Sunday, September 26, 2010

Not Your Grandparent's Hawaii Five-0

People in my age group have fond memories of '70s TV, a certain stripe of '70s TV, what I call "grandparent's TV." Shows like Mannix, Cannon, Gunsmoke, Ironsides, The FBI, and my personal favorites, the NBC Mystery Movie, which consisted of Columbo, McCloud, McMillan and Wife, and a rotating fourth slot that spawned another favorite from my formative years Quincy, ME. Nostalgia TV at it's best, evocative of mac 'n' cheese, cherry kool-aid, and the faint aroma of Ben Gay.

Another one of those iconic shows was Hawaii Five-0, which has just gotten a reboot on CBS (fitting, because CBS is the ultimate grandparent's TV network. Just ask my mom, who never misses NCIS, Los Angeles because she adores LL Cool J. Proving once and for all that, yes, the ladies do love Cool James, especially the 70-year-old ones.)

I was excited for the new Hawaii 5-0. I remember the old one fondly, not so much the plots or for the acting, but for the indelible theme song, and the exotic local (exotic at least for a kid from Wyoming.) And of course for the fact that in the days before the DVR and a TV in every bedroom, you actually had destination TV, where you had to finish dinner, chores, and homework before literally gathering around the TV set. And you watched what your parents (or grandparents) watched. None of this shutting the door and reveling in the illicit and dubious pleasures of The Suite Life of Zach and Cody. Blegh.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the new Hawaii Five-0. The opening sequence included a massive firefight and lots of explosions, and cameos from Norman Reedus, Bill Sadler (You sunk my battleship! Best two out of three.) and James Marsters. (Yes, my cat is named Spike, because I am a pathetic, pathetic fangirl.) Every time someone showed up, I punched the S/O in the arm and excitedly rattled off some character actor trivia. Eventually he moved out of reach. So, hey, they had me in the first five minutes.

They wisely didn't mess with the theme song, and the opening credits were very reminiscent of the old ones. Alex O'Loughlin isn't much more than a pretty piece of wood, which I guess makes him fit perfectly into the mold left by Jack Lord. That's okay, because Scott Caan has enough charisma for the both of them. Plus Daniel Dae Kim! Plus Grace Park!

The action is crisp and excellently choreographed. Sure it's over-the-top, but I like that. This is popcorn TV, not high art. Caan is hilarious. Scenery is gorgeous. I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of the season.

And since it's on CBS, it's probably in no danger of being unceremoniously canceled. (I'm looking at you, ABC -- I still haven't forgiven you for Better Off Ted and Pushing Daisies. It's only by the grace of Nathon Fillion that I don't come slash your tires and TP your house.)

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