The reboot of HAWAII FIVE-O was a triumph of form over substance. Which is not necessarily a bad think; I don’t mind a TV show set in Hawaii that looks really great. And who needs another procedural that gets bogged down in the intricacies of police procedure?
By now, I have seen so many procedurals I feel like I could not only investigate a murder, but follow it to court and prosecute it to conviction. So I really wasn’t looking forward to seeing an iconic 1970s series reworked for the meticulous modern age. And, luckily, that’s not what we got. In fact, HAWAII FIVE-O seemed remarkably uninterested in the nitty-gritty details of Steve McGarrett’s (Alex O’Loughlin) investigation into a terrorist family human-smuggling ring guy who killed his father. Or something like that.
H5-O seemed more interested in blowing stuff up; seriously, have you ever seen so many vehicles go cartwheeling through the air on the small screen? If I didn’t know better, I would think the show itself lost track of what McGarrett was investigating. I think it was intentional, in the sense that the threat was supposed to be portrayed as some kind of hydra-headed organization, but… wait, what was I talking about? Not that this is a bad thing. In fact, it was a good thing. I loved seeing that Hawaiian scenery. I have been to Maui, but I never made it to the Big Island.
The pilot hit all the required notes in this opening tale of how naval intelligence officer Steve McGarrett came to head up a special anticrime task force to the Hawaii State Police. He assembled a team of outsiders (read: uncorrupted agents) for his squad, including Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim, who was loathe to leave Hawaii after completing his run as Jin on LOST); Kelly’s cousin Kono (Grace Park); and transplanted mainlander Danny Williams (Scott Caan) – whose daughter christened him with the nickname “Danno.” I love that Park is playing Kono, a role originally filled by a gigantic male actor called Zulu. This sort of gender reassignment seems to be a specialty of Park’s: On the reimagined BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, Park played “Boomer,” a character portrayed by a man. (It’s another Park two-fer.)
If I could point to one flaw in the pilot, I would say, “Not enough Grace Park.” There can never be too much Grace Park on TV. I kinda feel about her the way somebody at CBS feels about O’Loughlin; I mean, what is this, his 57th series? He’s a likeable guy, he just can’t seem to pick the right vehicle. Well, at least since he was on THE SHIELD.
Anyway, the long and the short of it is, HAWAII FIVE-O is slickly produced, is packed with action and has a great-looking cast. What more could you ask? Be there. Aloha.