The word “fan” is derived from “fanatic,” which refers to someone enthusiastically devoted to a cause, celebrity or television show like “Hawaii Five-0.” After writing the “Five-0 Redux” for nearly three years, I can personally attest to the sincere and ardent admiration “Five-0” fans have for anything and everything associated with the show.
Yes, they mostly adore Alex O’Loughlin, but there is also lots of aloha for Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, as well as the recurring actors. I’ve seen Michelle Borth and Mark Dacascos fan pages, as well as lots of followers of Masi Oka, Brian Yang, Teilor Grubbs, Taylor Wily and Dennis Chun.
Even some of the folks behind the scenes, like executive producer Peter Lenkov, stunt coordinator Jeff Cadiente, assistant director Lon Takiguchi and guest directors Jeff Hunt and Larry Teng have fans following their every Instagram and Twitter update. Fans of the show will go to great lengths — and more than 140 characters — to express their undying love.
The fans have also been unusually kind to me, and many people I’ve met within the “Five-0” fandom have graced me with their friendship and hospitality. Several people, who I only met because I write about “Hawaii Five-0,” are now some of my closest friends. We like to call ourselves the “H50hana,” but our friendships go deeper than just a love for a television show. I know when the sad day comes and “Five-0” leaves the airwaves, I will still have these friends in my life.
One major thing I learned about fans of this show? They really do know their “Five-0’ facts. They know storylines, specifics about each character arc, trivia about guest stars, which episode certain things happened, as well as details about the “Core Four” and their lives. Some are not so adept with remembering Hawaiian language titles for each episode, but they know them by number and sometimes the English translation.
Nevertheless, if I forget a detail, believe me, there is someone out there who will tell me or correct me. No doubt about it.
I recently created a fan survey about “Hawaii Five-0,” and 133 people took time out of their day to answer my questions. I also posted questions on the “Five-0 Redux” Facebook page, and have added their responses. I gave fans 10 episodes to choose their favorite from, which I selected because of comments I received on my blog and general buzz surrounding those episodes. I tried not to choose my personal favorites, and I know I left a few off the list, but there was a fill-in option to provide a different choice and explain why they liked a particular episode.
According to the survey, “I Ka Wā Mamua” (“In A Time Past”) was a fan favorite, but “Hookman” had the highest percentage of votes when fans were asked to choose their top three episodes.
Close behind were “Lana I Ka Moana” (“Adrift”), “ʻŌlelo Paʻa” (“The Promise”) and “Huakaʻi Kula” (“Field Trip”).
“I Ka Wā Mamua” (“In A Time Past”) seemed to be a favorite because of the interplay between McGarrett and Danno. Fans also liked that they got to learn Danno’s backstory and more about his life in New Jersey before he came to Hawaii.
Many also mentioned that while they enjoy the bromantic “carguments” between the two, they also love when Danny and Steve show their vulnerability and complete trust in each other as partners.
“I liked “I Ka Wā Mamua” best because it focused on our principals, who are working through the situation together,” said Bert Hayling from the Bahamas. New York resident Dina Guevara said she liked the episode because “there was a balance between crime drama of week and the personal and character storylines.”
Many folks mentioned the reason they liked “ʻŌlelo Paʻa” (“The Promise”) was because it focused on McGarrett and gave us more of his backstory before “Five-0.”
“Alex O’Loughlin was simply phenomenal in ‘ʻŌlelo Paʻa.’ His range of emotion was breathtaking to watch,” said Ohio resident Candy Abrams. “He was not only a SEAL fulfilling a promise to a fallen brother in arms, he was a friend in mourning facing feelings he’d suppressed for years. This made for powerful television, in my opinion.”
“Lana I Ka Moana” (“Adrift”) and “Huakaʻi Kula” (“Field Trip”) were also favorites because of the interplay between McG and Danno.
“Adrift was my favorite due to the heavy amount of solo Steve/Danny interaction, and how funny those scenes were,” said local resident Emily MacGillivray.
While many fans had a lot to say about the season — both good and bad — I thought most of the comments were positive. While some fans liked season one or two over season three, many fans had a lot of praise for their favorite show.
“I loved this season!” said Angela Gerstner from Munich, Germany. “I love the ‘character stuff’ (as Alex loves to call it) and the comedy aspects. The actors are extremely well cast and I’ve grown very fond of almost all of them and just can’t get enough of watching them.
“Of course, Jeff Cadiente and his stunt team are also contributing to the allure of the show by delivering top-class stunts and action that keep us viewers glued to the screen. And, last but not least, the setting of the show in beautiful Hawaii is also one of the reasons why this is my favorite show.
“The main aspects I love about (‘Five-0’): character, comedy, a super-likeable cast, great action and Hawaii!”
Many fans loved last season because of episodes where characters revealed themselves and the secondary characters were given their own moments to shine.
“I enjoyed this season because we learned more about each character,” wrote Alabama resident Amy Norris. “I loved bringing Catherine (Michelle Borth) in because it showed a different side of McGarrett. And I love any opportunity for carguments or dinghy-ments between McG and Danny.”
“Overall, the interplay with the whole team made season three more like season one,” said Linda Stein from Philadelphia. “I also liked the addition of Catherine into Steve’s life. It helped to show his softer side a bit more.
“The action sequences are always movie quality and I have always enjoyed the stories. But it’s these characters and the actors who play them that keep me glued to my TV every week.”
While many fans had specific complaints (e.g. dislike of specific characters, not enough screen time for others, criticism about weak writing and storylines), for the most part, the fans still like a lot of what makes “Hawaii Five-0” tick.
“The acting, production, storylines, location shots, and stunts all combine to make ‘Hawaii Five-0’ … the best series on TV,” wrote Julian Hurst from England.
Whether you agree or not, this was just an online survey. While I received roughly 150 responses, I didn’t have enough space to add everyone’s manaʻo (opinion) to this post. I thank all of you for answering my questions and sending me messages on Facebook and Twitter to share your input as we all anxiously await season four.
Redux Side Note:
There was no “Hawaii Five-0” this week on CBS, due to NFL preseason action between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers.
On Aug. 29, TNT returns with repeats of season one — “Hoʻapono” (“Accept”) and “Manaʻo” (“Belief”) — while CBS will air “ʻImi Loko Ka ʻUhane” (“Seek Within One’s Soul”) on Aug. 30.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.