By Wayne Harada
CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” wasn’t the only primetime series Monday night to showcase the splendors of the Islands. NBC’s “The Event,” which aired in the hour preceding “Five-0,” also featured key scenes that were shot in the Islands.
Of course, the reboot of the old Jack Lord cops-in-paradise was shot entirely on Oahu — and CBS went hog wild to promote the launch and the Island ties. The payoff was the 14.2 million viewership for “Five-0,” in its time slot, at 9 p.m. here (10 p.m. on the Mainland).
“The Event,” a conspiracy thriller featuring the likes of Jason Ritter, Blair Underwood and Laura Innes, logged 11.2 million viewers in its 8 p.m. slot (9 p.m. on the Mainland). The souped-up psychological roller-coaster plot combined espionage with terrorism as well as wavering timelines that fluctuated from the present to the past, leaving with viewers to ponder and wonder if this was “Lost” redux.
Both shows had high-octane chases and crashes, with most of “Five-O’s” set on the ground, “The Event’s” all over the place.
And plenty of Hawaii backdrops.
Y’all saw “Five-O,” but not likely “The Event.” The latter was all over the map, filmed on both coasts, up in a plane, but a midpoint trek to the Islands caught my attention. The central character, Sean Walker (Ritter) and his girlfriend (Sarah Roemer), figure in some stunning footage overlooking Waimanalo, an awesome drowning rescue at the wave-splashed Blow Hole, and a tranquil beach party scene at Kualoa Regional Park on the Windward side. Even if there was some editing to place a cruise ship docked in the waters off shore.
This kind of tropical niceties should add up to more interest in Hawaii as a visitor destination — the kind we need in a still-not-so-good economy and the byproduct that made the original “Five-0” the high-water mark in tourism marketing.