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Series / Riptide (1984)

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Complete-series DVD release from VEI of Canada

An American detective series, produced and co-created by Stephen J. Cannell andairing for three seasons (198486) on NBC, that follows a private investigations agency in Los Angeles run by three Vietnam vets Cody Allen, Nick Ryder, and Murray Bozinsky (Perry King, Joe Penny, and Thom Bray) who work the hardest cases.

The show also starred Jack Ging, Ken Olandt, June Chadwick, and Anne Francis.

Not to be confused with the novel of the same name.


Tropes for the series:

  • Alliterative Title:
    • Baxter and Boz.
    • Boz Busters.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Murray is "Boz" to Nick, Cody and many others, but his sister Melba calls him "Scooter." She is "Baba" to Murray.
    • Nick and Cody sometimes call each other "big guy" and fondly refer to Murray as "the little guy."
  • Big Brother Instinct: The boys are all protective of each other, but Nick is particularly protective of younger, and less physically strong, Murray.
  • Dead Man Walking: A journalist hires the boys to find the person who fatally poisoned her.
  • Endearingly Dorky: Murray. The reason why sometimes the Girl of the Week prefers him over handsome, athletic hunks Nick and Cody.
  • A Friend in Need: Whenever one of the boys is in trouble or facing a crisis, the other two will drop everything to help him.
  • Friend on the Force: Lt. Joanna Parisi, in contrast to Lt. Ted Quinlan.
  • Geek Physiques: Murray "Boz" Bozinsky, who is the skinny type.
  • Girl of the Week: With few exceptions, the love interests and female clients of the boys appear in one episode, then are never seen or mentioned again.
  • Group Hug: At the end of "Harmony and Grits."
  • Hiccup Hijinks: Murray gets them when he's upset or nervous. In "Boz Busters," Nick observes that Murray lost the hiccups after having sex, probably for the first time.
  • Houseboat Hero: Cody runs the detective agency out of his boat; his partners Nick and Murray live on the boat as well.
  • Killing in Self-Defense: In "Echoes," Murray fatally shoots a young man who has shot Cody. The young man starts shooting at Cody, Nick and Murray in response to the boys' client firing at him in revenge.
    • As a result, Murray is traumatized and experiences My God,What Have I Done? moments, and can't touch a gun again.
  • Nasal Trauma: All three boys get their noses broken
  • Nerd Glasses: Murray wears them, and Cody wears them twice in disguise.
  • New Old Flame: Janet Ingram for Cody
  • Nose Art: The boys use a custom painted helicopter called "Screaming Mimi".
  • Odd Friendship: Attractive and charming volleyball players Nick and Cody seem, at first glance, to have little in common with clumsy, social awkward and brainy Murray, who'd rather be at his computers than on the beach. But "Boz Busters" shows how quickly Nick and Cody became fond of him, and he of them, and the three developed a lasting friendship.
    • Cody and Nick as well. Cody's the smooth talking negotiator with upper class polish and some college education (he dropped out to go to Vietnam); Nick's rougher around the edges and street smart, and better skilled at fighting than Cody and Murray. No mention of college for Nick; he may have entered the Army straight from high school.
  • One-Word Title:
    • Pilot.
    • Mirage.
    • Echoes.
  • Perpetual Poverty: It's mentioned several times that the boys have trouble paying the bills, and will take cases from sleazy lawyer Myron Bell mainly for money.
    • In the first episode, Cody mentions that former whiz kid Murray made a lot of money from creating a video game, but lost most of it to bad investments.
    • It's hinted that Cody comes from a wealthy family, but he doesn't seem to have access to the wealth. Nick seems to come from a more humble background, and is surprised at his high school reunion that his former football teammates are wealthy.
  • Pregnant Hostage: In one episode, a young woman is kidnapped for ransom just after she learns that she's pregnant. The kidnapper is the father of her unborn child.
  • Pillow Pregnancy: In "Four-Eyes," the boys team with two female private investigators, who pose as pregnant wives to Nick and Cody so the four of them can nab a suspected killer during a Lamaze class.
  • Professional Sex Ed: In "Boz Busters," it's implied that Murray is still a virgin when he first meets Nick and Cody, although Murray is in his 20s. Nick and Cody help him find a prostitute, and may pay for her for Murray.
  • Prone to Sunburn: Murray, as seen in "Double Your Pleasure."
  • Real Men Hate Affection: Averted. The three guys often touch and hug each other, and each shows he genuinely cares about the other two, without actually saying it. The closest they come is Murray telling Nick and Cody that they're more than friends to him: "You're like brothers."
  • Roommate Drama: In addition to being partners in their detective agency, the boys live together on the Riptide, Cody's boat, and sometimes fight. Most notably in "Harmony and Grits." Both Nick and Murray almost move out after the three fight with each other.
  • Shirtless Scene: Several for Cody and several for Nick, beginning with the first episode. They do live in a beach community.
  • Smart People Build Robots: Gadgeteer Genius Murray has a robot he calls RoBoz.
  • Surfer Dude: Kirk Dooley, who's a sometimes helper to the boys in Season 2.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Murray in "Oil Bets Are Off" after learning his mentor was killed. Also, a variation in "Echoes," when he's sitting alone under a tree.
  • The Vietnam Vet: As mentioned above, Nick, Cody and Murray were all in the Army during the war. Nick and Cody had the same CO and saw combat in Vietnam; Murray was stateside in Special Operations, designing weapons. Their Army background is part of the plot in several episodes.

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