Pilot Review: Hawaii Five-O

It’s Hawaii 5-0. Just modern.

I never saw the original series, it never really seemed to make it to the UK, even the random cult cable channels. I’m aware enough of the clichés of the show to see a few of them lingered over in the pilot, but I’m judging the new show purely on its own merit.

Luckily for the people who have clearly spent a massive amount of money on it, the merit stands pretty well. It’s cheesy, over the top, gratuitous and contrived, but it was also bloody entertaining.

At its heart, this is a buddy cop show in a beautiful location. The location can be solved by filming in Hawaii and spending lots on helicopter shots, the harder part is getting good chemistry between the two stars. Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin, Moonlight) is the gung-ho military hero who’s returned home to Hawaii to avenge his father’s death. Danny Williams (Scott Caan, Ocean’s 11, son of James) is a recent immigrant to the island, following his daughter and ex-wife. He looks like he should be playing an emotionally retarded bully, but is in fact a soft hearted father, who would far rather wait for back up and think things through than run headlong into danger.

I really liked both of their characters, immediately wanting to find out more about them. But more so, I liked them together, the way they complement each other, and infuriate each other. Steve is the driving force, Danny the sarcastic voice of calm. Danny won’t stand for Steve’s crap and doesn’t want to follow him in to danger and get shot at, but Steve is in charge and seems to enjoy winding Danny up.

The two supporting members of the team were very much supporting as far as the pilot went. Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim, Lost) has street smarts but a chip on his shoulder and Kona Kalakaua (Grace Park, Battlestar Galactica) is his cousin who seems to be around mostly to not wear much and surf. There’s suggestions of interesting back stories with each, so I’m optimistic they’ll becom more interesting as time allows.

The plot did what it needed to do which was mostly get the characters into alternately bickering o fighting situations. Bicker – plot – gun fight – bicker – plot – gun fight – plot – bicker. The primary plot of hunting down Steve’s father’s murderer seemed a little too easy to be honest and it was a shame James Marsters (Buffy) didn’t get to do more. But the set up for investigating corruption in the police department and the governor herself getting involved was interesting.

Hawaii Five-O is more NCIS than The Shield bright, colourful, entertaining and action packed. It’s going to rely on characters to keep people interested and from what I saw here, they’ve got all the right ingredients with a superb cast and some good writing. It’s the televisual equivalent of a popcorn flick and it does that pretty damn well.

TV Squad: Yet despite the dude-tastic charisma that Caan brings to Danno, I can’t quite see a reason to watch ‘Hawaii Five-0’ again, given that each week, the stories will probably feel like something we’ve already seen on ‘NCIS,’ ‘NCIS Los Angeles’ or any number of the ‘CSIs.’ Bad guys will be caught, the team shall be triumphant. Rinse and repeat.

CliqueClack: the amount of thought placed into the show breathes utter kickassery. Everything from the opening credits to the writing to the directing to the cinematography appeared well done and well thought out.

Links: Official site, wikipedia, tv.com, imdb


3 thoughts on “Pilot Review: Hawaii Five-O

  1. Pingback: Narrative Devices

  2. Pingback: The Upfronts 2012 – CBS « Narrative Devices

  3. Pingback: Hawaii Five-0: Season 1 « Narrative Devices

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