Archive for March, 2012

McGarrett: 'Dear Danno, I'll miss one episode'

March 29th, 2012

According to TV Guide’s William Keck, Alex O’Loughlin — who is Steve McGarrett on CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” — will miss just one episode as he recuperates from his prescription pain meds dependency linked to an earlier shoulder injury.
With McG leaving the cameras in March to enter rehab, there was an obvious gap in filming and storytelling procedures, forcing producers and writers to be inventive.
Producer Peter Lenkov tells TV Guide that the recuping actor appears briefly in the April 9 show, where McG suspects Terry O’Quinn (Joe) has lied to him about being Shelburne, in that ongoing story arc. “He ends up leaving a ‘Dear Danno’ letter before taking off to find the real Shelburne,” Lenkov explains.
Not exactly high drama, but a convenient way to deal with O’Loughlin’s absence while in rehab.
McG/O’Loughlin will still be away on April 30, which will be the next original episode, the crossover one when “NCIS: Los Angeles” actors Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J guest-star.
Note: Danno (Scott Caan) and Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) have filmed the crossover swap segment in L.A., the latter filling in for O'Loughlin.
McG shows up again on May 7, putting Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) in jail, and again in the May 14 season finale, where (spoiler alert) a familiar face dies (which is beginning to sound like a tradition) and O’Quinn, Tom Sizemore and William Baldwin return.
Surely, McG’s presence — during the height of the May sweeps — will boost the show’s Nielsen ratings.

For 'Mad Man' premiere, a flashback to history

March 29th, 2012

A few days back, I mentioned in this blog that perhaps CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” might consider some real-life episodes as a jumping point for future plots. The elements would logically be fictionalized, to suit the story line and provide a shield of protection of individuals, but have some links to actual events.
“Mad Man’s” opening scene, in the AMC show’s new season, had its roots in an actual New York Times article.
If you’re a fan of the ’60s-motif show but not a New Yorker or reader of the Times, you probably didn’t get it — but enough folks did. In New York, of course.
“On ‘Mad Men,’ an Opening Scene Straight From Page 1,” read the headline of
Michael Wilson’s blog this week on the Times website, recounting the TV scene, circa 1966, when employees of Young and Rubicam in a high-rise dropped water-filled bags on civil rights and anti-poverty protesters.
“And you call us savages,” one woman protester says on the cable show — a line actually delivered, and originally reported, in the Times.
Sign of the times? Art reflecting life? Artistic plagiarism?
Researchers for the “Mad Man” script scoped the archives of Times front pages, and discovered the article and flagged it to the show’s creator, Matthew Weiner, who loved the factual incident and decided to go with it, with a new wrinkle: the writers retained the Young and Rubicam reference, which had the historical peg, instead of rewriting it to make the gang at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, the fictional firm in “Mad Man,” to drop the water balloons.
Curiously, the reporter who wrote the original story, had no memory of the past events.
The point here: Sometimes, history does provide a foundation for a fictional TV show.
Likewise, “Hawaii Five-0” could benefit with scripts that may be as current as the recent vandalism/theft of birds at Honolulu, or a decades-old cold case like the disappearance of a dance student en route to a studio in Aiea not seen since.
I provided some ideas — perhaps with tongue in cheek — that may have been weird but certainly with elements of truth with storyline potential.
Any thoughts?

CBS Monday reruns don’t help ‘Five-0’

March 27th, 2012

Despite NBC’s “The Voice” hitting a low note Monday (March 26), the network still topped the preliminary Nielsen overnight race with a 3.7 adults 18 to 49 rating and a 10 share. ABC, fueled by “Dancing With the Stars,” was second with a 2.9 adults 18 to 49 rating and an 8 share despite slimmer numbers than last week, with CBS dropping to third (1.9 adults 18 to 49 adults rating and a 5 share ), probably because of primetime reruns across the board.
The alphabet network led the viewership, with 15.794 million, followed by the peacock network with 9.978 million and the eye network with 6.386 million.
And in the 9 p.m. (10 p.m. on the mainland) hour, where the homegrown “Hawaii Five-0” is anchored, ABC’s “Castle” attracted 4 per cent more viewers (with a new episode) from last week, with a 2.4 adults 18 to 49 rating, against NBC’s “Smash,” which was second with a 2.4 adults 18 to 49 rating (with a new installment), and CBS’s “Five-0” with a 1.5 adults 18 to 49 rating (with a repeat).
In viewship numbers, “Castle” had 12.150 million, “Five-0” had 6.566 million and “Smash” had 6.355 million.
Talk about reruns: Will this one work? While Alex O'Loughlin (Steve McGarrett) has been in rehab, recuping from meds taken for a shoulder problem, hope he'll be fit as a fiddle, because next season, the show has tapped a new regular, who already has been in five episodes in seasons one and two. She is Michelle Borth (Lt. Catherine Rollins), returning as McG's main squeeze. Which means love will be in the it or not.

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Five story ideas from the headlines for a struggling 'Five-0'

March 25th, 2012

With a third season starting next fall for “Hawaii Five-0,” the Honolulu-based CBS series, the show’s writers need only check recent news developments for storyline inspiration.
Let’s say it up front: Enough of oblique Sherlburne arcs, return of dead ex-regulars, infrequent and gratuitous comebacks of ex-spouses or new ones, creation of new back stories for the crime-fighting four.
“Five-0” oughtta do what “Law and Order” and its family of spin-off sister series have been doing for years: raid actual headline events, change names to protect the innocent to dodge charges of copy-catting. These factoids may be worked into the usual template of car chases, copter aerials, staff crime-solving along with the customary McGarrett-Danno bickering.
An incident from real life is as good an idea as a fabricated one. Maybe better. Especially since there have been some rather preposterous fiction in this second season scripting — like the notion of taking a chopper to Korea from Honolulu, trying to hitch a ride with the governor, etc.
It’s no secret that our home-grown procedural drama has been struggling to concoct interesting, valid, and relevant yarns in the weekly episodes. The lack of ingenuity is somewhat reflected in the diminishing viewership during this sophomore season. On a related note, there been an increasing scarcity of accolades or nominations in the Emmy Awards (OK, the Golden Globes nominated Scott Caan in the freshman season) and media attention outside of Hawaii that can also reflect a p.r. problem. “Five-0” is not “The Voice,” “Glee,” or “Mad Men,” which receives mucho attention, and admit it or not, it should start emulating the kind of wholeness and marketability of the No. 1 TV drama, “NCIS.”
Guest stars are great (thanks, Ed Asner, James Caan), but the process begins with the scripts.
For a start-up list, I offer five recent events in the community that have caught everyone’s attention and could reappear with some tweaking and invention in future episodes. Certainly, this would provide McGarrett and McTeam with some fascinating fodder.
1 — The six severed fingers of a child, or children, found in a plastic bag in an apartment complex dumpster. Doesn’t have to be the actual site, and the fingers could be subbed by toes, but the notion of found digits and unfound owners, lends itself to some creative sleuthing.
2 — A new theory about a new search for the missing aviatrix Amelia Earheart, who crossed our ports way back when, could even be an inventive “concept” piece, flashing back to time, even filmed in black and white. If “The Artist” can win Best Picture with an old-fashioned gimmick (McG might even tap dance, who knows?), why can’t “Five-0” collect an Emmy? Work in the Wright Brothers; the Pan Am clipper; heck, even the first Hawaiian Airlines airplane. And since the show adores heritage and history, make Wo Fat’s great-great grandpa some kind of villain in the process.
3 — Three victims — two adults and one child — have been diagnosed as having flesh-eating disease. OK, swap the victims to three schools — one public, one private, one home school — and have team sort out the mystery with a teleplay that engages the state health department, food inspectors, hospital administrator, fast food restaurants, the vector folks, among others, to resolve a very complex and confusing situation. Since the show relies on a crime, work one in. How? Why? What’s the RX?
4 — One student is discovered to have tuberculosis, potentially contaminating fellow pupils on two college campuses. Alter the facts a bit and make it two TB victims, coming to Hawaii via separate flights — one domestic, one international — and imagine the concerns and conflicts. McG and Company could have enormous power, with global implications — shutting down the airports, damaging Hawaiian Airlines’ pretty darn perfect record of being the carrier with the fewest timetable delays, getting the governor to paddle his canoe, finally.
5 — Rainstorms yield a lot of crap (literal and otherwise) on our shores, including medical paraphernalia improperly disposed ... into streams and gutters and hence, the beachfronts. Also found: $3 million of gold, in waterproof vessels, that someone intended to cash in with the Gold Guys, but their home is washed away, along with the valuable loot. McG discovers that the gold was stolen from a bank that was embarrassed to reveal the loss. The trail down to the Diamond Head shores crumbles, revealing a skull from yesteryear. A cold case suddenly gets hot.
Sure, sounds silly — but no worse than some of the tales being aired.
Whachuthink? Got more plot ideas? Share one...

Cazimeros go global with a passport of 'island' fun

March 23rd, 2012

The Brothers Cazimero went island-hopping in the last of this season’s Hana Hou series of Hawaiian music concerts Friday night (March 23) at the Hawaii Theatre, and what a passport of fun it was.
It was Robert and Roland’s most mixed bag of outings, loaded with a sense of place, with a variety of melodies, inspired by cultures of the world.
Some were very obvious, some not so; some unlikely, some very personal.
By the end, it was an excursion into the act’s ingenious staging creativity, coupled with producer Burton White’s production savvy, resulting in a parcel of merit and marvel.
It started out with a somewhat gratuitous “island” sandwich of ono nibbles, including “Islands in the Stream” and “Island Style.” By the time the journey ended, the show tappedmemories of yesteryear served up with dedication and loyalty; there was the usual dollop of comedy, but featured a savory measure of cultural traditions from hither and yon.
The agenda included eye-filling hula with ear-filling taiko drumming, plus choruses of sung-and-dance Broadway hits to a whole segment of costumed and signature songs and dances from Tahiti.
Oh yes, and a splendid taste of Japan favorites, Nippon-style and island-style. Mostly rendered by the bros, Robert’s Halau Na Kamalei O Lililehua, and the Ladies of the Royal Dance Company, but with splendid guest appearances from troupers ranging from hula stylists to singers to musicians.
The itinerary included:
• Hawaii — With the world at stake, there was just a smidgin of Hawaiiana to keep the hometowners happy, like “Hidden Valleys” and “Mai Lohilohi Mai Oe.” The goal was bigger: global.
• Great Britain — An unexpected medley of Beatles tunes, served in the duo’s signature style, with piano (Robert) and bass (Roland) accompaniment, created an aural lei of diverse ditties, like “Yesterday,” “She Loves You,” “Yellow Submarine,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “Michelle,” “Hey Jude,” “Let It Be,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” and “And I Love Her.” To link Hawaii with England, the duo dusted off Queen Liliuokalani’s “The Queen’s Jubilee,” composed in honor of Queen Victoria’s jubilee, when Lili’u was a princess visiting London along with honor monarchs, and it was a fitting bridge.
• Tahiti — In Tihati Productions fashion, the Caz staged a mini-spectacle of Tahitian otea, with all the nuances and accoutrements of South Seas syncopation, with a solo dance by Moea DeFries, plus a dance by the gents inspired by the Hokule’a voyage to Tahiti; the piece de resistance was the soul-whirling, hip-shaking, skirt-swishing numbers (“Tu Pae Pae” and “Tera Mai,”), costumed in exquisite white, and the demonstrative percussion work to keep the rhythms rolling and thumping.
• Japan — A guest ensemble shared more culture with an interlude of taiko drumming, which also involved choreographic twists. The Nippon visit enabled a Caz vocal of “Sakura,” the familiar cherry blossom song, with understated tranquility and beauty, and a spirited, even tongue in cheek update of a popular post-war hit song, “Can Can Musume, with Kaipo Hale and Tommy Akana taking turns on the verses, with more cultural synthesis involving local vs. Japan dancers “competing,” in “The Voice”-inspired dance run-off that might been dubbed “The Odori (Dance).”
• Manhattan — The “island” of New York, one of Robert’s choice destinations, was a natural pause, beginning with his solo on “I’ll Take Manhattan,” the hula gents’ vocalizing on “On Broadway,” and a twice-rendered (in a double tribute to Loretta Ables Sayres in “South Pacific”) “Happy Talk” vocal and dance, with requisite hand movements. Some enchanted moment!
• Island of Me — In an introspective show-closing segment, Roland and Robert took separate turns “becoming” an island, or a pebble that can become a rock, with growth and vision and movement and life. “I am a rock, I am an island,” they sang, each becoming a Rushmore of sorts with figurative power and presence.
The stage was island-like, with foliage a-plenty, punctuated by seven faux golden palm trees, two on one side of the stage, five on the other side, framing the performers with the back wall occasionally bathed in brighter-than-life pinks and blues and more.
Like a vacation where the pleasures and treasures abound, the “trip” ended far too soon, and in true Cazimero fashion, they make you wanting more ... till the next trek.
If you had the wisdom to have been there, you were rewarded with a remarkable global hop. If not, hard luck!

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