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Matlock's penultimate season lands on DVD, and we'd be lying if we said it wasn't retro-TV fun...
Paramount / 1037 Minutes / 1993-1994 / Unrated / Street Date: February 12, 2013
For those not familiar with the late-career work of recently departed entertainment icon Andy Griffith, he starred as one of television’s most memorable attorneys in Matlock, which has its eighth season hit DVD this month. This 22-episode collection does justice to great drama. In the courtroom, no one matches the skills, charm and instincts of Ben Matlock.
Yes, I know - it's all quite exciting: a new season of Matlock on DVD - what a dream! But seriously - don't dismiss this set quite so fast. If the thought of sitting through Matlock: The Eighth Season sends uncomfortable shivers up your spine, go ahead and send your Matlock-loving grandma over to the DVDFile office - as was the case with other Matlock seasons on standard-def we've had it on for a few days now and remain surprisingly enraptured.
The key to this by-the-books crime drama is Griffith himself. If the only image that pops into your mind when you read the actor's name involves Don Knotts, Opie and some fishin' poles, you very well may have forgotten A Face in the Crowd, in which Griffith turns in a masterful performance as a man spinning quickly (and dynamically) out of control. Sure, Andy Griffith is a lynchpin of American television in the 20th century, but he was no simple Hollywood Squares boob tube presence - he was the real deal.
So, yes - I understand that young folks with any sense of hipness will likely avoid this Matlock: The Eighth Season box set like the plague, but one can't deny its power as carrot-dangling, effortlessly engaging mystery television. It may not be all that 'cool' twenty years on, but I'm serious: tell your grandma she can come watch it with us.