No Objections to this Classic Courtroom Drama

In Likes on September 21, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Either a tenth of the population is at home sick, or it’s simply good television.

In 1970 (when dinosaurs roamed the earth), KPTV gave Perry Mason its infamous weekdays at noon time slot. Other than a brief ten-month period during which it resided at 12:30pm, KPTV has aired Perry Mason in the same weekdays at noon time slot ever since. In fact, according to polls of Portland audiences, nearly a tenth of the population watching TV at noon on weekdays is watching Perry Mason! (Glad to know I’m not alone.)

When I was growing up, Perry Mason was my “sick show”. Since it was on during weekdays only, I had to be home sick from school to get the opportunity to watch the best defense lawyer at work. On days my father was home, we got a kick out of guessing who had committed the crime (almost always a not-so-shocking murder) and writing our guesses down on scraps of paper as proof that we hadn’t changed our mind part way through the trial. Now, all grown up, I often watch it on my lunch break, which I strategically plan parallel to Perry Mason’s noon showing.

Despite being monochromatic, Perry Mason is still very much relevant. In fact, in my opinion, the show is in many ways better most any lawyer or crime oriented show of today. Unlike viewing today’s law and crime shows, when watching Perry Mason you have to pay attention to the story line (particularly the first 10 minutes, or you might as well not watch the rest) in order to accurately follow the plot and eagerly anticipate what might happen next. While it probably bore those who prefer to veg on TV or need pretty colors to hold their attention, I have always enjoyed sharing my lunch with Perry Mason, Dela Street, and Paul Drake.

It has been rumored that when Patrick McCreery became KPTV’s general manager in 2008, they told him that he could make any change he desired, but Perry Mason could neither be canceled, nor changed from its weekday noon time slot! Show me a series today with that kind of viewing or staying power!


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