Parents' Guide to


By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Griffith's down-home charm has adult appeal.

Matlock Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 12+

An old fashioned scrime show.

This is a great court drama about a defense lawyer named Ben Matlock. He may be a little grumpy and charges 100 Grand for a case, but he is worth every penny. The language is extremely tame compared to the crime shows of today. The only words that are used regularly are "h-ll and d-mn." The violence is a little bloody, but it's never gratutious. My only real concern is the sexual content of some episodes. One episode takes place in a strip club. In another episode a man is passionately kissing a woman and and later are shown in bed together. And so on. The innocent are exonarated and the guilty are punished. Although this is a tame crime show, most kids won't be interested in this show. So simply put, almost anyone that would want to see it, can see it. Just be warned of the occasional sexual content.

This title has:

Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models
age 8+


It's a good show, pretty tame. Kids might get bored with it, though. My daughter used to watch it when she was a toddler.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Matlock's easygoing demeanor, unassuming personality, definitive fashion statement (he wears the same gray suit nearly every second of the day), and general down-home attitude will appeal to adult viewers who prefer legal dramas without the edginess -- or strong violence and language -- of many of today's grittier crime shows. That said, teens may find those same qualities a bit corny for their liking.

Throughout its nine-year run (the show originally aired from 1986-1995), Matlock's cast endured plenty of changes, but none upset the series' balance of plot and character drama. When the series started, Matlock's daughter Charlene (played by Lori Lethin in the pilot and Linda Purl thereafter) worked alongside him; later, associate Michelle Thomas (Nancy Stafford) took Charlene's spot, and, after the sixth season, Matlock's other lawyer daughter, Leanne MacIntyre (Brynn Thayer) came on board. Tyler Hudson (Kene Holliday) and Conrad McMasters (Clarence Gilyard, Jr.) handled investigative duties, with Cliff Lewis (Daniel Roebuck) and Jerri Stone (Carol Huston) sleuthing it out in the final seasons. Matlock also welcomed guest stars like Randy Travis, Dick Van Dyke, and Bryan Cranston over the years. Griffith and Don Knotts also struck up another TV friendship loosely reminiscent of the one they had on The Andy Griffith Show, with Knotts playing Matlock's neighbor Ace Calhoun, a wannabe know-it-all whose attempts at lending a hand often lead to silly mishaps and accidents. Fans of The Andy Griffith Show will enjoy the multiple references to that series.

TV Details

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