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This site is about the tv cop show Nash Bridges, starring Don Johnson, which aired on CBS with 122 episodes in 6 seasons. The series is currently syndicated in many television markets and is available on DVD.

 [The Original Unofficial NASH BRIDGES]

Extreme Contradictions
April 14, 2001

Gordon Hom

A while back there was the case of a Sixties radical involved in a bank robbery in which a bank guard was killed. She was found to be living a normal life as a middle class housewife. Other than her Sixties involvement in crime, she had lived a decent and moral life. There was considerable sympathy for her as she was finally brought to justice.

With the passage of time, the most violent of acts is glossed over into nostalgia. And that is what Harvey feels towards Susan Maynard when they strike a common chord in being Deadheads. The Sixties conjures up a free and laid-back lifestyle, but cinematically (in movies and visual images), the Sixties is pure violence. We see this in "Kill Joy" as Nelson Collins carries out his mission to kill Joy. In the killing of the news reporter, as she comes staggering out, chest and hands all bloody, she smears blood all over the glass window. In the killing of lawyer Ron Sekora, we see him shot three times in the chest. This is, indeed, one of the bloodier NASH BRIDGES episodes.

It's as if there was a collective Pandora's Box that was opened in the Sixties. Amidst antiwar protest and Peace slogans, there were political assassination (the list is too long, but here are a few - President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr.) and riots. In movies such as BONNIE AND CLYDE, THE WILD BUNCH, etc. there was extreme blood-letting. When one is free to explore, as the Sixties lifestyle implied for youth, there were some dark paths on which to roam. The list of dead musicians from drug overdoses is too long to list.

The civil rights movement lit up in the Sixties, and so we are reminded in "Kill Joy." Joe is promoted to Lieutenant, and the appearance of tough private investigator Regina Adams recalls a militant Panther-like efficiency. Regina beats up Antwon (indeed, she holds off both Harvey and Antwon). And it is Regina that really takes down the crazed killer Nelson before Harvey and Antwon arrive for the arrest.

On NASH BRIDGES, we literally see the survivors of the Sixties (Joe, Harvey, Nash), or more accurately, the next generation that came slightly after. This is the in-between generation that absorbed the values of the Sixties, but didn't have to pay it's terrible price. As Harvey recalls "[The]War ended before I got called up." Who would believe or predict that Deadheads would become cops, or that druggie comedians would play cops on TV? It's time to revive STARSKY AND HUTCH...

* For more, see synopsis for Episode 119


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