Sunday, August 11, 2013

The arrival of the TV movies on broadcast television

MeTV has released their Fall schedule, which starts September 2nd, and it contains news for Perry fans! Although the schedule is shifting around a good bit, both showings of Perry are still firmly in place. Awesome.

Also, on their chart, for Fridays they list something called the “MeTV Made-For-TV Movie.” Now, just from looking at the chart itself, there is no information on what this movie is. It is a confusing puzzle. However, if you visit the page on their site where they describe the new stuff, they explain what this is. They’re going to air the television movies made with characters (or sometimes actors) from the shows on MeTV. And they specifically mention Perry Mason.

So it looks like, for those who like them, have wanted to see them, and/or those who don’t feel that Perry ends with The Final Fade-Out, the 1980s and 1990s television movies with Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale will be on MeTV! I recommend that if you’ve wanted them, be sure to record them when they come on. I know Hallmark has shown them (probably in a vastly chopped-up state, knowing Hallmark), but for those without cable or satellite in general or Hallmark in specific, there likely hasn’t been any access.

As for me, I’m not sure what I’ll be doing about it. I don’t consider the movies canon, and I think it’s sad to see reunion films where most of the cast is absent, but like them or leave them, they are a part of the television Perry legacy. I consider them a possibility, one possibility of a future for the characters, but not the absolute, only truth. And it is a treasure, to see Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale take up their iconic roles of Perry Mason and Della Street once again. I think that, if MeTV will be showing lots of the films and not just the first one, I should record them to have them. I’ve seen clips from at least one of them and I honestly liked what I saw and thought it was fun.

I also think that I should get around to watching my DVD copy of the very first one before any others in the series possibly air.

When it comes to Perry movies, there was some rumor floating around a while ago that Robert Downey, Jr. had decided to make a Perry movie and that he was going to set it in a verse similar to the books. According to articles, that meant a period piece set in the 1930s, the time the earliest Perry novels were written. Johnny Depp and Robert Downey, Jr. were both being considered for the coveted lead role.

Apparently this movie is still going to happen; doing an Internet search on it is turning up a few fairly recent pieces, including one from March this year. I don’t see it getting the same level of promotion as the Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie that’s been getting quite a bit of publicity recently and seems to be full steam ahead, but maybe if I had visited the Yahoo Group recently I would have found them discussing it.

This is the most interesting of the articles I’ve just turned up about that movie project:

What I’m still a bit concerned about regarding this idea is, of course, how Hamilton will be portrayed if they’re sticking so closely to the books. I have heard one interesting, dissenting opinion that Hamilton was actually portrayed better in the books than in the television series, with the person particularly disliking Hamilton’s glee in the series when he makes a point over Perry in court. But everyone else I’ve talked to about the books has told me that Hamilton’s glee wasn’t a deviation from the books, but something carried over from them.

Naturally, I will have to draw my own conclusions on that matter, and on Hamilton’s portrayal in the books in general (although I still lean towards the opinion that Hamilton and other prosecutors were not portrayed as well in the books as in the series). And one interesting thing that might happen if this movie comes out is that the books could get a long-overdue re-release. I’ve expressed surprise before that the books are out of print; it’s rather baffling, unless the majority of the population simply prefers the television series (or unless the books are tied up in a copyright web). If they come out again, and I like enough what I see, I will probably buy some. I honestly rather doubt I will care for them as much as the television series, especially where Hamilton and the police are concerned, but I’m willing to keep an open mind and admit that I could be surprised.

And back to the television series, this is the week where it all wraps up on DVD. I’m hoping to get hold of the second half of season 9 as soon as possible, but as is usual for me, it will probably take a while. Good luck to everyone who is planning to get hold of this set right on the release date this Tuesday!

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