I learned a lot by watching last night's "Hawaii Five-O." For instance, I learned that when normal traffic cameras won't work, you can call an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, flirt with someone on the other line and have her track the villain of your choice via satellite. I need to learn this trick the next time I'm in a traffic jam.
I also learned that if you need to extract information from a hostile witness, you must beat said witness in a game of hoops, which is what McGarrett had to do to find an escaped prisoner. A second inmate, played by D.L. Hughley, offered to give McGarrett clues as to why the escapee left the slammer, but only if he beat him in basketball. Somehow, McGarrett found his inner Brent Barry and won the game.
In between all the hoops action, gun play and various feats of derring-do, viewers were introduced to McGarrett's estranged sister, who welcomed herself to Hawaii by disabling an airplane smoke detector. Sis spent most of the show in "unofficial" police custody - both at the airport and at Five-O headquarters - but she did get the chance to bark at her brother and make fun of Danno's choice in neckwear. At least the siblings shared a poignant moment in front of their father's grave at the end of the show.
If you thought Masi Oka was resting on his laurels following the cancellation of "Heroes," think again.
Oka, who received an Emmy nomination for his role as Hiro on the NBC series, returns to television October 18 on the new "Hawaii Five-O." He'll play Dr. Max Bergman, a childhood piano prodigy who now serves as the Honolulu County Medical Examiner.
It turns out that the actor avoided watching episodes of the original series, as he "didn't want to re-enact what worked decades ago," Oka told reporters during a conference call.
Last night's episode of "Hawaii Five-O" began on the football field, with the Five-O squad watching a high school game. Danno's young daughter, who until now has been mentioned but not seen, shows up as well, listening to her dad complaining that tennis is not a real sport.
Just then, two people walk on to the field and draw their guns. (Maybe they're not fans of the two-point conversion...) McGarrett and Danno take care of the two, but a third man gets away following a brief standoff with Chin Ho, who appears reluctant to stop him.
The mystery man is finally brought in, and we come to learn that he's Sid, an undercover cop trying to break up a street gang involved in the football field shooting. He's also Chin Ho's cousin and wants nothing to do with him, due to those "dirty cop" allegations the show likes to bring up every seven minutes or so.
Last night's episode of "Hawaii Five-O" showed that the revival is getting into a familiar pattern - a healthy mix of fast cars, heavy action and bland humor.
The episode started with a bang, courtesy of a scene that reminded me of those car commercials where several people are happily driving when they're suddenly struck by another vehicle. This time, the accident ended with a bunch of people in one vehicle kidnapping a man in another vehicle. You'd think the kidnappers would ask for proof of insurance, but no.
Turns out the kidnapping victim is a cyber-terrorism expert whose abduction could breach national security, while the kidnappers are Serbian thieves (are there any homegrown criminals on this show?) who wanted the man to hack into government infrastructure programs. It's up to Five-O to save the day, and the gang does it the only way they know how - loud and violent.
By the time the cyber-terrorism expert was rescued, the man's Justin Bieber-wannabe son was kidnapped, Kono (Grace Park) brawled with a female member of the abduction ring in a swimming pool and McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) held one of the suspects from the side of a luxury hotel by his feet. This show gets more accomplished in an hour compared to what I can do in a week.
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.
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