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October 30, 2014

'Hawaii Five-0' Premiere Review: Caan You Dig It?

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 20th 2010 9:15AM
In the pilot for 'Hawaii Five-0,' a can-do type with a strong jawline assembles a crack law-enforcement team around him. They will Do What It Takes to Get Things Done.

In other words, the CBS drama is not just a remake of the vintage Hawaii-set cop show starring Jack Lord. 'Hawaii Five-0' (10PM ET Monday, CBS) replicates the premise of a whole host of CBS procedurals.

Your mileage will vary as to whether that's a problem for you.

Another variable: How much Alex O'Loughlin do you want in your life? CBS remains utterly convinced that the network can build a 'Mentalist'-style hit around the former star of 'Moonlight' and 'Three Rivers.'

Who knows, maybe CBS is right. He certainly has the swagger and the physical build of a guy who could be the anchor for a prime-time show, and it's not as though his role here will require O'Loughlin to do any heavy dramatic lifting. As Det. Steve McGarrett, he needs to be resolute in his pursuit of the bad guys and toss off the occasional one-liner. I'm not sure he can do much more than that, but he can do that.

Scott Caan, who plays Det. Danny "Danno" Williams, gets the showier role and makes the most of it. He has an unpredictable presence and a likable vibe, and his chemistry with O'Loughlin is moderately enjoyable. Though it's nice to see Daniel Dae Kim ('Lost') and Grace Park ('Battlestar Galactica') on TV again, they don't get a ton to do in the pilot. Caan really is the actor who provides a reason to tune in again.

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.

In fairness, a shred of an ongoing story line is established in the pilot, but all things considered, this appears to be the kind of show that's designed to do the exact same thing every week. Believe it or not, I don't have anything against 'Hawaii Five-0'; the pilot for this show looks great and in many ways, it's perfectly serviceable. But I don't think I'll be visiting the 50th state again any time soon.

Follow @MoRyan on Twitter.

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Vrinda

It is garbage. Just hyped-up, technology-enhanced eye candy for kids and people who like to see the characters bicker like schoolchildren. The original Hawaii Five-O cast and crew deserve a much better legacy than this. RIP, Jack, James, Kam, and Zulu.

December 05 2010 at 7:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joma5004

Fix it???? Cancel it, it stinks!

October 06 2010 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Craig Ranapia

Think this will get a chance to join the roster of "guilty pleasure" brain-candy, largely because of the pretty engaging cast (with the exception of Alex O'Loughlin, though his balsa-wood qualities work pretty well here).

September 21 2010 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

They got the theme song right though.

Surprised they tried to remake the opening visuals. Not bad, but it's just not right that when the guy on the hotel balconey turns around, he's not Jack Lord.

September 21 2010 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ColleenO

oh, forgot to mention how horrible it was that there was NOT ONE native Hawaiin actor on the show, and the Asian character called everhone Haoli's, when, in fact, all non-Hawaiins are Haoli's....

September 21 2010 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ColleenO

this show was just BAD, BAD, BAD! they totally messed up the character part of the show, with the lead being a cocky jerk, and "Danno" being the (sort of) sensible one....oh, and i'm sorry, but the GOVERNOR put him in charge of a task force to find his FATHER'S killer... totally unbeleiveable.

probably will not watch again, unless all other tv shows and all books ever written disappear from the earth...

September 21 2010 at 9:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PJGal

Hey, Mo, I think you are dead-on in your assessment of the show. Watched the first 20 minutes last night and decided it wasn't worth losing any more sleep over, so I went to bed. Just another cop show. (Sigh) Daniel Dae Kim deserves better.

Yes, CBS does seem determined to build a hit show for Alex O'Loughlin to star in. The irony is that if they'd just let Moonlight -- a show that actually broke the typical detective story mold -- find its audience, it probably would have become that show.

September 21 2010 at 6:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GrumpyOldMan

Way to crap all over my memories CBS. I suppose you'll remake Mannix with David Spade starring next. Or Quincy played by Bug from Life Unexpected.

September 20 2010 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GerryofNorVA

"...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."

Fully empathize with that perspective which is why I'll watch one or two eps maybe to "taste it" but then put most of my viewing efforts into mysteries like "The Event", "Undercovers", "SG: Universe", and hopefully "V".

September 20 2010 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jay

Great review Mo. Really dig the title :)
Hope you will discuss this show on the upcoming Talking Tv since i am mildly interested in this show and am currently deciding whether i should add it to my Monday rotation.

September 20 2010 at 9:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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