When Miami Vice finally left the air in 1989, Don Johnson was a very hot commodity indeed. He decided to try and parlay that success into a film career that never really brought him the breakout roles and fortunes he envisioned. Not too proud to return to his roots, he signed a deal with CBS that gave him pretty much a blank check to star in whatever kind of television series he wanted. It was a rare deal that forced CBS to air, or at least pay for, whatever Johnson came up with. Many of us were expecting pretty much a
It’s been some years since I had seen an episode of Nash Bridges. I had almost forgotten everything about the show except for two things. I remembered how great Johnson and Marin were together and, of course, that ugly-colored Cuda. I watched these episodes and found that my perspective hadn’t changed. Who cares what the story is about? Who remembers any of the cases? I remember the characters and the car, and 10 years later it feels exactly the same way. In many ways Nash Bridges was the last of its kind. The cycle of buddy cop and car chases was pretty much over. What started with James Rockford and Starsky and Hutch was now evolving into Law & Order and CSI. We still had procedurals, but they had changed their procedures. If you have to say goodbye to a beloved era, what better way than with Nash Bridges?
Nash Bridges (Johnson) led
Each episode of Nash Bridges is presented in its original full frame broadcast format. I found the colors to be quite soft, and this looks very much like the 1970’s genre shows from which it draws much of its inspiration. There is some odd fluctuation in color from time to time. The prints are in pretty good shape, with occasional scratches and dirt to contend with. Considering what it is, this is a very average presentation that won’t add to or take away from your experience.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track is basically there to service the dialog, and it does. The music is considerably loud. If you keep in mind the source material, you can’t expect anything more than this.
There are two Audio Commentaries to be found. The pilot features a very entertaining track with Cheech Marin and Carlton Cruse. Marin is a riot. The 2nd track is with Don Johnson, but it is a collection of interview clips and not a running commentary. This track is found on the episode: High Impact.
This first season started late in the year and is only 8 episodes long. You get them on 2 discs.
Writer’s Roundtable: This 18 minute feature reunites the main writers from season 1. Most notable here is the creator of The Shield, Shawn Ryan. They gather and reminisce about the show. The title suggests one of those writers breaking a story features. This is a new gathering by the original team.
On Set Interview With Don Johnson: This is a very short piece which really acts as a show promo.
Don Johnson And The Original Gonzo Idea: This 7 minute piece is the better Johnson feature. He talks about how the show came about. It’s a rather interesting story.
Finally you’ll find some original promo spots in rather horrible shape.
I like Bridges far more than I did Miami Vice. Even though Bridges has a lot in common with the previous Sonny character, Johnson doesn’t try so hard here. The show doesn’t rely on a lot of glitz, although the rock soundtrack remains. The pastel colors have given way to a much more realistic setting. Many of the stories were obviously recycled, but, like I’ve already said, this wasn’t about the stories. If you’ve never seen it this is a cheap way to check it out. Since it’s only 2 discs, it won’t cost you a lot to check it out. You’ll be back for more. A television series based on characters, “How about that”?