I’ll admit: I did watch the first season of ABC’s “Lost.” But after the cryptic numerology and polar bears that were never fully explained, I lost interest.
But I got the show’s popularity. It just wasn’t for me.
So when CBS announced it was reviving the classic cop show “Hawaii Five-O,” I was skeptical.
Even after the network announced the cast — a nice mix of big- and small-screen actors — I still wasn’t excited about the upcoming season.
Most shows that are filmed here — where Hawaii plays itself — don’t do well. Case in point: “Baywatch Hawaii,” “North Shore” and “Hawaii.” But “Lost,” which used Oahu as a location for a deserted island, worked. There was no need to infuse local culture, multicultural faces or — and this part is always a problem — Pidgin.
But I was pleasantly surprised with last night’s premiere. Credit the great cinematography, lighting and camera angles. No, seriously. Nicely done. The crew made the bridge to Fort Island look super cool.
Most of the reviews call the show engaging, fun and action-packed. All true. But here’s my take on the show:
What I liked:
- The governor of Hawaii is a woman — who would say, “I can help you find the son-of-a-bitch.” Thumbs up.
- Scott Caan, who plays Danny “Danno” Williams. The “Ocean’s Eleven” actor is single-handedly making the show. I mean, he called Hawaii a “pineapple-infested hell hole.” That made me laugh — in that uncomfortable, inappropriate way.
- That the opening credits has some of the same shots as the original series — including the iconic scene of Det. Steve McGarrett (played this time by the talented Alex O’Loughlin) atop the Ilikai Hotel.
- The chemistry between Caan and O’Loughlin. It worked.
- The use of the iPhone. Very trendy.
- That the Honolulu cops looked like Honolulu cops.
What I didn’t like:
- Kukui High School. I didn’t buy it.
- That Kono Kalakaua is a woman. Nothing against Grace Park. I just can’t imagine anyone playing the character but Zulu.
- And on that topic, it’s hard to believe that Park is part Hawaiian.
- We don’t have yellow cabs here. It kinda bothered me.
- Daniel Dae Kim or Alex O’Loughlin speaking Pidgin. It was, hmm, hard. I’m just thankful Caan didn’t try it, too.
- Let’s face it, we don’t have the kind of crime here that would warrant this kind of special task force — or explosives.
- That Park had to strip down for that one scene. I get why — ratings — but I’m not a fan of gratuitous skin. Yes, even on guys.
- When McGarrett said, “Book ’em, Danno.” I know, I know. It was just cliche.
- The name of the group that Chin Ho Kelly (played by Kim) came up with in Hawaiian, which meant, “No task is too big when done together.” It sounded a lot like something from “Lilo & Stitch.”
Anyone else watch it?
In case you missed it, here’s a clip.
To read all of Cat’s blogs, visit www.nonstophonolulu.com/thedailydish. Follow Cat on Twitter @thedailydish or send her an e-mail at [email protected]
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Okay here’s my take on the new Hawaii Five-O:
You can’t compare it to the old series.
That being said, if they had made the father be the Jack Lord character as an old man and the new Steve his Jr., it would have been a genius way to tie the new show to the old one. Especially, since it seems the avenging of his death will be the running theme throughout the series. It would help the old series fans have a emotional connection with the new show. I liked the Steve (Jr) character – kind of like the old McGarrett where he used his smarts and extensive military background and experience as an asset. I really like the humor in the Danno character! Chin Ho character is great as well – actually more of a help to the team than the original – but Kam Fong was married to my Mom’s first cousin, so I can’t say anything bad about him. lol The Kono character however……………… Don’t get me wrong, Grace is Hott as Hell! But she seems kind of tiny and girly to be a hard ass. I think it should have been cast to a male actor. But if it had to be a woman, I would have chosen Kelly Hu. A real Hawaiian, local girl – action movie star, and more believable for that role. Over all I liked it for what it is: A CSI type crime drama set in Hawai’i with subtle mentions and reminders of the old series. I will watch it, cause I thought it was really good. I just hope it doesn’t end up like Lost. Because I lost interest it that after the 2nd season. — My 2 cents.
Yup. I watched it. I enjoyed it. I brought out my Season One DVD’s to check out some comparisons to the old scenes/shots. Looking forward to next week.
BTW Cat, looking forward to that interview with Grace.
Da Pidgin? Painful.
Grace Park? Cutie pie.
Danno? Funny as hell.
Explosions? Lots and lots.
Irish terrorists? WTF.
The show? My must watch TV.
@Patrick Irish Terrorists: McGarrett was still with the US Navy SEAL Team on an extraction mission. His connection to Hawai`i wasn’t revealed until the phone call came in from his father’s phone just after the extraction subject mentioned about his potential release.
Tell us what you thought of tonight’s Hawaii Five-0 episode! Tell your friends to comment: https://bit.ly/H50Dish
@NonstopHonolulu I hope you don’t mind but I cross posted your link to the GasBuddy.com TV forum. Hopefully it’ll generate more responses and drive up your hit count.
I loved the pace of the episode. Each segment gave me information to progress the story. Characters were well developed and the scenes were great. The city looked awesome.
Speaking “the bird” was cheesy, but they tried. You’re right, I’m glad Danno didn’t even try. I agree that Grace Park didn’t need to take her clothes off but I guess it was a creative way to check for a bug… haha
Looking forward to next week’s episode!
@johngarcia Yea, but the Five-O gang had them beat. Using laser bouncing off the windows. Now, that’s CIA grade stuff.
Kukui High School? Totally ridiculous. Liked the show, though: I’m back to my old “Lost” pastime of scene spotting. Here was my quick digest: https://content.3dhawaii.com/post/spotting-scenes-from-hawaii-five-0
I gotta go hunt down @hawaii’s take though: I’m betting Ryan knew where Danno’s apartment building was. 😉
@strobie @hawaii’s Danno’s apartment is in the old Honolulu Advertiser building.
@Ron @strobie @hawaii I think I also recognized the beach scene with “Waiola Snack Shop” as the beach park across Hawaii Loa Ridge. i could be wrong, though, the water and grass and the cement structure was the bathroom. Any other guesses?
@johngarcia I think they got a template “Waiola Snack Shop” set already stashed away. Supposedly, it’s the concession stand near Magic Island. Not sure if it’s the same one in this Episode One.
@strobie I thought Kukui High School was silly, but not annoying. When they went with “Sai-Min” as a character name, I had to assume a lot of this stuff will be tongue-in-cheek. I sure hope so.
Interesting that they didn’t create a fake name for the shave ice stand, though, and yes, it’ll make another appearance. They filmed last week at Ala Moana Beach Park. I couldn’t place the original location, so I suspect @johngarcia is right. I wonder what the real Waiola Shave Ice thinks about all this?
I tried to take mental note of the various locations, but it’s just not the same as with “LOST,” where they had Honolulu stand in for other places. But I’ll keep an eye out just for @strobie from now on.
As for my review, it’s here:
I agreed with a lot of what Cat Toth wrote. I really hope they give Grace Park more to do than take off her clothes.
@hawaii @johngarcia Excellent! This show is going to be fun… Your KHS page could be bigger than the Dharma Initiative.
I watched it and enjoyed it. Maybe I’m an optimist, but if CBS has a FB and Twitter account for the show, they’re listening to the comments. Tweak the pidgin, meaning, tone it down. Not everyone born and raised in Hawaii speaks pidgin li’dat or like this. And, not every Native Hawaiian can olelo Hawai’i (forgive me for leaving out the kahako or using an apostrophe for the ‘okina).
Otherwise, the chemistry of the cast was good, it was action packed, Hawaii looked beautiful, and let’s face it — we need the attention right now.
Although the character said, “Kukui High School” the closed caption read, “Kahuku High School” and Cat, I know you don’t think Grace Park could pass for part Hawaiian, but can you believe that I’m Korean? It’s true, my Mother’s maiden name is also Park. 🙂
@NEENZ Totally agree, Neenz! The social was started on this early enough that there are some pretty active channels of communication. If CBS is listening, they could really take those suggestions and apply them immediately. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!
@johngarcia @NEENZ You’re KOREAN? Coolio, yo. Never woulda guessed. Then again, I’m Hungarian. 🙂
OK here’s my quick notes:
Beautiful cinematography, this show in HD is really gonna sell Hawaii good.
Good chemistry between all of the main actors, of course especially between Caan and O’Loughlin.
McGarrett as a local, hmmm didn’t know that was written in…triple da pidgin pain for local viewers?
Nice callback to the original series with O.G. McGarrett’s gigantic Mercury in the garage.
The Chinese smuggler’s accent made me LOL, dunno just sounded a little exaggerated.
Kukui High School, hehe…hey I heard Chin Ho also went to Macadamia Intermediate! I thought I read in some previews it was supposed to be Kahuku, but oh well.
I believe this pilot was shot way ahead of the other episodes to sell the show to the network, so it was a lot more over the top action than plot and things maybe moved a little *too* quickly. But hey it’s better than having it drag. I’m sure the scripts will get better.
Ending was a little cheesy/sappy, but in a good way…reminded me of the way old school cop shows used to end episodes.
All in all, an enjoyable show and I will definitely be tuning in each week!
Action/comedy mix, balanced overall tone. Good chemistry among cast members, especially between O’Laughlin and Caan.
Cinematography, exterior shots.
Supersaturated colors, green/yellow tint filters. Why isn’t true color good enough when shooting Hawai’i’s gorgeous, natural scenery? It was with Magnum P.I.
Music. Sorry, much of it was terrible. Would it be too much to ask to use at least some Island or Island-sounding music?
Pidgin. Ok, everyone has this gripe. But seriously, is Pidgin really that hard to do? I’m thinking it must be since I have yet to hear someone not from Hawai’i speak Pidgin convincingly (at least convincingly to locals).
@hawaii2000 Yeah, what was with the colors? I thought it was my TV…
Pretty funny with the Kukui High School…nicknamed “da Awsum Nutz”!!?? Why can’t people pronounce correctly the name of this city? Why is it “:Hawn no loo loo” rather than “Hoe no lulu”???
Found the overall script to be rather choppy with very little development…am sure the protagonist will reappear like Wo Fat. The action should hold some attention, the skin, both male and female will as well. CBS should have made the pilot a 2 hour thing like they did in the old days. I guess they have a limited budget…watching this was like a video game, I’m too slow to keep up with fast moving stuff.
The actors trying to speak pidgin was painful. It made me cringe every time they did it.
@edmorita I’m pretty sure the problem with the pidgin is two-fold, and it’s the same reason past attempts have hurt so much as well. One, it’s already hard to speak “real” pidgin. But two, I think CBS is sanitizing and cleaning up the pidgin to be more intelligible… which makes it even more awkward. They’re not fully going for it, aiming for something in the middle, which makes what comes out of their mouths that much worse.
I gotta say I’m am more blown away than I originally thought. I had no intention on watching this or even giving it a chance because there are so many intriguing first runs shows this season. But we talked about it more in class today (thanks Cat) so I figured I had to give it a whirl.
Caan and O’Loughlin handled it rather nicely pretty believable duo very Felix and Oscar
“Amazing” Grace’s torso…. very hot
The location shots selections and camera tricks
The Jump ove the hood of a crashing car
“You Speak Bird Ah” very funny and no doubt a new Hawaii Slang for H.C.E.
“Psyco” as a ringtone for the “Ex”
Over the top Crime for Hawaii
“How much ka’la bully?”
Park’s torso is amazing but her Okole is “Absent” without a doctor’s note
Park saying Ho Brah before she false-cracks a tourist (I bet McCartney & Uchiyama just loved that scene)
Daniel Kim’s Hawaiian and Pidgin is horrendous
The Triad dude kept switching accents “That’s the hard part”
Caan talking on the phone to his daughter while he is driving. Hey you’re HPD and that is illegal son. Book yourself Danno.
Still we gotta remember it’s TV so it is actually not that bad. I’ll watch some more to see where this takes us
@docrock It’s legal for HPD (or for that matter, police on all islands) to use the cell phone hands-on.
@Ron @docrock “Book yourself, Danno.” PRICELESS.
@Ron I don’t think pC-1 was meaning talking to your daughter even if it is to say
“Danno Loves You”. I always say its kind of funny we can use a phone but the get a 15″ Dell Distraction with no idea of that being a hindrance. Either way I see way too many people still talking on the phone while driving these days.
I can see it now, next season Chow Mein attempts a rescue of his sibling, Sai Mein. When that fails and Chow Mein is also jailed then big bruddah Fried Sai Mein and his Gyoza Team kidnaps and holds Dan-o, Chin, and Kono which leaves McGarrett to ponder their fate in season 3.
All kidding aside, the show wasn’t that bad. Credible to a point and pretty much follows along the same focal point as the original series where McGarrett is always looking for his nemesis. At least in this opening series the plot is set and McGarrett has a personal reason for his presence in Hawai`i.
Did I miss something or wasn’t LtCom McGarrett still an active SEAL Team member during his visit with the Governor? Sometime between this scene and the funeral scene when did he leave the SEAL Team and take the impromptu request to become the head of 5-0? So far as I know you just don’t walk out on your unit.
Funny thing about the car scenes where Dan-o and McGarret are driving from Makaha towards Kaena Point. McGarret is in the passenger seat but from some of the interior shots there’s water in the background. I didn’t know that Yokohama side had a lake. Yeah, you can say it’s nitpicking to a point but us locals know what’s true or not. That’s TV for you.
I LOVED the scenes when they approach the shore from the ocean and then zoom back and pan out to show the bigger lay of the land. Kind of like Gojira’s opening scene when they approached the back of Kualoa Ranch from the ocean.
Yes, the pidgin could be improved but that’s Hollywood. Just have to add some type of pidgin to make sure the mainland folks can recognize local talk.
The store scene was quite amusing because I didn’t know we speak to each other like that. I’m sure it’ll be over the head of the mainland folks. I’m not sure I’d agree with using the big guy as the proprietor of the store. Seems almost stereotypical to me BUT it panned out at the end of the scene when Dan-o and McGarrett were outside leaning on the car wearing the t-shirts and holding what looked like Shaved Ice.
Overall, I’d continue to watch the series unfold. Gotta support the hometown folks and it’ll be fun finding out what the next nemesis to McGarrett will be called. Anyone for Ra Mein?
Yup the trafficker’s name is Saimin. Had an independent person listen to the sound bite a few times while I watched the lip movement. Definitely “Sai Mein”. Someone in @hawaii’s blog said that the closed caption showed up as “Sai Lin”.
As for McGarrett’s departure from the SEAL Team,he does mention on the phone that he’ll join the Reserves as he’s talking to the Governor while in his father’s garage.
There’s a background character behind Kamekona, the proprietor of Waiola Snack Shop. It’s less than a second but it looks like Skippa Diaz, ex Farrington football coach/AD.
As for the real location of the Snack Shop, I don’t have enough visual clues to hazard a guess. I do see a couple of man made rock outcroppings that stretch out from the beach. There are two angled shots taken from behind the counter looking out onto the ocean. Both shots show an outcropping so it’s a beach with two man made rock walls that stretch out from the beach.
Geez, I wish work was this fun.
Cat, as for a female playing Kono, I felt the same way when the new Battlestar Galactica came out… “Starbuck and Boomer are GIRLS??? NO WAY!!!” But, after a few shows, it seemed right as rain. So I’m sure the chick Kono will grow on you/us.
And Wow! …a LOT of comments for this time of day/night.
And poor Daniel Dae Kim… He never gets to speak normal in his role. He always has to fake an accent (Korean for LOST and now pidgin for H50!)
@MaxMaxMax I found it hard to believe that he worked with McGarrett Senior. He looked like a young buck. I’m assuming he’s taking place of the original Chin-Ho? Does that mean he’s the same guy from the old five-o?
@johngarcia @MaxMaxMax I assumed that he was like McGarrett Senior’s employee?
@johngarcia Daniel Dae Kim ain’t no spring chicken, haha! He’s in his 40s.
It was okay, lets see how the rest of the season goes.
We will always be the most critical of Hawaii-based shows because we’re so close to the culture/place…we should be. But the reality is others watching on the mainland, which represent majority of the viewing audience won’t be thinking the same things we are while enjoying the action, scenery, story lines, etc. Nonetheless, if the show wants to continue getting support from the Hawaii community, like others, I think it’s in their best interest to listen and try to make some changes along the way.
@nathankam I agree. My mom said the same thing to me today when I complained about the incongruity of our low violent crime rates and the show’s hyper crime plot line. She said, “Yeah, you know that because you live here.” True.
I do see yellow cabs on the road, well yellow vans LOL… Overall, I did like the tv show, too much closeup to the face shots lol. I agree with some of you about the colors are bit off too.
The show looks and feels great. It’s current and it’s paced for audiences with short attention spans. The theme song is still intact, the subtle nods to the old series are cool (the Mercury, the opening sequence with the wave, Ilikai and airplane shots). It’s great exposure for Hawaii, free advertising for the HTA and it boosts our economy. I’m hoping for a long run.
@Gonzo That’s why I think they should have made the father be Jack Lords character in the now. Why show the Mercury that supposedly belong to the father if he wasn’t the original Steve McGarrett? His name is John??? Would have been an excellent tie to the old series.
@gkg808 That could’ve worked nicely. But being that it’s a remake and not a continuation of the original series, I think they made the right call.
@gkg808 @Gonzo A post I wrote about the design of the new Five-0 was just published: https://bit.ly/Five0Design. Would love to hear what you folks think about the redesign of a classic.
@gkg808 Good idea, gkg808. I hear ya. But being that it’s a remake and not a continuation of the original series, I think they made the right call. It would’ve been tricky trying to come up with all new characters if they went that route. You couldn’t have Danno. You couldn’t have Kono or Chin Ho because it would introduce all sort of weird plot holes and twists.
IMHO the writers did a good job in symbolically burying the original series by killing off McGarrett’s father (who seemed to be some sort of detective in his own right and bore a physical resemblance to Jack Lord’s character). So in a way, your idea is already present in the pilot of the rehashed series.
Did anyone else notice beach on both sides of the Mustang when Danno is lecturing McGarrett on apologies? In the closeup on Danno you see the beach to the left of the car through the drivers side window. When it switches to close ups on McGarrett, the beach is to the right of the car through the drivers side window. All makai!
@Gonzo hehe lots of people called them on the dual water faux pas. I actually didn’t catch it. I was concentrating more on the Mustang. Was it matte grey?!
@johngarcia Pantone 424 maybe? With all the little quarks aside, the show was still very entertaining (which is the most important thing).
The Kukui High School dialogue was cool because that’s how local people are — “Eh, what high school you went?”
The pidgin didn’t bother me that much because the believability that Kono, Chin Ho and McGarrett were local was still there (speaking for myself). Kono looks like one of my high school classmates at Kamehameha, so I could believe that she was part Hawaiian (next time you go up on campus, take a look around. There are a lot of students that pull a lot more Asian than Hawaiian in their looks). Chin Ho could pass as local, his pidgin isn’t really pidgin but then there are tons of people born and raised in Hawaii that sound just like him or have a hard time with pidgin themselves. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Chin Ho sounded local, regardless of whether or not he was trying to speak pidgin or not. McGarrett, being the stud muffin that he is, probably went to Punahou. 😉
@Gonzo LOL at the Kukui High dialogue. @Hawaii registered http://www.kukuihigh.com and snagged http://www.twitter.com/kukuihigh and they’re going to make athletic apparel based on the reference. lol
@johngarcia @Gonzo @Hawaii LMAO this is great! Check out the tweet from USS Missouri: “@kukuihigh We’re sorry to see Chin leave @USSMissouri. He was a valued member of our security team. But now he’s keeping all of Hawaii safe.” 😀 There should be a fake video with Kanoa and/or Papa Jim Leahey talking about Chin Ho and McGarrett’s football days too with footage and everything. The possibilities are endless…
I loved that tweet from @USSMissouri. And great thinking, @808marv, a sports retrospective with the Leaheys would be awesome. Who’s got the hookups?
@johngarcia @Hawaii Dang. You guys are quick thinkers. That’s actually really badass. Ha.
@Gonzo @johngarcia @Hawaii Pretty funny website… although, I think your math is off on when Chin Ho’s high school days really were. Should be late ’80s.
Good luck with it and the apparel!
@MaxMaxMax @Gonzo @johngarcia @Hawaii There’s even a Kukui High School page on Facebook!
I liked the show and will watch again. Like others have said, the punch by Park was a bit of a stretch. My wife really liked Scott and the Danno character.
@Eric Lot’s of people are really digging Danno’s character. He’s a little bit arrogant but witty and cool. He’s got a soft spot for his daughter but turns it off as soon as he’s off the phone with her.
@johngarcia @Eric For me it seems as if it is the same Scott Caan character in all of his roles. Tough, brooding, doesn’t get along with anyone else, quick-temptered, etc. Would actually like to see him soften up a bit. Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like his character, because I did… they all were cast well. Although, I’d love for the producers to figure out a way to bring Aya Sumika into the mix, (she was in the ABC “Hawaii” series and “NUMB3RS.”
[…] of the new Hawaii Five-0, the town has been buzzing on whether they like the show or not. I think Catherine Toth sums it up in a nutshell very […]
All I can say is completely unfair… why? they have to throw in a scene coming in over Kaneohe Bay. Spent so many hours sailing on that body of water and I got so homesick I had to stop and watch that part several times before moving on. Man I loved sailing out of Kokokahi as often as possible.
OK, now the show. My favorite scene and lots of us ‘haoles’ can relate is when McGarret says he grew up there and the comment back was ‘you still look haole to me’ be honest now… you haole like me and live Hawaii you have heard at least one or two variations of that remark… hopefully without the FN part thrown in… also liked the story, it was not likely to happen in HNL in a million years but fun anyways. Unless you count those guys who chased some guys along the Pali golf course shooting at them… some of the folks pardoned by an ex-governor.
But I digress. Grace Park slugging that guy was just not realistic… If she’d been a real sistah she would not have stopped with a love tap… she’d have smacked him with the board, kicked him, and then crowned him with the board while dropping a couple dozen F bombs on him… not to mention biting and scratching. Hey, I went to Waianae to watch some friends surf… tell me I’m lying…
Like all Hawaii shows they have to land a plane a KMCAS and step out of the plane onto Pearl, start in Kahala and go around a corner and magically be in Waianae or perhaps the North Shore. and dude you don’t ask a local girl if she wants a cotton candy while holding a shave ice… lucky you didn’t get kicked in the coconuts.
I loved it. haven’t a clue why. Grace could have kept her clothes on and that would have been better, same as the bikini shot just less color. Just nitpicking but but seemed weird all things considered. Hopefully going forward less gunfire and more story line stuff. In 5.5 years in Hawaii we had less violence than that one episode.
What was irritating was when they kept saying “howlees” for “haoles”. Doesn’t the show have a language consultant?
@Glenn_D maybe they could hire the guy who did the recordings for DaBus. according to the WSJ he’s the reigning expert on pronunciation of Hawaiian words. and he;s a ‘howlee’ from freaking Minny-So-Toe, yah, i read it in the paper, dontchaknow,
i can’t believe i spaced it. was gonna go to Hawaiian Walk Up in Oaktown and watch it on their tiny, grease covered, ceiling mounted 21 inch TV (cause while i was on Oahu, my wife pitched our 36 Toshiba tube set). but on reflection, probably best i didn’t park on 17th street in DT Oakland at night. Funny you found Lost’s lack of HI identification a plus. most people i talk to fault it for that- the ‘Jurassic Park’ syndrome’ I’ll catch the replay on line. i was gonna buy a new tv, but the Lions have lost two in a row, so i’m waiting a little longer.
Most local folks are panning da pidgin! 5-0 writing team should hire Lee Cataluna as their pidgin consultant…the dialogue was for da “birds”!!!??
I was excited when I heard it was coming out, and when it finally premiered…I missed it! So now, I’m just waiting for the series to come out on DVD so I can watch it straight through. I never saw the original Hawaii Five-O, but I do know the legend/mystique of it and Hawaii is on my bucket list of places to not just visit but live in. I may be the only person on the planet waiting for the season to end, but all for good reason! Can’t wait to marathon it!
@JMattHicks You can watch it online on CBS’s website.
Female surfers should have surfer shoulders. Look at the Cat. Kono became a Charlie’s Angel who talks and talks and talks and talks.
And by the way I graduated from Kukui High.