In 2021, Nash Bridges is a bit nostalgic for USA, once the home of blue-sky dramedies like Psych and Royal Pains. But Johnson, who has recently done fare both dark (HBO’s Watchmen) and light (NBC’s Kenan), is betting that viewers will turn out. “I thought, especially during this time, it can bring some joy and action,” he says. “‘Comfort food’: That’s how I’m referring to myself these days.”
Following the fast-paced opening—replete with a gunfight, an explosion and banter—the movie jumps ahead a year. Suspended after the collateral damage of that pursuit, Nash is a part-time bounty hunter still obsessed with nailing the rich sex trafficker who walked, while Joe owns (surprise!) a legal marijuana dispensary.
When bodies start piling up, stumping the homicide department, Capt. Lena Harris (Diarra Kilpatrick) invites Nash back to the SIU with a warning: “Cowboy cop days are over.” Just don’t call him a dinosaur, as his by-the-book millennial supervisor, Steven Colton (Joe Dinicol), does before a fistfight. (Johnson, 71, keeps fit with yoga.) Nash and Joe play more nicely with the team’s young guns, Ellie Tang (Angela Ko) and Keith “Philly” Morton (Paul James), and IT chief Chloe Zane (Alexia Garcia). Nash also flirts with shrink Christina Hunter (Bonnie Somerville).
“We’ve managed to bring the fun and chemistry that the original had,” says Johnson. Fans will also recognize Jeff Perry, back as tech-savvy eccentric Harvey Leek, now a paranoid conspiracy theorist and handy when cyberwarfare and nanotechnology enter the movie’s plot.
Should the series get the go-ahead, Johnson has a storyline ready for Nash’s daughter, Cassidy (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe), now in military intelligence. “Father and daughter don’t know that they are pursuing the same person—and they run into each other!” We’re in, Bubba.