1. I KNOW THEM FROM THAT COMEDY!
Jonathan Creek is known for its unexpected guest stars. Unlike a lot of other crime dramas, Jonathan Creek featured a lot of comedians, including Bob Monkhouse, Rik Mayall, and Adrian Edmondson. Remember when Bob Monkhouse played the hilariously irksome Sylvester Le Flay, and Jonathan took an instant dislike to him? The duffel coat-clad detective's reaction to the pompous theatre critic was priceless, with Jonathan figuring out the answer to the episode's mystery instantly but refusing to reveal it to Le Flay. You'll recognise a multitude of British comedy legends in Jonathan Creek, and their presence makes the subplots laugh out loud funny.
2. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?
The crimes Jonathan and his team solve aren't just mysterious - sometimes they seem impossible, or even supernatural. In one episode, a man is murdered inside a locked bunker to which no one has access but the victim, and in another a man who insists he has sold his soul to the devil has an eerie streak of good luck. Every time the show throws a new impossible case at you, you will be convinced that there is no reasonable explanation. Nevertheless, Jonathan, with his background in magic tricks, was brought in for a reason, and he makes sure no crime goes unsolved.
3. THEY'RE DEFINITELY GOING TO GET TOGETHER
Like many other crime-fighting duos, Jonathan and Maddy have undeniable chemistry and a will-they-won't-they tension that's obvious from every scene they have together. They don't get off to the best start, but as Jonathan gets less cranky and more charming throughout the series their chemistry becomes increasingly obvious. Maddy realises she's attracted to Jonathan, but he holds back until they eventually get together in one episode. Even after Maddy and Jonathan part ways, Jonathan shares the same romantic chemistry with subsequent sidekicks. When he first meets Carla, she makes several efforts to entice him, including inviting him for a coffee and leaning in for a kiss...
4. THIS IS GETTING DARK...
Despite having comedic elements, Jonathan Creek gets progressively darker as the show goes on. Earlier episodes dealt with relatively light-hearted subjects, such as when the team are asked to find out why a man was seemingly in two different countries at the same time. However, in later series, Jonathan deals with bleaker crimes committed by psychopaths and gangsters, and in one episode a victim is tortured. You'll notice the show getting grittier and the action more gripping as the story continues. This is never at the expense of the comedy though, with Rik Mayall appearing in a particularly dark episode featuring a secret cult.
5. SO THAT'S HOW IT WAS DONE!
Another thing that sets Jonathan Creek apart from other shows of the same genre is the structure of the crime-solving narrative. While a lot of other crime procedurals focus on whodunit mysteries, Jonathan Creek tells the story of how a crime was committed and pays less attention to who did it. The set up of each episode will make you think about the actual technicalities of the crime rather than alibis or motives, and there's always a point at which everything falls into place and you'll think "Oh, of course!" This is especially true when a victim appears to have killed herself only for a post-mortem to reveal that she was already dead before the suicide. It seems impossible, but after Jonathan's done his job you'll be kicking yourself for not realising the answer sooner...