As Sherlock quite rightly said, there should be no giggling at a crime scene. But that doesn’t mean every crime show has to be gritty, gory and grim; there is fun to be had, and it exists!
So, in order of increasing silliness, here are three alternatives:
#1 – CSI: Miami
I know, you could argue that this shouldn’t be on the list. And I only mention it for Horatio, I admit.
Try watching this before an episode and see if you still feel the same. (If it’s an episode about his wife, son, or one where he ‘gets killed’, even better.)
Definitely shinier than the other two CSIs, with its brightness and exotic location flashes, I consider this the lightest of the three. Even if it is unintentional. If you take it seriously, it’s a murder of the week detective show like any other.
If you haven’t been watching it, you’ve got some catching up to do. It just got cancelled after 10 seasons.
#2 – Monk
Moving further into actual silliness, here we have an obsessive compulsive germophobe detective with a nurse standing in for a partner.
He isn’t made to look stupid, just different – a great detective with bigger problems than being a know it all, and regular therapy. There is still a dead family member, but it’s used as a pre-series trigger for his getting worse and provides a series-long arc.
It follows the usual crime of the week formula, but is lighter with its catchy theme song and episode title format of “Mr Monk and ___”.
#3 – Psych
Psych as in psych-ic, Psych as in “gotcha!”
There are detectives, and a crime each week. The twist is that those detectives are helped (and annoyed by) fake psychic Shawn and his best friend/partner who’s just as inexperienced and afraid as he is.
It has a younger cast than most shows, a pineapple hidden in most episodes and Psych-outs, usually either bloopers or cast members singing. Instead of a victim, each episode starts with a flashback to Shawn’s childhood in which he is learning something that’s usually about to come in useful.
Its serious moments (requisite serial killer arc) are done well, but for the most part it’s a comedy with another catchy theme song.
Season 7 starts in the fall.