Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Two (Tentative) Thumbs Up for “5-O”

I think Ryan McGee’s comments in TV Squad about last night’s debut of the rebooted Hawaii Five-O are pretty spot-on:
Making big assumptions about new shows based purely on pilots is a tricky proposition. Sometimes, a show comes out with literal and/or metaphorical guns a blazin’, only to reveal soon after it was only firing blanks. Other shows take time to find their sea legs, not putting their best foot forward, but finding their proper stride down the road.

The reboot of Hawaii Five-O may not suffer either fate: its goals simply don’t seem terrifically lofty in the first place to warrant either a major accomplishment or an epic fail. Above all, it wants merely to entertain, and for its initial hour? Mission accomplished.

Since this show airs on CBS, there might have been quite a lot of people watching tonight who remember the original show. One imagines that more money was spent on this initial episode than perhaps an entire season’s worth of originals. But all that money certainly ended up onscreen, not in an actor’s pocket. Nearly every act of tonight’s pilot featured at least one jaw-dropping stunt or explosion that transcended what one normally expects from television action, and landed firmly into motion-picture quality kabooms. A helicopter shooting bazookas, armored vans used as assault weapons, backflips that would make the U.S. women’s gymnastics team green with pint-sized envy: Hawaii Five-O spared no expense in bringing the wow factor.
Personally, I would’ve been satisfied with fewer pyrotechnics; I don’t need my television shows to look like video games. But I did appreciate the conscientious efforts by composer/conductor Brian Tyler to respectfully re-record the Hawaii Five-O theme. And while I’m hoping that we see more of the lovely Grace Park (playing rookie detective Kona Kalakaua) in bikinis--that alone would keep me watching--I also enjoyed the boyish consociation between Alex O’Loughlin (as Steve McGarrett) and ever-quipping Scott Caan (taking the Danny “Danno” Williams role).

It’s always possible that this premiere episode showed the best of what the new Hawaii Five-O has to offer, and that things will go downhill from here. But for the time being, I’m willing to put Hawaii Five-O on my list of new series worth watching again.

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By the way, for fans of the long-running original CBS series, Randy Johnson has posted the covers from half a dozen TV tie-in novels, two of which were written by Mike Avallone.


RJR said...

I had the first two novels, which were published by Signet. Avallone was competent at doing tie-ins. Like The Partridge Family!


pattinase (abbott) said...

I liked the uneasy camaraderie between the two leads and some of the dialogue, but man I quickly grew tired of the explosions, chases and gun play. They didn't make very good use of their greatest asset-Hawaii.
I liked Lone Star a lot more.