By Wayne Harada
That voting experiment on Monday’s “Hawaii Five-0” (Jan. 14) episode themed “Kapu” — Hawaiian for forbidden — was a decent idea that went nowhere, particularly since the homegrown audience, us locals, could not have a say in which one of three potential finales would be chosen in what supposedly was an online election of sorts.
Its intention was to generate interest, promote audience participation, boost the profile if you will, of the stagnant “Five-0” ratings.
So: A for effort, F for execution.
If you’re gonna do a vote, especially since this episode was hyped like it was the second coming of the show, let everyone everywhere have a say. We wuz robbed (or not -- would you really have voted?)
If Hawaii was going to get snubbed, the network should have simply omitted those pleas to vote for the ending here, the network should have just proceeded that this was a routine episode. Business as usual. By not allowing the Pacific vote, this was clearly a maligning act upon the hometowners.
What the ultimate ending was — to see whodunit — was immaterial. The whole operation was like the tail wagging the dog. A better plot — the episode was supposed to determine with audience kokua who murdered a university professor from a field of three suspects — might have generated a better, sensible challenge with a more satisfying result.
The proof is in the ratings, however, and the island-based CBS procedural did all right. Not spectacularly, but not poorly. Perhaps the operative word here is ... underwhelming.
In the preliminary overnight Nieslen ratings, “Five-0” pulled in 9.37 million viewers with a 2.4 rating in the key 18 to 49 adults demographics, besting ABC’s “Castle” (9.10 million viewers, 1.9 in the demos) and NBC’s “Deception” (4.16 million viewers, 1.6 rating in the demos).
So hurl out the orchid lei — the show won its time slot (9 p.m. here, 10 p.m. Mainland). But was this victory one to be proud of?
It’s wasn’t an out-of-the-park homer, but you take your wins where you can get it.
This was the episode that featured Janel Parrish, the local girl who was Young Cosette in “Les Miserables” on stage, who currently co-stars as Mona Vanderwall- on “Pretty Little Liars,” and it’s always great to see a homegrown actor in a guest on any show. So bravo, for showcasing one of our own.
For those who pause here each week to reflect, applaud, agree, disagree or shout foul, let me declare that I don't dislike the show. With due respect to the creators, I watch religiously. I hope for a more productive play-out. I think, in the midst of a third season, that there is a dire lack of creative juices, producing a fragile and limp procedural without the kind of canny plotlines that make you stand up and applaud. Some the work has been juvenile, like "Kapu;" a few have been downright embarassing. And the ratings slump is as good as a barometer of the ranking of the show. It ain't showing the kind of progress we'd hope for.
Even diehard “Five-0” fans were dubious if the network would poll all viewers in the brief window of voting time — as demonstrated in blogs and commentary online. The underlying suspicion was that CBS would have the say what conclusion would go in which market, and we’d likely get the West Coast version, as it turned out.
Many viewers remain loyal cheerleaders, but face it, unless the weekly content and conflict and conspiracy theories jump up a notch or two, the show will begin to sink into the sunset well before it rises like the phoenix in syndication next year on TNT.
It helped that CBS unveiled four new comedies in the two hours before “Five-0” — “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Big Band Theory,” “2 Broke Girls” and “Mike and Molly” — each of which led the competish, providing a solid lead-in for “Five-0.”
It showed some faith in "Five-0." Now if only the network will light the fire and begin challenging the show to do better.
When "Kapu" played out, it felt like "Kaput" for the show -- broken, ineffective.
Maybe the vote should instead have been a “like” or “dislike.”
If you watched and have a reaction, share, please...