Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #564: Hawaii Five No?

Welcome to the show folks...

The CBS TV network is hyping the holy hell out of their remake-reboot-rehash of legendary cop show Hawaii Five-O. At a recent press event the new Steve McGarrett Alex O'Loughlin stated that if this show doesn't work, he doesn't know what would.

Well, I'm not so sure that Hawaii Five-O Redux will work Senor O'Loughlin.


Look at his picture, and a lot of the publicity material, and you'll see that the new version of super-cop Steve McGarrett is sporting a five o'clock shadow.

Still wondering what my point is?

Well allow me to explain...

There's a reason for the stubble, it's the one thing that allows the actor in question to avoid being mistaken for a cast member of Glee. But that's not the thing about it that bugs me.

It tells me that there's a lot of thought about
the style and marketing of H5-O, but I'm getting a twee bit concerned that they're not paying attention to story, or characters.

I can just picture the pitch meeting:

CBS BOSS: All right, we need a new show for the Fall and we need it fast. And if there's a way to work in at least an appearance by Julie Chen, all the better.

MINION #1: We could do a remake of Hawaii Five-O.

CBS BOSS: Brilliant! Consider yourself the new vice-president of programming! Can we get Julie Chen in it somehow?

MINION #2: I don't see why not, maybe a cameo somewhere or a guest spot.

CBS BOSS: Brilliant, now you're the vice president of programming, because you have ideas! Now we have to make it hip and happening.

MINION #1: We'll cast a hot babe to be in the team, and cast a very young looking actor to play McGarrett!

CBS BOSS: That's the sort of thinking a new vice president of programming needs, but what if people think he's too young?

MINION #2: He could have some stubble.

CBS BOSS: That's the sort of problem solving a new vice president of programming needs! You're a genius. You, the other one, get out of my sight, you make me sick! You're fired!

MINION #1: But sir...?

CBS BOSS: But nothing! You're fired!

MINION #2: Tough luck.

CBS BOSS: You're fired too! Everyone's fired! I'm fired too! Bwah-hah-hah!

Okay, maybe I exaggerate with that little
reenactment a little bit for humorous effect, but I guess the point I'm trying to make is not what they were talking about, but what they were not talking about.

The material promoting the show just screams
very shallow thinking over the series. I see no signs of any real plots, character development beyond some basic types and stereotypes, or any sign that the show might go beyond the gloss of bikini clad beach bunnies, to look into the complex societal structures and problems of modern Hawaii. There's a lot of material to be mined from those crowded little islands, but I don't think they're going to do any real digging.

Instead, they rehash the quintessential square authority figure with bullet proof hair of McGarrett into some sort of baby-face-gets-stubbly pseudo-rebel who doesn't really project any authority, or power. Then they toss in a lot of chicks in bikinis in the hope that it will titillate viewers enough to forsake the more powerful titillation they can find on cable.

In conclusion, I'm just not that into this new Hawaii Five-O.

What do you expect?


  1. I'd have to say you've pretty much nailed it.

    I know you've covered this before but I'm too lazy to search for it...Hollywood has no believable tough-guy leading men anymore.

    They just don't.

    Tough Guys aren't pretty. They don't go shirtless so they can flash their abs. They aren't kids or, if they are, they don't look like kids.

    Hollywood just doesn't do 'Manly' very well anymore. Sad, really.

  2. jepressman@gmail.com29/7/10 12:31 am

    Actually what Hollywood doesn't do very well anymore is think situations through completely. If these TV execs were thinking it through, then they would opt for no Hawaii Five-o,since that concept ,as ithas been noted worked well in the past.There is plenty of good detective literature around ,which reflects contemporary culture, so use that material. Stop trying to fit square pegs into round holes.

  3. There is plenty of good detective literature around

    Sure there is. And likely they'll use it in this series. Naming something totally different "Hawaii 5-0" or "The Italian Job" fer instance assures you that a segment of baby boomers will tune in and means an instant 10 percent boost in ratings if it doesn't totally stink.