Simon & Simon (TV Series 1981–1989) Poster

(1981–1989)

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Laid-Back, Often Funny Adventures of P.I. Brothers...
Ben Burgraff (cariart)27 March 2004
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!
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Action, Adventure and Humour -- 80's style
greg-mcphee11 November 2003
I really enjoyed this show, and watched it religiously when me and my family 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.
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Great series, wish it lasted longer
edkipp10 September 2001
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.
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One of the best series, ever!
Tirya15 June 1999
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!!
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Great Show...I Still Watch It On SLUTH.
mixedmerchandise3 March 2006
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.
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What a fantastic show!
darqueguy1 November 2001
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.
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One of my other all time favorite shows
mm-3930 May 2003
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.
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I love this show
Risa-513 July 1999
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.
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Fun and interesting
Calios6 December 2000
Didn't watch this series that often when it ran in the '80s, but did catch a few episodes then and saw nearly all when A&E replayed it. It is one of the best action, detective series ever. Some shows are better than some Rockford Files episodes.

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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10/10
Two brothers, one a Preppy type and the other a Nam Vet, run a detective Agency in San Diego, CA.
greenmountainsme16 November 2006
Rick and AJ Simon are brothers. They're as different as night and day. AJ is college educated and somewhat of a preppy type. Rick is laid back, somewhat scruffy and has been described as disreputable. That's not really fair but he doesn't exactly try NOT to earn that reputation. They're very different but they're a lot alike, too. Both are as honest as the day is long. However their methods of doing things are apt to be completely opposite. AJ's by the book and Rick likes to wing it and do things outside the rules.

Marlowe is Rick's dog - a lovable and harmless mutt who is hopeless when it comes to helping them.

Their Mom, Cecelia, appears briefly in most episodes - to scold, encourage, help or bring them a client. Both boys say "how high" when Mom says "jump".

Janet Fowler and her father, Myron, run the detective agency across the street. Janet is AJ's ex-girlfriend or fiancée. The boys do, on occasion, steal clients from Myron which does not exactly endear them to him.

When Janet left the series she was replaced by Tim Reid as Detective Downtown Brown. When he left the series he was replaced by Joan McMurtry as Detective Abby Marsh who was definitely not very fond of the boys. At least at first. She was just the opposite in temperament as "Town" was - at least as far as the boys were concerned.
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