It’s time to start planning a “Hawaii Five-0” museum, don’t you think?
The procedural CBS reboot is off and humming, with the first 22-episode season sprinting toward completion. No doubt a second-season order is waiting in the wings.
And there’s still a lot of affection for the original franchise, which ran from 1968 to 1980, and the oldies continue to air in syndication.
So methinks there ought to be a “Five-0” museum, a place that will be a shrine for everything that shines about “Five-0.” A home for artifacts, taped episodes, a photo gallery of stars and guests over the decades, built around Steve McGarrett, the original and the reincarnation. The car that Jack Lord drove as McGarrett should be retained; the updated wheels of Alex O’Loughlin’s McG would be a natural match. Maybe life-sized cutouts of both McGs?
Imagine all the other possibilities: a hall of villains, led by the incomparable Wo Fat; the history about “Book ’em, Danno,” and clips of McG uttering the phrase.
Surely, somebody somewhere must have costumes donned by Lord and his Danno, the late James MacArthur; they did the coat-and-tie thing back then, unlike the casual gear now worn by the principals except the new Danno, Scott Caan, who’s from New Jersey so he still is fit to be tied. No wonder he bickers so often; it’s warm when you’re up to your neck with clothing in sunny Hawaii.
And there must be a pidgin coop of sayings, along with bloopers, like this new season’s “bird” designation for da kine local talk, and the misnamed flip-flops for rubbah slippahs.
Or a gallery of misplaced directions, the foremost being McGarrett No. 1 driving diamondhead on Kalakaua and periodically breezing by the Blow Hole, allegedly with the airport as his destination; and maybe a pictorial of the memorable real-life places, like the Ilikai lanai from which McGarrett is introduced in the opening scenes of the original and reboot, and Iolani Palace, which was the first HQ of the special police task force that the world now knows as H50.
And, of course, a music room that would feature a video loop, complete with the big wave dancing to the unforgettable and formidable Morton Stevens theme song, easily the best, most iconic sound portrait of any TV series produced. Yep, better than “Mission: Impossible” or any other crime drama then and now.
The museum can’t be in Hollywood or New York. Gotta be Honolulu.
Its birth would be a godsend, for actors, producers, fans ... and ultimately the Hawaii visitor industry. It would be on the tour agenda for anyone visiting us, from the U.S., the Orient, Europe, everywhere. I mean, who hasn’t watched “Five-0.”
It’s not an easy deal to seal, of course. Gotta have a central site; CBS, which owns the franchise, will have to be a participant, since it owns the original footage and continues to build on the legacy. Gotta have the late Leonard Freeman’s ohana (he was the creator and original producer) to endorse such a project. And gotta have some financier (other than Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto) to invest in and support the museum.
With the legion of “Five-0” fanatics accrued over yesteryear's 12 historic seasons, along with the new-generation followers viewing and worshiping every Monday night, this would be bigger than a Planet Hollywood or a Hard Rock Café.
If Waikiki can have a teddy bear museum, why not one for the greatest series ever filmed here nearly entirely on location (there were a few exceptions in the first go-round). It's a no-brainer.
And think of the domino effect.
Lee Cataluna can write a play, “Folks You See on ‘Five-0,’” just like her "Folks You Meet at Longs" escapade, with comedic documentation and reintroduction of “Five-0” culture, complete with dialogue like “Eh, bruddah, bodda you?”
Maybe Uncle Sam Kapu Jr. can be the resident docent, speaking pidgin the way it’s supposed to, as he guides tours in the museum. Sam’s the guy who does those local TV commercials for Karen’s Kitchen and Seaside Hotels; the bird flies from this buggah’s mouth so naturally, he lives the lingo; his is not an act.
As the lone surviving regular from the Lord-MacArthur era, Al Harrington could be an honorary consultant. After all, his character’s name was Ben Kokua; kokua means help. Harrington is a former teacher, motivational speaker, and a nightclub performer; he could provide tapes of his Waikiki shows where he usually donned a head lei, and might be an ambassador of "Five-0" goodwill. And surely, someone must own some vintage footage of the late Zulu, the original Kono, who, like Harrington, had a spin-off Polynesian show as a result of his “Five-0” fame. The gender of Kono has changed, with Grace Park portraying the part now.
Daniel Dae Kim, who now plays Chin Ho, the role originated by Kam Fong Chun, could open a museum café not unlike the hamburgery he co-owns at Kahala Mall. Imagine the menu: could have show-related influences.
Crazy Shirts could help create and market a line of “Five-0” T-shirts, with logos and mugshots of stars then and now. And, of course, there will have to be a bikini line inspired by Park’s Kono gear.
There’s certainly developmental space, at 605 Kapiolani Blvd., for a museum; that’s the former home of The Honolulu Advertiser, now occupied by “Five-0” regulars, with a sound stage in the back and spill-over “location” space up front; one recent episode was filmed on the first floor of the facility, on one side of the dual-staircase building.
Someone with an enterprising mind, and a big checkbook, can take this idea and enhance and expand and make the “Hawaii Five-0” museum a reality.
Would you make this a destination if you're a visitor? If you're local, would you have a look-see? Do you even agree that “Five-0” merits a home base museum? Do you see it as an asset for the show and for Hawaii?
Share your reactions and suggestions. Maybe someone will listen and take the lead to make it a reality.