Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"Book 'em, Danno."

My review of Season One of Hawaii Five-O.

I'm not new to Hawaii Five-O. My mom and I watched the original together and I really enjoyed it. That's one reason I refused to watch the remake for so long. Also I've had a bad experience with remakes since watching the new Get Smart movie. I was also strongly apposed to the fact the writers had made Kono into a girl. Then there was Danny Williams. Danny was my favorite character and to me there could only ever be one Danny and that would be James MacArthur.

I hadn't even considered the new series until my mom started to watch it. She likes the original more than I do, so I started to debate the idea, but then when some of my friends started it and really enjoyed it I gave it a try. I was surprised to find I not only enjoyed it, I really came to like it.

Like the original, the series focuses on a small police force in Hawaii known as Hawaii Five-O. There are four members to the team, not counting all the outside help they get on occasion.

Steve McGarrett is the head of the team. In the new series he is a former Navy officer who has a low tolerance for people and is angry about his dad's resent murder - but who wouldn't be in his place. He likes to walk the fine boarder line of the law and sometimes resorts to questionable means to get results. Example, hanging gangsters off the edge of buildings.
Even though he can't stand most people, Steve really cares for his team and puts them first all the time. There were even episodes where he would give them time off in the middle of cases because they had family problems which needed addressed.

Danny Williams, known as Danno to his daughter and to Steve who started to use the nickname to annoy Danny, is Steve's partner. Usually more reasonable than Steve, he's the only who tries to keep him in check and keep him from taking things too far. (Not that this always works as Danny did join in the line crossing once or twice like when he tied a man to the hood off his car and drove around town until he talked.)
Danny is still my favorite character. Unlike in the original, in this series he has a family. His wife divorced him and remarried and he has join custody of his eight-year-old daughter Grace. Danny is usually sweet, rational, and he and Steve balance each other out. By the end of the series they become best friends even if they won't always admit it. They also have a long running joke about Danny's ties, which Steve hates, and the famous "Book 'em, Danno," line. (At first I didn't like it that Danny had gotten the nickname from someone else other than Steve. I enjoyed that in the original, the fact Steve and only Steve had a special name for Danny, but the way they worked in it was really cute and the fact it was Grace who gave it to Danny has grown on me and I no longer mind as much as I first did.)

The third team member is another favorite of mine, from the original and the new series. Chin Ho Kelly. I loved him in the original, so those of you who have seen it and know what happened will understand how sad I was over it. I still harbor a secret fear they will go there again and I will be very displeased.
Chin Ho in season one has been suspended from the HPD under suspicion of having stolen money from an investigation. It is obvious to everyone who knows him that he didn't do it, but he takes the blame along with rejection from his family to cover for the one who did steal it. Chin is probably the most rational out of the whole team, same as in the original. He works within the law but would also do anything for the others. He's just a sweet man and I love him. And he gets cool guns, so that is a plus.

Kono is the forth member. I did like Kono in the original, one reason I took personal offense to the gender change. But there were things which helped me accept this. First is that Chin and Kono are cousins, and they are the best cousins in the world. Their relationship is wonderful and I love it when they have scenes together. They're an almost insuperable team, and when they work together the bad guys don't stand a chance.
Kono is one of those girls who can beat up about anyone she comes across, which I tend to find annoying, but they worked it out were it is more believable. For one she usually kicks people, and its been proven that most girls have stronger leg muscles than arm. Also she is adorable around kids. She's like a cuddly teddy bear the moment she sees them which is cute. (Actually the whole team is kind of like that. As soon as a kid is around they turn into a pile of mush and get down on their knees so they can talk to them eye to eye. It's really cute, especially when Steve is the one turning into a pile of mush.)

Some of the plots from the original series were reused, which was fun. It was like watching the original over again but with an added twist to keep me on my toes. They also kept the same villain, Wo Fat whom I liked to hate the first time around and will continue to do so. That man....the plague of Hawaii.
The show is full of all kinds of unexpected twists, which I like but don't like because I don't know who I can trust anymore. One moment I think I've found a new character to like and the next they are stabbing everyone in the back.

Lastly, I love the humor in it. There's even more than in the original - probably because in the original Danny was the only one with a humorous side. Steve had his moments but they were few and far between. There's enough humor in the new series to keep everything light enough that it doesn't get too dark and hopeless, but there's also enough suspense to keep you guessing.

I've just started Season Two and am kind of hooked. It's now the show I watch right before bed. Because that is how I unwind at the end of the crime shows.

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