Having previously done 13 of my favorite Literary Detectives, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time for televisionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s. As youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll notice, most of these shows were from the 80Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s. It was hard to pull from other decades, as these were the years I was growing up; and I have a special fondness for most of those shows. So, here are my favorite 13 TV Detectives:
1. Remington Steele Ã¢â‚¬â€œ HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s suave, British, and quotes old movies. Of course, he has to be number one. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m also including Laura Holt here; as sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the real detective. “The woman behind the man.” Laura just lets Steele Ã¢â‚¬Å“take all the bows.Ã¢â‚¬Â She was the role model for young women back then. And Steele was just nice to look at.
Favorite Quotes: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Somebody always shoots at us when weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re kissing!Ã¢â‚¬Â
And “Paramount, 1956, starring…”
2. MacGyver Ã¢â‚¬â€œ He can make a bomb out of duct tape and a paperclip. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s easily the coolest man alive, even with a mullet.
Favorite Quotes: “If I had some duct tape, I could fix that.”
And “You can do anything, if you just set your mind to it.”
3. Rick and A.J. Simon (from Simon & Simon) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Their brothers, but their complete opposites. While fighting over ladies and seemingly always on the brink of bankruptcy, they still manage to solve crimes. … Did I mention my huge crush on A.J.?
Favorite Quote: [A.J. flashes Ann McDaniels a badge to get inside the house.]
Rick Simon: Where did you get that?
A.J. Simon: Dime store.
4. Shawn and Gus (from Psych) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Shawn is a fake psychic with a photographic memory. Gus is his best friend and a pharmaceutical salesman. They team up to solve crimes and help out the police, and hilarity ensues.
Favorite Quote: [Gus] Ã¢â‚¬Å“You named your fake detective agency Psych? Why didn’t you just call it ‘hey we’re fooling you and the police department; hope we don’t make a mistake and somebody dies because of it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
[Shawn] Ã¢â‚¬Å“First of all, Gus, that name is entirely too long; it would never fit on the window. And secondly the best way you convince people you’re not lying to them is to tell them you are!Ã¢â‚¬Â
5. Magnum P.I. Ã¢â‚¬â€œ HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not afraid to laugh at himself. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a manÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s man, Vietnam vet, drives a Ferrari, and lives in a millionaire authorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mansion in Hawaii. And he even looks good in a mustache.
Favorite Quotes: (ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a toss-up among his different voiceovers) [narrates] Ã¢â‚¬Å“I know what you’re thinking…Ã¢â‚¬Â
[narrates] Ã¢â‚¬Å“A little voice inside my head was telling me…Ã¢â‚¬Â
[narrates] Ã¢â‚¬Å“When I write my book on how to be a world class private investigator, I’m going to include a chapter on…Ã¢â‚¬Â
[narrates Ã¢â‚¬Å“I know what you’re thinking…but this time you’re wrong…Ã¢â‚¬Â
6. Monk Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Obsessive. Compulsive. Detective. He has every phobia known to man, and then some. But he is still the greatest detective in San Fransisco. He feels compelled to solve every crime since his wife’s tragic death, hoping to someday find her killer.
Favorite Quote: Ã¢â‚¬Å“YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll thank me later.Ã¢â‚¬Â
7. David Addison and Maddie Hayes (from Moonlighting) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ SheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a former model and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a goof-off, so most of the cases they solve are actually out of pure luck. They have the strangest love-hate relationship, but their chemistry lasted 5 seasons.
Favorite Quote:Maddie Hayes: Well, let me remind you Mr. Addison, that one case does not a detective make.
David Addison: Well, let me remind you Ms. Hayes, that I HATE IT WHEN YOU TALK BACKWARDS.
8. Jessica Fletcher (from Murder, She Wrote) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ SheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a sweet, grandmotherly, a famous mystery writer, and loves to stick her nose into ongoing murder investigations. And murders follow her wherever she goes. Who would I least like to go to a dinner party with? Jessica Fletcher. Come on. Someone is going to die.
Favorite Quote: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think I know who the killer is, but I need some help to prove it. I just hope we aren’t too late.Ã¢â‚¬Â
9. Columbo Ã¢â‚¬â€œ An actual police detective and always chomping on a cigar. I love it when he questions the suspects.
Favorite Quote: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Oh, and one more thingÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â
10. Perry Mason Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I can hear the theme music right now. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s defense attorney, who clears his clients by finding the actual criminal. Based on the classic novels by Erle Stanley Gardner, Raymond Burr was the actor to bring the character to life. According to wikipedia, Perry Mason was the first detective show to use a chalk or tape outline to mark the spot of a murder victim.
Favorite Quote: “I object, Your Honor.”
11. Matlock Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Much like Perry Mason, he clears his clients by tracking down the actual criminals. But while Perry usually got his clients cleared during the pretrial hearing, Matlock does his thing during a trial, in front of a jury. In other words, not a real difference. I should probably add Conrad too, since he was MatlockÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s investigator. And I had a major crush on him too.
Favorite Quote: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Every year I look for the nastiest, hatefulest, meanest man to represent; and this year you’re it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
12. Dr. Mark Sloan (from Diagnosis Murder) Ã¢â‚¬â€œThe talented Dick Van Dyke shines in anything he does. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a physician who canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t turn away from a good mystery.
Favorite Quote: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chim Chiminee, Chim Chiminee, Chim Chim CherooÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â Oh. Wrong show.
13. Michael Knight (from Knight Rider) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the powerless, the helpless in a world of criminals who operate above the law.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ Big hair, and an even bigger ego. To bad his car is cooler than he is.
Favorite Quote: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Gimme all ya got Kit!”
Special Mention: Harry Dresden, from The Dresden Files. It just hasn’t been on long enough to make it on the lists.