Matlock - America's Greatest Lawyer - Case Closed: A Transatlantic Perspective

LAWYERS IN YOUR LIVING ROOM! LAW ON TELEVISION, ABA Press, 2009

13 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2009

See all articles by Steve Greenfield

Steve Greenfield

University of Westminster - School of Law

Guy Osborn

University of Westminster - School of Law

Peter Robson

University of Strathclyde - School of Law

Date Written: January 30, 2009

Abstract

Matlock for people in Britain is an almost entirely unknown series, and the eponymous hero is remembered very vaguely as a slimmer, rather more handsome successor to private eye Frank Cannon. We are interested in writing about Matlock from a British perspective because he seems to us to exemplify American cultural hegemony, curiously, at both its strongest and weakest. We are aware that Matlock contains many cultural references that will pass over the heads of the British audience, but that will have been appreciated by an American audience. We hope that our restricted understanding of the nuances in this portrayal of the Southern American lawyer will not limit our remarks too much. Indeed, L.A. Law has been on British TV screens for the past 20 years almost continuously and the characters and situations have been appreciated and understood on this side of the Atlantic. Despite our suggestion that Ben Matlock is, for British audiences, largely forgotten or misremembered, we in Britain may be about to take him to our hearts at the end of the first decade of the 21st century in a way undreamt of when he first came to the small screen. Perhaps he even has the potential to overtake L.A. Law in the public imagination. To explain why this might happen, a little bit of the context on screen lawyers needs to be provided.

Suggested Citation

Greenfield, Steve and Osborn, Guy and Robson, Peter, Matlock - America's Greatest Lawyer - Case Closed: A Transatlantic Perspective (January 30, 2009). LAWYERS IN YOUR LIVING ROOM! LAW ON TELEVISION, ABA Press, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1335135

Steve Greenfield

University of Westminster - School of Law ( email )

309 Regent Street
London, W1R 8AL
United Kingdom

Guy Osborn

University of Westminster - School of Law ( email )

4 Little Titchfield Street
London, England W1W 7UW
United Kingdom

Peter Robson (Contact Author)

University of Strathclyde - School of Law ( email )

Lord Hope Building
John Anderson Campus 141 St. James' Rd
Glasgow G4 0LT, Scotland G4 0LT
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
60
Abstract Views
881
Rank
669,715
PlumX Metrics