“This season to be a Mason!” Cheers Matthew Rhyswho seems noticeably happier — really elated — than he did My last phone call with him. That was August 2020, AKA season finale Perry Mason, AKA the second wave of the pandemic. I’m sure we talked about burgers through brain fog, both of us, raving while we celebrated our six-month anniversary indoors. So, oddly enough, Reese’s hearing and damned good mood sound like a milestone. Is that correct? Are we allowed to peek behind the wall, dare we stir something up again?
Well Reese, along with Perry Mason Showrunner Michael Pegler sure seems to think so. And what pleases us today, the cause of the good news and the cheers of a Monday afternoon phone call? We are here to talk Perry Mason the second season. he is coming. in March. to me HBO. When we last saw him on the drama series, where Reese plays a private investigator turned attorney in Depression-era Los Angeles, Mason finally had something to hang his stylish fedora on. The guy wrapped a brutal case. He had a big moment on court. At the end of it all, he had what Reese calls a “Charlie’s Angels” moment, teaming up with Paul Drake and Della Street. Season two should be a breeze, right?
no. There is another murder. Here’s the official tagline, from HBO: “Months after the conclusion of the Dodson case, the scion of a powerful oil family is brutally murdered. When a DA goes to the town’s Hoovervilles to identify the most obvious suspects, Perry, Della, and Paul find themselves at the center of a case that will expose far-reaching conspiracies.” And it forces them to reckon with what it really means to be guilty.” This time, the cast includes Reese, Juliette Rylance, Chris Chalk, Diara Kilpatrick, Eric Lange, Justin Kirk, Katherine Waterston, Hope Davis, Fabrizio Guido, Peter Mendoza, Mark O’Brien, Paul Rasey, Gene Tulloch, John Chaffin, Onawa Rodriguez, Ji Young Han, Sean Astin, Tommy Dewey, Shea Whigham, and Wallace Langham.
It’s the season to really be a Mason. Let’s go to her. Rhys and Begler are here with your first appearance of Perry Mason Season 2, which includes, but is not limited to: a vintage Harley Davidson motorcycle, a murder case, and a new team that’s already “drifting too much.”
First look images courtesy of HBO and Merrick Morton.
Esquire: I heard this season takes place in 1933 — the same year Esquire was founded. Does this mean the entire plot is just Perry Mason’s attempt to freelance for Esquire?
Matthew Rice: yes! He calls out, “Hemingway can’t write for money! Give me a job!”
Michael Bigler: “I have a lot of short stories!” Then he reads it.
the master: yes. Each episode is a short story that Mason creates and pitches to Esquire.
The last time I spoke to you, Matthew, was in August of 2020, the end of the season — we were going into the second wave of the pandemic. Can the two of you catch up with me where your heads were when I started building the new season?
Megabyte: Well, we joined the trip in March 2021, and we started talking with Matthew right away about it. I think that [co-showrunner Jack Amiel] And I started diving into the research at the time and what was going on — looking particularly at the founding of Esquire as a starting point. But really, just not looking at Well, where is Perry at this point, but Where was Los Angeles at this point?
What immediately struck us was that this was the worst year of depression in L.A. We really took that and ran with it, because of this whole idea of L.A. — the glamorous financial side of the city, but also an enormous amount of poverty. There are all those Hoovervilles that are popping up. You saw this world in the first season, but we wanted to explore it more.
When we last see Perry, he’s said goodbye to Alice, and he’s had his big moment in court, wrapping up this incredibly painful case. What does Perry want when we see him again?
the master: I think when we see him in the next season — you kind of touched on something there — what you see is Perry who doesn’t quite know what he wants. I think he found himself in a situation where he got into the judicial system, the legal system, with a lot, maybe…
Megabyte: Would you say fear?
the master: the fear. I don’t think there was much of a game plan. He just saw someone hurt the rail and went, “That’s wrong.” And then he finds himself in this situation, where I think the reality of the legal and judicial system has somewhat collapsed around him. He says, “This is a very flawed way of trying to decipher right and wrong.” I think the Emily Dodson case has taken its toll.
I think you find him treading water – but I think it goes beyond that. He’s just trying a little bit to keep his head up and figure out what he wants with his life. It’s a little lost, which is true I think, of the first season. He is always an outsider. It’s always a perfect fit in any setting, and I think that’s true in season two again. You find him trying to figure out if this is really something he not only wants to do, but could actually do.
you are right. At the end of the season, Perry gets a little more organized in his life, and comes with this core team of Della and Paul in the office. But he also seems to be asking more questions of himself as the credits roll.
the master: Yes Yes. very much like that. It’s these big life changes that give him those big questions and make him look inward sometimes.
Megabyte: He countered this theory by Hamilton Burger, that there is no real justice. There is only an illusion of justice. I think that weighs heavily on Perry throughout the entire season. Like, what is all this about? Through this case, explore that, and try to find an answer to that.
Can you tell me anything about the new case?
Megabyte: What I will say is that it really deals with, as I said earlier: What does justice look like for people who have the means and the power, versus those who have nothing? It’s a murder case, but the circumstances… I just don’t want to give away too much.
No, that’s perfect. What would Perry, Della and Paul’s team look like?
the master: I think what’s great about the drama is that you imagine it – especially at the end of season one, just forming a Charlie’s Angels moment – where you actually find them again in season two is that they drift so much apart from each other. The work that Perry, I think, did not promise, but certainly hoped Paul could do, has not been fruitful. It builds Paul’s resentment, because he gave up so much in order to join Perry’s team. Perry is very disappointed in what he is doing. I think this frustrates Della very much. She’s trying to remain the driving force in this, trying to keep them all not only afloat – but also to keep her own ambitions in check, as Perry seems to veer a little too far on mandate.
Looking at these photos, I have to ask you, Matthew: Are you riding a vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycle?
the master: It’s me! I’m the one doing the stunts. My passionate business. But it was very easy to ride a motorcycle. There was an intro on the original Harley Davidson, to which the stunt coordinator said, “Okay, so you have to hit that lever, and then engage the clutch right there at this moment.” Everyone soon realized that there was no way on God’s Green Earth that could ever happen, so they modified it and turned it into an expensive electric motorcycle.
I want to interview that person when the season comes.
the master: Worth an interview, because they also said, “Can you get this done in a month?” He said, “Not really, no! But I’ll try.” he did. he did. He is one of those mechanical geniuses. He said, “Well, I took this electric bike away and then rebuilt it inside an old Harley-Davidson.”
the master: What I’ve enjoyed most about going to the site is, oftentimes, the old boys usually come up and go, “Is this a 1930’s, Harley ’31?” And I say, “Yeah, it is.” They’re like, “How is it not making any noise?” I’m like, “Because it has a giant battery inside its tank.” You will be met with a divided reaction. 50% disgusted and 50% dumbfounded at how it would change.
Did I miss something about the new season?
the master: I will think about it. Michael, are you just thinking – using just one line – what the first look or teaser will be like for this season?
the master: you write!
Megabyte: I know I know. My God. I was thinking about that whole trip this morning. I would say the first season dealt a lot with the church and the corrupt police – and really, again, we wanted to build it up. So I think we’re playing with a bigger board [now]. But at the same time … we use a softer brush.
the master: Fabulous.
ESQUIRE Well then!
MR: I steal it.
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