Thursday, March 14, 2013

Richard Anderson Promo and The Missing Button

First, a bit of news! A lovely promo for MeTV, hosted by Richard Anderson, has surfaced! I was unable to see it in its entirety last night, but it looks like it’s similar to the one James Hampton does, where he introduces himself and talks about some of the shows where he can be seen. They showed a clip from a Perry episode, of Steve on the witness stand. (I think it was The Tsarina’s Tiara.) Could this possibly indicate more promos from Richard in the future? Maybe even him hosting one of the Sunday Showcases? Oh, that would be so awesome! But even if this is the sole promo by Richard, it’s a wonderful one! I’m thrilled. I hope it airs again, during a time when I’m recording something, so I can pick it up in its entirety!

Now they just need to get a promo from H.M. Wynant! I’ve already contacted MeTV and told them how much I love the Richard promo and said that I would also really like to see one from H.M. I wonder if they’ll put the Richard one on their website.

And so we’ve gone into season 8 for the evening sessions. The first time I saw The Missing Button in its edited state, I was horrified. I felt no different this time. I think whoever mashed that episode cut it up in the very worst way possible. The way they did it, I don’t even like to show the episode to anyone. And I think that’s the only edited episode I feel that strongly about.

So what’s missing that’s such a source of alarm? Most of the scene where Perry and Paul find Button safe on the yacht and they’re informed at that point of what’s happening and that Button’s father orchestrated the taking of her from her house. Note I say “most” of the scene. They keep the part where Perry says goodbye to Button, Paul expresses disbelief that they’re going to leave her there, and Perry says that they are.

It makes no sense. Leaving that piece of scene makes it look like Perry is just leaving Button with a bunch of random kidnappers! It’s awful. If they’re clipping most of the scene, they should have gone all the way and cut the rest of it, too. It could then open instead where they go see Button’s father and talk to him about seeing Button and learning that he was involved in the grab. That would look a lot better.

I remember they also clipped some of the court scene with Otto Kruger as the judge, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen the uncut version that I don’t recall what was cut. I remember being appalled at Thanksgiving time, however, and I must have recalled the missing part in specific at that point.

I’ve always enjoyed the episode in general because I really like the ones where Perry interacts with kids. But every time I’ve watched it, there’s something else that perplexes me—the way the climax is acted out.

Why in the world, when that secretary is starting to try to lift Button up to apparently throw her off the bridge (!!), do her parents just sit in horror in the car while Della slowly walks towards the scene?!

I assume that Della doesn’t run because she’s afraid of startling the woman into really throwing Button overboard. But why doesn’t she move like she’s trying to be cautious? Instead it just looks like she’s taking a calm stroll and nothing’s wrong at all. It's not like the woman is facing her, so that she has to be completely casual about it. She wouldn't have had to at all.

And why is she the one going? Was Perry afraid that the parents would be too emotional, or that the sight of the father would tip the woman over the edge of sanity, since she was so obsessed with being his wife?

How did they even come to suspect such an obsession, anyway? In the epilogue Perry says it’s just as they thought, but it seems like it was pulled out of a hat. Even in the uncut, I don’t recall anything that really indicated that she had such a deeply-rooted complex, nor anything that showed Perry or anyone else being even vaguely suspicious of her. I know that the guilty party often seems to be pulled out of a hat, but in a case like that, there’s usually some type of hint, even if the main characters aren’t present for it. I couldn’t find anything. Just because the woman stood up for the father in front of Perry and was saying he was a wonderful man doesn’t seem any indication of an obsession to want to marry him.

Well, those puzzlements aside, I still love the uncut episode. It's exciting, intense, sweet, and all the cast has pretty good amounts of screentime, including Andy, and that was something that had started to become more infrequent by season 8.

The guest cast is also very good, including several veterans of Perry episodes: Julie Adams, Otto Kruger, Ed Nelson, and David Macklin. Button is played by Claire Wilcox, in her only Perry role.

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