By Wayne Harada
Was it the Victoria’s Secret branding that benefitted CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” Monday (Dec. 3) night, to give the Island show an edge?
Further, was the absence of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” lead-in series a factor in the so-so performance of “Castle”?
Or did the seasonal dueling Santas provide a snowball curve with NBC’s “Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas” special, complemented by the Christmas storyline on “Castle,” to give “Five-0” an unexpected holiday present?
Who’s to say? Or does it matter?
Overall, ratings were down for all, and for the 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland) hour Monday, “Five-0” did OK (down a skosh from last week) with its fashion plate of Victoria Secret models, bikini-clad wahine on the beach, and guest stars with some celebrity — both from fashion (Behati Prinsloo) and a next-generation actor (Rumer Willis, daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore), in “Five-0” guest roles. When the former looks as good as she does in a bikini or a floral ensemble, who’s to quibble about her acting? And the latter — rumor has it that she doesn’t really need to work, but who doesn’t want to break out of the shadows of rich-and-famous parents?
In the end, NBC — fueled by “The Voice,” which one of the resident judges in his own country Christmas spectacle — won the night, averaging just below 11 million and a 6.7 rating and 10 share in primetime households.
In the hour of interest, “Five-0” garnered 9.15 million viewers (6.0 rating, 10 share), the Shelton show pulling in 9 million viewers (5 rating, 6/9 share) and “Castle” attracting 8.4 million viewers (5 rating, 6/9 share), according to the preliminary overnight Nielsen ratings.
In the coveted 18 to 49 demo, Shelton’s special led with 2.8.
Perhaps the less said about “Hā’awe Make Loa (Death Wish),” one of the silliest episodes so far, the better.The embarassing product placement — or, in this instance, branding — was, in a word, ludicrous.
Except for the eye candy from the guys’ perspective, the plot — about a botched bank heist, by a suicidal thief who has terminal cancer (thus, the desire to end his misery), and distractions like a crush by Max (Masi Oka) on a bank teller (Willis) or Danno’s (Scott Caan) incredulous drools for the VS models ... this is what happens to a procedural when love fever is mixed into the formula.
And no wonder the robber Cordova (played by “The Outsider” hottie from yesteryear, C. Thomas Howell, with whom the years have not been too kind, if physical appearance is a measure) wants out — this was a silly trifle with very little validity. The brains behind the failed theft was another bank robber Rodgers (Lochlyn Munro) with a parallel terminal situation — a valid plot device, I guess — who turns out to be just another disposable piece in this unspectacular puzzle.
Through it all, McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) surely must have had reservations, keeping private his giggles. With Danno all ga-ga over the models (over the top, and out of character), McG is relegated to have car dialogue with Kono (Grace Park) when he’s not in captivity thanks to the key bank thief, with Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim) pretty much resorting to running the computers and boards at H50 HQ, a task commonly left to Kono.
Where has all the brilliance gone?
Only the H50 loyalists will give this one a thumb’s up. The rest of the viewers would give it another finger... never mind. The Scrooge in me makes me want to utter, Bah Humbug.
The lone interesting element — minor, but revealing if true — was the notion of LED lights in shirts blotting out the bank robbers’ faces in those traditional bank security tapes. True?
“The Voice” was the ratings leader, without “DWTS,” and also ruled the 18 to 49 demos with 4.1.