September 21st, 2010
11:12 AM ET
I'm a little young to remember the original "Hawaii Five-O," which aired on CBS from 1968-1980, but I watched plenty of reruns growing up. To me, the original "Five-O" was the definition of a fun crime drama. Strong cast, Hawaiian backdrop, iconic theme music - it was all there.
So I was a tad hesitant when I learned that CBS was planning a new "Hawaii Five-O." Could it be just as good, let alone better, than a TV classic? After watching last night's premiere, the jury is still out.
The iconic theme is still there, albeit shortened and presented in a high-intensity opening that needed to be lengthened by 20-30 seconds to get the full effect. The show is again based in Hawaii - hey, ex-"Lost" cast and crew members need to work - and eagle-eye viewers caught a wink to the old "Five-O" thanks to a cameo by a Mercury automobile that Jack Lord drove in the original series.
Alex O'Loughlin has the difficult task of filling Lord's shoes as Steve McGarrett who, in the new "Five-O," is a Navy veteran who returns to Hawaii to find the person responsible for killing his father. In an hour's time, he manages to resolve that crisis, crack a human smuggling operation and form an elite task force devoted to rid the state of crime. And you thought your day was busy.
Like McGarrett, other classic characters are back, all with unique backstories. Danny "Danno" Williams (Scott Caan) is a cop forced to relocate to Hawaii after his ex-wife moves there with his daughter, while Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) is an ex-cop who left the force amid allegations he took payoffs.
We're also introduced to Chin's cousin Kono (Grace Park), whose sole purpose on the show appears to be looking pretty and beating people up. Hopefully, the show develops her character and backstory over the new few episodes.
Fans of crime procedurals certainly got their fill during last night's premiere, with plenty of gunfire, high-speed driving and pointless violence to be had. But the presentation made the new "Five-O" look like just another crime procedural - you could call it "CSI: Hawaii" or "Criminal Minds: Hawaii" and not blink an eye.
Scott Caan was entertaining as Danno, bringing a mix of humor and "angry cop" to the table. It's as if Caan's Turk Malloy character from the "Ocean's" trilogy went to the police academy. He seemed to overshadow Alex O'Loughlin, whose McGarrett came off as a tad stiff and unsure.
The new "Hawaii Five-O" is an enjoyable away to turn off your brain for an hour, but it needs to do more to separate itself from the crime procedural pack.
What did you think of last night's "Hawaii Five-O" premiere?
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