This guest post from Lewis Beck
There are some shows that just don't get stale with age. For me, one of those is "Matlock," the series in which Andy Griffith stars as a congenial lawyer who has a knack for ferreting out the truth about perplexing cases. When I tune into my satellite TV, I keep an eye out for this southern gentleman, who often turns up in syndication, even though I got it from http://www.direct.tv/direct-tv-sports-packages.html for the sports.
Benjamin Matlock specializes in defending suspects who have the deck heavily stacked against them. He has the help of several trusty allies - including a character played by Don Knotts, his former partner on "New York Law School" - but does most of the investigative work by himself. Some of his cases take him into very unusual territory.
In one of my favorite episodes, he defends a distraught widow named Erin who is accused of murdering her husband. The evidence strongly points to her, but Matlock uncovers a startling secret that makes the case much more complicated. In the end, we learn that she has a split personality, and it was her abrasive alternate personality who did the deed. Hence, she is released to the care of mental health professionals.
Not all episodes are this unusual, but Ben's charming personality and cleverness make him a joy to watch in each situation. If only all lawyers could be as lovable as Matlock is!