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The New Hawaii Five-O: Lotsa Action But…

posted by douglas howe

The new “Hawaii Five-O” made its debut on CBS last night; it was fast-paced, action-packed, modern and current. It paid homage to the old show while creating far more depth in the main characters. If it was short on only one thing it would be…inspiration.
From the start we learned more about the main character, Alex O’Loughlin’s Steve McGarrett than we ever did from the first show. He was a military guy who returned to Hawaii to chase the murderer of his father. An old theme: revenge.
Upon returning to Hawaii he was met by the governor who gave the angry guy all the authority he needed to do or take or steal or even kill–whatever it took to get revenge. “Your rules, my backing, no red tape,” she said. This was starting to sound like the old “Death Wish” movies with Charles Bronson.
Scott Caan is Danny Williams in this turn, though he plays a divorced and far less of a Clean Jean guy than the original. We also find out he’s divorced and the origin of the “Dan-O” nickname came from his daughter when she was three. He lives in a torn up studio apartment on an island he calls a “pineapple infested hell hole.”
Imagine the old Dan-o taking a big swing at McGarrett, or the two of them recruiting a cop accused of being dirty and his cousin who punches surfers. This was almost starting to look like the beginning of Charlie’s Angels!
There were some nice quippy lines, but when mentioning “the unspoken rule that separates us from jackals and hyenas,” these guys seemed to break all the rules.
And “your apology is noted; acceptance is pending,” but forgiveness was not even mentioned.
A character named Victor Hess was the evil guy–sort of today’s Wo Fat–and since he fell into the bay after being shot we can probably count on seeing him appear again..and revenge will continue to be a theme for McGarrett.
Yes, I know, the old Hawaii Five-O reigned in a different generation, but the show’s premise was good guys who caught the bad guys via the good guys’ rules. And style. I wish the updating of old shows didn’t need to reflect the values slippage of our culture. Perhaps future shows will turn in the right direction. There’s lots of action on TV. I’m looking for inspiration.


    I watched this production last night and it was Okay nothing great. I missed the music of Hawaii Five-O with the waves rolling. There was too much action and not enough interaction.

  • Tex Kamakawiwo’Ole

    Who ever edited the New Hawaii Five-0 needs to cut back on the coffee,,The writers have seem to turn the show into a comic strip.. The Skinny woman cop kicking the cowboy Dung out of four men with guns.. Slamming the Howely gets old.. This show is going to burn out quick,,Not enough respect between the caricatures. Give me something to believe in, Find a answer or a question to life and write it into the script. too many flashes the Editing SUCKS

  • Buford T. Justice

    It’s HAOLE, not “howley”. Sheesh.
    And I agree, the racism in the show is despicable and distracting.
    Bring back Jack Lord!

  • Alicia

    That would be a neat trick, Buford, since Lord has been dead since 1998.
    I watched last night – mostly because I wanted to see Daniel Dae Kim. Grace Park is also gorgeous, and I enjoyed her scenes. I assumed the term Haole was an attempt to inject some realism into the story. (Good luck with that.) My question is, why do we need a remake of Hawaii Five-O when we already have one? (CSI Miami.) I think I’ll switch back to “Castle” next week, which is a lot more fun.
    Plus, they didn’t make nearly enough use of James Marsters as the villain.

  • Barry

    Sorry, but since I’m in the minority here, I’ll step up to the plate. I enjoyed the show and thought they did add a lot of depth to the characters. I agree that I wish there wasn’t as much profanity and violence in it, but I thought the opening credits with the new McGarrett on the hotel roof was a great start! It was definitely nonstop action, and I actually liked it more than 24 because they interjected humor often.
    It’s not perfect, and I couldn’t recommend it to just anybody, but it was fun to see how they reworked the old show with a modern twist.

  • LC

    I found the new Hawaii five-o to be racist and offensive toward whites. Needless to say, I won’t be watching it again.
    So much for a wonderful remake– EPIC FAIL
    No Aloha in Hawaii!

  • Mary

    I agree with Barry, I liked it. When I watch tv I want entertainment it doesn’t have to be real or absolutely accurate. I hope it won’t be cancelled.

  • jjd

    Okay. I am a local from Hawaii and I think that Hawaii Five-O is good. I support my local background and I am proud to say I come from the only state that shows more hospitality than any other state. KAU INOA O HAWAII!!!

  • zaney

    Curious as to where this show is going with the two detectives relationship. The one detective’s daughter said to the other detective that her dad talked a lot about him too. Hmmm. . .Usually not what straight dudes do, even if they think a lot of another guy. I am wondering if they will use this as another venue for the promotion of “healthy” gay relationships–a social-political agenda of sorts. Hollywood does this all the time. Remember too that Hawaii is the place where gay couples went to get married.
    We’ll see where this goes. Hmmm

  • la_lady

    This show seems to get better each week. Plenty of action, comedy, and character development, so far.
    This is not leading into a gay relationship with Steve and Dan-O. It’s a buddy cop show. McGarrett’s his boss, I’m sure he’s complaining about him like the rest of Americans do.

  • draconius

    As a baby boomer who grew up watching the original, I appreciate the homage to the old show in the opening theme but really don’t recognize much else in it… the new “McGarrett” just seems like some type of party animal frat boy who is almost more interested in getting laid at the beach than in working! Is that really McGarrett? He’s nothing like the hard-boiled, no-nonsense original McGarrett, who probably got laid too but was much more discreet about it, kind of like 007…
    Also, it seems like they have to go to all this trouble to explain where “Danno” came from because today it might be construed as a , er, gay relationship or something. What’s our society come to?

  • Rich Graybill

    Hawaii Five O has had a great debut season so far. Great scenes & great real estate in Hawaii

  • goda

    needs work!! i had high hopes for the remake. needs better writers. i do like the added humor though. i’m from the big island but live in seattle, so i was excited to watch and see some local places in hawaii. i wish they would have recasted the main character as a local, non haole guy. it would have added a nice more hawaiian touch to the show. since the movie is shot in hawaii why not someone of hawaiian descent or at least mixed blood like so many of us!!!
    this is not an anti haole remark, but its like when i lived in new mexico for college they had a martin luther king jr blvd. mlk was a great man, but with so few blacks and the majority of new mexicans of hispanic background, i think it was a shame they didn’t have a ceaser chavez blvd.
    also, miss the old theme song!!!

  • Dom

    I’m getting more turned off by this show every week. I hate noticing when a product is getting pushed on us and this show is going a little strong with Chevy products. They make sure we always get good shots of them in the Camaro and this week they have a full shot of the new Cruze pulling up at the peer and a full 2 to 3 seconds where the car just sits there until the Camaro pulls up. And it makes it so obvious when the Chevy Cruze commercial comes on right after the scene. And then I learn the old Mercury Marquis that Jack Lord used in the show had a cameo! I thought cameos were reserved for actors… Oh, and the acting often sucks.

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