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In Episode 5 of "Perry Mason" the chess pieces are moving into place on the board.  The sleaziness and corruption of the 30s LA legal community and its political class are in full flower.  Racism is also omnipresent.  And we get a return to a brothel.  There are hints about Della's sexuality.  That is just background.   Meanwhile, with some assistance (!) from a DA named Hamilton Burger (Justin Kirk) and some possible regulatory sleight of hand, Perry assumes the defense of the accused, Emily (Gayle Rankin).  [One might question if someone who has never tried any case can be permitted to defend a capital offense.]  To make matters interesting, John Lithgow's son, Ian, portrays his son.

On a side note, a fellow who used to wait on me frequently at Restaurant Shiro, namely Jeff Bowser, appears as a cripple potentially healed by Sister Alice.

Obviously, a trial is forthcoming.  Buckle up.  Three episodes remain.

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1. Friday Night Lights. I'm gonna start shilling like crazy for this show. When I first heard they were turning the movie into a TV show, I figured it would end every week with the team hitting the

oh, damn, i didn't know that. now i'm depressed--i really liked that show.

Here you go -   At the time I wrote that the show was being broadcast on WLIW. It appears to be out of the rotation right now but should be available on Netflix.

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Just saw 2 jazz documentaries, courtesy of TCM: Jazz on a Summer's Day and Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser.  I heard that the former is relatively short because many artists didn't give permission to be filmed, including Miles Davis which is sad considering he'd just put out Kind of Blue.

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Episode 6 of Perry Mason finds Perry in court but struggling.  He and his team of irregulars have to deal with hidden evidence, a conniving DA, crooked cops, perjurous witnesses, hidden witnesses, financial chicanery, religious interference and more.  The producers keep lining up possibilities but given the trial format they have to present facts and findings in an incomplete and subtle way to avoid whatever the big reveal is in Episode 8.

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The seventh episode of Perry Mason is amazing in both a good and a bad sense.  This is what we have waited for.  The episode is crammed with plot, character development, mystery, revelations, violence, vintage autos, etc.  Really, it's too much.  But Matthew Rhys as Mason is seriously coming into his own. Tatiana Maslany actually shows some range as Sister Alice.  We get Perry's back story.  We get Sister Alice's back story.  We get plots, gumshoe work, financial chicanery, killings, drug addiction, a casket scene worthy of Chester Himes with Lili Taylor stage managing a miracle.  We get a return to the morgue.  We get a return to the brothel.  We get the return of Hamilton Burger (who seems to be quite the sophisticate but with major political ambitions).  We get corruption a la Chinatown.  And most significantly we get some Mason courtroom antics worthy of the character.  Now, we are talking.  Unfortunately, now that we are hitting our stride, there's only one episode remaining.

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Black is King, which was beautiful, but not (I thought) as good as Lemonade. You come away humming the art direction, essentially. And Crip Camp, which was excellent, wrenching in some places, hilarious in others.

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2 hours ago, theclash said:

Hollywood

Have you watched Bosch on Amazon Prime? I find it a fairly good representation of the books.

I've read almost every one of the Bosch books and I couldn't get through the first season. I didn't like the casting of Bosch.

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Japan Sinks 2020 makes 120 Days of Sodom look like a Disney production even without the opening disaster scenes happen in "our" gym and neighborhood.

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21 hours ago, hollywood said:

"Creem: America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine" sounds like it could be fun.

I want to see that.  I started reading Creem around 1984, long after its heyday but I wasn't a teenager before then. 😉  The humor was way above my head.

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"Forget it Jake it's Chinatown."  This assessment hangs over the final episode of Perry Mason although it's obviously Los Angeles, not Chinatown where we find venality, corruption, ambition, murder and the like.  We also get attorneys testifying in trial, displaying exhibits that have been presented without foundation, witnesses lying, payoffs being made, faith healers working their tricks, etc.  We are also informed ironically that witnesses don't confess on the stand.  (So much for many an old school Mason ending.)  The door is open for a further season although the series is relatively self-contained.  Blows are struck for womens' equality.  Della Street emerges as a strong presence.  Mason is sadder but wiser and seems to have assembled a team that could assist in further trials.  Ironically, the ambitious DA is hoping to use the trial as a springboard to becoming mayor although the actual DA currently earns about $80,000 more than the mayor of LA.  As for the trial's outcome, that would be a spoiler.

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