This Was the Weirdest Bit of TV I’ve Seen in a Long Time

I watch Perry Mason reruns. The real show, not the Freddie Silverman semi-regular movies that resembled Matlock more than the the original TV noir show that ran for more 9 seasons.

In the original series there was only color episode, The Case of the Twice-Told Twist, which was the only episode of the original series to be filmed in color.

It was intended to be a dry run for a 10th season, which was to go full color, but it was canceled at the end of season 9.

It was just ……… wrong.

First, Perry Mason is clearly a product of black and white TV, but second, the script just ……… off somehow.

In going for color, they decided for a more frenetic direction, with William Hopper as Paul Drake chasing a potential witness down a Mexican street, and repeated split second car stripping that looked like they had come out of a heist movie.

The full color version makes the episode more real, and some of the conventions of the show, smoking, drinking, and ethnic stereotyping, become far more jarring, as opposed to a relic of a bygone era.

Finally, the episode was replete with references to Dickens, specifically Oliver Twist.

If you are a Perry Mason fan, I’m not sure if I would recommend it unless you want to watch it stoned.

I think that it would be good to watch stoned.

All in all, it’s the second weirdest bit of TV I’ve seen this year, after the Presidential debates.

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