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Enjoyable 80s detective drama set in San Diego, California. Brothers Rick and A.J. Simon are partners in a private detective agency. They are polar opposites: bad boy Rick is a street-smart former Marine and Vietnam vet who has friends in low places and a love for cheap pleasures; golden boy A.J. is a book-smart college graduate, a former Vietnam protester (he wanted his big brother to come home safe) whose tastes run to the more upscale. Rick drives a beat-up old pickup truck, adheres to a casual dress code (including his ever-present cowboy hat) and lives on a boat parked on a trailer in A.J.'s yard with his dog Marlowe; A.J. drives a series of classic sports cars, has a yuppie wardrobe and lives in a tasteful little house near the water.
This show provides examples of:
- Action Series
- Big Brother Instinct: Even though Rick is the older brother, both brothers exhibit this trope on occasion.
- Black Best Friend: Downtown Brown, one of he coolest police lieutenants on TV, ever. Say it with me now--
Town: "Raise your right hand and repeat after me: 'We're deputies.'"
- Cool Car: Rick had his Dodge Power Wagon, and AJ had a series of them: a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible, later a customized Chevrolet Camaro Z28, and then a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS convertible in a two-part episode ("Pirate Key").
- Crossover: With Magnum, P.I.. First the Simon Brothers appeared on Magnum, and then Higgins appeared on the following Simon and Simon episode.
- Also with the nearly-forgotten show Whiz Kids.
- Dawson Casting: Of a sort. AJ is to be several years younger than Rick, but in real life the actors were only born months apart.
- Friend on the Force: Assistant D.A. Janet Fowler in the early seasons, followed by Downtown Brown and then Lt. Abigail Marsh for the last two.
- Horrible Hollywood: Rick Simon routinely refers to Hollywood as "Hollyweird".
- Knockout Gas: In the episode "Under the Knife" has A.J. gassed in a hospital room and in danger of unnecessary surgery when the brothers get too close to the truth in a malpractice scam.
- Name and Name: Same and same.
- Nice Hat: Rick's.
- Private Detective: The brothers' line of work.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man
- Shared universe: Not only with the above mentioned Magnum P.I. and whiz kids but also by extension with Murder she wrote.
- Sibling Team
- Television Geography
- They Fight Crime