By Jordan Walker
“Knight Rider.” “The Bionic Woman.” “Melrose Place.” Do you remember these recent television remakes? Nobody should because they were all cancelled within their first seasons, and rightfully so. While some remakes aren’t worth the time to watch, last night’s spectacular premiere of CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” makes the grade as one of the best remakes of a classic series.
The original series, which starred Jack Lloyd as Detective Steve McGarett, was a CBS fixture from 1968-1980. While the remake’s targeted 18-to-49-year-old audience probably hasn’t seen the original show, viewers who remember the classic will recognize both the classic phrase “Book ‘em, Danno” and classic theme song.
The series blasts off with a bang as the audience is immediately thrown into suspense. Detective McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) opens the show on the phone while men hold his father hostage. The rest of the pilot episode centers around whether or not McGarrett can release his father.
The spot-on casting allows for some immensely compelling on-screen chemistry. Detective McGarett’s relationship with his new partner, Detective Danny “Danno” Williams (Scott Caan), is the central theme to this reboot. Although the detectives’ partnership starts of far from friendly, by the end of the first episode the two have a budding buddy-buddy cop drama dynamic. O’Loughlin has the disciplined ex- Navy SEAL turned detective role down flawlessly, which plays great against Caan’s comedic charm.
Meanwhile, Detective Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) and Detective Kona “Kono” Kalakaua (Grace Park) play cousins, and are so convincing in their roles as cousins that it is hard to imagine that they are not really related. Kim makes Detective Kelly the deepest character, and his performance as a man who must reluctantly return to a job he was fired from brings the show to another level. Park seamlessly fills her role as the leading lady, and looks great flitting around the beaches of Hawaii in a wet bikini. She was certainly made to be the next sex symbol. When you put all four in a scene together, it’s an enjoyable treat for the viewers.
Although CBS delivered the goods with “Hawaii 5-0,” fewer people tuned in than the network had initially thought would. Despite the weaker-than-expected debut, it’s highly unlikely that CBS will be upset that just less that 14 million people tuned in and dominated the 10 p.m. timeslot.
There is no reason to believe that “Hawaii Five-0” won’t be around for a very, very long time. It mixes all the great elements to create a compelling primetime drama: great characters and even better casting; captivating plot; and a beginning, middle, and end to each episode so that its alright to miss a week (even though you won’t want to). “Hawaii Five-0” is the new show of the 2010-2011 that is not to be missed.