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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Matlock: The Seventh Season'
(Andy Griffith, Brynn Thayer, Clarence Gilyard, Jr., Kene Holliday, et al / DVD / NR / 2012 / Paramount)

Overview: It takes a legend to play one! Andy Griffith brings his special brand of charm to the role of Ben Matlock, prominent defense attorney in 'Matlock: The Seventh Season.'

DVD Verdict: 'Matlock,' an American TV legal drama starring Andy Griffith in the title role of attorney Ben Matlock first began back in 1986; coming to an end in 1992. Beloved by many, this seventh season comes complete with 18 episodes, most of which are two-parters. And, with just two seasons left in the show's run, you can see Griffith starting to slow his roll in the role of Matlock.

The first real change that is noticed here in season seven is that the Matlock commercial screen changed. The early episodes had a scene of Ben Matlock in front of a brown screen; in approximately 1987 this was changed to gray. In 1992, this season, it was changed once again to the same gray, but with a blue square around the 'M' in "Matlock." Later in the 1993–94 season the commercial screen was removed!

Alongside the lovely LeeAnne McIntyre (Brynn Thayer), whose role as his daughter and new partner constitutes solid and warranted performances each episode. This seventh season also features the very first appearance of Cliff Lewis, portrayed by actor Daniel Roebuck. In truth he had appeared in previous episodes as other characters - funnily enough as had Thayer - but this latter role was the one he'll be more known for.

Of course, Matlock's trusted colleague Conrad McMasters (Clarence Gilyard, Jr.) is back along for the ride. Andy Griffith as Ben Matlock, a super sleuth, brilliant lawyer and hot dog lover is just perfect also in this role, but with special guest stars - such as country singer Randy Travis - along for the ride, it was these such slots that also made the show what it was. Indeed, one of my favorite episodes in this seventh season was 'The Mark,' in which Travis reprised the role of Wheeler, an aspiring country singer who wins the lottery and shortly thereafter finds himself framed for the murder of his cheating business partner.

And so, come the final episode of the set, 'The Competition' (in which Matlock refuses to believe that a young piano player committed suicide; nor does the father of the girl who hires Matlock to find out what really happened!), Matlock always knows how to captivate a jury ... and us along with him. These are both Full Screen Presentations (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.