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Hawaii Five-O Watch: Series Premiere

Hawaii Five-O is one of those shows that everyone has heard of but knows nothing about. Until tonight’s pilot episode of this 2010 remake, I had never seen an episode of Hawaii Five-O, for better or for worse. That being said, this show has a lot going for it before the first ‘reel of film’ ever rolls. It is developed and written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, of Star Trek fame; it stars Daniel Dae Kim, who is fresh off of the end of LOST; and it is aired on CBS, which means it might actually get some money; nine million dollars for this episode, to be exact.

Well, I’m certainly not the first to say that money isn’t everything. I won’t say that I expected this show to be particularly brainy; hell, I don’t want this show to be brainy. I want this show to be macho, brash, and fun. However, it’s going to take a little bit more than a few poorly written one-liners to take this show from an “eh” to a “YEAH!”

I’ve noticed that Kurtzman and Orci’s thing is to take a fairly plain story (such as the revenge plotline that ran through tonight’s episode) and spice it up with great character interaction. So while Captain DeMarco’s (played very Cage-y, if I may) gleeful and remorseless revenge of his father’s death was executed quite well, his chemistry with Detective Danny Williams (Scott Caan - the poor man’s Giovanni Ribisi) was lacking.

While that is a problem that will likely be solved in week’s to come, the directing of the episode was also lacking. Director Len Wiseman, who helmed Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard set up a few great action sequences, but these were spliced together with poorly shot Hawaiian-esque clips. I have no problem with the concept, but it’s going to have to be much better executed than that in future episodes for it to earn a passing grade.

That being said, the gun’s blazing, no holds-barred effect that Hawaii Five-O adapts is unlike anything I have seen in a television show before. I’ve never seen so many automatic weapons brandished so carelessly on a major network since, well, ever. This pilot has plenty of grit, dirt, and carnage to go around, which is very refreshing given the polished and glossy action that I have become so accustomed to seeing on television these days.

Hawaii Five-O has a lot of potential; so I’d say that it’s unfair to judge this show only on its pilot. Many a good show has been forsaken (the TNT show Trust Me, comes to mind) because viewers give up after a mediocre pilot. However, for comparison’s sake, I’ll give Hawaii Five-O a six out of ten for now; with the strong hope that it improves in the coming weeks - and with Michelle Borth coming onboard soon… well, that should help. I’ll leave it at that.