Questions About, and Reasons Why I Miss Perry Mason Today
Some low down on Perry Mason.
Perry Mason was an American legal drama series originally broadcast on CBS television from September 21, 1957, to May 22, 1966. The main character, portrayed by Raymond Burr, was a fictional Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer who originally appeared in detective fiction works by Erle Stanley Gardner.
What? No objections? Well, let's continue.
I loved Perry Mason.
And that is saying a lot for back in the time that this show was "the" show to watch thanks to it's executive producer, Gail Patrick Jackson, for providing an intense dramatic atmosphere each week that literally drew viewers into the courtroom to watch Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) take on District Attorney, Hamilton Burger (William Talman) and just when we thought Mason was going to lose, Paul Drake (Paul Drake), the sleek, debonair private eye would enter the courtroom with a slip of paper with important info for Mason to use and ultimately win yet another case.
Bring back a few memories?
Mason was not my favorite character.
Are you shocked? I am proud to say that Paul (William Hopper) Drake was my favorite on the Perry Mason series. Drake not only spoke things that Los Angeles private eye's said in this time frame, but looked the part "to a 't." Drake always looked like a million dollars with his slick pants, slick hair combed to perfection and almost everytime he was in a scene, he was smoking a cigarette as most private eye's did who were serious private eye's. (Note: I do not condone the use of tobacco in any form).
To make Drake an even better character, he was a single man dating women of his choice and driving them around L.A. in his convertible which was on many of the Perry Mason episodes. I know you will laugh as I share this with you: Watching Perry Mason at an early age planted the idea in my head to grow up and be a real-life private eye charging $100.00 per day plus expenses and waiting for a lonely blond with a perfect hourglass figure to need my services. Nope. Another dream that did not materialize.
I wonder if any of the below actors could have played the role of Perry Mason better than Raymond Burr?
I think I need to tell you the title of my hub.
Questions About, and Reasons Why I Miss Perry Mason Today
- Believability - - Perry Mason, although fictional, was believable. We did not have to guess who was on what side when it came to the evil and good guys. Mason looked, acted, and talked like a real defense attorney and his supporting cast did their roles as if it were a day in real life. Today's drama's are not "cut from the material" that Perry Mason was cut from that is for sure.
- No Nosense - - There was that small amount of light and sometimes-humorous talk among characters, but no time wasted on ignorant issues as "The Brown Teat Mouse and How it Affects Arizona's Water Table." Not in Perry's time. He defended accused murderers and that's all. We knew from week to week what Mason and crew would be doing. And with that in mind, we always watched.
- Glamour - - was on a moderate level, but when it came to the Hollywood glamour, Barbara Hale fit the bill. She was always dressed professionally and acted the consumate professional secretary "spot on" with no intruding or over-staying her welcome in Mason's office. This can also be said of Paul Drake. He would enter Mason's office, tell a brief tale of what or what he had not found out about a certain person involved in the current case and go about his business. But on a few shows, Mason, Drake, and Street all went to lunch together. In today's lingo, I suppose that Drake was the "third wheel."
- Stirring Our Emotions - - is the best way to describe how "I" felt each week as my family and I watched Perry Mason. And I always grew irritated at Lieutenant Tragg (Ray Collins). This guy was always in grumpy mood. I guess he was grumpy due to the feeling of losing out on another "collar" the week before when Mason helped free the woman he had caught "dead to rights," as he would say. Even cool-minded Paul Drake would often get hacked off at Tragg's over-zealous attitude toward a case.
Unanswered Questions About The Perry Mason Show:
- Why didn't Mason and Street date?
- Why didn't Mason and Street not get married? The sparks were there.
- Why didn't Paul Drake ever talk of matrimony? "Playing the field," can get weary, right?
- Did Perry Mason ever go on a needed-vacation?
- Why didn't we ever see his clients hand him a hefty check for saving their neck?
- Was Hamilton Burger, the D.A., ever scolded by the California State Attorney General for losing every case he prosecuted against Perry Mason?
- Did the writers for Perry Mason not want him to ever be attracted to the many pretty women who needed his legal experience?
- Why didn't Lieutenant Tragg ever get a promotion? The answer is almost identical to that about Hamilton Burger, D.A.
- Why didn't viewers ever see the apartment or home where Perry Mason lived?
- Why did we never learn any personal background about Mason? Number of brothers, sisters, his military service record, and things like that.
- What school of law did Mason graduate?
- Why didn't the judges ever find him in contempt of court for yelling at the witness on the stand who he knew would cave when yelled at?
My last and most-important question is:
Why can't today's ultra-creative television industries do a remake, upgrade or a resurrection of Perry Mason?
I would watch.
"My apologies to Ray Collins (to the right) who was "Lt. Arthur Tragg,"
for almost forgetting to post his photo. One of my questions about Tragg was why didn't be ever receive a promotion? We all know why. But don't you agree that he was in a bad mood in every episode of Perry Mason.
And when he thought that maybe "this" week was the week that he scored big points with the "brass downtown," and actually keeping the person whom he arrested behind bars, we would see a devilish smile on his seasoned face.
I am sorry for your losing record, Mr. Collins/Tragg. But someone had to be the loser. But Perry Mason had two losers: you and Hamilton Burger, D.A. (William Talman).
I guess I can say it . . ."that's show biz."