By Wayne Harada
Is Doris McGarrett remaining on CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0”? The character, who is the mother of Steve McGarrett (played by Alex O’Loughlin), recurs in the third season of the island-filmed show, still under way.
But Christine Lahti, who is Mama McG, has committed to portray Helen, the captain of the Beverly Hills police department, in a new CBS pilot of “Beverly Hills Cop.”
The TV spin, directed by Shawn Ryan of “The Shield,” apparently is a continuation of the movie franchise starring Eddie Murphy, who reprises his role as police officer Axel Foley, but has a police officer son Aaron, to be played by Brandon T. Jackson. The challenge is for the younger Foley to toil in the shadow of his dad, who of course charted the criminals in the rich-and-famous turf of Beverly Hills. Murphy will be in the pilot; if it’s picked up as a full-on series, he’s eager to continue on.
So the plot thickens.
If the new series is green-lighted, will Lahti continue as the lady chief of police? The procedural may have quick appeal, if director Ryan can concoct a mix of comedy and drama, like the movie franchise. Helen is depicted as wise, maternal, selfless, dignified and respected by her detectives — traits that could elevate her contributions on the new show.
Or will Lahti continue making cameo appearances on “Five-0” while in the employ of “Beverly Hills Cop”?
If she leaves the filmed-in-Hawaii series, will she be knocked off by Wo Fat? Captured by a new foe eager to agitate Detective McGarrett? Vanish as quickly as she surfaced?
Mama McG hasn’t exactly created a sizzle and or buzz as hoped; viewers were surprised when her presence was noted in the season two finale of “Five-0,” amid a cloud of mystery — she was presumed dead, but was tagged as the unseen (and annoying) Shelburne character in some episodes. She’s since been on-again, off-again.
So: Is Mama McG facing a quick demise, like the lady governor in season one? The show tends to kill off characters it no longer needs. Realistically, Lahti has yet to achieve her pinnacle in “Five-0,” though her TV work — notably on “Chicago Hope” — has earned her an Emmy in 1998.
What's your take on how this might play out? Should she stay in Hawaii or go with the "Beverly Hills Cop" show?