 lines to say and do not feature prominently in any way?  Just, no. Don't do that. If you cannot even bother to take the undershirt off your lead star after he's been badly burned on his chest, knock it off with getting unknown actors to get naked.

I have the same issue. It’s no longer shocking or interesting for nudity to be used like this. 

3 hours ago, Blakeston said:

And when we actually see a naked man, it's played for gross-out laughs. Not someone conventionally attractive enough to make some audience members uncomfortable, god forbid.

All I could think of was the similar scene in Sideways from 16 years ago. 

Edited by Dani
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2 hours ago, Vella said:

I did like that Lupe was age appropriate and so is Della.  Also, I wanted to know more about Lupe! She's a woman pilot in 1931, from Mexico, been married twice and  knows how to control her liquor and a gun.  Oh, and she's got money too. Make a mini-series about something we haven't seen a zillion times already! But of course, by the looks of it, she's only in one episode.

If you're saying that because she's only credited for one episode on IMDb, I think that's just because the credits are still incomplete. Even some of the guest stars in this episode aren't listed yet -- for instance, Boardwalk Empire's Gretchen Mol, who's in the end credits for her voice on the phone as Perry's ex-wife and presumably will show up in the flesh in future episodes, but she's not yet on IMDb for the series at all.

Edited by Dev F
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17 minutes ago, Dev F said:

If you're saying that because she's only credited for one episode on IMDb, I think that's just because the credits are still incomplete. Even some of the guest stars in this episode aren't listed yet -- for instance, Boardwalk Empire's Gretchen Mol, who's in the end credits for her voice on the phone as Perry's ex-wife and presumably will show up in the flesh in future episodes, but she's not yet on IMDb for the series at all.

I think you’re right. In the show’s announcement she’s listed as recurring. I’m both relieved and concerned. She’s an interesting character and really hope she is used well. 

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I’m SO all-in on this one. The cast, plus the noir, plus 1930s LA = catnip for me. It’s a pretty standard HBO/dark murder setup, but that’s okay because I’m already hooked into the characters (can’t wait for Aimee Semple McPherson Tatiana Maslany to make her entrance). And two of my faves from Boardwalk Empire, yay! I haven’t watched it yet, but doesn’t Penny Dreadful: City of Angels also have a Semple McPherson-type character? I’ve been bingeing the  You Must Remember This podcast (with which I have a love/hate relationship because of the host’s BIZARRE vocal mannerisms); this show complements it nicely.

I’m digging the Mason dairy farm/airport and the set design overall is excellent. Fun fact: the gooseneck desk lamp in the room overlooking Angel’s Flight (where the parents left the money and the cops hassled Mason)? I have that lamp. It belonged to my dad, who used it on his desk as a teen in the 1940s.

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2 hours ago, Door County Cherry said:

I think he's supposed to evolve into the lawyer of the books but I don't think they're committed to turning him into the version that was on the other TV show. And that's probably why I felt it pretty easy to watch.  I'd have a tough time if I felt I had compare this character to Raymond Burr's but they were so different that it's pretty easy for me to separate them.

This would make a lot of sense to me. Especially with the series being set two years before the first book. If that’s the plan I hope they don’t take to long. Mason being a lawyer is one of the things that set him apart from the other noir novels at the time. I really thought the courtroom scene was setting up that evolution. 

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3 hours ago, Dev F said:

That's Jefferson Mays. He's mostly a stage actor, I think, but I know him from a memorable turn as Walter Taffet in several episodes of Matthew Rhys's previous series The Americans. And he starred in another classy 1930s period piece: as "Daddy" in the excessively homoerotic musical Daddy's Boy, as seen at the end of a first-season episode of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Thanks for the info :)! Looked more into his credits and it doesn't seem he's been in anything that I've seen, so maybe he just looks similar to another actor I'm thinking of, then. I did like him here, though. It's interesting how he'll let Perry take stuff from the morgue :p. 

I'll co-sign the comments about wanting to learn more about Lupe, too. 

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The HBO website says the first episode is free to stream, but apparently not.** I'm not sure I want to bother having to "find" it elsewhere based on the comments here (e.g. "lazy"). Maybe I'll try to watch the second episode if the consensus here seems to warrant it. I have a low tolerance for nudity just for the sake of fulfilling an HBO quota/expectation, but maybe using it for humor would be better than gratuitous sex scenes that don't really move the story. 

So it's an origin story? I was wondering.

_______________

**or is there a 24 hour or 1 week hold for the "free" episodes? 

Edited by shapeshifter
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10 hours ago, Blakeston said:

The guy who blew away the three accomplices - had we seen him before?

I think he was the cop in the apartment, the one who was told to go check the car angle

3 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

The HBO website says the first episode is free to stream, but apparently not.** I'm not sure I want to bother having to "find" it elsewhere based on the comments here (e.g. "lazy"). Maybe I'll try to watch the second episode if the consensus here seems to warrant it. I have a low tolerance for nudity just for the sake of fulfilling an HBO quota/expectation, but maybe using it for humor would be better than gratuitous sex scenes that don't really move the story. 

I think on HBO Now or Go it's free.  I have HBO so I don't know how that works

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What good is that thread sample? No DNA database. Tracing it back to the store where it was purchased? A souvenir?

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I will admit that first scene with the baby was rough, but I am all in. And then the cop standing on the guy's neck. Yikes. 

I love gritty mysteries like this, and the cast is first rate.  Matthew Rhys is phenomenal. 

I forgot about Della Street.  I kinda  half watched this as a kid with my parents when it was on with Raymond Burr, but it was not my cup of tea. So I don't have any attachment to the tv show.  

 

3 minutes ago, paigow said:

What good is that thread sample? No DNA database. Tracing it back to the store where it was purchased? A souvenir?

We'll find out. It's Checkhov's gun. It will mean something eventually. 

I forgot I had read that Robert Downey Jr was initially going to produce and star in this, and for some reason he dropped out and they got Matthew.  Good call.  

That Angel's Flight trolley car was a major feature in a season of Bosch. 

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24 minutes ago, teddysmom said:
4 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

The HBO website says the first episode is free to stream, but apparently not.** 

I think on HBO Now or Go it's free.  I have HBO so I don't know how that works

Yeah, but no. When you click on the "Watch for free" button,  this is (still) not one of the free episodes available.

image.png

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23 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Yeah, but no. When you click on the "Watch for free" button,  this is (still) not one of the free episodes available.

I was disappointed by this as well. Ended up rewatching some Watchmen episodes (which really were available for free) instead.

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44 minutes ago, teddysmom said:

I will admit that first scene with the baby was rough, but I am all in. And then the cop standing on the guy's neck. Yikes. 

I love gritty mysteries like this, and the cast is first rate.  Matthew Rhys is phenomenal. 

I forgot about Della Street.  I kinda  half watched this as a kid with my parents when it was on with Raymond Burr, but it was not my cup of tea. So I don't have any attachment to the tv show.  

 

We'll find out. It's Checkhov's gun. It will mean something eventually. 

I forgot I had read that Robert Downey Jr was initially going to produce and star in this, and for some reason he dropped out and they got Matthew.  Good call.  

That Angel's Flight trolley car was a major feature in a season of Bosch. 

That cop standing on the neck had a particular resonance now, and I was horrified.  Obviously this was filmed ages ago. 

I saw the Angel's Flight in the Bosch series, and I also just saw it in a noir movie on TCM (The Unfaithful).

My mother used to watch the original Perry Mason series when I was a kid, and the music used to scare me!  That show is nothing like this one, and it just doesn't matter.  This one is providing a very interesting character study and a view of a very different time.

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53 minutes ago, paigow said:

What good is that thread sample? No DNA database. Tracing it back to the store where it was purchased? A souvenir?

I think they will try to find out where it was purchased.  That's the kind of detective work that I think they still do even with DNA being available.

At the end of the episode Perry put all his pictures, notes and clippings on the floor and was studying them, preparing to have an epiphany, like Carrie Mathison.

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12 hours ago, paigow said:

Having Eli as a partner inevitably leads to pandemonium! From this show to Penny Dreadful to L.A. Confidential, no wonder that LAPD needs copaganda...

I watched this and went straight to Penny Dreadful, where one of the characters was talking about buying land near the new airport and I thought oh good, he can buy Perry Mason's land!  Sigh.  I was tired yesterday is my only defense.

9 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

They pretty much could have just called it "Detective Matthew Rhys and the Case of the Religious Cult Led by Tatiana Maslany" and I would have been set!

Me too!

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1 hour ago, teddysmom said:

I forgot I had read that Robert Downey Jr was initially going to produce and star in this, and for some reason he dropped out and they got Matthew.  Good call. 

He and his wife are still producers but I'm glad it's Matthew starring instead of RDJ as well.

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Prohibition still has another year..maybe Perry starts running bootleg in his milk trucks for extra cash to pay his AT&T long distance bill...

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11 hours ago, Door County Cherry said:

I think he's supposed to evolve into the lawyer of the books but I don't think they're committed to turning him into the version that was on the other TV show. And that's probably why I felt it pretty easy to watch.  I'd have a tough time if I felt I had compare this character to Raymond Burr's but they were so different that it's pretty easy for me to separate them.

 

 

Yeah, for me I just watch it like a different take on the character rather than even having to specifically link him to the guy on 50s TV, mostly just because of the tone. That is, TV Perry Mason is so clearly part of the 50s b&w TV aesthetic and this one is very obviously neo-Noir HBO. Like, when did he and Della stop saying "fuck" to each other, you know? So it's not a conflict, just different takes on an elusive "real" guy. (Kind of fitting that this ep had references to the actual decency film code when you compare the two aesthetics!)

10 hours ago, scrb said:

I liked Juliette Rylance in The Knick.

Haven't seen her in other roles but she seems to be a supporting character here.

I assume they'll be more of her. The show likes its outsiders and she's one. The books are apparently as sexist and racist as one would expect from the time, but I think the series is aware of who the true outsiders are, even if Perry isn't one of them.

9 hours ago, spaceghostess said:

I’m SO all-in on this one. The cast, plus the noir, plus 1930s LA = catnip for me. It’s a pretty standard HBO/dark murder setup, but that’s okay because I’m already hooked into the characters (can’t wait for Aimee Semple McPherson Tatiana Maslany to make her entrance). And two of my faves from Boardwalk Empire, yay! I haven’t watched it yet, but doesn’t Penny Dreadful: City of Angels also have a Semple McPherson-type character? I’ve been bingeing the  You Must Remember This podcast (with which I have a love/hate relationship because of the host’s BIZARRE vocal mannerisms); this show complements it nicely.

So with you there on YMRT.

2 hours ago, paigow said:

What good is that thread sample? No DNA database. Tracing it back to the store where it was purchased? A souvenir?

We're probably just spoiled today only thinking of those things. There's other stuff he might get from it. It's not something everybody would have, anyway and as a 30s detective he'd take anything he could get. (Now I'm thinking of that John Mullaney routine about 30s detectives: "Lieutenant, the murderer left a big puddle of blood in the hallway." "Hmmm....gross. Okay, clean it up.")

I wasn't bothered by the nudity. Maybe it's just subjective, but to me it hit the Carmichael scene hit the right mark to show the absurdity and lack of dignity in Perry's job, and the guy was pretty far away. If I was picking a moment that seemed to associate the guy with being gross it would have been the belching in the restaurant, but I took that to be a fake out--we thought Perry kept looking over at him because he was annoyed by it but really he was there to watch him. Anyway, in the street scene to me he just seemed like any naked guy in the street--it's just inherently absurd.

I did find it a little strange that Perry was still in his undershirt and trousers after all that sex with Lupe. At some point he would have surely flung it all off, but there might be an actual reason that he keeps it on other than Matthew Rhys having decided he can no longer do even the kind of nudity he did on The Americans, which doesn't seem likely. Nah, I'm still open to it being a deliberate character choice, either physical or psychological. He's clearly a very uncomfortable, defensive person.

Oh, and that reminds me--shout-out to Perry's incredibly loud leather coat. I loved how in quiet scenes when he'd go to take a picture it would creak all over the place.

12 hours ago, scrb said:

Perry is hard up for money but he's taking pictures of everything like he's got an iPhone.  He may develop his own film but was film cheap back in 1931?

Presumably the film is paid for by his clients since it's a work expense.

 

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There was at least one scene where they were describing the expenses they could charge.

I didn't realize that the money he was trying to get from the movie studio (600 instead of 200) was going to his partner as well as him.  They ended up with 50 cents each.

Those poor cows!  They look like they're starving to death.

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Just now, meep.meep said:

Those poor cows!  They look like they're starving to death.

I was kind of thinking the same thing myself until I remembered I was comparing them to the hormone injected monstrosities that we have today. I need to find a picture of of what a cow was like in the 1930's.  

Cows start at 4:30 minutes. Look like modern day cows only shorter. They look much better than Perry's.

 

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The healthy cows are all dead because they tried running away but were killed by planes.

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5 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Yeah, but no. When you click on the "Watch for free" button,  this is (still) not one of the free episodes available.

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It’s available now. It seems to only work if you click on it from the scrolling banner near the top of the free episode screen. 

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I'm an L.A. girl and love L.A. noir, but I vote for the next series or movie to find a story that doesn't involve a Sister Religious Leader (City of Angels, Perry Mason), baby/kid with eyes sewn open (same), Angels Flight (Perry Mason, Bosch).  At least we didn't have to see the kid on City of Angels- that was creepy on PM.

Other than that, how gorgeous are City of Angels, Perry Mason and Bosh himself heh

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Heavy on atmosphere, shoddy on story-telling.  Reviews suggest this imbalance doesn't improve over time.  I'll watch some more, but so far, I'm more puzzled than intrigued.

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I am quite familiar with the Perry Mason series, as my parents are big fans and I grew up watching reruns with them, so seeing such a different version of Perry is...trippy to be sure, as its very very different than the Raymond Burr show, but I am very intrigued by this new version. I guess that this is kind of a prequel/alternate universe style story, where we find out how Perry Mason becomes the lawyer and champion for justice that we meet in the show, and also its an HBO show from modern day TV, and not a lawyer procedural from the 50s, so it will never exactly be the same kind of thing. 

I really love the noir 30s style, they really nail the aesthetics of that genre, with all the dark shadows, the musical cues, the old newspapers, the trench coats and fedoras, the dark case and hints of corruption within the system in 30s LA. The addition of golden age Hollywood should add some glitz to all that darkness as well, and its interesting that they seem to be going more for stand ins for famous performers of the day instead of name dropping actual Hollywood celebrities of the 30s too much, at least so far.

Of course, this show had me at Matthew Rhys and Tatiana Maslany, even if the entire rest of the show was absolute garbage. I am so here for hot mess PI Matthew Rhy and cult leader Tatiana Maslany, I could not have cast this better myself if I was going through my Dream Cast list. 

Perry's angry "everyone is guilty!" comment is extra ironic considering just about everyone lawyer Perry represented turned out to be innocent. 

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Maybe Perry recognized the thread as US Army issue...That would narrow the suspect pool down to a few thousand WW1 vets living in SoCal...

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It is just an ok from me so far....I still don't think this is a great origin story for Perry and this could have been any show with a different name.  No need to tie it to the series just because the author never gave a back story.  

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22 hours ago, Vella said:

It was okay.  It looked gorgeous and the music was perfect, but it felt really LAZY.

I get that it's a noir detective story and there's going to be elements that will show up like clockwork, but it felt like not a whole lot of effort went into the story to distinguish this in any way. It's paint by numbers. The actors are all great, but the material is extremely limp. Like, did you know Lupe is from Mexico and speaks Spanish? Because she punctuates nearly every one of her lines with a "Papi" because I guess that's how white male writers think women like Lupe would talk?

I did like that Lupe was age appropriate and so is Della.  Also, I wanted to know more about Lupe! She's a woman pilot in 1931, from Mexico, been married twice and  knows how to control her liquor and a gun.  Oh, and she's got money too. Make a mini-series about something we haven't seen a zillion times already! But of course, by the looks of it, she's only in one episode.

Plus, the nudity left a bad taste in my mouth.  Rhys never even takes his undershirt off but 3 guest actors bare it all and 2 of them have less than 5 lines to say and do not feature prominently in any way?  Just, no. Don't do that. If you cannot even bother to take the undershirt off your lead star after he's been badly burned on his chest, knock it off with getting unknown actors to get naked.

That goes double for the lingering shots of the dead child.

I am expecting that once Maslany shows up, things will kick up a notch.

 

This!  I love everything that you said about Lupe.....I found the whole thing rather boring and stereotypical. Someone here compared it to L.A. Confidential.....uh, no!

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27 minutes ago, catrice2 said:

This!  I love everything that you said about Lupe.....I found the whole thing rather boring and stereotypical. Someone here compared it to L.A. Confidential.....uh, no!

I likened it to Jack Nicholson's Chinatown and The Two Jakes.

Edited by preeya
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