Sunday, April 15, 2012

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled programming ...

Alright, I just want to clear the air on something here, once and for all. I wondered when it would be time to get to this topic. After a brief and anonymous encounter, the likes of which I’ve been expecting for a while, I decided it’s time now. I just want to make sure there hopefully won’t be any misunderstandings on this front.

I’ve always been quite frank on this blog. And I’ve admitted more than once that I haven’t read any of the books. Sacrilege, perhaps, but I see no reason it should be. There are many different branches of Perry: the books, the movies, the radio series, and two television shows. Some people may enjoy all versions equally. Others may latch on to one or two particular versions. I really don’t believe that any of us are lesser fans because of however we choose to express our enjoyment of the franchise. We are simply fans of different branches. And in the end, we’re all Perry fans.

However, I am quite willing to eventually try every branch of the franchise. I can’t promise I’ll latch on to every version (and I doubt I will), but that doesn’t mean they don’t all deserve their fair chance. I gave a chance to The New Perry Mason. There’s no reason I won’t get to the books, once I actually have access to them.

I admit I don’t think I care to purchase any of them; with their unfair treatment of Hamilton and prosecutors in general I just don’t think they will appeal to me. I have very strong feelings on the villainization of prosecutors. (Really, I see no need to villainize either side. Erle Stanley Gardner apparently had a villainous defense attorney in his district attorney series. That seems just as unnecessary to me. He wanted to champion lawyers, I’ve heard, so I feel he should have tried to portray both sides fairly in the same series—not one in one series and one in the other.) But in spite of this, if I can locate some of the books somewhere in my area I am still open-minded and curious enough to look through and/or read them for myself.

As I’ve stated before, without the books there would be nothing else, so they should be respected for that aspect at least. They are certainly important. But I don’t believe that being a true fan means one has to read them.

Also, on the subject of Perry/Della romance, yes, I freely admit I’m not that interested in that, either. It’s not unusual for me; there are very few romantic pairings in any series that grab me enough to make me enthused about them. In Perry and Della’s case, there’s already such a wonderful dynamic in their possible romantic feelings being unresolved. My general reaction to such dynamics in any series is that to resolve it spoils it and takes much of the fun out of it. The goal has been reached, but that element of the relationship, what made it so appealing for some of the fans in the first place, is gone and can never be brought back. I am actually quite a fan of Perry and Della’s interaction; I just don’t like the thought of it changing from what it already is.

I am aware that in the books Perry has proposed to Della more than once and she has turned him down. I am also aware that in spite of that, some of the fans feel that they are definitely in an established relationship, particularly in the early books. That is interesting, certainly a different-sounding take on their interaction. But I can’t say as how that would appeal to me over the television series. I’m curious enough to want to see those scenes, because I enjoy their interaction on the series, but I’m equally curious to see how everyone else interacts in that first Perry medium.

For me, the television series vastly improved on the elements that most bother me in the books. (Even though it has its own problems.) And I’m grateful that Erle Stanley Gardner allowed it to happen (especially in spite of his insistence on his formula). But I feel sorry for the book fans who may feel that the Perry/Della content was watered down in the series. It’s generally not fun to have something you particularly like be absent or changed. I know I’ve been in situations like that at times when I like things about more than one branch of a franchise but don’t like that one version changed something I deem important.

I am a big fan of the long-running television series. I have not as yet read the books, but I am aware of them and have a natural interest in exploring at least one or two, possibly more.

I am not especially interested in the idea of reading or writing about Perry and Della getting together once and for all—just in the idea that yes, they are meant to be together eventually and the fans can fill in the gaps any way they desire. I don’t like picturing either of them with anyone else; I’ll give the shipper movement that much.

My favorite character is Hamilton Burger and I enjoy writing about him above all other aspects of Perry. If I feel he is being treated unfairly, I will complain. If I feel he’s getting decent treatment, I will be pleased.

Yes, I am unconventional. My likes and dislikes are most likely shared by only a small number. But I am every bit the true fan that every Perry book, radio, and even movie fan is.

Thank you, everyone who has been reading this humble blog. I’m honored that you’re interested in my perspective. I will be making the weekday post a day early this week; Barbara Hale deserves an enthusiastic and rousing birthday post!


  1. *applause*

    On the Perry/Della romance, I also feel sorry for those who miss that aspect in the TV series. But on the other hand, I've more than once pondered writing a Hamilton/Della fic just to see what the reaction would be. I really need to get my dark side a better hobby.

    1. Thank you!

      Oh my, you're going to be tempting me now, haha. I've written several Hamilton and Della friendship stories. I'd be afraid to write a romance for fear of the outraged and indignant backlash from Perry/Della shippers, and yet I am curious to see what would happen. Let me know if you ever walk that dark path! ;)

  2. I get you, sweetie. I mean, I've always loved the TV movies and then the original show ofc - but I also adore the radio show and the books. A couple of months ago I started watching the first four movies from the 30s and was so skeptical about them because I'm such a devoted Barbara Hale fan that I wasn't sure how I'd react to seeing three different actresses playing my beloved Della Street. But guess what, I was positively surprised. I actually loved the films - not as much as the show, but the approaches are really hard to compare. Warren William was a great Perry Mason - says the one who's had a Della-like crush on Ray Burr as our favorite defense attorney. And the writing, like on the radio program, was much more "soapy" than on our darling b&w show, but highly entertaining nonetheless.
    So there you go - never apologize for what you like and who you like. And even if you shouldn't get around to reading any of the books (some of which are available online btw) and will never watch the TV movies (I know, they don't have Hamilton but the first ones have Mr. Reston who's also pretty cool), you know what you love about Perry Mason and that's what counts (and I'll have to remember that myself when the new movie will come out I guess - LoL).
    So to cut a long story short, I just wanted to support your take on PM actually. One of these days I'll learn to just be brief. ;o)

    1. Hi there! It's great to hear from you again.

      Oh, that's very interesting about the old movies. I'm curious now. Say, doesn't at least one of them have a Hamilton? If so, how is he portrayed?

      And indeed, I fully agree with you about not apologizing. Some years ago maybe I would have been so meek I would have done so, but as I am now I'm proud of my feelings and just want to proclaim them. If someone has a problem with them or thinks that I'm not a real fan, well, whatever. They can think what they like.