Fall TV: A peek at CBS and Global’s Hawaii Five-O

Note: This review was written by Steve Hatton for Channel Canada’s Fall TV Preview section and may contain some spoilers.

This is not the same Hawaii Five-O you’ve seen in the ’70s. The new version is jammed packed with action and special effects. It begins with a number of exploding military vehicles, one of which somehow manages to do a flip in mid-air and we also find out that Steve McGarrett’s father has just been killed. All this happens before the opening credits have even yet to roll. Speaking of the opening, yes they did bring back the old familiar theme song from the classic version. In other words, the show has been updated, but they also kept what worked in past.

In the first episode, we learn that Steve McGarrett is a US Navy lieutenant commander who returns to Hawaii to investigate his father’s death. There he is joined by Detective Danny “Danno” Williams but the relationship is forced at first. These two cops essentially dislike each other. However, they find a way to work together nonetheless as part of a new elite federalized task force set up to fight crime in Hawaii. They are joined by Chin Ho Kelly, an ex-Honolulu Police detective falsely accused of corruption and Chin’s cousin, Kono, a beautiful Hawaiian women with street smarts. The premise regarding his father’s death will also be a reoccurring plot of later episodes, so I’m told.

The chemistry between Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, the actors who play McGarrett and Williams is amazing and the writing is pretty good as well. At one point when Williams saves the life of McGarrett by shooting at a suspect who is about to kill him, Williams responds with criticism instead of thanking him.

“This is typically where you would say thank-you for saving your life,” Williams says.
“You just shot my only lead!”

The dialogue between the two characters is intense, yet also quite funny, suprizingly.

“You know, I think I might know why your wife left you,” McGarrett continues.
“Really?”
“Yeah, you’re very sensitive.”
“I’m sensitive? You think I’m sensitive?… When did you come to the conclusion that I was sensitive? Was it when a bullet was tearing through my flesh?”

The only question I would have, is it realistic? Let’s face it, the story is about a group of hot cops who are out to catch bad guys. Then again, what else would we expect from a TV show which takes place in Hawaii? This show isn’t making any excuses about what it is. Some parts of the storyline may go over the top, as is the case with all action dramas. But that’s okay because that’s what viewers want with a show like this. As long as they don’t over do it, like they did with the return of Knight Rider, where the plot was so unbelievable you wanted to throw popcorn at your TV screen. This is not the case with Hawaii Five-0. The writers here clearly know how to give viewers what they want without crossing the line.

Look for it Monday Nights at 10 ET on CBS and Global. The show doesn’t have much competition as it will be on against two other brand new dramas that nobody’s heard of, ABC’s Castle and NBC’s Chase. Hawaii Five-0 just may have a bright future indeed.

My Rating: There’s a great future for this show!

Starts: Monday, September 20th 10/9 Central and Mountain on CBS

Also: 10/9 Central/8 Mountain and Atlantic on Global in Canada

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