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|Index||23 reviews in total|
SIMON & SIMON was never a show that 'blew it's own horn' too loudly;
tucked in neatly behind megahit MAGNUM, P.I., the (usually) easy-going
adventures of private eye brothers Rick and A.J. Simon (Gerald McRaney
and Jameson Parker), with it's Joe Walsh-inspired slide guitar theme,
loopy humor, and occasionally off-the-wall resolutions was often as
light-hearted as a day at the beach, and was largely ignored by critics
during much of it's run...until it began appearing as a 'Top 20'-rated
show, even without the benefit of Tom Selleck and his Corvette. True,
by the series' end, after seven seasons, it had lost nearly all the
charm and humor that had endeared it to the public for so long, but in
it's prime, SIMON & SIMON was a blast!
Originally conceived as a Jimmy Buffet-influenced detective show set in the Florida Keys (the series' pilot would be integrated in several later episodes, and the original theme song would pop up, occasionally), the show ultimately called San Diego home, with it's easy accessibility to Tijuana. Rick Simon (McRaney), mutton-chopped, mustached, biker/Vietnam vet, was a usually in debt, often in trouble 'free spirit', his broken-down boat parked next to his younger brother's home, who believed in conspiracy theories and never saw a case (or a 'sure-thing' bet) he could pass up. Younger brother Andrew Jackson Simon, (A.J.), portrayed by Jameson Parker, was a buttoned-down, conservative college graduate with Robert Redford blond hair, a budding stock portfolio, and a girlfriend (Jeannie Wilson) who was the daughter of the head of the biggest detective agency in town (Myron Fowler). Less trusting than his older brother, A.J. preferred clients that paid 'up front', and didn't use police 'rap' sheets as a form of I.D.! (A piece of trivia: McRaney and Jameson, in real life, were the same age). Keeping the brothers from killing one another was their beautiful, long-patient mother, Cecilia (Mary Carver), who would often find 'victims' needing their assistance.
As the series progressed, A.J. lost his girlfriend and her father's agency, the brothers would move into more 'upscale' offices, and a new 'contact' would be acquired, the irrepressible Police Lt. M.P. 'Downtown' Brown (Tim Reid), who seemed to spend half his life getting the brothers out of scrapes with the law. The Reid seasons offer the very best episodes of the series, with the most outrageous, entertaining plots and humor.
After Reid left the series, in 1987, "Simon & Simon" dropped the humor, choosing to become a dramatic, 'message'-oriented program (with one episode devoted to the rape of their mother), and the show quickly lost their audience base. When it was canceled, in 1988, "Simon & Simon" disappeared as quietly as it had first appeared.
While the loyalty of it's fans would produce two TV-movie reunions, in 1994 and 1995, the series was truly a product of the eighties, a simpler time that best suited two unconventional guys, and their VERY unconventional cases!
I really enjoyed this show, and watched it religiously when me and my
lived in L.A. in the eighties.
I think it was one of the last P.I. shows on the air when it was cancelled, as by that time the sitcom was taking over and action/adventure shows like this had fallen out of favour.
It had the same kind of sense of humour as Rockford and Magnum, and was just as entertaining as either one. (No real surprise as the series creator Philip DeGuere had worked with Roy Huggins, Stephen J. Cannell and Donald P. Bellisario, who gave us those other two classics.)
Stand out episodes include: "Ashes to Ashes, and None Too Soon", "Thin Air", "Pirate's Key", "The List", "Grand Illusion", "The Dillinger Print", "C'est Simon", "Who Killed the Sixties?" "Simon Without Simon" Parts 1 and 2, and of course, "May the Road Rise Up"
There are more but not enough room or time to mention them all.
This series took a staple element of the detective genre - mismatched partners, and added the twist that they were brothers. Instead of setting it in a classic location for a detective series (NY, LA, Chicago), they took the 90 minute drive down the coast to the beautiful city of San Diego. What they found was a gold mine. Instead of the tired cliche locations, they banked on the little seen but widely known attractions of San Diego (the Zoo, Sea World, the Beaches, and the close proximity to Baja California). The pilot was set in Florida, but the series was wisely moved to the West Coast; Rick Simon, the older of the brothers, was a former marine that was the braun, while buttoned down preppy AJ (the embodiment of preppies in the 80's) was the cultured, refined brother. With Tim Reid as a supporting character (Downtown Brown) and Mary Carver as their mother Cecilia, this series produced many memorable episodes that not only entertained, but taught about the viewer history (WW2, John Dillinger, etc.). Catch it in syndication if you can.
You know, I was too young in the 1980's to really appreciate the show...in fact, I don't recall having seen an episode during it's original run. I've just started watching the reruns at 4 AM (PST) on A&E and I'm amazed at just how fun a show it was. A lot the shows like this from the same era seem a bit dated today (Miami Vice, anybody?), but this remains fresh without showing it's age. Parker and McRaney are perfect as the brothers and hit the right combination of comedy and drama, just like a good show should. This is a new favorite for me.
I loved this series when it was on in the 80's, and was worried when A&E
started showing it again (M-F, 12pm ET) that I'd be disillusioned by the
actual quality of the show, as opposed to what I remembered it to be (as I
have been for other series I've seen after 15 years).
I wasn't. The chemistry between Jameson Parker (A.J.) and Gerald McRaney (Rick) is still wonderful, the relationship they have developed is very believable, the dialogue is still great. Would that I enjoyed some series from the 90's as much as I love this classic from the 80's!!
I started watching Simon & Simon when it aired in 1981 and from the
very beginning I enjoyed the show, especially the shows setting in
beautiful San Diego, CA.
I was a 14 yr. old kid when it aired in 1981 growing up in a crime ridden area of New York City (The South Bronx).
I could only dream of escaping to that beautiful sun soaked paradise I envisioned through the wonders of television as I watched episode after episode.
In 1989 a year after Simon & Simon was cancelled I happily moved to beautiful San Diego, CA and could now experience what life in such a wonderful town would be like first hand.
I lived in San Diego from 1989-1993 and could honestly say that those were the most memorable moments in my life, and I owe it all to the Simon & Simon T.V show for giving a teenage kid from The Bronx hope beyond the ghetto.
This show had a great combination. The odd brother, and the perfect brother working together, along with a strong suporting cast. Milo the dog, the power wagon truck, and over the top fun action, mixed with some story. Best of all was the humor, I love the time they where getting drunk locked in the whinery and asked if the govenor was gona give them a pardon. Family entertainment, with something for everyone.
This show is one of my all time favorites!!!! I love the comradery between A.J. and Rick, even though they are brothers. When times get tough they are there for each other. It is too bad that we do not have many shows on today like that.
The theme song to "Simon & Simon" changed after the first season. The song in the first season had a sound I can only describe as "An American in Tijuana." The replacement theme song had a snappier rhythm, more like "Zany Times in San Diego-- Er, Los Angeles." The theme music was played at the beginning and end of each episode. At the end of the final episode for the first season, some guy actually sang lyrics, which he probably had written, to the music. I don't remember the lyrics, but there was something along the lines of "'cuz they're brothers." First and only time I've ever seen that happen on a TV show. The original theme song didn't entirely vanish. It continued to be used as a lead-in between the end of the new song and the "brought to you by..." commercial intro.
Didn't watch this series that often when it ran in the '80s, but did catch
few episodes then and saw nearly all when A&E replayed it. It is one of
best action, detective series ever. Some shows are better than some
The relationship and interaction between the brothers seemed real and genuine. The acting and directing was top notch and the locations are special as one can get a taste for that time period in San Diego or Florida (my favorite episode when they went back to where they started, it was a two-parter) or where ever the guys were.
The acting was the best as this series easily tops Magnum for quality and enjoyment... well except for guys, seeing the sights in Hawaii ; ) and a Ferrari Testarossa and for women, Tom Selleck.
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