Saturday, August 23, 2008
Perry Mason: The Third Season, Volume 1 (CBS DVD, $49.99) brings order back to the courtroom with the first 12 episodes of the 3rd season of the courtroom drama of the 50s. The three-disc set contains even more of the attorney defending the most impossible of cases, with the defendant knowing that the judge is going to lower the boom on them and find them guilty as charged, except by some miracle, Perry finds that despite all evidence supporting the other side, his client is always innocent and he is able to prove that in a court of law.
There are many great episodes in this set, beginning with the first one, "The Case of the Spurious Sister," where a man's wife turns up dead after she tells him she is going to divorce him. So where do all fingers get pointed? A jeweler turns up dead after accusing a young woman of theft in "The Case of the Blushing Pearls." Perry has to defend, of all people, Paul Drake, in "The Case of Paul Drake's Dilemma." In "The Case of the Golden Fraud," a golden coin in a parking meter may play a part in one of Perry's cases. In "The Case of the Artful Dodger," a man is about to inherit a large sum of money, except a bunch of people turn up dead that he just so happens to be avoiding. Perry can't get a break from his cases, not even while on a hunting trip, as shown in "The Case of the Violent Village."
The video and audio quality on the episodes is, as usual, excellent. This has never been an issue on these sets, and isn't this time either. Closed-captioning can also be found on all of the episodes. A nice little feature, though probably unintentional, is the fact that many episodes have their original sponsorships on the closing credits, from Colgate. And CBS DVD has actually left the original CBS logo intact this time, although the CBS Television Distribution logo plays immediately after it. But there is bad news about the case. Unlike the previous sets that included the double slimcases, we now have the standard Amaray style case that CBS DVD seems to use for everything. It is simple packaging, but just seems so cheap to be using, particularly on a show as expensive as this one is on DVD.
Unfortunately, as has been the case with the previous sets, there are no special features, which is outright disappointing. Apparently they were able to find some nice special features for the 50th Anniversary release, so why couldn't they come up with more for the season sets? Commentaries, interviews, and other special features would have been nice. I find it ridiculous that CBS DVD continues to release this in half season sets. Although the first season had many episodes, there aren't as many in these later seasons, and it would be more practical to put them out as full season releases. Instead, CBS DVD chooses to continue releasing half seasons and putting full season prices on the sets. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with the quality of the episodes on the set, but is the set really worth as much as fans are paying to buy the series on DVD? Not really. But don't be fooled—this is a great show that fans of classic TV and courtroom drama are sure to enjoy.
-- Reviewed by skees53
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