Sunday, September 26, 2010

DVR Guide - "Hawaii 5-0"

A reboot of the 70s classic, “Hawaii 5-0” revolves around Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Laughlin), a cop seeking justice for the murder of his father. Commissioned by Hawaii’s governor to clean up the streets of Honolulu no matter what the cost, McGarrett partners with Dano (Scott Caan) and begins an all-out war against anyone and everyone who gets in his way. The partners are joined by (Daniel Kim), an ex-cop and friend of McGarrett’s father, and (Grace Park), a fresh-from-the-academy recruit who hasn’t yet been corrupted. Together, they form a group of near-vigilante super cops with no time for regulations.

I admit supreme skepticism when it came time for the pilot episode of “Hawaii 5-0.” Being a CBS drama usually counts as strikes one, two, and three for me and I have a hard time taking O'Laughlin seriously, seeing as his last role of note was a “comedy” with Jennifer Lopez called “The Backup Plan.” But I decided to give it a try and I’m mildly impressed so far. There is a certain amount of chemistry among the show’s main characters and while the show is as expected in the cheesy, cliché plot points department, the pacing is good and there’s enough humor to keep everything going. The real selling point for me is Caan, who you might know best from the “Ocean’s” movies. Caan is a bundle of paradoxes, a guy who comes across as the non-nonsense “tough but dumb” type but who is actually quite quick witted and brilliantly sarcastic. Dano is the perfect role for Caan and he knocks it out of the park. Likewise, Daniel Kim seems suited for his role, though it is a little bit of a shock for a “Lost” fan such as myself to hear him speaking perfect English. The real test for this show is going to be the growth (or lack thereof) of McGarrett. The pilot is never a trustworthy indicator of what a show and its main characters will end up being, but this wasn’t a good start for McGarrett. Whereas Caan and Kim seem to be perfectly cast, O'Laughlin gives a fairly weak, generic, one-note hero. I didn’t buy him as the tough guy and I’m not convinced I can buy him as the straight man to Caan’s jester if that’s the direction the show takes. There seems to be a lot to work with here but “Hawaii 5-0” can only go as far as O'Laughlin takes it. A couple of good episodes could push this into “Season Pass” territory but for now…

Verdict: Week-to-Week

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