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5 Shows like Bones: Perfect Partners

Laura Light itcherCrime TV is full of law-breaking, fighting super-couples, but no other duo comes close to Brennan and Booth, a combo so complex they’re guaranteed to tickle even the hardest of funny bones. So for more cracking, stimulating, and just damn good chemistry, check out ‘Castle’, ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ and ‘Jag’, all TV shows like ‘Bones’. ~ Laura Light

You’ve Got a Friend in Me

Ah, Booth and Brennan, the cocky FBI agent and the hard forensic anthropologist, who have something in common – death. With a brainy team sieving through flesh and bone, this show is more about relationships than merely catching the bad guys.

So for more mystery mixed with partner humor and sexual tension, have a look at these next shows, all TV series like ‘Bones’.  


Shows Similar to ‘Bones’…

‘Rizzoli & Isles’ (TNT, 2010 – )

Ohh. Doctor Maura Isles. Knuckle deep in germy bar snacks, I’m shocked.

Detective Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) and Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) team up to solve crimes in Boston.

This is a cop drama that doesn’t follow the typical cliché; establish good guys here, insert bad guys there, make snitch talk, show ends. Finally, someone realized that it’s much more interesting to make 2 interesting characters and give them lives around which their job revolves and not the other way around.

Rizzoli is a headstrong cop whose Italian upbringing shows through. This is the type of woman you can see growing up with 3 brothers and kicking their ass around the house the whole time. Isles on the other hand is a socialite more impressed by the complexity of the world and enjoying every second of the mystery around it. Together it’s brains and brawn with just a nice dash of sexy, and the back and forth is right on point to keep pace.

Similarity Match: 95%
This is less about the detective work more about the duos dynamics, but like ‘Bones’ prepare yourself for a big twist ending that’ll have you picking your jaw up off the floor.

‘Castle’ (ABC, 2009 – )

Most people come up against a wall they give up, not you. You don’t let go, you don’t back down…it’s what makes you extraordinary.

After a serial killer imitates the plots of his novels, successful mystery novelist Richard “Rick” Castle  (Nathan Fillion) receives permission from the Mayor of New York City to tag along with an NYPD homicide investigation team for research purposes.

The pilot episode left me wanting more, much more in fact, and that is exactly what a good pilot should do. The relationship formed between the two leads is unquestionably one of the best and is, so far, most endearing. It is impossible to not like them!

What it comes down to, ladies and gentlemen, is chemistry and these two have it. They are a joy to watch even when they are not in scenes together and that is what keeps me tuning in each week. Love it!

Similarity Match: 90%
Like ‘Bones’ this is about a work relationship turned love romance about a writer and a cop, but without the blood and guts.

‘JAG’ (CBS, 1995–2005)

You need to stop finishing my sentences.

‘JAG’. – Military parlance for Judge Advocate General’s corps, the elite cadre of Naval officers trained as lawyers who investigate and prosecute military crimes, including murder, treason, espionage, and terrorism.

I came to ‘JAG’ in the middle of season two, and was immediately hooked. I found the characters just a shade unrealistic, but still eminently believable. Needless to say, I was smitten with Mac MacKenzie (Catherine Bell). She was the most realistically human of all the characters in the series, having strengths and weaknesses, heroism and frailty. The chemistry between Mac and Harm is perfect, and the will they/won’t they scenario keeps you gripped throughout.  

Similarity Match: 80%
Wise shooting partners with a too hot to handle personality, but unlike ‘Bones’ this is about solving military crimes rather than civilian ones.


If You Like ‘Bones’, You Will Like…

I love ‘Bones’, sure Mr Boreanaz is hot and Emily Deschanel certainly isn’t ugly, but it’s Dr Brennan’s amazing brain coupled with her deluded view on relationships that keeps me tuned in week after week. So if like me, you love problem solving shows, then check out these TV series similar to ‘Bones’ that will keep you guessing till the bitter end!

‘Elementary’ (CBS, 2012 – )

Are you cooking, or did we get stampeded by a class of second graders?

A modern take on the cases of Sherlock Holmes, with the detective now living in New York City.

Let me tell you now, this is NOT ‘Sherlock’ for those who want to compare the two. In this show, Watson is no sidekick, she’s more of a partner, and brings a perspective to crime solving that Holmes sometimes overlooks. There is not only realism there, but the human element. Nothing wrong with that in my book!

This features another crime fighting duo with a strange relationship, though I found this a lot less traumatic than ‘Bones’

‘House’ (FOX, 2004–2012)

Fine, you need more pills! You’re not getting them. You can have the aspirin you want.

An antisocial maverick doctor (Hugh Laurie) who specializes in diagnostic medicine does whatever it takes to solve puzzling cases that come his way using his crack team of doctors and his wits.

This is one of those rare gems of TV which come around once and a while and you never forget when they’re (god forbid) gone. The sarcasm and the cynical humor is fantastic! The arguments and quips from the fantastically acted cast are on the standard of ‘The West Wing’.

The cases are fantastic (even though a little far fetched but who cares! It’s television!) and Hugh Laurie? Well, Laurie is absolutely freaking amazing. I loved him before this from the buffoon in ‘Blackadder’ and even from his small appearance in ‘Sense and Sensibility’ but when I saw him in action I could not believe that he was the same guy who got multiple concussions in ‘101 Dalmatians’.

Like ‘Bones’, the protagonist is a hard nut to crack and is rude to those closest to him, only this time it’s about medical investigations instead of criminal ones.


It’s Chemistry

Love the friendship shows more then the forensic ones? Then have a look at ‘Warehouse 13’, yep, it’s more sci-fi, but Bering and Lattimer’s relationship just mirrors Booth’s and Brennan’s to a tee.

An honorable mention also has to go to ‘CSI’ (the whole franchise) and ‘Lie to Me’, about a human lie detector who is also a genius and think’s he’s always right!  

Who are your favourite crime fighting super-couples to watch?

Let Me Know in The Comments Below!

Hi ya, I’m Laura, a BA Creative Writing and Film graduate. A self-confessed geek, you’re normally find me tucked away in the back row at the cinema, with vast amounts of chocolate and surfing the net on my phone. A freelance writer specialising in digital marketing and audio, when I’m not creating new blogs, I’m trying to dream up my next big idea!
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