When Eleanor had a week or two off between the regular school year and summer school we watched a couple of episodes of Matlock while we ate lunch. We are not fans of the show but in comparison to the rest of the daytime lineup it seemed like a good choice.
At the beginning of one episode, we looked at eachother and laughed. The title of the episode was "The Suspect."
Man, do they even try to make these interesting? We threw out some guesses that the show's writers were all locked in a room talking:
"Come on you guys. We are one title away from heading home to our families for a long holiday weekend. Let's hit it and get out of here."
"Um... how about 'The Suspect'?"
"The Suspect? That's brilliant."
Only to be followed up with titles like The Victim, The Jury and The Legal Process. They showed up for one idea and ended up naming every episode for the following season. I imagine the same scenario, with serious consideration being given to a title like "What the stenographer heard", when someone finally said, "Maybe it's time to end the whole series?" and everyone just breathed a sigh of relief and thanked him.
The incredible tactic they seem to use in every episode is Matlock figuring out who the real perp is and then nailing him with a line like "I've got your shoe shine boy ready to testify that he saw you the day of the murder fleeing into the woods behind the crime scene" and then the guy spills out a complete confession; often when culprit is not even the one on trial.
I like Don Knotts but it really gives the show a "Mayberry is all grown up" vibe when you see the stars reunited. The only thing missing is a cameo by Opie.
I guess it's good as far as daytime tv goes.