HBO’s darkish revisionist model of “Perry Mason” didn’t attain its high tier of dramas within the first season however comes significantly nearer within the second, attaining a film-noir-ish cool that leans deeply into “L.A. Confidential” territory. Filtering race, sexuality and the corrupting affect of wealth via a Thirties lens, the sequence feels extra related and compelling as a glimpse of the current via that previous.

After what amounted to a super-attorney origin story when the present premiered manner again in 2020, the brand new episodes decide up months after that storyline, when a businessman linked to a robust household is murdered. Looking forward to a conviction, the police arrest a pair of Latinx brothers (Fabrizio Guido, Peter Mendoza), urgent a case that exposes the not-even-veiled racism practiced by the police and district lawyer’s workplace.

Mason (Matthew Rhys, an Emmy nominee for the present) takes the case, which leads down a twisted rabbit gap crammed with eccentric captains of business and shady offers that starkly illustrates the divide between wealthy and poor, and the completely different ranges of justice that entails.

“I simply see it as making issues truthful,” Mason says at one level of his tilting at windmills, however because the murdered man’s energy dealer dad (Paul Raci) warns him because the lawyer pokes round in his enterprise searching for to exonerate his shoppers, “Even once you win, Mr. Mason, you lose.”

As soon as once more, the court docket case performs out in opposition to a backdrop that features the constraints of life 90 years in the past, with Mason’s ready proper hand Della Road (Juliet Rylance) and the D.A., Hamilton Burger (Justin Kirk), each main closeted existences, with the latter’s secrets and techniques making him susceptible to blackmail.

Mason’s private life additionally stays one thing of a large number as he navigates his divorce, tries to take care of his son and in doing so meets a brand new girl (Katherine Waterston), not that he has a complete lot of time for that.

As famous when the present premiered, the similarities between the acquainted TV model of “Perry Mason” (RIP, Raymond Burr) and this gritty take just about start and finish with the title, however the emphasis on a trial brings it considerably nearer to the system. The sequence can be populated with a topnotch solid, together with Chris Chalk as Mason’s investigator Paul Drake, and Shea Whigham and Eric Lange because the sort of hard-bitten characters one may discover in an previous James Cagney film.

Comprehensible skepticism greeted “Perry Mason” when HBO rolled it out, and regardless of its intriguing items, a second season appeared iffy based mostly on the primary, surrounded as it’s by higher-profile HBO dramas. Credit score the producers with upping their sport, delivering a present that certainly makes it doable that even when Perry loses, the viewers win.

“Perry Mason” premieres March 6 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO, which, like CNN, is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery.

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