*“Perry Mason” is back on HBO for season two! It’s been nearly two and a half years since we last saw lawyer Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) in action.
Mason will tackle a complex case involving race and corruption in 1932 Los Angeles in the new season. The firm takes on a case involving two Mexican Americans, Mateo Gallardo (Peter Mendoza) and his brother Rafael (Fabrizio Guido), who are accused of murdering Brooks McCutcheon (Tommy Dewey), the son of a powerful and demanding oil tycoon (Paul Raci).
Chris Chalk (“Homeland” and “Gotham”) returns as Paul Drake. A former beat cop with a knack for detective work. This season will see his character work for Perry as his chief investigator.
Not only will Paul have to deal with his internal struggle of watching people win the wrong way, as he tries to do the right thing. But also his lack of trust in those around him, including his wife. Chalk spoke exclusively with EUR.
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Chris Chalk, Matthew Rhys, Juliet Rylance PERRY MASON. Credit: Merrick Morton/HBO
Chalk noted that exploring the Black experience in 1930s Los Angeles was exciting. But, he explained, “there weren’t very many of us. So there are not many places that he can reach for safety. And what that kind of compression means for him is my favorite thing to explore in the second season. It is what happens when there’s nowhere to go. And you are your only sustenance. And you don’t trust your wife, for some reason, even though she’s the most supportive. He doesn’t trust anybody because he wants to do so well. It’s such an enormous amount of pressure to be a black man period in the 1930s,” said Chalk.
When asked if Paul believes that he can trust Perry, Chalk shared that Paul believes Perry has great intentions, but do they always follow through?
He gave an example, “because he’s tried, he’s been knocking on these white doors when he was a regular cop, a beat cop. And so Perry represents a guy who’s sure Perry has great intentions, but especially as a white dude in the 30s, I don’t expect much from him. I expect the bare minimum, and he barely meets that qualification. I think we have a hard time this season with finding what it means for a white dude in the 30s. To be generous to anybody but himself. Because we look back at the past and forget how savage they were, they are savage now. So imagine back then, when n*gga was something you could say, and black people would answer. So, no, I don’t think he believes that Perry will follow through. But it’s his only option. Something about Perry Mason does inspire Paul because he really is trying. He’s just such a mess. But he is trying to be a good dude,” said Chalk.
“Perry Mason” airs Mondays at 9:00 PM on HBO and HBOMAX.
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