Back in the nineties, when there was not much to do in Serbia but watch TV, several famous western TV shows found their audience in Serbia as well: Only Fools and Horses, ‘Allo ‘Allo, Miami Vice, The Simpsons, The X Files, Tropical Heat, Beverly Hills 90210… wait, what? Tropical Heat? What the hell is that?
Tropical Heat (aka Sweating Bullets) was a Canadian TV series (...) released between 1991 and 1993 (...). It was about two private investigators, ex-police officer Nick Slaughter and ex-tourist agent Silvie Girard, solving a variety of different cases.
Here’s the show’s opening credits theme song:
Plain and simple. The series didn’t run long in the US, but it did get a cult following in Serbia, exactly because it was so simple and straightforward – beaches, bikinis, good guys vs bad guys – just like in Serbia at the time, except for the beaches and bikinis. Local pranksters wrote a graffiti in a Belgrade suburb that spread quickly because it rhymed (in Serbian: “Sloteru Niče, Žarkovo ti kliče”) in such a silly way it was brilliant – “Nick Slaughter, Zarkovo hails to you”, which later turned into – “Nick Slaughter, Serbia hails to you”, and eventually an anti-Milosevic protest sign “Nick Slaughter for president”. Actually, anyone would have been a better president than Milosevic at that moment, but I guess a lot of people were so hypnotized by Mr Slaughter’s chest hair that he seemed like an obvious choice.
So why do I mention this trivial TV show all of a sudden? Because Rob Stewart, the actor who played Nick Slaughter in the show, while surfing on the internet recently, found out about the show’s cult status in Serbia. Apparently he was so intrigued after learning that a Novi Sad punk band Atheist Rap even dedicated a song to Nick Slaughter, that he decided to come and make a documentary about the whole thing.
It doesn’t get any more trivial than this, folks – exactly the type of news Belgraded likes the most. (unless, of course, it’s all a clever April fool’s day joke)
UPDATE: Here’s Nik Sloter’s first press conference in Serbia, so I guess it’s officially not a joke