Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On What is, Perhaps, the Series' Greatest Fault

I really shouldn’t announce intended topics, because I always seem to be delayed in writing them up. I’ll definitely get around to Deputy D.A. Sampson, but right now I want to discuss something that’s been bothering me for a while.

My dad certainly has a valid complaint in wondering why there kept being episodes season after season where Mr. Burger, Lieutenant Tragg, and even sometimes the deputy D.A.s suspected Perry of wrongdoing. His argument is that after so long, they should know better. Mine is a bit more complex than that.

I feel torn on the issue, really, even though it’s starting to annoy me too. The dilemma is that in season 1 and early season 2, Mr. Burger and company honestly had legitimate reasons for believing Perry was up to legal trickery. It’s been repeatedly noted and cited by others that Perry’s behavior in some of the early episodes walked a very fine line. In escapades such as The Curious Bride, he was tampering with evidence, no matter what his reasons or how he tried to justify his actions by having bought the property before taking out all the doorbells in the apartments. (That episode will get its own post sometime, as it’s one of my favorites and one of the most intriguing where Perry and Mr. Burger are concerned.) And I ask, how can one fault Mr. Burger for being upset over something like that (even though it was hilarious to hear him exclaim that he was going to indict Perry for theft of the doorbell)?

My main complaints come in when the accusations start to taper off after season 1. It’s gratifying that the number lessened, but why did there continue to be a number at all? In seasons 2, 3, and 4 at least, there are, perhaps, one or two or less per season, as opposed to likely over ten or more in season 1. Season 1 can be excused on the basis that it was more closely associated with Gardner’s original books, wherein Perry and Mr. Burger remained definite adversaries and nothing more. However, what’s the excuse when there’s been obvious character development and then there’s an abrupt backslide?

Cases in point: season 6, and the episodes The Shoplifter’s Shoe and The Golden Oranges. Perry and Mr. Burger have been, over the course of all the seasons leading up to 6, growing steadily closer. And Perry has long ago stopped the majority of his eyebrow-raising behavior. In both the above-mentioned episodes, Perry and Mr. Burger have a very easy-going relationship. Mr. Burger even comes into the courtroom when he hears Perry defending a dog in The Golden Oranges, curious to see how that plays out. Following the hearing, he approaches Perry in a nonchalant, friendly manner and talks with him.

It is highly unlikely that such a thing would have occurred in season 1. The seeds of their unique friendship had been planted in season 1, but they still tended to keep each other at arm’s length for the most part. Mr. Burger gives Perry a cold reception in The Daring Decoy towards the end of season 1. He also, later, makes another accusation in court.

Season 2 made many attempts to show that they are no longer the bitter enemies they often came across as in season 1. The Purple Woman, which contains my most favorite Perry scene to date, is an exciting mystery and showcases Perry’s and Mr. Burger’s talents in court without ever needing to have Perry accused of something. And the epilogue features Mr. Burger congratulating Perry on the case, something it’s hard to feature him doing in season 1. He was far too prideful then.

The Lame Canary is another classic example. In the epilogue, Mr. Burger and Tragg both drop by Perry’s office to visit and help clear up loose ends. Tragg has been there before, but this may very well be Mr. Burger’s first casual epilogue visit. (I have seen him make another in season 4’s The Fickle Fortune, and I imagine there are others.) Mr. Burger feels so relaxed that he even makes the wry comment that closes the episode (and sets everyone laughing). Never has one scene made all five principles come across as friends as much as this one, amongst all the episodes I have been reviewing.

The entire tone during court is different in the majority of the season 2 episodes. In season 1 there is often a certain coolness in attitude, particularly on Mr. Burger’s part. Season 2 more strongly introduces the idea that something has changed in his feelings. Of course he continues to be Perry’s rival and objects to many things during the hearings and trials, but in general he is not as frosty in his behavior. This continues in succeeding seasons.

Despite all of his frustrations over some of Perry’s methods Mr. Burger has come to greatly respect the defense attorney and his abilities. In season 1 we do not see many, if any, signs of this respect; The Sun-Bather’s Diary is, perhaps, the strongest case for Mr. Burger’s respect in season 1, and it quietly develops over the seasons. By season 3 he even goes to Perry for help when his friend is in danger in The Prudent Prosecutor.

Given all of this evidence, and more, how in the world do the writers suddenly justify something like Mr. Burger’s explosion in the last episode, The Final Fade-Out? I was honestly, absolutely shocked when it suddenly seemed that we were transported back to season 1 again. Mr. Burger, after walking into a trap laid by a witness, completely goes to pieces. He accuses Perry right in court of encouraging the witness and deliberately setting him up to be the fool. He remains so furious throughout most of the episode that at one point Lieutenant Drumm tells Perry he’s escaping from the district attorney’s company.

Now, after so many episodes and seasons, one really would think Mr. Burger would know better. It’s not the accusation that Perry was involved with the trap that stunned me, but the idea that Mr. Burger would think Perry was purposely trying to make him look like a moron. I can’t help wondering if Gardner wanted the last episode to hearken back to season 1, especially since he was going to appear in it. Maybe he desired the final episode to be more like his books again.

Of course, thankfully, the episode finally did bring in some of the TV show Mr. Burger’s most endearing traits, which the book version did not have. By the end he has calmed down, seemingly without even having learned the truth that Perry was not involved in the trickery, and feels awkward and guilty. He invites Perry, Della, and Paul to dinner, although he’s too embarrassed to deliver the invitation when he tries and has Lieutenant Drumm do it instead. Drumm says it’s the closest to an apology as Mr. Burger will ever get (which actually isn’t true, according to season 2’s The Lost Last Act, but Drumm hasn’t known Mr. Burger for very long and can be excused on those grounds). Perry and company forgive Mr. Burger and accept the invitation.

One has to wonder why Mr. Burger calmed down so inexplicably. Maybe he learned the truth off-screen. Or maybe he was just humiliated at having been shown up as he was and he blamed Perry in his anger and mortification without actually believing Perry was responsible. Then, upon calming down at last, he was ashamed of his outrageous behavior.

The Final Fade-Out is not the only example of preposterous accusations flying after the character development fully began to sink in, but it is the most shocking example I’ve found so far as I re-watch every episode I come across. (Season 3’s The Singing Skirt provides another, less shocking example. And Deputy D.A. Chamberlain takes a crack at accusing Perry in season 4’s The Wintry Wife.) What with the way the writers continually fell back on the concept, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if there are others on the level of The Final Fade-Out.

Perry and Mr. Burger are wonderful sparring partners without ever needing to return to the days when Mr. Burger often accused Perry of illegal and unethical activities. Countless episodes prove this. So then, why did the latter keep happening now and then? Just to keep the formula as predictable as possible? Did most of the viewers like seeing Perry get accused over and over?

If the character development had never happened, on both characters’ parts, it wouldn’t be such a troubling issue. But it did, and therein lies my disbelief. I’m not sure what to make of the subsequent accusations. Should they be dismissed as bad writing? Or accepted as part of the show’s “canon”? Should it be thought that Mr. Burger still remembers Perry’s actions from the early episodes and is never sure if Perry will fall back on those tricks once more? (Albeit that would not explain his blow-up in The Final Fade-Out.)

I hope to resolve how I perceive this stumbling block when I write my next Perry story. But my confusion over why it exists in the first place will persist.


  1. Hi Rob, Foxeema, here have a bunch of Perry Mason episodes at my blog
    I think I have somewhere will look for it and upload it next week...
    The Case of the Nervous Neighbor
    air date
    February 13, 1964

  2. Oh wonderful! Thank you so much! It will be some time before my station gets to it and I'm dying to see it.

  3. is it Episode 2 - The Case of the Fatal Fortune cannot find it..what season...fatal fetish Foxeema

  4. Found it

    The Case of the Fatal Fetish

    Air Date:

    March 04, 1965
    will upload by wed if disk is ok....Rob -Foxeema

  5. ok its up Rob-Foxeema also new Honey West too

  6. Thank you so much! I will watch it tonight.

  7. Working on Golfers Gambit now ,have most all Perry Mason but some disks not really good..Have all FBI they are not marked on disks so I will go thru them and find the Maze--Foxeema --Rob

  8. ok its up Golfers Gambit sorry it vhs but ok will look for FBI ep next-- Rob

  9. There are 3 more episodes where Mr Burger has friends one in his office, you watched Fatal Fetish and and officer in Silent Six and there is an episode where a friends son is acused of murder... Simon Oakland did a great episode of Ironside too.....

  10. Just put up dvd copy of Frantic Flyer for you....

  11. The Case of the Prudent Prosecutor dvd copy now up hope you enjoy ---Rob

  12. Perry Mason in The Case of the shifty shoe box +.IS UP HAD A HARD TIME DISK NOT GOOD buy turned out ok have other episode too your friend ---rob

  13. Dead Ringer is up wish all of these were this easy...Enjoy...

  14. Perry Mason in The Case of the Dodging Domino is now uploaded in DVD HQ at blog -Rob

  15. Perry Mason in The Case of the Waylaid Wolf now at Foxeema DVD rip HQ

  16. Found a source to get most all Perry Mason uncut so wi;; do requests for you vwery easy to upload....

  17. Perry Mason S07E18 Nervous Neighbor uncut from tv 50 min let me know how these are ...Rob

  18. The only season I cant find is 6 but I have cut episodes of season 6....

  19. Perry Mason S07E04 The Case the Deadly Verdict now at Foxeema found the FBI The Maze will put it up soon....

  20. Put up a load more Perry , The Maze is prosessing for upload later tonight....

  21. The Case of the Fatal Fetish uncut is up! enjoy...

  22. Hi, Merry Christmas! as you asked put up a bunch of season 8 ...I have all ep of Perry now but season 6 which I have on disks not so good cut ep...Rob

  23. Hi ,Merry Christmas those3 season 8 Perrys are up ,,glad you like...Rob

  24. Hi , I now have all season 8 minus 1 ep and half of season 9 more to come....Rob

  25. Hi Glad u r happy with the Perry ep I have put up season 7 is next......Rob

  26. Hi thank you for nice comments....season 7 now all done...Rob

  27. Perry Mason 4x25 Misguided Missile now up .....glad you are enjoying my uploading...Rob

  28. Hi season 9 up season 7 nearly up.......Rob

  29. Hi it will take time work this weekend a lot but am putting up season 9 first at gozie and see how that works....let me know...Rob

    1. Hi I put up fatal fetish and wooden nickles at gozie linls are added at blog too....more next week...Rob

  30. Hi I posted something for you....a surprise

  31. Hi thank you for the nice comment....I enjoy doing this....season 9 and7 complete and have Night Stalker to ep 12 so far...more season 8 next...Rob

  32. Hi Again, all Night Stalker ep up....have 2 movies but they are to big for gozie...i will look for a place for them.....Rob

  33. Hi Again, New Perry Mason in 1973 was dissapionting because we all wanted the old cast...saw them new....I knew most of theactors from other shows at the time...they could not replace the cast as good as they were...Monte Markham is good in Airport 77...I watch these now and find them good...I am older so know all these actors well...Watch them and let me know...these are all I can find at this time..Rob

  34. Hi Hope these help,I watch too much tv over the years, --Monte Markham-----Partial filmography
    Hour of the Gun (1967)
    Project X (1968)
    Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969)
    The Astronaut (1972)
    One Is a Lonely Number (1972)
    Ginger in the Morning (1974)
    Midway (1976)
    Airport '77 (1977)
    Separate Ways (1981)
    Hotline (1982)
    Off the Wall (1983)
    Hot Pursuit (1987)
    Piranha (1995)
    Death Takes a Holiday (1971)

    [edit] Partial TV Work
    Cold Case
    Mission: Impossible
    Here Come the Brides
    The Mod Squad
    The Virginian
    Ellery Queen
    Hogan's Heroes
    The High Chaparral
    The Mary Tyler Moore Show
    Alias Smith and Jones
    Barnaby Jones
    Hawaii Five-O
    The Six Million Dollar Man
    The Invisible Man
    Police Woman
    Trapper John M.D.
    The Incredible Hulk
    Hart to Hart
    The Fall Guy
    Matt Houston
    Simon and Simon
    The Love Boat
    Love, American Style
    Fantasy Island
    The A-Team
    Finder of Lost Loves
    Murder She Wrote
    The Golden Girls
    Jack Holborn
    Melrose Place
    Grace Under Fire
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    He played the title character in the ill-fated 1973 revival of Perry Mason
    He played the dual role of Luke and Ken Carpenter in the 1967-68 ABC sitcom The Second Hundred Years.
    He played the title character of a criminally insane called Pike in the episode Power Play in the 1975 revival of The Invisible Man
    He played Blanche Devereaux' gay brother Clayton opposite Michael Ayr, who played his love interest Doug in this landmark episode on gay marriage; broadcast 1990
    more next---

  35. next----Harry Guardino--In 1971 Guardino starred in the short-lived series Monty Nash. Guardino had a continuing role as Perry Mason's nemesis, Hamilton Burger, in the 1973 television series The New Perry Mason and a recurring role on Angela Lansbury's Murder, She Wrote. He made guest appearances in dozens of television series, including Studio One, Target: The Corruptors!, The Eleventh Hour, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Kraft Television Theatre, Playhouse 90, Dr. Kildare, The Lloyd Bridges Show, Route 66, Ben Casey, Hawaii Five-O, Love, American Style, The Greatest Show on Earth, Kojak, The Streets of San Francisco, Jake and the Fatman, and Cheers. He had the lead role of Det. Lee Gordon in the 1969 made-for-television suspense film The Lonely Profession.

    Sharon Acker-- Anne of Green Gables (1956) ... Mrs. Stacey
    The Unforeseen (1960)
    Macbeth (1961) ... Lady MacDuff
    Wojeck (1966) (2 episodes) ... Tony Marlowe
    The Wild Wild West "The Night of the Sedgewick Curse" (1968)
    Star Trek "The Mark of Gideon" (1969)...Odona
    It Takes a Thief (1968–1969) (3 episodes) ... Dr. Edwina Hopkins
    Lancer (1969) ... Tiffany Mumford
    A Clear and Present Danger (1970) ... Erin Stowe
    The Bold Ones: The Senator (1970–1971) ... Ellen Stowe
    Alias Smith and Jones (1971) ... Rachel Carlson
    Gunsmoke (1971) ... Tereese Farrell
    The F.B.I. (1971)
    Cade's County (1971) ... Roseann Claybourne
    Love, American Style (1971)
    Mission: Impossible (1972) ... Annette (1970) ... Connie Hastings
    The Mod Squad (1972)
    McMillan & Wife (1972) ... Evie Kendall
    Hec Ramsey (1972) ... Nora Muldoon
    The Delphi Bureau (1973) ... Sheila
    The New Perry Mason (1973) ... Della Street
    Marcus Welby, M.D. (1973)
    The Stranger (1973) ... Dr. Bettina Cooke
    The Hanged Man (1974) ... Carrie Gault
    Harry O (1974) ... Andrea Tannehill
    Cannon (1975) ... Laura Venner (1974) ... Jill (1971) ... Mrs. Dude
    Barnaby Jones (1975) ... Laura Vaner (1975) ... Florence Armstrong (1973) ... Gail Bloom
    Our Man Flint: Dead on Target (1976)
    Executive Suite (1976) ... Helen Walling
    The Streets of San Francisco (1977) ... Ethel Finn (1975) ... Eleanor Jessup
    The Hostage Heart (1977) ... Martha Lake
    The Love Boat (1978) ... Evelyn
    Matt and Jenny (1979) ... Samantha Shelborne
    The Rockford Files (1979) ... Adrianna Danielli (1978) ... Edie Nevitt
    Conquest of the Earth (1980)
    Stone (1980)
    Galactica 1980 (1980) ... Anne
    Battles: The Murder That Wouldn't Die (1980) ... Jill Spencer
    The Incredible Hulk (1980) ... Dr. Louise Olson
    Quincy, M.E. (1981) ... Allison Sirella/Mary Latham (1979) ... Fashion Designer Lynne Montgomery (1978) ... Barbara
    Flamingo Road (1981)
    Shannon (1981)
    Off Your Rocker (1982) ... Nurse Gloria
    Texas (1982) ... Judith Wheeler
    The Powers of Matthew Star (1983) ... Evita
    Matt Houston (1983)
    Trapper John, M.D. (1983) ... Senator Miriam Taylor
    Whiz Kids (1984)
    Simon & Simon (1985) ... Sandra Jefferson-Delaporte (1981) ... Helena Christian
    Crazy Like a Fox (1985)
    Knight Rider (1985) ... Sanford
    You Again? (1986) ... Loretta Winslow
    Murder, She Wrote (1986) episode Keep the Home Fries Burning ... Wilhelmina Fraser
    Days of our Lives (1987) ... Pamela Fouchier
    Katts and Dog (1988) (3 episodes) ... Alice
    Street Legal (1989) ... Jane Morrison
    The Young and the Restless (1991–1992) ... Dr. Grace Sundell

  36. I posted those to help you see why i new these actors...Try watching The NPM episode Case of Violent Valley found it good very well done---found this ---Rob

    The New Adventures of Perry Mason (sometimes referred to as The New Perry Mason or merely as Perry Mason) is a revival of the long-running hit television series about Erle Stanley Gardner's brilliant defense attorney. While several production personnel had worked on the original Perry Mason series (Including executive producer Cornwell Jackson, producers Ernie Frankel and Art Seid, consulting producer Gail Patrick Jackson, and director Arthur Marks), the series was made without the participation of any members of the original cast. Produced by 20th Century Fox Television, it was broadcast by CBS, the same network which had aired the original series, during the 1973-74 season. A total of 15 episodes were produced and aired.

    (This short-lived series is not to be confused with the long-running series of TV movies which starred Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale from the original series, and which were originally aired from 1985 until shortly before Burr's death in 1993.)

  37. Hi ,Gozie is back up but I will up other links up,they have been going up and down a lot....Rob

  38. Hi please dont download those things from gorilla, I dont like that site but as an extra link if others go down...I am putting some at Rapidshare but you must download the episode watch it and your choice to keep or delete it...

  39. Hi test this please...Rob

  40. Hi Again , test this one seams let it buffer a bit then run it nice screen size...I am not jumping quick this time...Rob

  41. Hi I read you like The Monkees ,I have 4 ep at blog on Misc page.. putlock must buffer a while ..gorilla links for Perry season 1,2,7,8,9 so far but will in time replace them...Rob

  42. Hi ,I will be slowly uploading to putlocker I have the top speed dsl and 250 gigs per month ,and they seam the best so just hang in I will get this going....Gozie wants donations because of complaints ....many by me...Gozie still works ,sometimes.. and I cant upload it just fails...if you know some Simon Oakland movies let me know I will look for them...Rob

    1. Hi ,Those are rare but I have found some things in the last few weeks I have been looking for ..4 years...
      Black Sheep Squadron, found with simon oakland they are on youtube but they love deleteing good things so I glab some and put them at the blog... for now I will keep looking...

      Black Sheep Squadron

    2. I found On a Clear Day will put it on Classic movie page later 10 season 1 Perrys uploading now...Rob

  43. Perry mason s 1 ep 1-10 all up....On a clear day up at Foxeema Classic movies page now...Rob

  44. PRECRIPTION MURDER 1968.avi With Simon |Oakland he is great in it ...Columbo pilot. movie page at blog...Rob