Perry Mason: Season 1 (2020)


Season 1
Perry Mason

Critics Consensus

Brimming with top notch performances and dripping in style, Perry Mason's compelling mystery mostly makes up for its messy storytelling.

76%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 72

66%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 92

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Episodes

1
Air date: Jun 21, 2020
2
Air date: Jun 28, 2020
3
Air date: Jul 5, 2020
4
Air date: Jul 12, 2020
5
Air date: Jul 19, 2020
6
Air date: Jul 26, 2020

Perry Mason: Season 1 Videos

Tv Season Info

Cast

Matthew Rhys
as Perry Mason
John Lithgow
as Elias Birchard "E.B." Jonathan
Juliet Rylance
as Della Street
Tatiana Maslany
as Sister Alice McKeegan
Chris Chalk
as Paul Drake
Shea Whigham
as Pete Strickland
Andrew Howard
as Detective Ennis
Eric Lange
as Detective Holcomb
Nathan Corddry
as Matthew Dodson
Stephen Root
as Maynard Barnes
Robert Patrick
as Herman Baggerly
Lili Taylor
as Birdy McKeegan
Jefferson Mays
as Virgil Sheets
Gayle Rankin
as Emily Dodson
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News & Interviews for Perry Mason: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Perry Mason Season 1

All Critics (72) | Top Critics (28)

The first Perry Mason series grounded itself in a rigid formula... The new Perry Mason, though, abandons one formulaic genre for another, in this case the saggy, ponderous, narratively inert eight-episode prestige drama.

Jun 25, 2020 | Full Review…

Judiciously cast as Mason is The Americans star Matthew Rhys, who is so good at finding the gravity in the lives of troubled men...

Jun 24, 2020 | Full Review…

There is much to enjoy here. Everyone in the show is good, and it's nice to see Rhys get a chance as a solo lead; he doesn't waste it.

Jun 21, 2020 | Full Review…

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.

Jun 19, 2020 | Full Review…

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.

Jun 19, 2020 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Top Critic

The conclusion of Perry Mason is not overly cheerful, but it's not entirely cynical either. Perry Mason, after all, is back on the job.

Jun 19, 2020 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Highly watchable though the series is, the holes in its plot and the clichés in its thinking soon become unignorable.

Jun 29, 2020 | Full Review…

This is Mason as a dishevelled, drunken, weaselly kind of night crawler - unrecognisable as a man who's about to transform into LA's most heavily pomaded alpha defence attorney.

Jun 29, 2020 | Full Review…

It's just still not clear why this is a Perry Mason adaptation instead of any number of known gumshoe properties or, clutch my pearls, an original character.

Jun 29, 2020 | Full Review…

Perry Mason will remind you of that long list of TV antiheroes that became popular with Tony Soprano, Don Draper or Walter White. But in 2020, we need unambiguous heroes, not anachronistic archetypes. [Full Review in Spanish]

Jun 26, 2020 | Full Review…

This could be a long, grim stretch and I don't know if I have the willpower, much as I like Rhys.

Jun 26, 2020 | Full Review…

Matthew Rhys more than lives up to the billing of being very sad: His Perry Mason is a brooding, self-loathing mess of a man who will need to get his act together...

Jun 24, 2020 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Perry Mason: Season 1

  • 17h ago
    The first episode leaves very little to get excited for, but visually it's great. We'll see how it goes, but for now it's only ok.
  • 2d ago
    I wasn't particularly bothered by this reboo's stark departure from the source material. Times and tastes change, and new interpretations of classic stories can help reflect the new paradigms in which we live. On the other hand, the show is painfully boring. There are no Revelations, for there are no secrets. Everyone is exactly what they seem to be. This show also falls into a trap that some actors and directors falling to where in the label Eve that actors can either speak or act but not both of the same time. There is less than 22 minutes worth of story in any episode, but that does not stop them from filling the rest of the hour with enough moping and silent introspection to fill an emo teen's diary 100 times over.
  • 3d ago
    Classic LA Noir. Tim Van Patten Has made HBO into the powerhouse that it is with his work on countless shows!
  • 5d ago
    First episode was great. Second was a masterpiece. Another must see from HBO. This is Perry Mason BEFORE he became a defense attorney. While he was just a private detective after coming home from the war. Takes you back to the 1930s exactly as you'd picture it. Can't wait for next Sunday night.
  • 5d ago
    Terrific start. I can't get enough of the period setting. HBO nailed it
  • 5d ago
    So disappointed. I was looking forward to this but it substituted shock for creativity.
  • 5d ago
    A disappointment. The original Perry Mason was great,but this reboot is awful.
  • 6d ago
    OK the setting of this version of Perry Mason is set in 1932 is close to when Erle Stanley Gardner wrote the first novel. Where as the TV series was set in the later haft of the 1950's. However Perry Mason was a lawyer and has always been presented as being a lawyer in the books TV series and later movies. In fact in the first movie 1985 Perry is now a Judge, but steps down to defend Della who is accused of murdering her husband. Perry is also good at being a defective for a client to prove innocence. However he has a licensed detective on retainer Paul Drake who was the one out running the streets to get information, people and things as needed. Mason has always had a character that was beyond reproach! We are to assume that he married to his work and having a family is for him was out of the question, As a family would detract him from giving his all to his clients. He lives in a nice apartment but is known to be awaken from asleep and have to rush to his office for a new case or client. He has his legal sectary Miss Della Street who knows the legal practice very well to the point at times reminding Perry of case president that could help him in his case. She is also someone who at times takes the place of a wife in taking care Perry or as his escort.. Mason is noted for always being well dressed and driving a nice make of car! In this show we see Perry Mason not as a lawyer but a private detective who is barely scraping by, This Perry also has been discharged from the US Army with a Blue Discharge. A Blue Discharge was less then Honorable, but slightly better then a Dishonorable Discharge. Most Blue Discharges were given to those who had some perceived character flaw such as being gay or on the grounds of race, Since Perry Mason is white, we can only assume his discharge is a character flaw not his race. This Perry Mason also also is separated from his wife and has a son in the mother's custody. So makes one wonder why he has a Blue Discharge. In episode 1 we see Perry having sex with a woman so again calls into the question his Blue Discharge. Maybe to make this Perry Mason more edgy he will now be Bi? From Episode 1 we see that Perry at times works for the lawyer Elias Birchard 'E.B.' Jonathan who has a sectary named Della Street. As a lawyer E.B. is charging $20 a billable hour in 1932 during the Depression, but E.B. seems to have some questionable ethic's from a remark that Perry makes. Della is good at taking precise notes and has exception recall on what she has been party to. We get to see Perry, EB and Della in EB's office where seems the law books are less for reference then a place to hide the booze in the Prohibition of 1932. In this series Perry is living on what is left of his family's dairy farm that only has two cows, and now sits in the middle of an private airfield. This Mason is unshaven, has a disheveled suit he wears. He drives one of the old diary trucks that will still run from the farm, The home is is like Perry's suit in that it is also in a disheveled condition. So far this version of Perry Mason does not match what was written by Gardner or portrayed in the TV show and later movies. Since this is an HBO show one is also subjected to nudity and profanity again something not found in the books, TV or TV movies. In short this could work as TV show if it was not named Perry Mason as there is more in this that was not even in the Gardner's concept of Perry Mason or portrayed in the TV show and movies it spawned. In time back before TV and radio was king, there was a Perry Mason radio serial on CBS . It was more like a soap opera in format and when CBS wanted to switch it to a TV show Gardner denied his permission to use his characters and Perry Mason name. The radio serial was brought to TV but characters were renamed and show aired with name Edge Of Night with the lawyer named Mike Karr. To me if HBO had left off naming this show Perry Mason and gone with the Edge Of Night or Mike Karr, I would have found it that more accepting then the farce that I watched with the Perry Mason name and characters. However as I have stated this would have make great prologue for Mike Karr of Edge of Night. As this Perry Mason is less legal drama but far more of a soap opera in so may ways! In the books, TV show and movies each book/episode was case. Where this seems like it one case that will take 8 episodes called chapters to get to the conclusion. When HBO announce this show back in 2016 the writer was Nic Pizzolatto and Robert Downey Jr was to play Perry Mason. In August of 2017 the Pizzoatto was replaced with Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald as the writers. Then in January 2019 the it was announced that Matthew Rhys would star as Perry Mason replacing Robert Downey Jr. Could all this happening before the show made as to why is now nothing Gardner would NOT recognize??.
  • Jun 28, 2020
    Rhys and Lithgow are among the best in their craft so despite the script being a tiny bit slow, their performance - along with exquisite sets - make this a viewing pleasure. The art of the craft of film making is on parade here. The gaffer/lighting in particular is incredible. The sound not so much... almost every scene sounds off in the mixing and intensity of noise. Overall a beautifully crafted piece of work that will hopefully get even better.
  • Jun 27, 2020
    It wasn't I who said it, but, finally Perry Mason has a personality. So true, this is a fun, moody and gritty crime drama followers dream. Thank you

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