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Five-0 Redux

Why I love ‘Hawaii Five-0′

Redux: brought back, restored

If you are just like me — which is to say a Hawaiian/Asian/Caucasian girl from Wahiawa — you probably love “Hawaii Five-0.” And if you are not said girl, you probably watch “Hawaii Five-0” at least to see Hawaii in all its high-definition glory.

And to see some hot Alex O’Loughlin abs every now and then.

Or perhaps you watch for bromantic banter between AOL and Scott Can, which is so charming in its sarcasm that you die laughing or at least snicker to yourself. Or you’re a former Lostie and you want to see Daniel Dae Kim speak English (and look sexy in board shorts diving for he’e) or see Masi Oka be so weirdly OCD that we simultaneously laugh and cringe at his strangeness. I like watching for “Shamu” the Shave-Ice Guy. He does have some awesomely catchy lines: “She confused me with a Jedi mind trick.” Nice.

I suppose if we lived in a perfect world, the new version of “Hawaii Five-0” would use the word “slippers” instead of the more generically acceptable “flip-flops,” bruddahs would drink Heinekens, and Kono would look like she actually has eaten a plate lunch in the past year.

But as I have been saying to co-workers and Twitter followers alike: this is Television, folks, and unlike what we see on TV, it’s not that perfect. But, oh, do they make Hawaii look good. Every week the Ala Wai looks blue enough to swim in and we all want to move to Waimanalo because it is seemingly traffic-free. Paradise has never looked more perfect. And that is exactly what “Hawaii Five-0” is supposed to do — give us an hour of hot males, fast cars, gun battles in former pineapple fields, a babe who can surf and throw a punch, and the newest bromance of the century.

What other way would we want to spend our Monday nights? You’ve read this before: This is not your dad’s “Hawaii Five-0.” It’s not brain surgery, peeps, it’s Television. On a television set, everything is done to make us believe in the illusion of the story and its characters. I worked on television and movie sets in the mid-’90s and saw entire homes repainted and relandscaped for just 10 minutes of screen time. I’ve sat under hot lights for hours as an actor’s stand-in so she can come in to say two lines in front of just the right light. I’ve herded hundreds of extras onto sets and then not seen a single one of them when I watched the final film.

It’s all about creating a look and a mood for the actors. And then the final picture is always amazing for the audience. We don’t know about the details of production, we just see the magic created for us on the screen.

That’s what’s great about “Hawaii Five-0.” The redux is magic. And I’m glad Hawaii gets to be its greatest star. They could shoot this series in LA. Who would know?

Well, we would. And then what do you think our complaints would be about? Enjoy the ride, folks, it’s not a bad Monday when we get to see Alex O’Loughlin take off his shirt, Scott Caan drink a Blue Hawaii, or Daniel Dae Kim on the back of a motorcycle. Even Grace Park catching a wave is a welcome sight. So on Monday night, be there. Aloha!

———

Wendie Burbridge is a published writer, playwright and a teacher of literature and fiction writing at Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama. Most recently, her story “The Cave Man’ was published in “‘Oiwi 4, Kupa’a Makou ma hope o ka ‘Aina (We Stand Firm Behind the Land) — Kanaka Maoli Voices on Annexation, Statehood, and Ceded Lands.” As a student at Gonzaga University she studied Theatre Arts and acted in and directed productions in Spokane, Wash. She also worked in Extras Casting for NBC and Warner Brothers on various television shows and films in the Pacific Northwest.

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  • Great TV progaram brought back to life! Too bad about the role change from McGarrett being the leader in the original (hence the title) to always having to explain what’s going on to that new Dano guy.
    I don’t think he’s that funny actually, kindda dumb compared to the real Dano. Everyone else on the show is just great, they blend in and make the show interesting till Mr. Book ’em start asking questions.

  • Great blog. You are so wicked awesome in your observations. I totally agree this is all about the magic of television, it is an escape from reality and I love it. Keep up the great insights.

  • Terrific blog, Wendie! Very insightful, especially to those of us who live on the mainland. I love the writing and the cast is fantastic! Alex O’Loughlin shines in his role as Super Seal Steve McG!! It isn’t real life, it’s an exciting TV show, and Hawaii looks so fantastic, I can’t wait to visit, and I never felt the lure of it before watching Hawaii Five-0!! But why no news of a second season yet? Come on CBS, we deserve to be rewarded for making it the most watched new TV show!!!

  • As a H50 fan and an avid viewer of the new show, you hit the high note in describing the show! While execs want to do justice to the culture of HI, there is a need for some Hollywood imput! Bravo Wendie!

  • Agreed with others. Good eye on the details, Wendy!

    As an Alex fan, I think he must grow weary of the shirtless comment by now. The guy can really act, as evidenced in the recent McGarrett-centric episode about the tool box, and I wish the producers/writers wouldn’t objectify him so much like in the earlier eps.

    • I love Alex’s acting but I also love to see him shirtless, as do many fans. I say leave in the shirtless scenes. Shoot, women have been putting up with being objectified since time began but I think women tend to look at a guy in his entirety. Alex is a confident guy – he can handle it.

  • Wendie, how exciting to see you doing a blog on H50! It is great to see Hawaii back on TV as one of the major stars of a top knotch TV show. Please continue to bring your insightful look into the talented cast and crew and how Hawaii’s residents feel about Hawaii Five-0 ver. 2. I am puzzled that CBS has not renewed already for a 2nd season. What is it going to take? Dedicated fans, bloggers and support from critics! Awesome management and writing teams. And Hawaii in all her natural beauty from the land and her ohana, her people! Sounds like a blockbuster to me! What is your next entry??? Mahalo Mahalo

  • Great to have the perspective of a local fan with some insider experience. Totally agree with you – the glammed up version of Hawaii is what television is all about – escapism. The acting is good, the dialogue is tight, and the storylines are fun, suspenseful, and engaging. Can’t wait to read your take on the next episode!

  • You go girl….love the blog and youʻre definitely right on the mark with enjoying the show. Iʻm usually in bed by 8:30, but for the past couple of weeks find myself hating Tuesday mornings since I stay up for H5O!!!

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