Detectives, Spies, and P.I.s!

I love a good mystery.  The first thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up, thanks to a childhood obsession with Harriet the Spy, was a detective or a private investigator.  I think my career interests in journalism, information science, and HR can all be traced from this!  I’ve always loved these investigative tales.

In no particular order, here are my favorite TV detectives, spies, and P.I.s!



1. Shawn & Gus (Psych)

Shawn Spencer claims to have psychic abilities that enable him to solve cases alongside the Santa Barbara Police Department.  Actually, he’s just hyper-observant.  Add best friend Gus and their detective agency is in business! And also quite silly.


2. Emerson Cod (Pushing Daisies)

Emerson Cod is a private investigator with an entrepreneurial spirit.  Who else could incorporate someone’s ability to reanimate corpses into a business?  Luckily, he loves serving justice just as much as he loves collecting payment.


3. Adrian Monk (Monk)

Monk may have a few fears and phobias– germs, heights, milk– but he always knows who the guy is!  This former police detective is a trusted consultant to the San Francisco Police Department.  He befits a classic detective definition: utterly brilliant, but flawed.


4. Mulder + Scully (The X-Files)

Two FBI agents– one believing that aliens abducted his sister, the other a doctor and a skeptic, relying on science– come together to be a force against the supernatural, the extra-terrestrial, and even the government.  And they’re both super sexy.


5. Inspector Gadget (Inspector Gadget)

You’ve got to have the right stuff to get the job done.  Inspector Gadget has that, and then some!  His arsenal of crime-solving tools and sheer luck get him through while his niece Penny and dog Brain do the real work.


6. Kenzi + Bo (Lost Girl)

Investigations are more exciting when the supernatural is involved!  With Bo’s unallied succubus powers and Kenzi’s penchant for finding trouble, these two freelancers help out bunches beings– magical and otherwise.


7. Maxwell Smart (Get Smart)

Max, also known as Agent 86, is basically Inspector Gadget without any of the gadgets.  (He’s also played by Don Adams who gave voice to Gadget!)  What he does have going for him is the backing of spy agency CONTROL and the beautiful, and way more competent, Agent 99.


8. Angel Investigations (Angel)

Angel, our Byronic vampire hero, dedicates his life to helping others for his soul’s redemption.  Initiated by Cordelia, this detective agency of sorts, headquartered in a formerly haunted hotel, can solve those cases that others can’t quite understand.


9. Olivia Benson (Law & Order: SVU)

This police detective and now sergeant is the finest the Special Victims Unit has even seen!  Olivia has a heart of gold, but is tough as steel.  She’s a strong role model for women everywhere, and an absolute hero.  Plus she’s like, really pretty.

The Piemaker


In honor of tomorrow being Pi Day (as in π, 3.14159 and so on), I’m talking about a different pie today.  If you haven’t seen Pushing Daisies, you are seriously missing out.  This show was undisputedly cancelled too soon.  It’s everything I like in a show: visually stunning, detectives and mysteries, musical elements, and a little bit of creepy!

Ned, The Piemaker, (Lee Pace) has the ability to bring things back from the dead with one touch.  Another touch and boom: dead forever.  Leave someone alive for too long (over one minute) and someone else dies.  He is the owner of The Pie Hole, as in shut your.

Fellow employee Olive Snook (Kristin Chenoweth) is in love with The Piemaker, and thankfully her feelings occasionally manifest in song.  Olive Snook is one of my favorite TV characters and my spirit animal.

Ned uses his reincarnation power to solve mysteries with Private Eye, Emerson Cod (Chi McBride).  When Ned brings back his childhood sweetheart, a girl named Chuck (Anna Friel), he can’t bring himself to let her die.  Chuck’s agoraphobic aunts (Ellen Green and Swoozie Kurtz) are weird and wonderful, bringing more love and fun into this little show.

Pushing Daisies is a quirky, colorful adventure.  I cannot stress enough that you need to watch this show!

If you have Amazon Prime, the two seasons that make up the series are on Instant Video for free.  If you haven’t taken advantage of the 30-day free trial offer, I suggest you do!


On a very loosely related note, fun fact: MIT choses to celebrate this mathematical constant by releasing its admission decisions on this day!  I think that statement alone accurately encompasses the spirit of MIT– such a neat place!  Good luck to any applicants out there!