Hawaii Five-0

Now look, a remake of a series is never promising. At the moment, I cannot think of a single live-action primetime broadcast network revival of an original American primetime broadcast network series concept which lasted more than a full season on network. Yes, off-network revivals of network shows have at least a reasonable history of success – Battlestar Galactica, The New Gidget, Still the Beaver, What’s Happenin’ Now?, The New WKRP in Cincinatti, and Star Trek: The Next Generation all had qualifying runs, but even those markets are littered with The New Monkees, The Munsters Today, Fame L.A., and so forth.

With Hawaii Five-0, I’m coming to it as largely a blank slate. I have some vague memories of maybe having seen part of an episode of the original decades back, but I may be thinking of Dragnet. So I don’t even have that strong hold on the concept of the show, just the few little clip moments that everyone knows – Jack Lord looking impressive, “Book ’em, Danno!”, and that theme song.

They’ve wisely kept the theme tune, even making a last minute reversion back to the original recording, because, well, it works. It doesn’t call back an era because it wasn’t like other things of its era. It’s immediate, it grabs, and it works. And there are some other things that work in this show. Danno is particularly well-cast, and the mix of native-born Hawaiian, recent immigrant, and native-born-who-seems-like-recent-immigrant on the team is a good idea. But in  way this feels like some new generic high-action cop show which they’ve tried to graft parts of the old show onto… and yes, I know I didn’t watch the old show, but I have trouble believing that they spent time trying to explain why Danno is called Danno, or why they were called Hawaii Five-0, or why there wasn’t really a police crew with their job. Watching this pilot feeling the need to explain or actively blow off these concerns made it feel like they were embarrassed by what they were laden with in doing a revival. Danno should be called “Danno” because he’s called Danno. Everyone is called something. While they do complete the storyline in the episode, long-term mysteries and emotional conflicts are set up in a way that basically announces that Hey, We Had To Set Up Longer Term Things, That’s The Way It’s Done Today.

There was a lot of grace missing in the show, I guess that’s what I’m saying. So it’s off the recording list.

Note: Due to a DVD-R failure that I still haven’t quite diagnosed, House and Lone Star did not record. The latter is rerunning later in the week; I’m looking forward to that.

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Published in: on September 21, 2010 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

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