Show and Tell Hawai'i

It's no secret: 'Hawaii Five-0' needs to kick more butt. Really!

November 20th, 2012

The good news: CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” viewership was up Monday (Nov. 19), ahead of NBC’s “Revolution” but still second to ABC’s “Castle.”
The bad news: The plot was a trifle of secrets untold (“Ohuna,” or secrets, was the episode’s title), then revealed, with Steve McGarrett (Alex 0’Loughlin) and the show welcoming back his sister Mary Ann (Taryn Manning), amid a storyline involving a young hacker killed before he can reveal a password to government secrets. Mama McG (Christine Lahti) was back too, involved in a tearful reunion scene with Mary Ann. A tepid distraction, if you ask me — familial ghosts in the closet shouldn’t get this kind of emphasis in a procedural in jeopardy.
More good news: Kono (Grace Park) finally comes into her own, moving from the shadows into a kick-butt moment — the kind of action the episode needed. Finally, she’s liberated — “one of the guys,” so to speak; perhaps the best secret revealed so far this year.
The bad news: Early Nielsen viewership numbers continue the 1-2-3 pattern. “Castle” had 10.5 million viewers (6.8/11 rating share), “H50” had 8.8 million (5.7/9 rating) and “Revolution” 7 million (4.3/7 rating) in the 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland) slot. The figures likely will be adjusted, since the San Francisco market had a football game Monday.
In the 18 to 49 demos, NBC was No. 1 overall, though ABC had most total viewers. To the credit of “H50,” the show logged a 2.2 demo rating, up a tenth from a week ago. Maybe this growth will help energize the show and bump up future ratings.
Midway into season three, and at the end of the November ratings sweeps, it's no secret: "Hawaii Five-0" needs to kick more butt, with meatier plots that will jump-start the lull. Really!
As discussed in this space in recent weeks, “H50” needs to beef up its storylines, eliminate or minimize clutter and character background details, and adhere to and focus on crime-fighting elements. Sure, the producers bring on guest stars, but overall, the show seems to be chugging and struggling to restore the quality and the appeal of season one. Now more than ever, kinfolk of the main four characters continue to be discovered and dispatched — like George Takei playing Chin Ho Kelly’s (Daniel Dae Kim) uncle in a future show. As discussed by readers here, this year’s “H50” polish has been tarnished. The series needs a transfusion to revitalize and reinvent itself.
Reality show lead-in programming —CBS has comedies, ABC has “Dancing With the Stars” and NBC has “The Voice” — may or may not be part of the challenge. But the problem is the lame storylines.
Sure, the Island-filmed show has a broad fanship, with websites gushing about how great everything and everyone is, but the reality is that some diehard regulars are abandoning ship.

9 Responses to “It's no secret: 'Hawaii Five-0' needs to kick more butt. Really!”

  1. AniMatsuri:

    One thing is certain, McGarrett's crazy sister isn't a ratings downer. I always like seeing what she's up to next.

  2. hulahutt:

    I thought it was an exciting show..Good news is dancing with the stars last show of season is next monday at 8 PM.. Did somone give Kono a cheeseburger ?

  3. theDman:

    Didn't get to see the episode and given the holiday week, I probably won't. But, the viewership actually went up and that is good news. I don't know if they can make it back up to 10 million, but that would be the sweet spot for them.

  4. Fans are too defensive:

    Excellent article, as always. I agree with it all. Thank you for being straight forward and not letting the pressure you must feel to hype the show not interfere with your honest perception of it.

    I am glad it went up a tenth of a point but it is still way down from the levels of other CBS shows. Luckily, it will have a season 4 because of TNT to find a way to raise the ratings.

  5. Nat:

    The numbers this show are getting are terrible. The thing is that this show always has been an under performer for cbs because it lost a huge part of the viewers CSI Miami was getting in that same slot. But numbers have gone from mediocre to awful.
    Most people blame the plots. I agree they are not the greatest, but the actors are not that great either. Jack Lord had the screen presence needed to lead a show. He was the Man ! Alex O. lacks that, he is a weak actor IMO. So I don't just blame the writing as most fans do.
    Time to send a huge Christmas Basket to TNT because they are the reason this show is still on.

  6. Sandra Barnes:

    I absolutely love that H50 shows some of the characters' personal lives. Other CBS procedural shows do the same and no one criticizes them for doing so.

  7. 33751363:

    I'm not sold on the bad plots argument. There are plenty of shows out there that don't have any better and in some cases worse plots that don't seemed to be criticized as heavily as H50. I believe much of the problem is that the CBS comedies (which have lost some of their appeal except for Mike & Molly) are an inadequate set up for the show in this day of reality TV (which I think stinks). Tuesdays after the 2 NCIS powerhouses would be a perfect spot for it. Shows like Blue Bloods for example (which I thinks is an OK show) are far less entertaining with no better writing and in fact that show takes itself far too seriously and the cast isn't anywhere near as appealing as H50's yet it draws millions more viewers, not because it's better but mostly because it has little or no competition, unlike H50 which has plenty.
    As for the overall numbers, it's a different world today with cable networks eroding the numbers of the over the air networks and while that doesn't totally explain the ratings dip from the height of H50's popularity I believe it is a contributor. Stronger programming from NBC has also seemed to effect H50 more than Castle (a show I also like).
    With regard to the acting, It doesn't always need to be award winning as long as it isn't unbelievable or uninterested. I remember watching the original H50 religiously and I enjoyed it but I think many fans of that show are remembering it through rose colored glasses as the acting was wooden at best and there was not the wonderful interactions between the characters that the new series has. Seriously interactions between McGarrett and Danno and Kono and Danno in today's series have provided some of the most priceless moments in current prime-time TV and while the writers certainly deserve much of the credit, the actor need to be able to pull it off for it to become effective and they do it very well IMHO and seem to be having fun doing it to boot.
    Lastly I think the cast is terrific, especially Grace Park who provides a much needed strong female presence (lacking in the original) to the male dominated cast. She's adorably cute and is wonderful in the action scenes (with some help from her stunt double) as amply demonstrated in the Nov. 19 episode. I hope the writers see fit to give her more air time.

  8. Teresa Kapalana:

    I thought this was a wonderful episode. Frankly, I like the new Five O a little better than the old. I love the old one, but the new one is more exciting, and I like the characters better. Wayne just will never like the show. Folks don't watch TV the way they used to when the original was on. We have On Demand and can download to our computers and tablets and watch when we want. They don't seem to take that into consideration.

  9. Enaira:

    Hawaii Five-O has really been on the down trend and not just in ratings. I used to be really taken by the plot and story lines but this season it has been really hard for me to get excited about it. You just never know with this show so I’ve always got my DISH Hopper recording the new episodes each week and thanks to PrimeTime Anytime it does it automatically on the big four networks. That way, when I’ve got three or four episodes available I can watch when I’m ready. There is a lot going on all the time and that tends to just overwhelm any viewer and I agree that this needs to be fixed if the show id to survive. My DISH co-worker has already stopped watching the show because she just can’t get into it. I have no idea what the people in charge are doing but things are going to get ugly if they don’t exercise some creative control or give us better stories.

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