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YMMV / Matlock

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  • Adorkable:
    • Cassie Phillips, whose first appearance saw her fumbling her way into Matlock's employ on a misunderstanding that he was going to offer her a job. She's very sweet and sympathetic and you just want to hug her because she's trying to do the right thing in spite of inexperience — and though she messes up, she's a very fast learner.
    • Cliff Lewis, Matlock's associate in the last three seasons. He's hired by Matlock because his father, Billy, guilts Matlock into it. Though a lawyer, he spends a lot of time as Matlock's investigator. Cliff also gets wrongfully accused of murder twice.
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  • Damsel Scrappy: Charlene. She's a constant victim of capture. Averted, however, when Michelle joins the series, as she's tougher and feistier when it comes to kidnappers and is more able to get out of such problems far more easily.
  • Growing the Beard: Arguably, Season 7, when the show made a Channel Hop to ABC. The supporting cast was reset (Julie Sommars and Nancy Stafford wanted to spend more time with their families and Clarence Gilyard Jr was now heavily involved with Walker, Texas Ranger.) and the series started to detach itself from formulaic stories. It also stopped being hammy for the most part and started to add some real depth to the cast. The addition of Billy Lewis also helped to liven things up by featuring a lot of amusing friction between him and Ben. There was also the character arc Cliff went through as Ben's understudy.
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  • Harsher in Hindsight: Ben's client in "The Secret" is a blues singer with a Big Fun physique who cooks a few hearty meals with Matlock, jokes, "You don’t think I got this way eating salads, do you?" and sings songs throughout the episode where half of them seem to be warnings or cautionary tales. Ron Taylor died of a heart attack at 49.
  • Narm Charm: If Andy Griffith doesn't reel you in, the Ham and Cheese acting and 1980's fashion will.
  • Nightmare Fuel: "The Dare"'s ending, specifically the final line: "What are you gonna do, Ben? Get me the death sentence? I've already got it". Yikes.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • So Bad, It's Good: The show is full of over-the-top pastiche characters and a lot of outrageous courtroom antics, but who doesn't love a good murder mystery? It's a surprisingly enjoyable romp, one of the few shows with Fred Silverman's name attached to it which isn't considered a spectacular dud.

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