Less-is-more concept works for 'Hawaii Five-0'

October 9th, 2012
By

The decluttering has begun. The less-is-more concept helped "Hawaii Five-0" with an upward movement Monday (Oct. 8) night.
Or perhaps the shark scare, with Steve McGarrett and Danno Williams adrift in the Pacific without fuel or a cellphone, helped boost the floundering CBS procedural, which had been idling and floating so far this season.
For Monday ratings, the "Five-0" demographics were up and viewership also increased a skosh.
The good news: “Five-0” was No. 2 in the 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland) time slot, up from No. 3 a week ago; “Five-0” matched the 2.2 rating in the key 8 to 49 demographics of ABC’s “Castle,” its most formidable competitor.
The bad news: In viewership numbers, “Castle” was still No. 1 with 10.562 million, compared with “Five-0’s” 9.006 million (but better than NBC’s “Revolution’s” 8.206 million).
The preliminary Nielsen ratings — which could be inflated somewhat, since CBS carried Monday Night Football in Houston, and the figures have not yet been adjusted — offers hope for improvement for the home-based series.
The streamlined story — a hijacking of a boat, a murder, a plot involving a disintegrating marriage between the wife and the murder victim — focused solely on McG and Danno, complete with frisky but overworked bickering and arguments in a time of crisis. OK, there was a volley of give-and-take between McG (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danno (Scott Caan), in a blame-and-enflame game hardly realistic (except in their relationship) where teamwork might have been tantamount.
But this was as focused and minimalist as anything seen this season. Precise, pointed, pertinent. And very rare in the annals of the "Five-0" reboot.
Further, Kono Kalakaua’s (Grace Park) relationship with cousin Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) also had revealing, isolated details; she still worried over the loss of his wife, he still was adamant that her rekindled romantic liaison with a rescuer (remember, she was in deep kim chee, also in the ocean, as season two ended) who has ties to the Yakuza, portending revisits of this sticky issue in the stories ahead.
In short, the segment spotlighted relationships without the tedium and clutter of unnecessary characters and details. This was clearly a departure from all other episodes, where story arcs and folks from the past impede the storytelling.
It was a relief that the spotlight was on character traits and behavior, with a taut script that magnified the relationship. Less is more.
Overall, NBC was No. 1 in the 18 to 49 demos, thanks to “The Voice” (4.7 adults demo, 12.577 million viewers). ABC had the most total viewers, because of “Dancing With the Stars” (2.1 adults demo, 13.331 million) and “Castle;” and CBS had ‘em laughing with its “2 Broke Girls,” “Mike and Molly” and “Partner” comedies.

11 Responses to “Less-is-more concept works for 'Hawaii Five-0'”

  1. 808crusader:

    I gotta disagree. I thought this episode was boring and the case was uninteresting.


  2. AniMatsuri:

    Ratings adjustments have H50 down a bit to 1.9 in the demo but still slightly higher than Revolution with a 8.39 million to 8.01 in the overall viewers department. The big story here to me is Revolution's action/adventure story is a big draw for the 18-49 demo which again beat both Castle and H50 with a 3.0.


  3. Terry:

    This was my favorite episode this year. More about the characters I've grown to love, and less convoluted mystery.


  4. hossana:

    I like how Wayne Harada tries to put a spin on H-50 improving etc. when, in actuality, the true viewer knows that this program is a sinking ship that is way past its primetime.


  5. bibi:

    i absolutely loved this episode. It was very character driven without loosing the main ingredients to the show. It is first and foremost an action procedural after all. And this episode in particular had everything good tv entertainment needs. It was a great Idea, well written, greatly acted and absolutely hilarious in some scenes. Plus, even the craziest scenes on H5O are more plausible than the entire concept of Revolution. Well, taste is different, i guess.


  6. Manoa_Fisherman:

    It is good to see the numbers perk up for H50. The crime story was curious and interesting enough, but the character interaction and development issues are just as important in an ongoing television series as well.

    For example, what kept "Cheers" and "MASH" on top of the ratings was the relationship of the characters and their interesting interactions. For all good shows, that is what keeps the viewer engaged. Trying to balance that with a cop/procedural show is difficult and changing the cast too much can make the series too difficult to follow or care about.

    Looking at NCIS, you see an interesting set of characters who the audience cares about and enjoys the interactions between them. This is due to the ability to form a good cast and get real lucky with writers who can spin a good yarn with them. H50 is getting there, but won't have much more slack from the studio bean counters if they go under 9 million on a consistent basis. I suspect that they are also looking at the foreign market and how it is performing there as well.


  7. AniMatsuri:

    How any US produced show does in the foreign market has no bearing on what the bean counters think. Any more than how well 2nd hand Fords sell on a used car lot.


  8. Hawaii Tiger:

    It was the best show of the season so far. Fun. Good review.


  9. old_show_fan:

    I thought the drifting scene was unrealistic, trying to tow a leaking raft 40 miles? Who could possibly dream about such a scenario? I was also fed up with all the bickering between Steve and Dano and I kept urging Dano to just shut up. The old version of Hawaii Five-0 I liked so much better because there was more cooperation and no bickering. They really take it too far here!


  10. theDman:

    Caught the episode on the internet just now. I agree that it was a good episode and much, much better than what they did last week. The dialogue of McGarrett and Danno was sharp and witty while they were out at sea. Those dinghy scenes did look kinda "greenscreeny" but the writing was good and a step up from the usual.

    There were a few problems, the wife getting killed off in the end was pointless, not sure why they did that, the Taylor Willy scene kinda fit into that category too this week.. And, that shot of Kono running to aid Chinn...did I see her actually commit LITTERING with that thrown coffee cup?

    Funny to see Cynthia Watros, formerly of Lost come back for a small role. Never saw her on Lost, but I remember seeing her at the gym on a regular basis. She used to work out with us common folk. One of the few from that show that would mix in like that. We never bothered her, I guess that's why she felt comfortable.

    I think they did ease up on the "magic table" too in this episode, or at least that was my opinion. Put clues out there for the audience to solve, don't just let a computer tie everything together, there is a lack of viewer satisfaction when that continuously happens.


  11. izulu:

    Less is definitely more.

    This episode was better than the previous two this season. The opening scenes with Alex and Scott dragged on a bit too long for my taste, though.

    I found two minor things a little jarring. Once Alex and Scott got on board the murdered guy's boat, Scott's shirt in the cabin scene looked too crisp and clean. I actually rewound the tape, thinking that I had missed something, and that Scott had changed clothes.

    Then in the scene in which "Kono" races up the stairs to save "Chin," how did she know that the person coming down the stairs was the bad guy?!? It didn't seem that she actually saw, much less identified the guy before hunkering down to trip him.

    Oh, and I have to agree with theDman, killing off the murdered victim's wife was strange, and didn't add anything to the show. The sister-in-law was superfluous, too.

    Overall, my pet peeve for this season 3 however, is Michelle Borth as a regular. Like Jenna(?) and Lauren German before her, I don't think Michelle fits in. Maybe I missed it, but is she one of the 5-0 team now? If she's still in the military, how can she hang out with the 5-0 team so often, much less go out on "assignments" with them...toting a gun and all. Yes, this is all fiction, but a little more believability wouldn't be amiss.