There comes a time when a cop actor and his best pal on the force become inseparable. For San Francisco police investigator Nash Bridges (Don Johnson), it was the third go around that became the charm. How could it take so long for him to bond with his partner Joe Domiquez (Cheech Marin)? Nash and Joe had instant chemistry. This is about Nash’s non-human partner. Nash finally bonded with his banana yellow ’71 Plymouth Barracuda convertible. No longer did the Cuda seem to be a loaner while the Ferrari was in the shop. His passion for the Cuda spewed from the heart and wasn’t merely read from a script. Nash Bridges: The Third Season unites man and car thus make it a true series instead of just a substitute for Miami Vice.
“Lost and Found” opens with bad news for Joe’s car. A suspect takes it out with a rocket launcher. Ouch. Nash and Joe get tangled up with stolen FBI weapons. The agency isn’t happy that they need local help to locate their hardware. Michelle Chan (X-Men 2) gets tagged as a suspect, but turns out to be an undercover cop. The domestic angle has Joe hook up Nash with his new nanny. “Payback” furloughs a convicted Willie Nelson out of San Quentin to capture his old partner in crime. Keep your eyes peeled to catch Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi. Gene Simmon’s not-quite-wife Shannon Tweed also attempts to out act her performances on Family Jewels. The concept of Willie Nelson and Cheech Marin on the same set is enough to get a contact high. Perhaps a visit to Willie’s tour bus with Cheech gave Nash‘s creator Carlton Cuse the ideas for Lost?
“Blackout” has Nash lose his memory of the last week after a blast. Joe helps him retrace his steps to trigger things. Cheech probably did this a lot to figure out what him and Tommy Chong had done on a comedy tour in the ‘70s. “Sniper” is a halloween theme that includes Elvira. “Revelations” might reunite Nash with his long lost brother. Jan-Michael Vincent (World’s Greatest Athlete) and Tracey Walter (Repo Man) guest star. “Bombshell” has Joe determined to strike it rich in the salsa business. Director Robert Rodriguez plays a commercial director. Cheech is in a lot of his films including From Dusk Til Dawn. “Live Shot” is a painful comedy as Nash gets dosed with LSD right before an interview with Geraldo Rivera. Although most people might find taking hard drugs a help when taking Geraldo seriously. San Francisco mayor Willie L. Brown is also part of Nash’s groovy drug fest.
“Skin Deep” gives a surprise guest appearance from Penny Marshall (Laverne and Shirley). She’s a New York cop tracking down a fashion model’s stalker. She can’t get along with Cheech so they spend most of the time giving each other the business. She must have been a bigger Chong fan. Why is it you can understand what Penny says when she acts versus her low mumbles when she promotes a directorial effort? “Cuda Grace” has the supporting cops Evan (Jaime Gomez) and Bettina (Daniel Roebuck) arrive at a transgender beauty pageant to uncover a murder who might not be the gender they’re suspecting. Naturally RuPaul is part of the contest. “Danger Zone” has a gang promising to unleash nerve gas in downtown San Francisco. How can anything destructive than the 49ers? “Touchdown” brings Carol Doda back to the public eye. She was famous as the subject of a Tom Wolfe article about being the first major stripper with silicon injected breasts.
Nash Bridges: The Third Season truly allows us to embrace Nash and the ‘Cuda as a crack unit. When the citizens of San Francisco see the bright yellow flash, they feel more secure than any red and blue lights. The episodes balance to mix cop work with Nash’s personal life. He’s a personable guy and not all business with Joe and the rest of his crew and family. The show allows us to see his various relationships, but we quickly learn that none are more important than his Cuda.
“Lost and Found,” “Payback,” “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” “One Flew Over the ‘Cuda’s Nest,” “Blackout,” “Ripcord,” “Sniper,” “Revelations,” “Most Wanted,” “Bombshell,” “Found Money,” “Dirty Tricks,” “Crossfire,” “Live Shot,” “Downtime,” “Skin Deep,” “Patriots,” “Cuda Gráce,” “Lady Killer,” “Danger Zone,” “Special Delivery,” “Touchdown” and “Sacraments.”
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. While the show was shot on 35mm, it appears to have been posted in video so it’s not quite as tight of an image. Although the bright yellow of the Cuda isn’t dulled by the process. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. The levels are fine.
Nash Bridges: The Third Season keeps the show as a rather easy going crime series even with serious cases. It’s hard to get too serious when Willie Nelson and Cheech Marin are in the convertible going around San Francisco. Nash Bridges is as casual his attitude. Even a grizzly homicide doesn’t make you feel too depressed since Cheech can brighten things up with his smile.
CBS DVD presents Nash Bridges: The Third Season. Starring: Don Johnson, Cheech Marin, Jeff Perry and Jaime Gomez. Boxset contents: 24 episodes on 5 DVDs. Released on DVD: November 10, 2009. Available at Amazon.com
Tags: cheech marin, Don Johnson, miami vice