HAWAII FIVE-O 1.5: Nalowale

Apparently, everyone likes working in Hawaii, because HAWAII FIVE-O cast two more familiar faces from cult TV series this week – one a hero that viewers will see again, and the other a villain whom no one wants to see return.

If you’re like me, you’ve been wondering what really happened to GLEE’s Ken Tanaka (Patrick Gallagher) that led to him being replaced as McKinley High’s football coach by Shannon Beiste (Dot Marie Jones). Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) briefly mentioned in the season premiere that Ken had a nervous breakdown – but I remained suspicious. Now, we need wonder no more. The truth is, he moved to the Philippines, changed his name to Carlos Bagoyo, and became a terrorist.
Continue reading

HAWAII FIVE-O 1.3: Malama Ka Aina

So I’m starting to think that HAWAII FIVE-O is attracting the viewers with the picturesque setting and pretty cast, but getting them to stay with their philosophical discourses. (It’s true. Read on…)

The plot was something about a gang war between the Triads and Samoans escalating because a New Jersey mob wanted to expand its illegal gambling operation West. Way West. Like, middle of the Pacific West. But what I found more interesting was learning more about Chin Ho’s (Daniel Dae Kim) back-story and his relationship with his cousin Kono (Grace Park). We also got to meet another cousin from their clan, Sid (Sidney S. Liufau).

The story started out at a football game, where we learned that Kono loves the sport and is knowledgeable about it. Can she get any more perfect? Danno (Scott Caan) brought his daughter Grace (Teilor Grubbs) to the game, and there was a cute bit where he covered her ears while he…spoke ill of someone, but she could still hear him. You can tell the producers want the audience to like Danno the most, because he gets the adorable daughter, the cool swagger and all the best lines. At one point, Danno tried to diagnose Steve’s dysfunction: “You weren’t held as a baby, were you?” he asked. Why isn’t Danno the leader of the team instead of loose-cannon Steve (Alex O’Loughlin)?
Continue reading

HAWAII FIVE-O 1.2: ’Ohana

Turns out that Steve McGarrett’s state police task force is staffed by some interesting characters – and this week’s HAWAII FIVE-O gave those people some room to breathe.

In the case of the week, Roland Lowry (Scott Cohen), an NSA expert in cyberterrorism, was kidnapped because he invented a software “skeleton key” that can be used to enter any computer system in the world, even those employing advanced asymmetric encryption. McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and posse track down the cyber bad guys through the liberal application of hard work, sideways thinking, gunplay, explosions, and a (literal) dollop of blood.
Continue reading

HAWAII FIVE-O 1.1: Pilot

grace and some guysThe 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.
Continue reading

Soap Opera Weekly: Night Shift 3/2/09

Big doings on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA this week for Starbuck and Boomer — and DAYS OF OUR LIVES alum Roark Critchlow had a rather significant guest role: He portrayed the mysterious piano player Kara called “Slick,” who tickled the ivories in Joe’s Bar. It has been some weeks since the mutiny, and Kara was back to serving as Commander, Air Group (CAG), delivering the daily briefings to the Viper and Raptor pilots, who now include a significant number of Sixes and Eights working as planet hunters and flying Combat Air Patrol (CAP, protecting the fleet). In a rare bit of humor, Kara offered the first pilot to find a habitable world “the last tube of Tauron toothpaste in the universe,” labeled Felgercarb. This is especially funny because “felgercarb” was, like “frak,” a made-up cuss word in the original 1979 series. Whereas frak was a fun replacement for the f-bomb, felgercarb stood in for the s-word. Kara was wearing down from the endless grind, and found herself spending more time in Joe’s Bar, where she encountered “Slick” (real name unknown – or is it? Read on…) Kara initially complained about Slick’s attempts to compose a song, but he eventually drew her into helping him, sharing memories of her composer father along the way. (The only item she valued among her possessions was a recording of her father’s performance, called Dreilide Thrace Live at the Helice Opera House.) She realizes the song Slick is “composing” is the exact same tune her father worked on — one that comforted her as a child. Eventually Slick is able to tease the tune out of her, and we realize it is… “All Along the Watchtower”! And, just as Kara and Slick revel in playing the entire song, Saul, Ellen and Tory confront Starbuck — but Slick is no longer beside her! Egads! He was all in her head! He was either a total hallucination, or a virtual being, like the Virtual-Six that appears in Baltar’s head. So why? Could he be her father? It would make sense… she loved playing that song with her father. And Slick claimed he left his family because his wife wanted him to quit playing piano — exactly like Dreilide abandoned Kara and her mother, Socrata. And here’s where it gets really freakkin’ complicated: Remember back when the fleet landed on the blasted Earth a few episodes ago — Anders claimed he wrote that song there for the woman he loved 2,000 years ago! Kara said her father used to play the song and it made her happy — so is she the reincarnation of the woman Anders loved — is she a previously unknown 13th Cylon model? Or perhaps a new incarnation of the permanently-boxed Daniel line?

Reincarnation — or, more precisely, downloading — played a big part in Boomer’s story this week. A new Six, called Sonja (still Tricia Helfer), was elected to the Quorum, and petitioned that Boomer be turned over to the rebel Cylons so she can try for treason for siding with Cavil — and execute her! Tyrol begged Roslin to refuse extradition, but the president refused. In fact, she signed the extradition order right in front of him! How cold was that? Obviously, Roslin was holding a grudge for Boomer (Grace Park) shooting Bill at the end of season one, but we can hardly blame her (Bill hasn’t forgiven Sharon, either). Tormented by memories of Boomer dying in his arms after Cally pulled a Jack Ruby and killed her, Tyrol visited Sharon, who told him, “I thought about you every day from that moment I died in your arms.” To prove it, she used Cylon Projection to show him an image of the home on Picon they dreamed of back when they were lovers; a home that included a daughter called “Dionne.” Determined not to lose her again, Tyrol attacked an Eight from the work crew, and staged a power outage to swap out Boomer. Dressed as the worker Eight, Boomer went to the pilot locker room where, unfortunately, Athena recognized her, forcing Boomer to take her out. Helo entered and mistook Boomer for Athena, so Boomer took the opportunity to get physical with Karl. That was highly ironic, because Hera was conceived on Caprica when the Sharon who would eventually take the name Athena pretended to be Boomer and tricked Karl into making love to her. So here, Boomer pretended to be Athena and had sex with Karl. Then she went to daycare and spirited away Hera. Boomer then coldly attempted to use the child as a human (well, half-human) shield to cover her escape from Galactica. As Boomer tried to flee, she clipped a wing on the hull! Sharon originally got her callsign, “Boomer,” not because of her sexual reputation, but because she was known for loud and clumsy landings; here it was her takeoff that went “boom.” And then she made things worse by jumping in close proximity to Galactica — with devastating results! Galactica was already suffering significant structural damage due to aging (the battlestar is well over 50 years old). The spatial distortion from the jump ripped vast holes in the battleship’s hull. Can Galactica be saved? As Boomer disappeared, Roslin shouted “Hera” and collapsed. What was that about? What was the entire plot about? Ellen figured it out: Boomer “escaping” with Ellen was all a plot by Cavil to get Hera. He was willing to lose Ellen to get the hybrid child. But why?

Soap Opera Weekly: Night Shift 7/23/08

Let’s start at the end of the evening, shall we…with GENERAL HOSPITAL: NIGHT SHIFT (no relation to this column). I’ll say this for the season two premiere: It packed more soap tropes into its hour than the mothership manages in a week. Last night we saw complicated relationships among family and friends, rivalries, love affairs, frustrated romance, dudes without shirts and babes in bras, old favorites, recasts and new characters — even the death of a recurring character! And there was actual hospital stuff. What NS lacked, I didn’t miss: There were no mobsters, no one was murdered and no children were shot. 

I thought the new characters could have been introduced in a more appealing manner. Claire was introduced stripping down after a failed date and traded barbs with newbie Kyle. It felt like NS wanted to establish Claire and Kyle as businesslike and competent, but they just seemed bitchy. How about trying to make us like characters on first blush? In addition to recasting Dr. Leo Julian (the character is now played by Ethan Raines, the brother of former portrayer Dominic), the character was reimagined from laid-back dude to snippy and somewhat sarcastic and dictatorial. Y’know, the way disgusted attendings usually treat interns on medical shows. And why — why — would the chief of staff remove a shard of glass from his own neck? I’m no doctor, but I know from watching medical shows that you don’t blindly yank the foreign object out of a puncture wound, because it acts like a plug. Sheesh! 

On the plus side: the returns of Billy Dee Williams‘ Toussaint and Antonio Sabato Jr.‘s Jagger. Jagger’s first tenure was waaaay before my time, so I’m intrigued to learn more about Robin’s relationship with her “incredibly dear old friend.” Dr. Scorpio also got a sudden old friend from medical school in the form of Dr. Saira Batra, the first Indian-American doctor in GH history. (It would have been better if she were portrayed by an Indian actress, but…baby steps.) I already know I won’t like her mystical-magical holistic philosophy, but that’s just the way the character is written. How else to strike sparks with hotshot surgeon Leo? (BTW, why is Leo suddenly such a prude? The co-ed locker room has been a fixture for many months; he should be used to the sight of panties by now.) 

I did like the new hospital set, but NS seriously needs to invest in a couple of beds. Or at least one, then keep redressing it so multiple characters can pretend they don’t all sleep and have sex on couches. In fact, instead of kicking off with Robin and Patrick getting dirty in the shower, this season began with the impending parents basking in the afterglow — on her couch. Then they bickered like an old married couple about shopping for a new couch. Excuse me, folks, but how about buying abed

Was the debut perfect? Of course not, but it was promising, and achieved its goal of being intriguing enough to make me tune in next week. I’m hoping for a duet between Toussaint and Dr. Noah Drake, but I’m not holding my breath. 

I finally managed to watch an entire DEADLIEST CATCH on Discovery Channel — just in time for the season finale. I’ve caught bits and pieces of the series (now in its fourth season) and I was instantly hooked. (Sorry…I’ll stop with the fishy puns. I mean…oh, never mind.) This highly addictive series follows the fortunes of a fleet of boats trawling the Bering Sea for king crabs. It’s alarmingly dangerous work, with serious injury almost a certainty amid all the dangerous gear and astonishingly bad weather. One guy shattered his pelvis in a fall from a ladder and the crew repaired him aboard the ship with wires and screws…as if he were some balky piece of equipment. Last night, the guys were chipping ice off the boats with mallets and jackhammers — which was disconcerting to watch while enduring the East Coast’s recent heat wave. The minus-5-degree water looked almost inviting! I couldn’t help wondering why only king crab are captured in the pots (Does anyone out there know the secret?), and it seemed a little suspicious that so many of the crews met their quota on the last day of the season (in one case, their very last pot put them over the top); the drama seemed a little too convenient. In return for four months of wet, frozen hell, each crew member received between $47,000 and $68,000 — depending on the boat’s haul. Almost seems worth it. Almost. But then, a grim coda to the finale noted that a different fishing vessel sank with all hands aboard, and five men actually died. 

The all-too-brief RESCUE ME minisode on FX cast usually dim-witted Mikey as a spelling savant who won bets with the boys by spelling words like plethora andasthma. In a classic psyche-out, though, Lou tripped him up by challenging Mikey to spell his own name. After last week’s harrowing flashback to Sept. 11 with a living, breathing Jimmy, last night’s lark was welcome comic relief. 

After that five-minute interlude, I was flipping channels when I suddenly spotted the incredibly beautiful BATTLESTAR GALACTICA babe Grace Park (Sharon/Boomer/Athena), which reminded me that her new show, THE CLEANER, was on A&E. Her character, Akani, is part of some kind of team that helps detox drug users — think of a sort of a really aggressive intervention. Only Benjamin Bratt‘s William and his team don’t surprise you at your home, they use surveillance techniques to track you down. This “extreme intervention” team is supposed to be based on real people, but William comes across as more smug than world-weary, and he sounds like he’s preaching rather than offering advice. “I’m the role model?” William asks at one point. “That can’t be good.” It’s not. 

But it would be good for you to come back for the next installment of Joe Diliberto: Night Shift…um, I mean, er, Night Shift

Originally posted on Soap Opera Weekly.com