Matthew Rhys in Perry MasonPhoto: HBO

In an era where everything is up for grabs for rebooting, Perry Mason is one of the strangest. The show takes its name from a 1957 CBS series that focused on the eponymous criminal defense attorney from author Erle Stanley Gardner’s detective stories. Perry Mason ran for nine years in its initial run, followed by an ill-fated ’70s revival and a more successful stretch of TV movies throughout the ’80s and ’90s. HBO’s new Perry Mason miniseries, however, has little in common with these previous iterations — it’s less a legal drama and more an old-school hard-boiled detective story with a prestige TV sheen.

And what a sheen it is: Perry Mason is gorgeous to look at and sink into. Its portrayal of 1930s California is beautifully shot and…

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