By Wayne Harada
Wow, what can of worms for Scott Caan of “Hawaii Five-0” created for himself. Simply by grousing to Chelsea Handler on E! that Hawaii’s food sucks, meth is prevalent, and our slo-mo lifestyle is bothersome.
Caan further whined that our surf didn’t compare to his Malibu haunts, and his girlfriend, like him, just endures living here during the annual filming season.
Then, he predictably apologized — to little sympathy and acceptance — in a transparent mea culpa perhaps instigated (I hope it was his own decision) and nudged by show producers or network execs to say the “s” word). But auwe, sorry was too little, too late — as his Caan-demnations have gone viral.
Now it’s damage control time.
Caan, the son of actor James Caan, is part of the successful duo in the bromance as Danny “Danno” Williams, opposite series star Alex O’Loughlin as Steve McGarrett, in the filmed-in-Hawaii procedural now in its third season. The CBS series leaped to “No. 1 new show” in the first season, to a struggling also-ran in the third-year outing.
Caan — who utters the series’ most-quoted line, “Book ‘em Danno,” originating from the Jack Lord-James MacArthur series of the past — is the lone actor of the “Five-0” team, to be nominated (he lost) for an industry award (Golden Globes).
His method-style credentials — quick on the quip, with a most distinguishing manner compared to his peers — is spot-on. The guy is a terrific actor, woefully underrated in the industry.
Now he’s now evolved as the only "Five-0" performer with a negative buzz — check the websites, scan the letters to the editor, check radio talk shows. Fans, or former supporters, are declaring, “Book ‘em Danno,” meaning book a flight and go home already. If you don't like it, scoot outta here.
To be fair to the actor, his behavior on the talk show might have been simply playing into the scheme of things; Handler is a comedian and the whole shebang might have been a calculated ruse.
Still, to condemn the food? The aloha spirit? The surf? The tempo of the lifestyle? It’s somewhat insulting, hitting the guts of diehard locals. If he had truly consumed food that “sucks” (his word), wouldn’t you think he also might have enjoyed some fine dining here — and that general comment would be a slap in the face of the dining community, especially our innovative award-winning chefs? If he specifically condemned plate lunches or shave ice, that would have been understandable — but that’s not what he said.
Life’s too s-l-o-w? Maybe he needs to get into the fast lane a skosh, and partake in what visitors come here for: nature hikes, luau shows, destinations such as Pearl Harbor and Punchbowl. Frankly, he's not a resident; he's an actor here for a mission. Yet he just might find that fun’s out there to be discovered. Like, surfing. His contract probably disallows the churning waters of the North Shore, but he can go people-watching and surf-sighting on his day off. Or support our local theater and visit the shows — the companies would be thrilled and he might find some reciprocal joy.
Can’t believe his is a voice of authority on the meth issue either.
“Five-0” needs all the aloha from the local and national population, considering that the sheen is off and the rating numbers ricochet, from decent to embarrassing. This distraction is not healthy for the actor orthe show or the network.
If Caan mingles, he might find that folks are responsive to stars who treat them with respect, not down-putting. Come see movies like the rest of us. Mix in with the throngs at street festivals. He might just discover that he’ll settle in his own place, at his own pace, with folks leaving him pretty much alone (aside from the obvious cell phone pic-taking and an isolated case of autograph-signing).
Simply: It’s a Caan-do situation to earn back the aloha. Better sooner than later.