Dunno if you’d heard — maybe you just got back from Pluto — but the new Hawaii Five-0 premieres Monday night at 10. Simply put, the new version shows early promise to live up to the old. Yes, I’m a shill for the house, but long before I ever dreamed of working for CBS, I was planted in front of the tube for the original. It ran from ’68-’80. And God bless him, original star Jack Lord used the same opening-credits shot of himself on the roof of that Honolulu hotel for all 12 seasons. (Groovy haircut, above.)
This will be a show dads watch with their sons. The kinds of dads who let their sons stay up ’til 10, anyway. Alex O’Loughlin gets it right in an early scene, when the governor comes to him, and he sets her straight. Vintage Steve McGarrett. Newbies won’t realize that McGarrett’s relationship with new partner Danno (Scott Caan) is much more dynamic than the way James MacArthur played it, but their back-and-forth seems much more contemporary.
Monday’s premiere episode breaks out of the gate with a jungle ambush that has the production value of a jillion-dollar movie. But watch for the secret, coolest scene in the entire hour, when McGarrett visits his father’s house and pulls up a tarp covering something in the garage. Again, it works on its own, but if you grew up watching the original, you will turn to anybody else in the room and say…. cool.
Also, this time it’s Kona, instead of Kono, and she’s a girl (uh, ‘woman’? -Ed.); and Chin Ho is a buff dude. That’s OK: they both can act. And I’m not sure I would have wanted to see the original Kono, played by Zulu — a rather large gentleman, in a bikini.
Watch on Monday, then leave your comments below. And thank God they kept the original open –music and video– almost frame-by-frame intact. Aloha.