Photo Credit : CBS
In the category of “Stuff People Like” regarding TV, there are numerous answers. People enjoy complex, intriguing shows, sure, but sometimes people like to watch attractive people in exotic locales engaged in crime fighting and witty repartee. The new CBS reboot of “Hawaii Five-0” seeks to fill that need in your weekly television diet
By : SHAWNA BENSON
In the category of “Stuff People Like” regarding TV, there are numerous answers. People enjoy complex, intriguing shows, sure, but sometimes people like to watch attractive people in exotic locales engaged in crime fighting and witty repartee. The new CBS reboot of “Hawaii Five-0” seeks to fill that need in your weekly television diet. As TV viewers, we have varying levels of commitment to our shows. Some shows demand that we devote slavish attention to them, tuning in each week, picking apart the clues, the subtleties, and the larger themes being examined (I’m looking at you, “Lost.”) Fortunately, not every show on the air requires all of our attention. Like a one night stand the show can be loved and left – wham, bam, thank you ma’am – with no messy emotional cleanup or worrying about falling behind if you miss one episode. Primarily, we like to call those shows “procedurals.”
But back to “Hawaii Five-0” – the show practically begs you to love it. When it isn’t pushing its beautiful vistas of Hawaiian beaches, surfers, and bikinis, it’s tempting us with some great actors – Grace Park! (Boomer, of “Battlestar Galactica”) Daniel Dae Kim! (Jin, of “Lost”) Scott Caan! (“Ocean’s 11”) I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the lead, Alex O’Loughlin, back for a third time at CBS (which apparently is the charter member of his fan club), playing Detective Steve McGarrett, the character once made famous by Jack Lord. The show isn’t much more than a typical cop show with a fancy hula skirt, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Photo Credit : CBS
For those of you unfamiliar with one of the most iconic shows of television history (and, it’s okay if you are – the show was on 30 years ago, and you may have missed the endless re-runs. It happens.) “Five-0” is about Steve McGarrett (O’Loughlin), a former Navy officer who is recruited by the Governor of Hawaii (played by “24’s” Jean Smart) to lead a special task force of cops with unlimited resources at their command. Their mission: battle the toughest enemies of the State, the ones who seem to exist outside the law. Assisting McGarrett with this mission are Detective Danny “Danno” Williams (Caan), Chin Ho Kelly (Kim) and Kelly’s cousin, Kona Kalakaua (originally a male character, now played by Park). The Five-0 team must not only fight the usual law breakers, but the corruption within the system, a tall order for anyone.
O’Loughlin comes across as stiff as a surfboard as McGarrett in the pilot (albeit, a surfboard with killer abs), but he promises to be a character not fond of rules. To counter him, Caan’s Danno is a curious partner – a by the book, wisecracker smart-ass (one imagines that their new mission won’t have him sticking to the rules for long though). Kim and Park round out the team; though they are introduced in the pilot, their importance barely registers, though merely by their introduction, one assumes they will take on greater importance as the series progresses.
The pedigree of the show is impressive. Executive producers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman have previously produced “Fringe” and have written some of the biggest blockbusters of the last few years, including “Star Trek.” Peter Lenkov, formerly of “CSI: NY” commands the show, and brings his shrewd storytelling abilities from the New York streets to the sunny Hawaiian beach.
It’s hard not to be charmed by the show – it looks beautiful, tells a decent story and does so with style and panache. By the time McGarrett says the famous line – “Book’em, Danno” you’ll find yourself wanting to spend an hour at the beach every week. I’m thinking this show will be very successful come December or January as the weather chills considerably. Certainly, there are worse ways to spend the hour on Monday nights.
Hawaii Five-0 premieres Monday September 20, at 10 PM Eastern/Pacific on CBS.