Pay your tithes and ignore your wives because this week court is in session with HBO’s Perry Mason.


Released: June 2020
Creator: Ron Fitzgerald, Rolin Jones
Books by: Erle Stanley Gardner
Executive Producer: Robert Downey Jr
Network: HBO
Cast: Matthew Rhys, Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk, John Lithgow

Breakdown and Analysis

  • Quality is quality is quality. Perry Mason is definitely a show that has nice pacing and you need to appreciate it. It is not going to be splooshing from all angles, it builds brick by brick. We are accumulating emotional investment and glorious character development.
  • Perry Mason reminded KT of McNulty from The Wire. Where he does questionable things but it is always for the intended good. And he is fucking great at what he does. So even if people didn’t like him, he was given graces where, perhaps, others wouldn’t. Real, true, unapologetic character development. He saw E.B as a father and to lose him in such a way, gave him an opportunity to live up to who E.B was and what he wanted for him. E.B was also a great support in him returning from the war. You can’t watch Matthew Rhys and not see him giving his all. Watching the effortless performance is a pure delight. Who is Matthew Rhys, aside from a thespian?
  • We were slowly given more information about his PTSD. Being informed of the disgrace he felt and to find out it was a necessary evil. He saw his comrades dying and did the right thing. He survived and having to watch his friends die, it would be hard for anyone to focus. Similar to what we see in Porco Rosso.
  • He loved and received love in the capacity in which he was able to. In some cases not enough, in other cases it was through his vices. He was a protagonist that we wanted to latch onto. His survivor’s guilt didn’t need to be explicitly stated in the show, we felt the motions in his investigations and how much he cared and wanted to find closure for Charlie. He still has the sense of humanity and capacity for love.
  • KT doesn’t think someone was right and the other was wrong. Lives calamities result in couples/marriages falling apart. Perry and Linda were casualties to that. Linda has boundaries with Perry. There is definitely more story that would be interesting.
  • The creators geared the show towards believing Emily did it, especially with all the salacious details. It wasn’t as if it was a misdirect, forcing us into believing, but it definitely played into our prejudices as sex shaming women. There was a turn in the season, in the last half, where we realise she just had an affair. It is credit to the show to have a hated character and turn it around in less episodes, is brilliant writing. This is an event.
  • Perry Mason benefits from a week to week viewing experience. You watch it, consume, discuss, theorise and reflect on how you felt. The time it lets you simmer, it makes you reflect on your own thinking. It’s a sign of the times where women were not seen as equals. In between episodes, we were always thinking about what it meant as we discovered. What we know is on the surface with Emily. Even with Matthew, he was gambling away his livelihood. We knew all this yet we continued to point the finger at Emily. We enjoyed being taken on a journey and being given homework. Watch the episode, contemplate about it, accept that you’re a shitty person for thinking it was her and let’s do it all again next week.
  • Surrounding the Dodsons, the media amplified details that did not need to be amplified.
  • Matthew looked innocent and docile but to learn how he is as a husband and father, that was some messed up shit.
  • A lot of Perry’s attitudes, particularly with Emily, mirrored our own throughout the series.
  • It is curious whether characters know when their time is up. Used for a purpose and their purpose has been fulfilled.
  • Perry and Pete have a similar dynamic to McNulty and Bunk. Pete always has Perry’s back. But he has also been Perry’s punching bag. Who knew bribery could be so sad. It felt like they got to a point where Perry has exceeded in a lot of cases. His role was to go in and fix stuff. Once he realised that, maybe this was an opportunity to focus on himself.
  • The Radiant Assembly of God seems to have an overarching component as there is certainly a lot to dive into that we haven’t explored yet. Alice truly believes she does have a direct line to God. To see how Birdy plays to her weakness, does not sit well. Birdy offering Alice up for gas money speaks completely opposite to what is being preached. It is sad, even on a conscious level what is the alternative? Her mother offering up her sexuality for gas money? She is introduced as a strong figure but as the series continues we start to see she is more of a puppet. On a step back, Alice and Birdy were being used by the RAOG. It was interesting that a woman could be head of a church in the 1930s. On one side we have Emily who only serves as a wife and mother and on the other hand we have Alice in which people believe in.
  • It was interesting to see how entrenched the church was in all facets of the community.
  • Usually the people that are being healed are plants and are in on it. The human mind is bloody remarkable. The adrenaline of the moment causes the impossible to happen but he was not healed at all.
  • Nearing the end of the series, Emily reunites with ‘Charlie’. She made distinctive comments about how this is not her child but, heartbreakingly, she accepts that this is Charlie now. Once she realises Birdy’s angle, she gives up. She is here without any forward path, you’d have to be an asshole to take that away from her. How sad, we as viewers know it’s not Charlie but understand needing that sense of comfort. She was the emotional dump truck in this series.
  • Paul Drake has immense character development. He is happy to play the part of the black cop without rocking the boat. His wife is accepting of their situation. To be able to thrive, we see Drake struggle with this. Where do you draw the line? Amongst all the corruption. Clara has a veneer of how things should happen as a cop but she forgot the vast difference when the cop is not white. He was  natural police. He tested limitations, there were lessons he didn’t need to learn but had to learn given the time. He was the one to uncover the Gannon angle and brought the intersection with Perry.
  • There are many moments that reinforce Ennis following through loose ends. It was clear Seidel wasn’t getting to where he was going. Ennis didn’t leave anything to chance. He was very effective but his clock was ticking.
  • We do not recognise Lupe as a character in the For Your Reference household.
  • We enjoyed the LGBT storyline with Della Street.

Unrelated but vital points

  • HBO is a darling in the For Your Reference household.
  • Oti is working on an after hours Tatiana Maslany stan podcast.
  • Aisha Tyler had a sponsored post, say what you will but this very was effective on KT.
  • Matthew Rhys was a delight to KT and out of obligation she must watch The Americans. Not sure how it sits in KT’s soul as only Colin Firth can play Mr Darcy.
  • KT is like Jenna from 30 Rock where some of her words have an English inflection.
  • Chris Chalk is the guy that we all delight in when he appears on our screens.
  • Is it Lith-go or Lith-gaw? Unless your lineage is leaning into Lithgow, KT will not be corrected.
  • Shout out to Late to the Show podcast on covering Breaking Bad.
  • Oti gives us a Bible lesson and KT makes an Arrested Development reference.
  • KT doesn’t predict there will be a new wave of people watching Game of Thrones. You would have watched it already if you were ever gonna watch it.

For Your Reference


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