By Wayne Harada
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.