The kind of review you'll see here is not the usual kind of review or PR type of coverage you'll see in other websites. Not to knock the other sites, but go to the other television sites to get an idea of what the show is about, but come back here to really understand a show in depth. NASH BRIDGES has an excellent Official site which is very much promotional and public relations oriented - check it out. Come back here to get a deeper perspective - if you are interested in these types of shows, you'll get satisfaction here. ON TO THE FUN PART!
First impressions of NASH BRIDGES are that this is a handsomely mounted show with top quality production values. The look of the show, its use of sets and the backdrop of San Francisco, the writing, and most of all, the actors are all first rate. The NASH BRIDGES production looks like a movie - it's tightly shot and tightly edited. As we all know, most TV productions have to cut corners (to save money) in the number of set-ups required, but the BRIDGES production has a fluidity and continuity normally associated with the kind of smoothness seen in film. It remains to be seen if the NASH BRIDGES production can maintain this high level of quality. Keep in mind that if this show has the "legs" to sustain a 22 episode season, there's bound to be some clunker episodes - so let's cut them some slack from the start. NASH BRIDGES has hit the ground running. Initial reports are that there are a planned 13 episodes, with an estimated $2 million budget per episode - that represents an initial $26 million investment.
The San Francisco Examiner review of NASH BRIDGES in their Weekend Section (Friday, March 29) describes this new police show as a "mediocre cop show." This kind of reaction has more to do with the overly familiar police genre than with this current effort. While its formula is familiar, the richness and complexity of the character's relationship is the strong point of NASH BRIDGES. Actor Don Johnson carries a lot of baggage, both from his MIAMI VICE persona and glamorous private life, to make credible the nuances of Detective Nash Bridges' complicated lifestyle. The rich and excessive style of MIAMI VICE is carried over in NASH BRIDGES in many ways, from the custom gun and car (a two-tone pistol and vintage Barracuda), to the extravagant use of the San Francisco skyline. NASH BRIDGES is clearly a star vehicle highlighting Johnson's appeal - his laid back style, the easy laughter, and his comfortable masculinity.
There are clearly elements of post-feminist male fantasy here, as witnessed by Detective Nash's troubled and enviable relationships with his two beautiful ex-wives. He loves women, but he can't live with them. Women love him, but they can't live with him. In other words, Nash has the best of what is currently the troubled state of gender relationships. Nash can't even attend his beautiful 16 year old daughter's play, yet she immediately understands and forgives him.
Nash's working relationships are progressively multi-cultural. His boss, Lt. A.J. Shimamura, cuts him the slack he needs to do his job. His partner is an overly eager Hispanic youth whom Nash must temper. His real pal is his partner/ex-cop now private investigator Joe Dominguez (played by real Johnson pal Cheech Marin). Their relationship is a rich and humorous one, though curiously Joe Dominguez is not on equal standing with Nash because Joe is no longer a fellow police officer. Joe's relationship with Nash is validated in the first episode when Joe is shot and seriously wounded; at the end of the episode Nash sits in the unconscious Joe's
hospital room to watch over his friend.
Finally, the overall cop universe presented in NASH BRIDGES is represented as unstable and crumbling as symbolised by a post-earthquake San Francisco environment. The police station is damaged and in a state of disarray and repair; Nash's apartment is also a damaged place which ironically offers a spectacular panorama of the San Francisco skyline. The set design is omnipresent almost as a character in itself - the architectural theory of Lebbeus Woods is used for the premise of the show's sets described as "anarchitecture." This first episode of NASH BRIDGES is indeed impressive.
For more, see synopsis for Episode 1