What made this show so special:
1. The brothers--and that\'s due to the concept, the writing, and the two actors and their chemistry. While Rick and A.J. looked too different to actually be brothers (and I loved the line from an episode where Rick explained that as \"Same father. Different moods.\"), they sure *acted* like brothers. The arguments, the teasing, the competitions--but when one of them needed the others, they were right there. That brotherly relationship is the fundamental attribute that set this apart from any other detective show.
2. The humor--and a lot of that came from the brothers\' relationship. For the most part, it was humor that stemmed from the personalities of the characters, which made it very real.
3. The supporting cast, regular and irregular. Cecilia Simon was the mainstay, of course, and it was wonderful to see grown men dealing on a regular basis with their mother, who, despite constant reasons to be perturbed with them, loved them unconditionally. Downtown Brown was my favorite of the \"sidekicks\" over the years, perhaps in part because he wasn\'t always *doing* favors for the Simons--sometimes the favors were going his direction. I liked Janet Fowler and her (mostly) no-nonsense way of dealing with the Simons, and it was a interesting re-working of a character established as A.J.\'s fiancee in the original pilot set in Florida, but I don\'t think that she and Myron, her father, ever fit in as well as Town did. The introduction of Abigail Marsh as a cop who wasn\'t going to let the Simons get away with what they had with Town was interesting, but she was mellowed out rather quickly.
There was also the \"irregular\" cast, of whom my favorite has to be Raj, the emergency room doctor. One could argue, however, that the most important of these was a character we actually *saw* very little of--Rick\'s friend Carlos.
4. The San Diego setting--so wonderful to see a detective show set somewhere other than New York or Los Angeles! I know that they did most of their filming in LA, but there were enough shots of SD to give the show a feel of actually being there. (I wonder how it would have been if they had stuck with the original pilot setting of Florida.) When I went to SD a number of years ago, one of the highlights was finding the red brick building where their office was supposedly located in the later years of the show.
I\'m not a fan of current detective and cop shows--too much gore, too dark, and too little on day-to-day relationships. Simon & Simon is an underrated gem from a time when TV did cop/detective shows right.