and Cheech Marin
star as Nash Bridges and Joe Dominguez in this 1990s buddy cop drama about the unorthodox SIU squad of the San Francisco PD. The cops use a slick streetwise style to catch bad guys and are some of the best at it around. It also featured Detectives Harvey Leek and Evan Cortez as a Beta Couple
and fellow members of the SIU team.
Other notable team members include Kelly Hu
as Michelle Chan (1997-1998) and Yasmine Bleeth as Caitlin Cross (1998-2000). The show also featured the personal lives of the officers particularly Nash, his daughter Cassidy was a series regular throughout its run. Also featured regularly were Joe's wife, Inger, and Nash's elderly father, Nick. A special mention should go out to Nash's yellow Barracuda convertible, which was such an intergral part of the show that it even got its own Day in the Limelight
This series provides examples of:
- Analogy Backfire: In "One Flew Over the Cuda's Nest", Evan is nervous about failing an upcoming written test and therefore getting booted from SIU. Harvey urges Evan to relax, promises to tutor him, dismissively comparing taking these tests and getting a woman in the sack, there being a formula to it. Evan responds that in that case he should be the one doing the tutoring.
- Attempted Rape: In the episode "Power Play", a Russian mobster attacks Caitlin at a nightclub while she's undercover as a prostitute and that he tries to have his way with her, but he doesn't get the chance as Caitlin blinds him with a can of hair spray and then kicks him in the family jewels, sending him to the floor in a state of excruciating pain while Caitlin wastes no time in escaping the scene.
- Batman Cold Open: Most shows start with Nash in the middle of solving a case
- Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Pretty much any Cop who disagreed with Nash's signature style fell into this trope but Richard Bettina was a textbook example.
- Casting Gag: "Wild Card" features guest appearances by Phillip Michael Thomas and Tommy Chong. They are reunited, respectively, with Don Johnson and Cheech Marin.
- Clear My Name happens more than once at one point the entire squad is framed for corruption
- Cool Car: The aforementioned 'Cuda.
- Cop Show: Bodycount is ticking and ticking, with villains executing their own mooks, mooks killing Too Dumb to Live witnesses, SIU coming on top out of shootouts against the bad guys. Main cast has much of informal moments, including the stretching of proper procedures regarding witness interrogation and dealing with minor criminals. Nash often gets to call favors left and right if it's needed, from local small caliber crimelords.
- Curse Cut Short: In "Hit And Run", an assassin accidentally sets off the bomb he's installing in a car. His last words: "Oh sh-!"
- Distracted by the Sexy: One episode has the squad face off with a group of computer technicians. At one point, the technicians hide a camera in the squadroom, but the officers find out. The solution: have Rachel stand in front of the camera and have the officers arrest the technicians while they're ogling her breasts.
- Flushing Toilet, Screaming Shower: In "Sacraments", Evan and Cassidy still keep their romantic relationship secret from most of the other cast, especially from Nash, Cassidy's father. When conveniently allergic at the moment Joe drops by just when the two have their shower together, he flushes a tissue down the toilet. He discovers Cassidy since she can't stay put in hiding behind Evan.
- A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted: Joe puts his million dollar check (received from one grateful arabian prince, in "Patriots") into a shredder, to show how sure he is that it is a worthless IOU. The bank guy calls next moment to ask what currency Joe wants his money in.
- Freudian Excuse: It's almost a running joke in the first few seasons that Evan Cortez is basically a younger version of Nash. Naturally, his daughter Cassidy winds up dating him later in the series.
- Go-to Alias: Nash goes by Teddy Malone when working undercover.
- Groin Attack: In the episode "Power Play", Caitlin is attacked by a Russian mobster at a nightclub while she's undercover as a prostitute. When the Russian mobster attempts to have his way with her (in other words, Attempted Rape), Caitlin uses a can of hair spray to blind him and as he turns himself around while trying to get back his sight, Caitlin kicks him in the balls from behind, causing him to fall down to the ground in pain while Caitlin quickly escapes.
- He Didn't Make It: Almost Harvey Leek's Catch Phrase.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: See Curse Cut Short above.
- Killed Off for Real: Michelle Chan in season four and Evan Cortez in season five.
- Married to the Job: Both of Nash's divorces are due to him prioritizing work (although Lisa mentions booze and women as entries in the laundry list too). "Aloha, Nash" reveals that Nash is about to have the first vacation over the whole 20 years of service. In "Downtime", Betina plots to force Nash out of picture by having him take the 10-months-plus of the accumulated vacation time then and there.
- Metallicar Syndrome: Nash Bridges' Hemi Cuda (which there are like 7 in existence). He, a renowned decorated successful police force officer, drives it everywhere even while undercover at times.
- Mook: First episode. Nash calls the freshly assigned to work under him Evan that, as Evan's jumping the gun has caused a run-in with random suspects turn into a wild maneuvers car chase, a gun shootout, death of suspects, barely prevented civilian casualties, some panic, and heavy damage to his precious Cuda.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Bozz Bishop.
- Pretty in Mink: In the first episode, Nash's girlfriend wears a fancy jacket with a large fur collar.
- Production Posse: Show creator Carlton Cuse went on to co-create LOST, a show whose actors have a pretty wide overlap with this one. Notably, Cheech Marin is Hurley's papa and Jeff Perry was Sawyer-victim Frank Duckett.
- Relocating the Explosion: In "Patriots", Nash drives the car about to explode (due to a terrorist ploy) to an abandoned lot.
- Right Hand Versus Left Hand: In "Javelin Catcher", Evan arrests a man for soliciting a prostitute and releases him. Nash is a little annoyed about the release because the same man was wanted for attempted murder. He almost mentions the trope by name.
- San Francisco
- Serial Killer: Several, but most notably The Prowler
- Shot in the Ass: Caitlin accidentally shoots Nash in his posterior in one episode. It's title? "Shoot The Moon".
- An early episode involves Nash's daughter being accidentally shot - at school! - by another student who was carrying a revolver. She was also shot in the ass, presumably so that Nash could angst over his daughter's injury without her being left seriously injured.
- Shout-Out: The episode "Out of Miami" guest-stars Steven Bauer as a violent Cuban drug trafficker.
- Another episode guest-stars Cheech's old smoking buddy, Tommy Chong.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss : Pretty much all Nash's love interests pretty much love him or hate him.
- Spiritual Successor: It's Miami Vice, in the 90s, and on the other side of the country.
- Two episodes even had Phillip Michael Thomas as a guest star.
- Tsundere: Inger. It was rare that she was even mentioned onscreen when she wasn't pissed off at Joe although he often deserved it like the time he burned the house down trying to save a few bucks.
- Wham Line: "Nice girl. Tell me, where do we know her from?"-Nick to Nash about Cassidy. To put this into perspective, Cassidy is Nick's granddaughter and Nick suffers from Alzheimer's which has just gotten worse at this point.