Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks: TV Edition-Law Shows


Wandering Through The Shelves has such great themes and the tv editions are fun. This week is all about law shows and we know that, aside from doctor shows, law shows are the next popular theme for TV shows. I have so many to choose from but I am picking 2 that most people don’t know and 2 that are/were very popular. Here are my 3...er..I mean 4...

1. HAWKINS-1973-1974


Jimmy Stewart was the star of this low ratings but critically acclaimed show where he plays a lawyer who uses his down home style to solve a crime and defend his client..and yes, he usually won. I was so young when this came out but I remember it and fell in love with Jimmy Stewart because of this show. In fact, I think His style of being a humble lawyer was the precursor for my 3rd choice.

2. PETROCELLI-1974-1976


I watched this show with my mom when it came out and we both loved it because he was a lawyer for the underdog(insert laugh here because we know these lawyers don’t exist). He always tried to find out the real killer with his trusty aide and his wife while trying never having to pay for parking. It was interesting because the case was shown in flashback-first the way cops see it, second how his client recalled it and, lastly, how it may have really happened with the new evidence found at the last minute. He was a great lawyer but drove a beat up truck and he and his wife lived in a trailer waiting for their dream home to be built.

3. MATLOCK-1986-1995


This, as well as Murder She Wrote, seems to be the show all 75+ people watched. Andy Griffith plays a common sense type lawyer who only seems to own one suit and eats at the local hot dog corner. He has a trusty aide to investigate who actually killed the victim and another aide to do whatever she did:) it was formulaic but I enjoyed watching how he always got his man. If only lawyers and the justice system really worked this way.

Bonus...

Will it be L.A. Law, Law and Order or any of those spin offs, any of the newer shows? Nope, I went comedy with....

4. NIGHT COURT-1984-1992

I loved this show and watched it on that famous Thursday night line up of comedies. It all took place in a court house that worked the grave yard shift. The lead was played by Harry Anderson who was the judge with a Mel Torme obsession but everyone took a back seat to John Larroquette who played a prosecuting lawyer. John was so funny as the cad who was slimy but you still cheered for the guy. In fact, the actor won many Emmys for this career defining role. The other misfits was a female defense lawyer where she and the judge like each other but never talk about it, the clerk who helps out the judge and 2 policemen, one a tall, bald idiot and the other, a cynical woman who you don’t mess with. I always found this show funny.

Which Law shows would you choose?

84 comments:

  1. Never even heard of the first two indeed. Seen a few episodes of night court and many of Matlock. JAG and Suits both spring to mind.

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    1. Yup 1st 2 are not well known but I loved them. I didn't watch your 2

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  2. I grew up with Perry Mason, so that is the first one I would think of, but I loved L.A. Law when it was on. I have never seen any of the first three you mentioned. I have seen several episodes of Night Court, but those are the years when I was in grad school and working full-time, so not much time for TV, especially with three boys to raise.

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    1. Perry Mason is the king of law shows as far as I am concerned and, back in the 70s, my mom had her hands full too but she watched these 2 shows which is how i watched them

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  3. Hi, Birgit!

    "Down home style" is a great way to describe Jimmy Stewart's acting. I never even heard of the series Hawkins but it seems likely that Stewart's lawyer character was inspired by his role as a defense attorney in the 1959 film Anatomy Of A Murder.

    I worked at an NBC station in the 70s and we carried Petrocelli. I remember voicing promos for the show. I haven't reached age 75 yet but when I do I am sure I will get the urge to watch Matlock. :) Of all these lawyer series the one I watched most regularly was Night Court. Perky Markie Post was great and John Larroquette perfected the art of playing brilliant, arrogant, smug, smirking characters. Larroquette later showed up in several episodes of another great lawyer series The Practice.

    Thank you, dear friend BB!

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    1. Stewart's lawyer seemed to be based on his character from the movie and, I think, Matlock was taken from Hawkins. John Larroquette played a killer, didn't he, on the Practice

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    2. Yessum, as I recall, Larroquette played a brilliant, manipulative psychiatrist on The Practice. He killed two people in two separate but related story arcs, one of them his gay lover.

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  4. Back in the day, we never missed an episode of L.A. Law. For a recent pick, I have to go with Better Call Saul. Such a twisted but brilliant show.

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    1. LA Law was fun and I always wished I knew what the Venus Butterfly was. Haven't seen Better Call Saul

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    2. I do recall reading a tutorial about it years ago. Check it out on Google.

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  5. I'm familiar with some of these but I've never actually watched any of them. This was a rough week for me.

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    1. hahahaaa-I take it law shows are not for you:)

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  6. When I saw the subject line, I thought this would be one I could identify with. Sadly, the only one I have seen is Matlock. I would love to have seen Petrocelli, because it sounds wonderful.

    Had I been playing, I would have chosen LA Law, Matlock, and Hill Street Blues all of which I saw in reruns.

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    1. I forgot that Hill Street Blues had some lawyer stuff going on-good pick!

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  7. I have never heard of any of these.

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    1. Yeah...I picked ones people don't know...except for the last 2

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  8. I think there have been more cop shows than lawyer shows. Maybe you can research that, so I don't have to. :)

    I've heard of Matlock and Night Court, but not the first two.

    Law and Order
    L.A. Law
    The Practice (before it got too political)

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    1. I think you are right regarding cop shows being more plentiful. Your picks are good ones!

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  9. OHHHH I LOVED Hawkins!!! Haven't thought of it for years though. Jimmy Stewart didn't have much luck with his TV tries but they were all enjoyable shows. My whole family use to watch this one during its brief run.

    I liked Petrocelli too but not nearly as much. But again I watch it regularly.

    I like Andy Griffith but can't stand Matlock for some reason but I again loved Night Court (I wanted that enormous picture Harry had of Jean Harlow in his office so bad!). It's quirkiness was never too extreme which made it charming.

    Since the number of shows about lawyers is nearly limitless I did a small theme within the theme. We’re L.A. bound!

    Perry Mason (1957-1966)-Criminal attorney Perry Mason (Raymond Burr-in the role that took him from villain to hero) aided by his loyal, intuitive secretary Della Street (Barbara Hale) and investigator Paul Drake (William Hopper-son of famous gossip columnist Hedda) manages to save his client week after week with a last minute moment of revelation. Loaded with familiar faces including future stars like Robert Redford, Dick Clark, and in a guest shot when Burr was ill-Bette Davis. Based on the Erle Stanley Gardner series of novels.

    The Bold Ones: The Lawyers (1969-1972)-Venerated Los Angeles attorney Walter Nichols (Burl Ives) takes brother lawyers Brian & Neil Darrell (Joseph Campanella and James Farentino) into his firm and mentors them through their cases and lives. Part of an alternating series of dramas all under the umbrella title (The New Doctors, The Protectors, The Senator were the others) shown on rotating weeks. Again loaded with rising stars, Ellen Burstyn (just before The Exorcist), Martin Sheen, Richard Dreyfuss and Jack Klugman among others as guests.

    L.A. Law (1986-1994)-The trials and tribulations of the members of Los Angeles-based law firm McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak was a monster hit in its day. While it was highly glamourized rather than using the trials as a sort of mystery to be solved the series approach was more of one focusing on the nuts and bolts of the legal profession (torts, ethics, briefs etc.) at least in its initial seasons. It did however spend a great deal of time in the bedroom and actually created a huge buzz with a supposed sexual position called The Venus Butterfly that never failed to satisfy.

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    1. Glad you like my picks and poor Jimmy never did make it which is sad because I liked his shows. Love Perry Mason but I thought I already used this show before. The Bold Ones is excellent!! I haven't seen this in decades (i am not 102 but it has been since the 70s) but it brings to mind the Defenders with Robert Reed? I am not sure I have the name right. LA Law I started watching to see Susan Dey and I found it fun and wacky. I always wished I knew what the venus Butterfly was

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  10. One of my favourite genre...I love any series that has this as a theme...I think I started with Perry Mason and my obsession grew....but Law and order is my absolute favourite...getting lots of tv time in this week as it’s too cold to go far...oh and a bit of crafting ..looking forward to the weekend? Hugs xxxxx

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    1. My mom loved law Shows so she was hooked on Law & Order which I also really liked

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  11. I adored Night Court as a kid - I always watched screwball sitcoms with my parents in the 80s, like Taxi, WKRP (still my favourite show of all time), Three's Company. I haven't seen Night Court in 25 years though, I have no idea if it would hold up.

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    1. Great choice, C.D.! I love WKRP, too. I own every episode on DVD and just recently went through the whole series.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    2. WKRP is such a great comedy but doesn't apply to this week's theme but god, I love that show. I don't think Night Court would hold up as well

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  12. Those first two were a bit before my time. (5-year-olds don't watch lawyer shows ;) But I loved Night Court.

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  13. I remember Perry Mason from when I was very young, though having looked up its dates it must have been repeats - or it took a long time to cross the pond. The only modern(ish) ones I have watched are Ally McBeal and The Good Wife.

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    1. I loved Ally McBeal and all the weirdness but I never watched The Good Wife..but I might change that

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  14. I ain't got nuttin' to add, because I never watched any Law shows. But I did want to say hello and let you know I stopped by to see ya, BIRGIT.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    1. Not even commercials where "I am not a lawyer...but I play one on TV..." :) Glad you stopped by

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  15. The HH loves Perry Mason. He watches it ALL the time.

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    1. I would watch it too if it was on tv now

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  16. I remember all sorts of lawyer shows. Obscure ones like Judd, for the Defense, with Carl Betz (from The Donna Reed Show), Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law and yes, Petrocelli! Loved that last one. I also liked how he always made sure people knew his name was pronounced "Petro-CHELL-ee" and not "Petro-SELL-ee." Growing up in Massachusetts, where we had a Red Sox player named Rico Petrocelli who pronounced it the latter way, I thought that was a pretty cool distinction.

    I too loved Night Court, and was INCREDIBLY disappointed in the last episode of the series, for several reasons. I always pretend that one never existed.

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    1. I remember Owen Marshall! I haven't seen that show in so long that I don't remember an episode. I am glad you remember Petrochelli and forgot about him correcting people. I don't know why I forgot that part since I was always one to correct people on how to say my name and do this until this day. I don't remember the last episode of Night Court...I know I watched it but it must have been bad since I blotted it out of my mind.

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    2. The main things I recall -- and these were more than enough for me to hate the last episode -- are that Christine won some kind of election, and Dan very suddenly realized that he was and had always been madly in love with her, and he decided to drop everything and follow her! Bull was taken by two aliens to their home planet! Everything else from that episode was so normal by comparison, I can't remember it.

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    3. Oh God......yes! Horrible!! I did blot it out!

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  17. I heard Matlock was well beloved by old people

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    1. Yes it was but I like it too and I am not old and I will keep telling myself that

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  18. I never watched that many law shows. Maybe some episodes of Perry Mason but not many. I've enjoyed many movies in this genre but I'm just not coming up with any TV shows.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. You probably know many even if you haven’t watched them

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  19. Birgit,

    "Matlock" and "Night Court" are two good ones. As a kid, I liked "Ironside" and "Hawaii Five O". We watched, "Damages" with Glen Close a few years ago and that's was an excellent series. I hated to see it end. Hit the dance floor for "Movie and TV Show Theme Songs with Monday's Mewsic Moves Me, if you like!

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    1. Ironside was a fun show and I loved the original Hawaii Five O. I have not seen Damages but heard great things about it

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  20. True, I don't know the first two listed. You did a great job picking them. Matlock, of course, I"m familiar with but don't recall if I've seen more than a handful of episodes, if that. Perhaps I'll wait till i'm 75 and give it a try again. But Night Court? That is MY show. I loved that. And I totally agree with you, loved John Larroquette. I recently rewatched some older shows and was amazed to find out Brent Spiner was featured in an episode. That would be the actor who later went on to play Data on Star Trek TNG. Even John Larroquette went on to play a Klingon in the same film that Christopher Lloyd played a Klingon. Yes, a few redeeming factors for Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.
    But back to your target, I do love court dramas, and cop shows. Probably why I loved Law&Order so much, at least the many I did see.

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    1. I remember Brent Spiner vaguely...Did he do a southern accent or something like that and he was with his wife??? I just watched Introducing Dorothy Dandridge with Halle Berry and Brent Spiner is in most of that movie where he plays her agent. I don't remember JohnL. being a Klingon but how cool is that. I would love to be an extra Klingon in the Star Trek shows but not the ones featured on STD ..I laugh at that short form

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  21. Hi Birgit = I don't know any of those ... but I'm sure I would have done if I was over here - cheers Hilary

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    1. Most people know Matlock but I wonder which shows you would have chosen

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  22. We don't watch much network TV these days. The last American show we watch regularly was Northern Exposure.
    We watch the BritComs on Saturday night but these are reruns from older shows.
    We now watch movies for the most part.
    But, we did watch Night Court and Barney Miller when they were on.
    R

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    1. Love Northern Exposure! Yes, there are so many reality shows and other crap that we watch a lot of movies or documentaries

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  23. There are a lot of interesting movies I've obviously not checked yet.

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  24. We're big Perry Mason fans here. Until MeTV stopped being on the air in Atlanta, we'd stay up late and watch it every night. Didn't matter how many times we'd seen the episode. We used to watch for actors we knew; in its day, it was like "Murder She Wrote" for giving starting and over-the-hill actors work.

    There was a show that was on for one season called "Kaz" with Ron Liebman as a former convict who got his law degree while in prison. And there were a couple in the Sixties that were good: "Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law" with Arthur Hill and "Judd For The Defense" with Carl Betz. I think I liked the latter because it had Carl Betz, who played Dr. Alex Stone on "The Donna Reed Show."

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    1. I remember Kaz! I liked that show but it wasn't on for long was it? Owen Marshall was excellent but I never saw Judd

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  25. I remember watching Night Court! I haven't seen the other shows though. :)
    ~Jess

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  26. I'm a huge fan of Night Court and picked for another TV edition. I watched Matlock every now and again. I got a kick out of it when I did. That just never translated into me becoming a devoted fan. Never heard of your first two picks.

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    1. Night Court is fun. Matlock is always nice to watch just like Murder She Wrote

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  27. I'm the same, never saw any of these but hi, just the same. Wish you had an email link Birgit.

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    1. I really don't know how to create my e-mail link..I have to look into it again

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  28. Never heard of the first two. Thanks for sharing.

    Not sure I ever watched Matlock. As you point out, I wasn’t exactly in the target demographic.

    Loved Night Court.

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  29. Gosh, I don't think I ever saw this Stewart show, and I'm a big JS fan. Loved watching the others though. Night Court was quite funny, and always loved Andy in most everything he did. I know we watched Petrocelli, but not remembering a lot about it. Enjoyed seeing this tv post! (watched some Gleason Honeymooners from 1951 on Amazon last night...thought I'd seen every Honeymooners filmed, but this was pre-Audrey Meadows and was a skit Gleason did for Dumont TV...had to search to find any info as to who Alice was acted by. Also Elaine Stritch was the original Trixie, which was news to me as well!) TFS

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    1. I think you would love Hawkins and maybe, one day, you will see an episode or 2. I had no idea Elaine Stritch was originally Trixie.

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  30. Gosh that Thursday night lineup on NBC was something, wasn't it? We watched all night! I haven't heard of the first two shows.
    I always love your tv editions!

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    1. Thursday nights were fun. I’m glad you enjoy reading about them

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  31. Of the four, I may have seen whole episodes of Matlock and Night Court. Or seen commercials for the shows. I can't remember. Don't aim that light in my face, blow smoke in my face and shake me down.
    I may have seen whole episodes of Matlock and Night Court.Like four people see a car crash and everybody sees the car as a different color.
    Fact: When LA Law hit the airwaves, a lot more students applied for law school. That's a fact.
    I think I saw Night Court for whole episodes. It was over 30 years ago and nobody can prove it.

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    1. At least you saw a few episodes and yes, I knew that about LA Law but I think some famous law shows made people want to become lawyers

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  32. Not much of a tv fan, and don't lean toward law shows when I do watch. I can remember Matlock being on in our household though, so I caught a few of those and some Night Court episodes. Fun to think about!

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    1. I’m so glad you actually have seen some episodes:)

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  33. Nightcourt is a classic isn't it? I thought it was hilarious. And you're right John Larroquette made that show.
    Hope your week is wondrous.

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    1. The show wouldn’t have been the same with out J.L. My weekend was a sleepy one

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  34. I remember Matlock getting into fights with judges and prosecutors because producers realised we can get the viewers in on this because this is fun! Yeah Matlock got thrown out of court and into jail, him being a lawyer, so unheard of too but fun to see.

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    1. He was such a rebel in a crumbly white suit

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  35. I don't know the first two at all, have heard of but never seen the third, and of course loved the fourth as a kid for some odd reason - it does not really strike me as kid-friendly and I've never seen it again as an adult. And yet those characters are still all so familiar!

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    1. Night Court was ok for kids I think despite the antics of John Larroquette’s character. Thanks for stopping by

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    2. There was an episode of 30 Rock where they got (most) of the cast back together so they could give Night Court a proper send off...it was cancelled and ended abruptly. In the episode, Christine and Harry are meant to finally get their wedding.

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  36. I haven’t watched any of these, but I’ve heard of Matlock.

    Pat mentioned Jag...that’s a good show. I used to watch it with my dad.

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    1. I never watched Jag but heard it was good. My mom liked the show

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  37. I'd forgotten about Night Court. That was a good, clean show. Thanks for bringing it back.
    Take care, Birgit.

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  38. Night Court could be fun. I also liked Law & Order a lot. That was probably my favourite. Loved so many of those actors.

    I watched Matlock a few times. Those solutions he arrived at were pretty farfetched.

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  39. I'm not familiar with Hawkins at all, but I love Jimmy Stewart and I agree it does sound like Matlock.

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  40. I vaguely remember a Matlock, though I doubt I've seen it. The other three, I've not heard of.

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