Parents' Guide to

Perry Mason

By Matt Cabral, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Gritty, violent reboot spins compelling origin story.

TV HBO, Max Drama 2020
Perry Mason Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

HBO has applied many of its prestige TV hallmarks -- spot-on casting, smart writing, immersive world-building, and exquisite costume and set design -- to the detective noir genre with this remake. Rhys' nuanced performance makes a strong case for why a Perry Mason origin story is even necessary, while the engaging central mystery could nudge you to the edge of your seat regardless of who's collecting the clues. Combined, the complex protagonist and compelling case he's committed to cracking make for an absorbing take on the classic genre.

If there's a gripe to be made, it's that the series occasionally leans too heavily on genre clichés, lingering longer than necessary on shots of brooding characters doing noir-ish things, like drowning sorrows in booze or meeting in smoky environments. There's also the issue of this version of the show -- and character -- sharing very little with the original. Those expecting a nostalgic nod to the Raymond Burr-starring Perry Mason of old are in for a shock. And that's before the stomach-churning gore kicks in. Crime drama fans craving an expertly crafted detective serial with a dark side, however, will find that this Perry Mason fits the bill like a broken-in fedora.

TV Details

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