Before there was Law & Order, Quincy, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, NCIS, JAG, Justice, Barnaby Jones, or any of the many crime, law, or investigation series there was Perry Mason.
Perry Mason managed to combine all these various aspects of a good crime series into an hour show. With Paul as his detective and yes even Lieutenant Arthur Tragg helping from time to time Perry fought for justice inside the courtroom.
Unlike many of today's courtroom drama series Perry put justice ahead of his winning record. While his courtroom antics were wonderful twists, skating close to being unethical, and a thorn in D.A. Hamilton Burger side, he wouldn't break the law (expect for the occasional parking ticket) and above all he sought the truth.
Somewhere along the lines many of the series that followed forgot to seek the truth. It isn't their fault, as they only emulated the real life police and district attorneys who view their records as more important than justice or truth.
Where the series that followed forgot their obligations (to set a higher standard and remind all those inside and outside of the real courtrooms of how truly unique, wondrous, and above all fragile our liberties and system of justice is to each person), Perry Mason doesn't forget nor does he fail to find a calling higher than the truth and justice.
Perry Mason like its Black and White format showed us the grey tones guilty people use to conceal the truth. But also like its format the series viewed its world in very simple terms, such as a guilty person when faced with his guilt will confess. Life doesn’t always imamate art and there in lies Perry Mason’s greatest and its flaw.