The important thing to remember about the new Hawaii Five-O is that most of its weaknesses are also its strengths, i.e.
CON: Another police procedural?
PRO: Another police procedural!
CON: Big distinction is being filmed in Hawaii.
PRO: Hawaii is much cooler looking than Detroit, Chicago, or anywhere else on the mainland, brah.
CON: Key characters have the same names (McGarrett, Danno, Chin Ho, Kono)
PRO: "Book 'em Danno" has a nice ring to it.
CON: Scott "Danno" Caan doesn't so much act as impersonate his dad, James Caan.
PRO: Sonny Corleone's kid as a tough cop? I'm in.
CON: They didn't even bother to update the theme music...
PRO: If it ain't broke...
CON: A lot has changed since the '70s.
PRO: Whoa, the '74 Mercury Brougham that McGarrett drove gets a cameo? Sweet!
And so on.
If this was all Five-O had to offer, you could do a lot worse, but there wouldn't be a lot to recommend it. But there a few bits to set it apart in a fall schedule abundant with cop shows.
CASTING: No complaints here, I have enjoyed half of the main cast in other roles; Daniel Dae Kim from Angel and Lost, and Grace Park from Battlestar Galactica. Scott Caan is a chip off the old block, and he seems to enjoy some buddy-movie chemistry with Alex O'Loughlin, an Australian with an Irish name playing someone born in Hawaii. Wait, what?
LOCATION: I don't care what anyone says; Hawaii is cool, and they do point out how different things are from the mainland in elements like 'where do we get an undercover cop from? The bad guys already know everyone...' and "That's the trouble with you haoles (honkies), no team spirit."
DETAILS: It's not just a bootprint McGarrett sees on the floor, he later tells Danno that the suspect wears the same size as himself but in a double E, with a custom sole. When he calls the governor to take her up on the task force offer, he ends up swearing his oath over the phone. When the human trafficker can't find a wire on Kono, Chin Ho explains it's because they used a laser microphone aimed at the window. Nothing terribly new here, but it's just enough to keep you from feeling too guilty about watching yet another cop show.
DIALOGUE: Good stuff throughout here, including an early bit where McGarrett tries to leave Danno's crime scene with evidence and is told he can either leave it or get arrested. "You gonna call for backup?" McGarrett asks. "An ambulance," Danno replies. I hope they give material this good to Chin Ho and Kono later on; the other two get all the good eatin' in this episode.
ACTION: The original Five-O had a reputation for decent action and great car chases, and we do get to see some of the former in the premiere. Gunplay, tactical entries, and a couple of vehicle collisions in close proximity to humans are all handled well, as is a combat scene with a helicopter and explosions prior to the opening credits.
|Strangely, none of the promo photos show Grace Park in a bulletproof vest...why do you think that is?|
All in all, a very pleasant way to spend an hour in front of the tube, and unlike most shows I like, this one did all right in the ratings, so I can put off worrying about cancellation for at least a little while.