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Perry Mason (TV Milestones Series) Paperback – September 19, 2005
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"It could be called 'The Case of the Creative Critic' or 'The Case of the Stylish Scholar', but by any name this book offers illuminating television history at its page-turning best. Thomas Leitch traces the long history of America's most successful mass-media attorney from his beginnings in Erie Stanley Gardner's imagination through his radio, movie, and television incarnations. In arguing his brief, Leitch casts light on everything from popular notions of justice to the hero's distinctive vocal patterns and the amazingly fixed formulas his television series invariably followed. He also unveils Raymond Burr's status as the television program's true auteur, explores the show's relationship to 1950s versions of patriarchy and paternalism, and explains how Mason's professional exploits saddled postwar Americans with a wildly skewed conception of how the legal system really works. Keep a copy on your nightstand next to a pile of pulp fiction and your lawyer's phone number. It's more engrossing than any dozen episodes of the show itself."
An exploration of the enduring popularity of the television series Perry Mason and its universal reputation as the most formulaic program in the history of broadcast television.