There have been a lot of legendary, mismatched detective pairings in the history of series and film: Cagney & Lacey, Crockett & Tubbs, Mulder & Scully. Maybe one’s old and resigned and the other’s young and ambitious; perhaps one is dark and broody and the other a ray of sunshine; or maybe they’re even different species (shoutout to Turner & Hooch). Regardless of what makes them incongruent, there’s a certain magic that happens when two people with nothing in common come together to solve crimes. Here are some of our favorite odd partner pairings to watch as they drive each other crazy.
Commander Sakho & Lieutenant Mangane, Sakho & Mangane
In this genre-bending supernatural thriller/dark comedy set in Senegal, Commander Sakho is forced to team up with Lieutenant Mangane to solve paranormal murder mysteries, often involving black magic. But the real magic is watching these polar opposites–serious and logical veteran detective Sakho and impulsive, unpredictable young buck Mangane–figure out how to work together.
Susini & Berger, Nox
When Julie Susini disappears somewhere in the catacombs beneath Paris, her mother, retired police captain Catherine Susini, forces Julie’s partner, Raphael Berger, to help find her. Berger is a by-the-book cop, or “an insignificant official with no ambition,” according to Susini, who clearly threw the book out a long time ago. As this unlikely duo attempt to find Julie in the seedy underbelly of the city, encountering a mounting pile of dead bodies and a frightening unseen force, they’ll have to learn to work together despite their vastly different styles.
Bethge & Bach, Dark Woods
While both Thomas Bethge and Anne Bach are police officers, they’re not exactly partners. Bethge is a highly-lauded veteran police chief in Hamburg, while Bach is a rookie investigator in small town Weesenburg, dealing with sexist colleagues and management dismissing her. But when Bethge’s sister goes missing and only Bach sees a connection between her disappearance and a series of gruesome forest murders the Weesenburg police have been investigating, they team up across jurisdictions, experience and a span of 30 years to figure out what happened.
Saga & Martin, The Bridge
Saga & Martin are the OG odd couple of the Nordic Noir genre. Besides the fact that he’s a Danish inspector and she’s a Swedish investigator, they’re opposites in a multitude of other ways. Saga is blunt, abrasive, logical, and has little to no sense of humor or people skills. Martin, on the other hand, is jovial, adept at building relationships, and has an uncanny ability to cut through the bureaucratic crap and focus on what is needed. But when half of a dead body is found on each side of the bridge that connects Denmark and Sweden, they’re forced to team up. Somehow, their opposite approaches complement each other perfectly and make for an unstoppable partnership.
Chloé & Dialo, Iskander
Parisian rookie officer Chloé Bresson and local French Guianan Lieutenant Joseph Dialo have a lot of differences, including their experience levels, backgrounds and outlook, and one thing in common: their stubbornness. But when they’re assigned to solve a difficult case together involving ritualistic murder, voodoo, and the supernatural in the heart of French Guiana, they somehow manage to bond and figure out how to work together as a team.
Kautsalo & Lorenz, Arctic Circle
Finnish Detective Nina Kautsalo and German virologist, Thomas Lorenz aren’t exactly partners, but when Kautsalo’s murder and sex trafficking case becomes intertwined with a viral outbreak with the potential for dire global consequences, they join forces. Despite the gruesome, intense nature of the investigation, there’s enough of a vibe between the two to seriously heat up the arctic.