lasted six seasons, and as Nash tells his second wife while signing the divorce papers, "it was fun while it lasted." These very entertaining first eight episodes set the stage for this underestimated series that put a resonant Baby Boomer spin on the traditional cop show. Nash (Don Johnson), former golden gridiron hero and rising star on the force, is now in his "mature years." He is twice-divorced with a teenage daughter he doesn't see as much as he should. His father (the great, grizzled James Gannon) is in the early stages of Alzheimer's ("When his mind goes out, it breaks your heart," Nash's sister tells him). Nash's personal life may be in shambles, but he excels on the job as the leader of San Francisco's Special Investigations Unit, although as his one obnoxious rival on the force rants, his "methodology" is suspect. Nash Bridges
is tailor-made to Don Johnson's considerable charisma and charm. Nash is "not a beat around the bush kind of guy," and much of the fun of every episode is watching the unflappable Nash keep his cool under fire. Nash Bridges
is the very model of a star vehicle, but Johnson receives solid support from Cheech Marin as Joe Dominguez, Nash's former partner and now a private investigator with a penchant for get-rich quick schemes, Annette O'Toole (one of Hollywood's most criminally underutilized actresses) as Nash's adversarial first ex-wife, Jeff Perry as Harvey Leek, a tech-savvy former hippie, and Jamie P. Gomez as Evan, a reckless young cop. All are upstaged by Nash's car, an instantly iconic 1970 Plymouth Barracuda ("They only made 14 of them," Nash states), in which the characters do most of their relating. In the illuminating "Writer's Roundtable," one of the arresting extras included in this two-disc set, the writers jokingly call the "Cuda" the "moving confessional," and proclaim that these scenes are "the heart and soul of the show." Other extra features include entertaining commentary from Marin and series creator Carlton Cuse on the pilot episode, and an offbeat, not entirely focused commentary by Johnson himself on the explosive episode, "High Impact." There is also a 1996 on-set interview with Johnson and Marin that introduces the series. Another bonus segment reveals a cool bit of trivia: According to Johnson, the series had its origins in an idea from Johnson's Aspen, Colorado, neighbor, Hunter S. Thompson. --Donald Liebenson
Don Johnson, Cheech Marin. Includes all 8 episodes on 2 DVDs. 1996/color/6 hrs., 14 min/NR/fullscreen.