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Series / Tropical Heat

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"Anyway the wind blows
It blows right back to me
When the morning comes
Brings the shining light
When the nighttime comes
Darkness runs so bright
Anyway the wind blows
It blows right back to me
Little one"

Tropical Heat (AKA Sweating Bullets) is a 1991 Canadian action series, best known for being Rob Stewart's breakout role. It ran for a total of 66 episodes across 3 seasons.

The series deals with the cases of former DEA agent Nick Slaughter (Stewart), who moves to the fictional town of Key Mariah in Florida and opens a detective agency with the help of tourist agent Sylvie Girard (Carolyn Dunn). Being the organized one, Sylvie becomes the secretary and manager of the agency whereas Nick focuses on the action part. When he isn't working, the pony-tailed detective can be found hanging out at the Tropical Heat Bar, property of his best friend and ex-rock-star Ian Stewart. It happens to be located at the island's paradise beach and is conveniently populated by pretty girls in light clothing. In later episodes, the bar is owned by ex-tennis pro Spider Garvin (explained as Ian selling it to him in order to get back into the music business), who also becomes a friend of Nick and Sylvie's and helps them in their cases.

This series features the following tropes:

  • Alone with the Psycho: Nick in “Alive and Kicking”
  • Bachelor Auction: In “Party Girl”, Nick is auctioned off to a fat old lady. Nick trying to dodge her constitutes much of the subplot for this episode.
  • Catholic Schoolgirls Rule: Nick takes a case involving a bevvy of beautiful teenage uniformed schoolgirls who are almost inevitably involved in drugs, prostitution and murder. He goes undercover as an English tutor teaching them 'Romeo and Juliet', Spider pointing out it is the story of a doomed forbidden romance between an adolescent girl and an older man who both end up dead in the end.
  • Clip Show: In the episode “Over my dead body”, Sylvie and Spider remember their times with Nick, as he lies in a coma.
  • Clear My Name: In the episode “Frame Up”, Nick is framed for murder.
  • Comforting Comforter: In “She”, Sylvie does this for Nick.
  • Compilation Movie: Criss Cross, issued on DVD in 2001, was put together from the show's only two-parter, season three's "Deadly Switch."
  • Fanservice: Bikini clad girls. Lots of them, most notably the incredibly beautiful and voluptuous actress in the opening titles. In season 3 Traci Lords shows up as part of a lingerie fashion shoot on the island which naturally enough Nick becomes involved in.
  • Formula with a Twist: It's essentially a standard pulpy film noir private detective series starring a former cop, except it's in a sunny, beautiful tropical location, and the main characters are an aging surfer-type and a feminist-ish woman. Also, the male lead is often portrayed as the fanservice character.
    • Nick qualifies too, as he often wears a loose shirt and shorts. Often open to show his manly, hirsute chest.
  • Find the Cure!: In the episode "Poison Ivy" Nick is poisoned and spends the rest of the episode trying to get his hands on the cure.
  • Local Hangout: The Tropical Heat Bar
    Nick: (looking at a bikini-clad girl) If there's one thing I really like about this bar, it's the view. Of course, the ocean doesn't hurt either.
  • Market-Based Title: The show was known as Sweating Bullets in the US.
  • Miss Kitty: one of Nick's informants is Lady Grace, the owner of a high class bordello or as she puts it a "home for wayward girls".
  • The Mountains of Illinois: That happens when your show is set in Florida but shot in Mexico (first season)/Israel (second season)/South Africa (third season)... Not only do we see mountains in the background of the Florida Keys but Nick tends to fly exclusively El Al and suddenly ends up on assignment at an African safari park.
  • Odd Couple: Nick and Sylvie
  • Private Detective: Nick
  • Private Eye Monologue: In “Double Switch” Nick does one of those.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Nick is red, Sylvie is blue.
  • Sick Episode: “Over my dead body”
  • Snake Pit: In “Fowl Play” Nick is trapped in a container with snakes.
  • Sunshine Noir: Key Mariah is characterized by beautiful sunshine, upbeat music and beach parties, as well as drug smuggling, arms dealing and cold-blooded murder.
  • Tap on the Head: Happens every once in a while, e.g. to Nick in “Marissa”.
  • The Charmer: Nick has a way with the ladies, as does his friend Ian.
  • The Good Guys Always Win: naturally
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": In the episode “Poison Ivy”, Nick needs the password for an encrypted computer file that contains information about a poison, that a woman named Ivy developed. The solution is obvious.
  • Title Montage: During the section of the opening where the cast members are listed, many of the clips are from earlier episodes.
  • Tropical Epilogue: Countless times. It's set on a tropical island after all.
  • Truth Serums: Nick is injected with one in “Double Switch” and questioned. When Sylvie finds him drugged, he tells her that “she is something special”. Awww.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: In the episode “Alive and Kicking”, Nick passes out from blood loss after a shootout with some drug dealers. When he comes to, he finds himself in the care of a delusional woman who doesn't want to let him go.