50 best television shows set across the United States

12 of 52

Hawaii: Magnum P.I.

The premise: Tom Selleck plays Thomas Magnum, a free-wheeling playboy who works as a private investigator in Hawaii. He lives in the guesthouse of a huge beachfront estate owned by the reclusive Robin Masters, whom we never see. Magnum picks and chooses which cases he takes on, squeezing them in between a long parade of beautiful women and luxurious activities.

Jonathon Higgins is the caretaker for the estate, and his rigidity clashes with Magnum’s carefree way of life. Their relationship eventually evolves into one of mutual respect, and Higgins often assists in the cases.

The setting: Magnum’s guesthouse sits on 200 acres on the island of Oahu, and it’s about as picturesque as it gets. He also gets use of Robin Masters’ Ferrari, wine cellar, tennis court, and private beaches. He zooms around the island, wind in his glorious mustache, living his very best life. This show is aspirational viewing at its finest.

The most Hawaii thing about it: It has to be Magnum’s now-infamous Hawaiian shirt. He had one for every occasion, and the very best part about it was those missing top three buttons. Also, the fictional “Robin’s Nest” on which Magnum lives, was an actual property in Oahu, sometimes referred to the Anderson Estate. It was used, before its demolition, as a sea turtle sanctuary for the Hawaiian royal family.