By Wayne Harada
CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” has found its voice again, recovering lost viewers over the past week, drawing 10.20 million viewers Monday night (Feb. 20). It led its hour with a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating, besting an also-improving “Castle” on ABC (9.66 million viewers, 2.1 adults 18 to 49) and a declining “Smash” on NBC (6.47 million viewers, 2.39 adults 18 to 49), according to preliminary overnight Nielsen ratings numbers.
Tapping Hawaiian culture and loaded with local color and guest stars, the “Five-0” segment, “Kūpale, earned sufficient points for effort and a demerit or two for execution.
The theme of na koa Hawaiian warriors, duking it out in traditional costumes in an ancient artistry of warfare, was certainly an opportunity to depict a rarely seen and photographed element of Hawaiian culture. The peg to economic greed (involving ferry service), however, was a bit far-fetched, and a crime involving shark-toothed weapons clearly a miniority issue. If anyone owned one of these rarities, would he really use it in a traceable offense?
The parade of jock guest players — notably Apollo Ohno, Olympian medalist skater as a thief of an artifact, and Shane Victorino, the Phillies outfielder as a corporate type conducting training in the wild a stone’s throw away from the Hawaiian practitioners — were casting coups but were essentially extended cameos, not fully realized roles. Ohno’s gig, the larger one, should have somehow found an arc to the finale; folks adore him, after all, and would be eager to see him delude McG and company at least with a fight — not via tear gas drop.
Nice to see Islanders Al Harrington and Dennis Chun in recurring appearances, linking the old “Five-0” with the reboot, and doubly nice to hear Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) uttering the effective but infrequent “Book ‘em, Danno” to Danny Williams (Scott Caan) again, with tongue slightly in cheek.
The banter between these two was spot-on spiffy, from the opening scene when Danno turned McG’s quarters into his personal refuge while the latter was away, to those in-the-car exchanges about anything and everything. The friction is fun, fast, frequent — caustic conversation.
With James Caan, actor Scott Caan’s dad, guest-starring in next week’s episode, it’s a good bet that “Five-0” will maintain its momentum to lead the hour again. We can only hope.
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Maybe “Five-0” should invite Bruno Mars to be a guest performer sometime. Might steal more viewers from "Smash," which featured his music and his name, but not him in the flesh.
Though physically absent, Mars' music and his magic were part of this week’s Broadway musical drama, wherein a mythical Bruno Mars Broadway show, complete with a performance of his “Grenade” hit, was bandied about.
Or maybe Mars might just skip episodic television and go for the gusto, mounting his own musical on The Great White Way. Might make him the billionaire he aspires to be.
What you think?