Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Matlock or Mayberry?

Like everybody, I knew of Andy Griffith from the Andy Griffith Show. I enjoyed that show. But for me, the enduring Griffith is the one from my afternoons – the man in the seersucker suit and not the one in the sheriff’s uniform.
To put it another way, I’ll take the Fulton County Courthouse over Mayberry.

Lawyer or Sheriff?
For as long as I can remember, national cable network WGN has broadcast reruns of Griffith’s “Matlock” in the afternoons. Whenever I was at home during the day, for whatever reason, I usually watched it. Afternoon television could be pretty meager without Ben Matlock, particularly in cable’s early days.

Ben Matlock was there for me when I was at home sick, with a sick kid, freelancing, job searching or working from home. I could always squeeze in Matlock between Benadryl, naps, interviews, phone calls, errands or assignments. When I couldn’t watch closely, Matlock still provided the background noise.

I often joke that I realized it was time to kick up my job search after I’d been through the whole Matlock series once and started through it again. That’s a lot of people wrongly accused, hot dogs eaten and $100,000 fees collected.

During that time, I even started to take note of guest stars that I previously missed, such as Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame.

Although the series ended in 1995, Matlock holds up pretty well. In fact, when I recently dressed for the Kentucky Oaks, I patterned myself after good old Ben. Matlock’s longevity is quite a tribute to a guy who could’ve been forever typecast as Sheriff Taylor. In Griffith’s honor, WGN should run a Matlock marathon. I might not tune in though. I’ve been through the entire series already … one afternoon at a time.

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