This is the designated official premiere for this second season of NASH BRIDGES, though one new episode aired the week before. Regular viewers of NASH BRIDGES will know instantly the difference between these last two episodes. The most noticeable change is the new open with new theme music. Shows often change opens to indicate a change in direction or executive producer - though this is not the case with NASH BRIDGES. It's still too early at this point to see how the series has changed.
We're saddened to see that Nash's boss, Lt. A.J. Shimamura (played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) has been dropped from the open. Lt. Shimamura was the equivalent to the cool silent boss ala MIAMI VICE's Edward James Olmos. The absence of a character like Lt. Shimamura also takes away from the flair of the show, and the producers seem to be playing it safe. Also dropped from the open is Nash's second wife, Kelly (played by Serena Scott Thomas). Bryn Carson (played by Mary Mara), a semi-regular in the SIU from the first season, has been added to the credits in the open. Nash's father (played by James Gammon) has also been added to the credits in the open. Other returning regulars include Evan Cortez (played by Jaime P. Gomez) and Harvey Leek (played by Jeff Perry). Names have been dropped from the open, but that doesn't necessarily mean they won't re-appear from time to time, so let's keep our fingers crossed.
The headquarters for the SIU has changed from the beautiful Oakland Rotunda to a barge parked in Hyde St. Pier. Thematically, the unstable location for police headquarters is maintained, like last season's earthquake ravaged place. There appears to be a concept change in set design, with the headquarter decor described as "early Poseidon Adventure."
Cheech Marin, as Joe Dominguez, continues to be a source of comedy and folly, along with Nash's daughter Cassidy (played by Jodi Lyn O'Keefe). The shenanigans with Joe and Cassidy attempting to replicate Lisa's prized cake continue in the same vein as last season. Joe is continually used as a comedic intrusion into Nash's complicated family life.
Another source of comedy, though tinged with sadness, is Nash's father Nick, afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease. Nick, like his son Nash, is cagey with women. Nick's sudden wedding plans (not so sudden, as it was mentioned last season that Nick planned to marry Charlotte) are canceled because his disease causes Nick to forget about his wedding. Charlotte is left standing at the altar - the same Charlotte who broke her hip last season because of vigorous sex with Nick. Poor Charlotte takes a lot of abuse from ole Nick, though none of it seems to be Nick's fault. Nick can't help her brittle bones, Nick can't control his Alzheimer's, etc. Nick is bad news to women - why even his wife died at age 28 leaving him with 3 children to raise, as he reveals to Nash, but "We still have each other." Women fail men, so men have to take care of men. The title of this episode "'Til Death Due Us Part" rings loudly here - does it refer to marriage (where in the world of NASH BRIDGES, women fail men) or does the title refer to the relationship between Nash and his partner Joe, or Nash and his father (where relationships between men are enduring and stable).
Speaking of women, Nash finds a new romantic interest, only to have his job get in the way of romance. Nash finds he has to lie to Dana Traner to get close to her - real close. We won't mention the ethical dilemma of a police officer getting involved with participants in an active investigation - aw, but what the heck, Nash does try to tell her the truth before the romance blows up in his face. Dana's former boyfriend shows up, taking her hostage. A big shoot-out ensues with the boyfriend hurling lots of lead at Nash. Nash, being her current lover, having to shoot her boyfriend - very messy. The ethical dilemma is neatly solved by having Dana shoot her former boyfriend, not Nash. There's an intriguing and potentially complex romance here, but only time and more episodes will tell whether Dana Traner is just another "Woman of the Week" or a developing character/relationship.
So how about this new open and the changes? The opens and music to NASH BRIDGES have no distinct qualities. Traditional cop openings usually tell a short history of the series, who the regular characters are, the origin of the series, in short, the opening to a show reveals the concept of the show. While some of these elements are present in the new NASH BRIDGES open, its overall effect is a bunch of moving graphics with little substance to back it up. This same quality is present in the NASH BRIDES theme music. The electronic flute-like theme music has been replaced by a more R&B oriented non-distinct theme. NASH BRIDGES in its second season has to really work against the predictability it has established. The strong points of NASH BRIDGES is the comfortable personality and celebrity of Don Johnson, but now NASH BRIDGES needs more. NASH BRIDGES needs stronger stories. Let's look forward to a great second season.
For more, see synopsis for Episode 10