When “Hawaii Five-0” returns to television on Sept. 24, the wait for “Five-0” fans everywhere will end — and what a wait it has been. After a tumultuous sophomore season, the show enters its third season with new hope and new life.
The addition of a series regular, Michelle Borth as Catherine Rollins, the return of Momma McG played by Christine Lahti, as well as the promise of continued action and the show’s trademarked “carguments” have helped fans make it through the long summer hiatus.
Now that it’s September and we have begun the countdown to “Sunset on the Beach” in Waikiki as well as the season premiere, there is even more excitement in the air. Many diehard fans begin arriving in Hawai‘i this week and will attend several “Five-0” fan events next weekend, with some staying on until the “Sunset on the Beach” premiere. Despite the late announcement of the star-studded event, the heightened anticipation cannot be pacified.
But we can’t deny that despite all the fervor beginning to swirl around all things “Five-0,” the show has a bit of an uphill battle. I can’t ignore the elephant in the room and continue to not talk about some of the trouble that has faced production last year. The fact that season two was 23 episodes versus 24, due to series star Alex O’Loughlin’s break to deal with personal issues, and now the news that production offices have been sold and the show must find a new home at the end of season three. I don’t think I am alone in wondering if Michelle Borth — a popular favorite with the fans when she was just a recurring guest — could perhaps face the same fan-crazed scrutiny and backlash that Lauren German, who played officer Lori Weston, experienced.
I hope none of those things hinder my Monday nights, but as a fan it’s definitely something I have been thinking about. And I know from my random conversations with people who love the show and those who watch it occasionally that they have been thinking about these things as well. No one wishes the show ill will of course; it’s just something we have to consider as some of the shows CBS axed last season were not that bad and had comparable ratings to “Hawaii Five-0.”
So why did “Hawaii Five-0” get the renewal nod while other shows did not? Well, the list is long on that spectrum, isn’t it?
I know, most of you are listing them as you read — beautiful Hawaii, the carguments, the humor, the action, the explosions, girls in bikinis and shirtless boys. Some of you are saying the writing, the strong characters, the team’s feeling of ‘ohana and love, the conflict and the drama.
Can all of this continue into season three? Can the writers continue to write good scripts and continue with the Wo Fat versus McG story arc? Can McGarrett solve the overall mystery of who and what his father was? And will we ever figure out all what all the items meant in the Champ Box?
Oh, the questions will continue. And our desire for answers will as well. One thing is for sure; we have to hope that Peter Lenkov stays on as Showrunner. You can definitely tell the difference in the scripts and the storylines when Mr. Lenkov has a hand at writing them. I’m not saying that there weren’t really great episodes written by other writers — Kyle Harimoto definitely wrote a few of my favorite episodes in season two, “Lekiō” and “Ka Hakakā Maika‘i.”
And there are a couple of amazing directors who add a lot to the series, among them Larry Teng and Steve Boyum. Teng directed the aforementioned “Ka Hakakā Maika‘I,” as well as “Mai ka wā kahiko,” and the very popular “return of McG episode,” “Ua Hopu.”
I’m afraid if Lenkov leaves (I know! Don’t say it and it won’t come true!) it doesn’t matter how many of us love Alex O’Loughlin, or the Steve and Danno bromance, or how many “Losties” stayed on with Jin, I mean, Chin, the show could be in serious trouble. Right now, it has a lot to live up to, and some work to do to keep all of us, the diehard to the random Monday viewer, tuned in and watching.
Now, keep the death threats at bay folks, I’m not saying I don’t think they are up for the challenge, and I definitely think they can knock season three out of the park — I have faith in “Five-0” for sure. But as a reviewer, I need stuff to write about, so I want the good episodes to keep on rolling. Every week. And I want good stories and cool procedurals.
I also want the show to continue filming in my home state and not head elsewhere. Let’s face it — you can’t film “Hawaii Five-0” anywhere else than in Hawaii. No way. It just would not be the same. And in order for the show to stay in Hawai‘i, they need viewers and ratings, and so the good scripts and awesome directors have to continue. We have great actors and we love them, but they can only do what the script and the director tell them to do.
And if those things are not strong, then like I said — Alex, as well as Scott, Daniel, and Grace can only do so much.
So bring it on, season three. I’m ready at my Mac’s helm to blog about every episode and keep the “Redux” rolling. Because a few things are for sure — every Monday night, I’ll be watching, writing, and cheering for the “Five-0” team with the rest of you. You can count on that.
Redux Side Note:
This week’s rebroadcast was one of my favorites, “Ka Iwi Kapu.” I am a sucker for a good ghost story and this one did not disappoint. Make sure you watch until the end or the episode will not make sense. Look for local actors Marlene Sai as well as Rob Chiong in the Halloween inspired episode.
Many have emailed me about the progress of the “H50 ‘Ohana Quilt.” Donations are still being accepted until Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10:00 a.m. HST. All proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project in honor of “Hawaii Five-0” fans. The cast knows about the fans efforts to support a charity close to them, and even came on board to help with donations. Mahalo nui loa if you also got involved with this event.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher who lives and works in Honolulu. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.