Hawaii Five-0 (2010): Season 5
It does appear that reboots are here to stay television. Most networks appear to feel that idea worked 30 or 40 years ago it should produce another hit today. Although it seems that most frequently a recipe for disaster one has to wonder about studio executives pushing such remakes into production. Occasionally they do get it right in one example of success is the reboot of ‘Hawaii Five-0’. The original series began in 1968 and ran for an amazing 12 years. The resurrected show was only up to season, were to start in a few weeks from now, but there is every indication that it may be able to match or exceed the longevity of its predecessor. With the fifth season now out on DVD the series has had sufficient time to create its own identity with the new set of characters readily accepted by fans no longer compared to the characters of the same name from 1968. To the success of this transition is the fact that is show, Peter M. Lenkov, understands the basic principles behind a police procedurals series was able to extract the epitome of the original seamlessly infusing it into a modern setting. Fans of the original series immediately noticed the increase in the importance of technology solving crimes and, like many forensic based shows, the technology is just a few years beyond what is readily accessible to the police force now. Computers represented by loud noisy boxes with flashing lights have been replaced acoustic displays that cover the entire desktop recluse and be enlarged, rotated and further investigated. With a flick of the hand the images and data appear on a high definition monitor that covers most of the wall. In order to keep up with the expectations of the audience snub nose 38 caliber revolvers have given way to powerful automatic handguns and assault rifles. Although this might seem to be just pandering to the excessive levels of violence prevalent on television and movies and other current trend most crime dramas is found way as tropical paradise; the personal lives of the team are firmly established and played an integral part of the more expansive story arcs.
Five-0 is still a highly elite and specialized task force investigating a broad spectrum of criminal activity on the islands of Hawaii and remains led by Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) and his second-in-command remains detective Danny Williams (Scott Caan). Interpersonal dynamic between these two is one of the largest differences the original series and translate into one of the most significant contributing factors to success of the current incarnation of the series. The previous relationship had been cordial but mostly rather stiff instruction. Now both Steve and Danny are alpha males working together. It is fully understood that Steve is in charge but they are also best friends’ off-duty. When bullets are flying they are all business but during, moments he was an almost fraternal feel to how they treat each other. Steve is quick to remind Danny that is no longer New Jersey now resides in a tropical paradise while Danny is always ready with some comment about his rigid training in the Navy’s Special Forces. Both of these quick to action men are given a softer side particularly when it comes to dealing with Danny’s young daughter, Grace (Teilor Grubbs) was divorce of her parents that brought Danny to Hawaii in the first place now she is quite comfortable around the ‘uncle’ Steve and the rest of the Five-0 team. They in turn have all collectively adopted Grace in service her extended family on the islands. Two of the founding members of the team have both had their troubles with internal affairs but have subsequently been exonerated. One touch of realism, as well as demonstrative changing times, the suits and ties one by the original team members given ratable comfortable outfits appropriate for an environment dominated by sun, sand and ocean.
Lieutenant Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) I think his connections with the McGarrett family having been trained by Steve’s father. His cousin, Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park) and went into law enforcement after her career as a professional surfer was destroyed due to a knee injury. Only in the series Kono began a relationship with Adam Noshimuri (Ian Anthony Dale). The inherited the headship of a local Japanese Yakuza. He has been doing everything in his power to turn this criminal organization legitimate. In the beginning of this season he proposes to Kono as she accepts. She had previously been accused of stealing $10 million and stripped of her badge. Even after her exoneration she uses the situation as a means to go undercover specifically targeting the crime organization led by McGarrett’s arch enemy, Wo Fat ((Mark Dacascos).
In the previous season another regular cast member was added another regular cast member was added, Captain Lou Grover (Chi McBride), formerly the head of the Honolulu Police Department SWAT Team. Initially he disagreed with almost every turn McGarrett’s methods but they soon develop a mutual professional respect for each other that by the fifth season is a genuine friendship. Is mandatory for every police procedurals show some representation of forensic sciences this is done with an eccentric entertaining twist through the introduction of the new character, Dr. Max Bergman (Masi Oka), the Chief Medical Examiner. He is prone to rattle off the copious amount of trivia before actually getting to the point at hand. One character who has been with the series from the very beginning is an exceptionally large, round her face and body, Kamekona Tupuola (Taylor Wily) is bold, smiling face is the logo adorning his ever-increasing entrepreneurial endeavors. Although technically a background character, Kamekona is frequently the great assistance to various members of the Five-0 team. He started out with a shaved ice concession on the beach moving up to the truck specializing in shrimp and most recently started a helicopter tour service. His semiofficial function as a confidential informant comes in handy supplying Steve with valuable information about what’s going on in the islands. A number of actors previously living in Hawaii has cast members for ‘Lost’, understandably decided to seek roles that would allow them to stay in this idyllic paradise. Besides Daniel Dae Kim), Steve’s mentor, Lieutenant Commander Joe White, asked daily regular appearances. Assuming this role is the gifted character actor, Terry O'Quinn. The fact that he was part of the ‘Lost’ ensemble cast is merely coincidental though, Mr. Oak Ridge is actually the perfect person to play this role the role. Another brilliant piece of casting can be found in one of the more recent additions is a conspiracy theorist, Jerry Ortega. Paranoid about almost everything possible Jerry lives off the grid and has a need for acceptance that makes them ecstatic whenever he can help Five-0. This role is a perfect fit for ‘Lost’ alumnus,
This season takes a little bit of a break some of the central themes utilized previously. After unauthorized covert rescue missions to Southeast Asia infiltrating and apprehending major espionage rings in several encounters with Wo-Fat most of the season-long threads have to do with the ball personal lives of the characters Grace is trying to push her father into dating again but he is reticent, not for the most obvious reasons but he knows that the ridicule from Steve will be unmerciful. Establishing the almost brotherly dynamic between Steve and Danny make plot points such as this believable in the context of the overall show. Many of the episodic crimes are of the ‘brick from the headlines’ variety. People are gunned down by a weaponized drone. This highlights not only the increased use of unmanned aircraft of the military but a growing urban fear of germs being used for illegal surveillance or even worse, assassination. The magnificently beautiful Hawaiian Islands are not exempt from the problems created by drugs. One episode investigates a series of pharmacy robberies with the precursors for methamphetamines are stolen. It is a tradition for many television series, regardless of how seriously they are, to have a little fun for the Christmas holiday episode. As an example of the imaginative approach the writers of the show have for coming up with out-of-the-box ideas the Christmas episode was when my favorites. Danny is upset because he has a family tradition of having a tree for Grace each Christmas. After realizing his procrastinated too long Danny and Steve go shopping for suitably magnificent tree for the Williams family. Striking out at every lot in the area Steve tells Danny he knows a place. As it turns out is protected tree environment on Christmas Eve while everyone is gathered round the purloined pine, a Park’s enforcement officer knocks on the door looking for the offenders. The series remains rich and potential going into its sixth year with no signs of slowing down. Whether or not this series will be as long-lived as its predecessor remains to be seen but the potential is certainly there.