Growing up in Alaska on a mountain that was unable to receive cable tv meant that I became well acquainted with network daytime programming on sick days home from school. My preferred programming block was on our local Fox station. Twenty-five years later and I still have it memorized by heart:
12 - 1: Perry Mason (borrrrring.)
1 - 2: In the Heat of the Night (Now we’re talking!)
2 - 3: Magnum PI (Something to suffer through, because friends, the golden hour is almost upon us.)
3 - 4: Matlock (YES! Officially cooking with gas!)
Matlock. I love Matlock. There is nothing ironic about the sheer enjoyment I got from every single episode. None of my friends at the time (you know, fellow 8-year olds) loved, or even watched, Matlock like I did, so my conversations on the man in the linen suit were relegated to my parents and siblings (who didn’t get it) and the one person who at least pretended to watch the show, my Grandma.
Friends, Matlock, like all good TV shows, followed a specific script it stuck to, which could be boiled down in three parts.
1) There has to be a murder
2) Matlock must call someone, anyone, a jackass in the episode
3) Matlock must eat a hotdog
If you were lucky, Matlock would call someone a jackass while eating a hotdog. Those episodes were always good episodes.
For those of your who never had the pleasure of watching an episode, Matlock was a crime procedural show about a defense attorney (Ben Matlock) who seemingly had an endless supply of clients who were wrongly charged with murder. Day in and day out, Ben and his plucky crew of investigators and legal assistants would tirelessly investigate the murder until it was proven that their client was innocent and that some other jackass had killed the victim.
I can only remember one case where Matlock’s client was guilty, and I’m pretty sure Matlock was the one to discover that fact and made sure he went to jail. Then he probably ate a hotdog afterwards. It is the Matlock way.
Matlock’s investigative team was great because there was a guy named Conrad who was a rodeo rider AND a private investigator. How, after reading that character description, would you not want to watch him in action? Would it sweeten the pot for you if I pointed out the actor who played him was also a bad guy in Die Hard? I thought so. Additionally, a few seasons had Daniel Roebuck as Matlock’s investigator, and while you may not recognize his name, you will most definitely recognize his face, as Roebuck is a prolific character actor who was #blessed enough to appear on an episode of Ghost Whisperer and also Lost, but he should be more known for Ghost Whisperer.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all fun and games in the Matlock world, because Matlock had a huge problem with nepotism, where he frequently employed two of his daughters (in separate non-consecutive seasons) as a sidekick, too. Matlock had a lot of sidekicks. Anyway, those seasons weren’t as great as the seasons where he had Michelle as his sidekick, because Michelle earned her spot next to Matlock the preferred way: hard work and murderin’ solvin’.
So what’s the point of all this, you might be asking yourself. I’m sure you, like me, keep Matlock in your heart and on your TV always. Once a Matlock fan, always a Matlock fan, as the saying (from Matlock fans) goes. We don’t need this trip down memory lane because we’re still frequently involved in the Matlock community.
Friends, the point of all this is, it’s time for a reboot of Matlock. I don’t care how or why it happens, but people need Matlock back on their screens again to fill the Matlock-shaped hole that it left in their hearts that they didn’t know they had.
Based on the success of the gritty reboots for Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Riverdale, Matlock is perfect for the CW crowd.
Picture this, a young hot shot lawyer named Matlock (obviously) sets up shop in a random city that happens to have the highest murder rate in America. The police force is corrupt and citizens are frequently arrested for murders they didn’t commit. Matlock is their only shot at freedom, and working together with his plucky ragtag team of investigators and legal aids (one of whom is also a rodeo rider, because you can’t give up that amazing detail) they frequently figure out who really dunnit, and innocent citizens are once again free. Additionally, this lawyer loves hotdogs and calling people jackasses, because he learned how to law from his grandpa, Ben Matlock, and hotdogs and calling people jackasses is the Matlock way for all Matlocks.
Tell me that show doesn’t sound good?
Also, we wouldn’t even need to recommission the theme song, because this guy on YouTube already did a Matlock remix. It’s perfect!
The only thing that’s left to be decided on is: who would play this Matlock?
The answer is so obvious, but I guess I have to spell it out for you: R-y-a-n G-o-s-l-i-n-g.
This is a no-brainer, and CW executives, I’ll be waiting for your call.
Header Image Source: CBS Television