Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Nash Bridges Is Back! (We've Officially Run Out of Ideas)

Hooray!!! Huzzah!!! Our long national nightmare is over--Nash Bridges is coming back!!!

What's that? You say you have no idea what a "Nash Bridges" is? Is it a country singer? Is it a national park in Utah? Is it a public works program in Tennessee's largest city?

No. Nash Bridges was a television show that aired on CBS for six seasons from 1996 to 2001, starring Don Johnson and Cheech Marin. Google describes the show thusly: "Fun-loving San Francisco Police Department investigator Nash Bridges is part of the elite Special Investigations Unit. He tackles crime using his keen sense of humor and charm. Joe Dominguez comes out of retirement to become Bridges' wisecracking yet more rule-abiding partner." (Ah, yes--back when investigative units were "special" and "elite," and detectives could tackle crime with their "charm." Good times, good times.)

What made Nash Bridges so special was...nothing, really. It starred Don Johnson, but it's not what he's famous for. (That would be Miami Vice.) It co-starred Cheech Marin, but it's not what he's famous for. (That would be Cheech & Chong.) It was never very popular. Over the course of its run the best it could muster was being the 42nd highest rated show in 1999. If you have even given a single thought to Nash Bridges in the last ten years it probably means you are related to someone involved in making the show.

Nash Bridges is the perfect example of forgettable weekly television programming.

Same old stuff.

So, why are they bringing it back? Because people wanted it, demanded it, and/or were clamoring for it? No. Nash Bridges is getting rebooted because no one has any new ideas anymore. (And someone thinks they can make a little money off of an old idea.)

The number of old television shows that have been rebooted continues to grow. It's easier to rehash old, comfortable ideas and situations than come up with something original. Why try something new that might or might not work when you can give the people something they already know and somewhat like?

Over at CBS they've been re-doing Hawaii Five-0, MacGyver, and Magnum P.I. for years, although for some reason they ditched Tom Selleck's mustache and Richard Dean Anderson's mullet. Some other show reboots haven't been as successful. New attempts at Charlie's Angels, The Bionic Woman, and Night Rider didn't catch on. (Although they are trying yet another Charlie's Angels movie.) Neither did second attempts at Beverly Hills 90210, and Melrose Place.

But, it's not just successful shows that they're bringing back. Roswell ran for three forgettable seasons from 1999 to 2002, but they tried to make a go of it again earlier this year.

A show doesn't even have to been gone very long for it to be rebooted. Gossip Girl ran from 2007 to 2012, but they're already bringing it back.

What's next? Will they reboot a show that's still on the air? Grey's Anatomy first aired in 2005 and it's still going strong. What's to keep them from rebooting it as Grey's Anatomy: The Early Years, while they're still making the original?

So, if you have a show that you liked, but isn't currently on the air, don't worry. It'll probably be back soon. And while you're waiting for it, you can enjoy all the charm of Nash Bridges. (I hear his Special Investigations Unit is elite.)

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