Case of the Perfect Attorney

It is like seeing the love of your life before he acquired all of the qualities that endear you to him. That is how this new Perry Mason is hitting me.

I am drawn to the fact that it is set in the 1930s like Erle Stanley Gardner’s books. I like the storytelling from this time period because it is before censors began curating what type of story could be told.  Censors decided what the public could see and stayed away from anything that actually reflected society.

This new series gives Mason a backstory that reflects some of the things I learned of him in the 1960 series. As a matter of fact, he lives on the farm where he was raised as the story opens. But one thing this story does, which was hard for me take, is bust up Mason’s perfect image.

This takes my hero and makes him a former soldier of World War I with struggles that made him a divorced deadbeat dad who has a hard time holding down a job. I know right. But Paul Drake is an African American police officer with more morals than Perry in the midst of a corrupt police department.  I am all in. Della Street brings in our LGBTQ storyline, which was refreshing because these storylines are usually men.

The main story with the criminal case is very dark, with parents accused of kidnapping their own baby.

In true Perry Mason style, they defend their client with all of the same tricks, but it gives you a glimpse into why Mason does what he does.  There are many twists and turns, but worth it.

The biggest flaw in this series to me is cinematic.  African Americans are so dark in this series that in some scenes they lose their features. It is just a large black blob.  For instance, there is a moment when Drake shows up on Mason’s doorstep. He sits out in the dark with the moon shining on his face. The only features you can make out are the whites of his eyes.  I hope the producers understand that it eclipses the actor’s humanity to not make him look attractive like the other actors. I hope they correct this in season two.

Matthew Rhys plays a very troubled brooding Mason with Chris Chalk playing an equally troubled and dissatisfied Paul Drake. I mean you can see where it is leading. But the train ride to getting there is pretty fun.

Each Sunday night they drop a new episode on HBO.

Book of the Month

In this adventure thriller, Connections, Sandy and her best friend found missing relatives, spied on cheating spouses and caught a few bail jumpers. This private investigator never imagined the bad guys would chase her.
Running for her life, Sandy Herrick discovered that God was the only one with her who wasn’t talking smack, trying to kill her or get into her pants. As she and her friends try to figure out who framed them, they all discover that there was more to each other than they thought they knew.
As evil forces closed in on them, they have to determine who they trust and what they believe about each other. Would this be enough to save them?

Available on Amazon.com

or Books2Read.com

Who Told A Better Story

TV Talk With The Sistas

In this podcast, two sisters chat about iconic television shows and their impact on the African American and American culture. We are available on Stitcher, Apple, Google, and Spotify.

Episode One

The Sistas examine the 1970s hit Sanford and Son starring Redd Foxx and the British murder mystery series, Midsomer Murders.

Episode Two

The Girls focus on the Netflix series The Crown and the 1980s crime drama In the Heat of the Night. They find similar qualities in the way they tell their stories.

Episode Three

The Girls focus on the 1980s Norman Lear sitcom The Jeffersons and the Netflix limited series Self Made: The Madam CJ Walker Story. They examine the impact of these stories on African American culture.

Episode Four

The Sistas talk about the James Bond,007 franchise and the impact they think it has had on society and culture.  These two Bond lovers go toe to toe over who is the best Bond. They also introduce you to their rating system

Episode Five

The Sistas talk about how shows like Designing Women and Living Single brought a strong message about women from the 1980s and 90s. Even though one show was geared toward a Caucasian audience, the other an African American, they both created moments that are still funny today. They created timeless comedy but uplifted their subject matter.

Episode Six

In this week’s episode, the Sistahs talk about The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Queen Sono which are two shows that have strong African characters in the lead. These shows have women in nontraditional roles and showcase the beautiful land of Botswana and South Africa.

Episode Seven

In our latest TV Talk With the Sistas podcast, we ask the question “Who is the best defense attorney on television?” One sista says Perry Mason, the other sista says Matlock. They present the evidence, you are the jury.

Episode Eight

The Sistas examine the image of the gangster in the African American community with the series Godfather of Harlem and American Gangster.

 Listen up…Episode 8

There is a New Guard In Town

The opening scene grabs your attention because all but one of the main characters are dead. The movie takes you on a winding path with many sharp turns and detours.

Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood who also directed Love and Basketball told a compelling story with The Old Guard. It is described as a covert team of immortal mercenaries who are suddenly exposed and must now fight to keep their identity secret.

Each character is from a different age, so as they battle their current enemy, they flash back to some of their earlier lives, most of which were on battle fields going back over the centuries.

I am drawn to this story not only because of the scifi-ness of it, but it reminds me of a show from many years ago which had a similar premise. The Highlander. In this TV series, Duncan MacLeod was an immortal forever battling other immortals. The connection? The immortals can sense one another’s presence.

In The Old Guard, the mercenaries fight an unknown group that comes against them, while in another direction sense a new immortal.  As they try to teach the new immortal about how life is, they learn some things about themselves.

“Just because we keep living, doesn’t mean we stop hurting,” Booker said to Nile, the new immortal. It challenges the thought of what living forever really means. It dances over a wide body of water.

Charlize Theron took me on a journey, and I was impressed. This was not the kind of role I thought of her in.  She was badass and dark and tough. She showed older women have value and can lead.

The cast is more of an ensemble, than any standout. Every actor plays their part and it is fun to watch. Kiki Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli and Chiwetel Ejiofor create a team that you want to cheer on. Each one has their own battle and this movie will just make you ask more questions as their stories are revealed.

In the end, this movie leaves you with a sense that there is a series or a series of movies coming. I hope so.