Sunday, September 17, 2017

My mind comes up with the darnedest things....

So today I had a dream involving our characters. That's all well and good, right? It's even one of the highly detailed kind that makes for good story material. Even better!

Problem is, it's a story I'd never want to write, unless I made some heavy modifications.

It involved the characters (or at least Perry, Della, Paul, Andy, and maybe David; I'm not sure of the other person's identity) at a fancy dinner party hosted by a mad scientist. Also present were characters from the 1987 version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. Okay, that's a recipe for wackiness right there. But it gets worse.

Said mad scientist decides to apparently shrink Della. She's running around desperately trying to get someone's attention and finally makes contact with Andy. He can't believe this is real (who would?), and when he's finally convinced, he's so shocked and horrified that he faints. Yeah, I don't think so. Perry and Paul have to drag him to a couch and then deal with their own shock.

Most of the rest of the dream involved the characters trying to find the laboratory and reverse what happened. And in the middle of all this, the Ninja Turtles' arch-enemy Shredder shows up to fight them right at the party.

The dream is totally wacked-out, no question of that. And while I am certainly no stranger to weird Perry stories, I don't do shrinking stories. It's one trope I seriously dislike. So if I ever do decide to do something with it, it would have to be something like, the mad scientist kidnaps Della and has her locked in the lab while he sends out a miniature android to try to fool people into thinking he can shrink people in the hopes of forcing them to comply with his ultimatum (whatever that is). And even at that, it's seriously off-the-wall for any Perry story. So much so that I doubt I dare write it. I might instead modify it to be a Ninja Turtles story alone and have their friend April as the one kidnapped.

Unless, of course, some daring Perry fans would actually like to see this weirdness. Which I doubt!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Perry Mason on HBO?

So MeTV sends two emails a week, one on Wednesday and one on Saturday. I thought for sure they would include a tribute to Richard in their Saturday email, as they have for other actors when they have passed. They didn't. I was hopping mad and went to their site to see if they'd even written one for him. They had, thankfully, even though they apparently didn't deem it important enough to include in their email. They also had a tribute for Richard by airing episodes of shows with him today, which I was glad of. And while I was on the site, I learned a very important piece of Perry news.

Remember how Robert Downey, Jr. wanted to make a new Perry movie? Apparently he's still interested in rebooting Perry, but now he's switched his sights to television. According to the article I found, it will be on HBO and now it's definite that it will be happening, instead of just a vague possibility in the future. This was apparently also being planned for a year and I somehow missed the news, I guess because MeTV also didn't deem that important enough to include in their emails.

I have mixed feelings about this. I do like the idea of the characters possibly becoming popular again and being introduced to a new generation. But is it worth it? Most reboots are not very good. HBO has high production values and they're highly acclaimed, but that doesn't mean Perry on HBO is a good idea.

Another question is, will it still be a period piece or will it be present-day? HBO certainly isn't a stranger to period pieces. I, of course, prefer the idea of updating to the present-day, but really only for the technology and because then I don't have to think that the characters would be dead now. However, if it brings present-day topics and values into it, then I'm not terribly pleased. Although even in our classic Perry there was certainly plenty of immorality going around, at least we didn't have to see bedroom scenes or hear blue language. And there wasn't gratuitous violence, and unfortunately with HBO, I'm sure we'll be seeing that no matter what time it's set in.

My guess is that it will be a period piece. Downey also, as I recall, wanted to specifically adapt the books, so I imagine the characters would be sticking closer to their book roots if that is still his plan. I'm also not sure what I think of that, since I'm not crazy about Perry in the books and don't like that he and Hamilton never form a friendship.

Overall, the article was pretty vague and just assured us that HBO Perry is coming. So, what do we all think of this?

Friday, September 1, 2017

In Memoriam: Richard Anderson

It is with a heavy heart that I bring the news that we have lost another classic movie and television great and Perry star. Richard Anderson passed away last night at age 91. He had just celebrated his 91st birthday on the 8th of August. An anonymous reader on the blog let me know the sad news earlier tonight and I immediately looked up the news articles posted so far. Lee Majors and Lindsay Wagner have both delivered moving tributes to Richard and I imagine there will be many more over the coming days, each one completely deserved. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Richard was a kind, gracious, dignified man and a highly talented actor. He very often stole the show with his multi-faceted characters, even if he didn't have much screentime in a particular production. For both me and my mom (and many more), he was the best thing about The Student Prince, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman and many others. And he was certainly one of our favorite elements of Perry. As the genuinely friendly yet by-the-book police lieutenant Steve Drumm, he added a fascinating presence to the final season of our show.

The end of August has long been a time for me to think about and honor several great character actors who passed on succeeding days. Simon Oakland died on the 29th, while both William Talman and Wesley Lau died on the 30th in different years. It gives me pause that the actor who succeeded Wesley on Perry has now passed on the 31st.

I've been aware of Richard most of my life, first encountering him in The Student Prince and loving him and his character. He brought a definite sweetness to the role of Lucas that I picked up on even at that young age. I knew he was something special. I rediscovered that every time I watched him in the years since. Of course, I love watching him play good guys the most, but he was adept at playing the most nefarious villains as well. And yet, even with some of them, there was sometimes a very three-dimensional and human aspect that made them very complex and not completely unsympathetic. Others, however, were indeed absolute cads without any apparent redeeming qualities. Richard could do it all!

Richard was often asked why he didn't write a book about his life, to which he would reply, "Why? I'm still living it!" I'm so glad he finally agreed to write one and share the experiences of his wonderful life that he was indeed still living. His memoir is such an invaluable treasure for his loved ones and fans alike, a beautifully narrated piece that feels like an intimate fireside chat. Add to that his legacy of movie and television roles and he will always live on.

We love you, Richard, and we miss you. Thank you for giving us so much through the years.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The ups and downs of Perry fandom in 2017

It has been a sad year for Perry fans. The last surviving member of the original Core Five, the beautiful Barbara Hale, passed away near the end of January. Last week, she would have turned 95. It was an amazing honor to have her with us for so many years, but still very sad to lose her. She brought so much to Perry, truly making the role of Della Street her own. No one else has ever or could ever portray the character as did Barbara Hale. For many, she is synonymous with the character. We miss her deeply and pray for her family.

Those wanting to see her in the Perry reunion movies have a far greater chance now, with the box set of all 30 films. The price is lower now; Amazon has been selling it for $22! Wal-Mart carries it in-store for about $32. Both are incredible prices for this many films! Those wanting complete and uncut copies of the Perry movies would do well to pick one up while these prices last.

And MeTV has announced a special Perry tribute throughout the month of May, with theme weeks for the nighttime showings. Those preferring to watch the episodes in order can still do so with the morning showings. Details on the episodes planned are here:

Many episodes I like, a couple I don't, and a few I'm more or less indifferent to. But either way, it's awesome to see MeTV planning something like this to keep the series fun and fresh and maybe introduce viewers to episodes they don't see as much (or ever). It's a very nice tribute to Raymond Burr's 100th birthday next month as well.

I know updates here have been scarce (what an understatement!) but I still love Perry and the characters and the actors and all the wonderful things and people that made up our show. And I still reply to comments whenever they come. I love hearing from the readers and viewers.