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Was Perry Mason a great TV series? How would we know?
Perhaps we’d have to build up a mound of confirmatory evidence. We would know then by the weight of evidence, not by any single logical argument.
If that is how we’d know, I will offer this empirical evidence, on behalf of the Affirmative side: the theme song.
I think the Perry Mason theme song by itself is strong incremental evidence that this show was a great TV series.
If you argue only this narrow point I will fight you to the death.
But on other points, I will be just as likely to agree with you that Perry Mason was NOT a great TV series, as the opposite.
Without going through the details, I will summarize. I think it was seriously flawed, but nonetheless, a great TV series.
It could not be great if the fictional character, Mason, were not a great fictional hero. He could not be perfect. He would have to raise hard questions. Was doing this or that dodgy act morally justifiable? And did he care?
Then, Raymond Burr (and the actors portraying Della Street, Paul Drake, and the others) would have to project these questions to us, even create little creative variations on the questions and the proposed answers to us.
Did Mason as put forth in Burr’s interpretation create an identifiable human character for us, even if we never read the books? Oh, yeah. Burr’s Perry always acted just like Perry, just as Titus Welliver’s Bosch always acts just like Bosch. Was this guy complicated, just like a real life guy? You tell me.Published in