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YMMV / Matlock

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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 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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  • 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:
    • Bryan Cranston, who appeared in two different episodes as two different characters (a client and a victim).
    • Clarence Gilyard, Jr. (Conrad McMasters) would later go on to greater fame as James Trivette on Walker, Texas Ranger.
    • Kari Lizer (Cassie Phillips) would also go on to greater fame as creator and executive producer of The New Adventures of Old Christine.
    • In addition to his work on Matlock, Dean Hargrove is also best known as co-developer and executive producer of Father Dowling Mysteries, and is largely responsible for the series of Perry Mason Made For TV Movies throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
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    • Tony Mordente directed ten episodes. Mordente is best known for playing A-rab in West Side Story.
    • Joel Steiger wrote 55 episodes, and also served as producer, supervising producer, co-executive producer, and executive producer. Steiger is also best known for co-developing Father Dowling Mysteries.
    • Joyce Burditt wrote three episodes. Burditt is best known as creator and producer, consulting producer, and supervising producer of Diagnosis: Murder.
    • Sam Rolfe wrote two episodes. Rolfe is best known as co-creator, associate producer, and producer of Have Gun – Will Travel, as developer and producer of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and for developing The Girl from U.N.C.L.E..
    • Scott Bakula appeared in "The Power Brokers", notably still brown-headed and with his natural American accent. He later took on the role of a Starfleet captain, followed by gaining silvery hair with age and a Creole accent for NCIS: New Orleans. And of course Scott's also known for striving to put right what once went wrong.
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    • Kevin Conroy appears in a 1986 episode.
    • Charles Martinet (credited as "Charles Martinez") appears in a 1989 episode, several years prior to what would become prior to his most famous role.
  • 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 that is one of the few shows with Fred Silverman's name attached to it which isn't defamed as a spectacular dud.

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