In the five seasons “Hawaii Five-0” has been on television, one of the more positive by-products of writing the Five-0 Redux is the many friendships I have forged because of a shared aloha for the show.
I’ve met people from around the world I now consider friends, and some I even consider part of my extended family. Not only are my new friends from Hawaii and all over the United States, but I have friends in Germany, Morocco, England, Wales, France, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Japan and Thailand. I am fairly certain that anywhere I travel, I’d be able to find a friendly “Five-0” fan to meet up with.
And I have met them where they live — all over the United States, as well as when they come to Hawaii to visit. They all want to see and experience the very places they watched unfold on their TV screens. It’s always special to meet them and have a chance to show them where “Five-0” films. I’ve had the opportunity to do this on several occasions and it’s always a pleasure.
But really, the fans I’ve spent the most time with have been Hawaii fans, and they’ve become my dearest friends. Our history together started during season one at Big City Diner’s Ward location and continued on at other restaurants and community events. For the last few years we’ve met at Big City Diner Pearlridge’s large outdoor lanai to watch episodes and meet fans from other countries or the continent.
Sometimes we’re lucky enough to have a recurring cast member or a guest star join us because they want to meet local fans. Sometimes we get together to celebrate a birthday or the end of the season, or just to eat and talk story.
These gatherings are pretty special since we all come together because of our shared love for “Five-0.” Yet while that’s what brought us together, it’s not the only reason why we are still friends after five seasons. We’ve watched our children grow up together, we’ve celebrated birthdays, we’ve seen careers change and relationships bloom. We’ve said aloha to those who have moved here from the continent, and said aloha to those who moved away.
We’re as close as most families and I am blessed to call so many my friends. While we are all fans of “Hawaii Five-0,” we are also ʻohana nui, an extended family.
This week we met up for the first time since the Hawaii group welcomed Christopher Sean (who plays Gabriel Waincroft) back in March. Sean spoke to me via FaceTime during the event and was very happy to be spending time with local fans after he had just finished shooting the season finale.
Several actors were able to make it to Big City Diner Pearlridge on Wednesday, including recurring cast members Dennis Chun and Shawn Mokuahi Garnett along with their ‘ohana.
Hawai’i-based actors Delys Kanemura Recca, who played doomed hula girl Brooke Waiakea in “Wāwahi moeʻuhane” (“Broken Dreams”), and Wendy Pearson, who played Vicki in the season four’s “Hōkū Welowelo” (“Fire in the Sky”) also joined us.
All the actors brought members of their own ʻohana with them, which really shows how family-oriented the group is. Perhaps it is Hawaii and how open we are, but it was so wonderful to meet parents and significant others of the now-familiar actors. While I had met Recca while she was a student at Kamehameha Schools, my interview with her was by phone and email, so seeing her again was a delight.
It was also great to meet Pearson in person. When I interviewed her during season four it was by phone and email as well, so we were both excited to finally say aloha to each other. Pearson is currently working on a screenplay and writing a web series, “Caregivers,” about her experience caring for her mother as she battled cancer. You can check out Pearson’s website for more information on her future projects.
Recurring cast members Chun and Garnett are regulars at these gatherings, and we’re always so grateful they enjoy being with us as much as we enjoy seeing them. Always so humble with their time and aloha, both actors were always ready to take a picture or sit and talk story with fans.
During the summer hiatus Garnett is playing music at Jimmy Buffett’s At The Beachcomber; his next gig is at 6 p.m. Sunday He also plays at Monkeypod Kitchen at Ko Olina on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. You can check out his Facebook page for more dates and times to see him play.
Chun is busy preparing for the upcoming sixth season of “Hawaii Five-0” and enjoying some time off before shooting starts next month. Always our ambassador of aloha, he gifted my son and I with orchid lei and warm greetings. He’s looking forward to the new season and is positive fans will continue to enjoy the new storylines. He never gives away anything, but his positive nature always puts fans at ease about what’s to come.
Overall, it was a great evening and fans were happy to visit and enjoy good food and good company. The hiatus is only half over, but meeting up with other fans and a few great actors from the show sure helps in dealing with the wait for season six.
REDUX SIDE NOTE
Next week CBS treats fans with “Hawaii Five-0” repeats weeknights after the local news. And as an added bonus, the regular Friday time slot will air last season’s Christmas episode.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.