Season One concluded in August of 2020; the writers of the series have had ample time to create an interesting Season Two so, that leads us to ask, just what is the latest on HBO’s PERRY MASON?
Well, first there are new showrunners in place for the sophomore season of the series which is tied more to the Erle Stanley Gardner novels than to the Raymond Burr performances. Remember, Mason is not yet the sterling defense attorney from the 1957-1966 CBS series but a down-on-his-luck private investigator. Will Perry Mason head in that direction in Season Two? That all depends on the direction Jack Amiel and Michael Begler (pictured, below) wish to take the season. Amiel and Begler are the new showrunners. They have a creative deal with HBO after helming Cinemax’s THE KNICK. They replace the team of Ron Fitzgerald and Rolin Jones, who manned the inaugural season and have moved on to penning a series called Urban Jungle.
It seems the series is indeed locked into a storyline as a vague description has been announced. In the sophomore season, it is months after the end of the Dodson trial from Season One. Mason (Matthew Rhys) has moved off the farm, sports a pressed suit and has set up a law firm with Della Street (Juliet Rylance). They will be pursuing civil cases instead of the tumultuous work that criminal cases entail. Unfortunately, there isn’t much work for Paul (Chris Chalk) in wills and contracts, so he’s been out on his own. An open-and-closed case overtakes the city of Los Angeles, and Perry’s pursuit of justice reveals that not everything is always as it seems.
Casting has taken place to populate the season and it is with those character descriptions that we learn a bit more.
Katherine Waterston (Alien: Covenant, pictured below)) plays “Ginny Aimes” – Emblematic of the sort of optimism that got people through Depression-era Los Angeles, Ginny is the schoolteacher of every parents’ dreams. Perry was reluctant to send Teddy to private school but discovers he’s happy his kid is in Ginny’s hands – and finds he might need some of her sunshine for himself, too.
Hope Davis (Your Honor) plays “Camilla Nygaard” – Camilla’s a badass, no-nonsense business woman who sees Della’s ambition and takes her under wing. As a cultured woman, Camilla cares for her health and fitness and spends her wealth bringing art to Los Angeles.
Jon Chaffin (The Have and the Have Nots) plays “Morris” – Clara’s brother and Paul’s brother-in-law, Morris is a boisterous energy to whom Clara and Drake owe a great debt of gratitude for letting them stay under his roof. He’s always looking for ways to support his family, even in desperate times.
Fabrizio Guido (Mr. Iglesias) plays “Rafael Gallardo” – Despite coming from a farming family, Rafael is a talented artist with the heart of a poet. He, alongside his brother, is standing trial and facing execution, and the odds couldn’t be more stacked against him.
Peter Mendoza (NCIS) plays “Mateo Gallardo” – desperate living situation they’ve been reduced to. With his brother, he must come to terms with the encroaching possibility of his execution after he’s accused of murder.
Onohoua Rodriguez (Veronica Mars) plays “Luisa Gallardo” – Rafael’s and Mateo’s aunt, Luisa is determined to get her nephews out of this hellhole of a bind. Fearing the court of public opinion will overshadow a fair trial, Luisa seeks out the help of a more caring attorney than the public defender they were assigned.
Jee Young Han (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) plays “Marion Kang” – Marion is fresh out of secretarial school and is the new hire in the office to replace Della’s spot behind the desk. In addition to her meticulous organizational talents, Marion has a few tricks up her sleeve that keeps Perry and Della constantly on their feet.
Sadly, what we don’t know is that with the pandemic still surging just when the series will get back in front of cameras in Los Angeles and when we can hope for the season to arrive. It might not be until late 2022 that we see the famed attorney and his big profile cases. “That’s an ever-moving set of goalposts,” he said when asked when production on the show’s sophomore season might begin. “It’s been moving steadily like an iceberg for some time. And I think we’re just basically looking at winter now.” Rhys did share that the plan was to shoot again in Los Angeles. “We’ll be back among the angels,” he said. Season 1 featured memorable scenes at LA landmarks such as the Angels Flight funicular railway, Los Angeles City Hall, and Musso & Frank Grill, though in some cases, green screens were used to recreate the look of the city in the 1930s. PERRY MASON is one to watch for on HBO.