Show and Tell Hawai'i

'H50' glides and displays 'Mission: Impossible' vibes

May 14th, 2013

5-13-13H50Preview-2CBS’ homegrown “Hawaii Five-0” continues to glide; Monday’s (May 13) episode attracted 7.68 million viewers, with a 1.8 rating in in the key 18 to 49 demographics. This was a drop of a tenth, down from last week’s 1.9 rating.
The show is on a downward spiral, seemingly no longer able to bypass ABC’s “Castle,” which had 11.26 million viewers in the Nielsens, good for a 2.2 demo and No. 1 ranking. The third show, NBC’s “Revolution,” had fewer viewers at 5.72 million, but raked in a 1.9 rating in the demos.
But whoa: The show is displaying a late-in-the-season sass and style. If you ask me, the model is “Mission: Impossible.”
“Five-0” had a credible plot in the “He welo ‘ohana (Family Business)” show, revealing and compounding familiar character traits in Doris McGarrett (Christine Lahti) and Kono (Grace Park). The latter, who is Steve McGarrett’s (Alex O’Loughlin), continues to provide headaches and worry for the commander of “Five-0,” and Kono also still is caught in the precarious relationship with Adam (Ian Anthony Dale), whose Yakuza ties intrude on their lives. Worse, Kono gets shot, though her bravura and reckless behavior brings tension to the plot; but you wonder when she’s going to get it, and get out of this messy situation.
This raises an issue: How long can a dead-end relationship last in a story arc? Even Mama McG’s recent beau (Treat Williams) is back, partnering in her quest to retrieve a precious microfiche in a high-security office. But in a “Mission: Impossible”-type feat, the attempt to secure a pass card, cutting off the TV circuitry in the facility, and rushing into the office on a potential government employee (Craig T. Nelson) whom Mama McG knows, is unabashedly cinematic and ambitious for a procedural. OK, silly, too.
But brownie points to the storytellers: the inclusion of ‘iwi matters, relating to the light rail in the works for Honolulu which continues to search for bones, is a slice of life; more of this kind of relatable elements, and this should could begin an upward struggle to regain viewers.
However, the matter of a Yakuza body dump, with beaucoup graves in a parcel of land that would eventually be where rail prevails, is a bit much — but it helps frame the story.
That in-the-elevator-shaft sequence, with Mama McG and McG dodging a rising car, is the stuff of films. Yes, “MI” minus Tom Cruise.
At best, the show projects a lot of effort and energy, for a change. The usual banter between McG and Danno (Scott Caan) is tolerable; the exchange between McG and Mama McG, including small-kid-time memories of magic, is sweet and proper, demonstrating a rich and warm past connecting to a tense and confused presence.
Add the helicopter drop, and retrieval, and you have more “MI” flavor.
Perhaps that’s the underlying message with this one: The mission is to improve and get back on track. And while it seems to be unlikely, it’s not impossible.

4 Responses to “'H50' glides and displays 'Mission: Impossible' vibes”

  1. fans are too defensive:

    OK. I have been doing a little investigating. H50 will be up against Shark Tank and Grimm. Shark Tank I checked and it has been winning the time slot all the time. However, as is with Friday numbers, it is with weak ratings. But weak ratings are tolerated and expected on Fridays. What will make this all interesting for me is that all three (H50, Grimm, and Shark Tank) have around the same demo right now. So it will depend on what people would rather see live.

    I love Grimm but I always tape all my shows. The Grimm folk are faithful to their show. I never followed Shark Tank but it has been winning the time slot so it obviously has its viewers also. Some people argue that the lead in show is very important. Me, I don't necessarily agree. If I want to watch say, Undercover Boss on CBS from 8-9 PM but I like the show Grimm, I can, and will, change the channel to Grimm. I won't just watch H50 because I have gotten soo lazy as to not lift the remote and change the channel for another show I prefer to watch.

    I know there are people out there that "just leave the TV on" but I believe that group are not steady viewers and one week they may leave the TV on but the next 3 weeks they don't. So for me, the "retentionista" crowd (those who believe the lead in is all important) aren't right in their overall belief. JMO

    Friday doesn't necessarily mean the end to the show, because when it makes syndication, and with less pressure on Fridays for high ratings, it could survive longer. Blue Bloods has been on Fridays with worse ratings than H50 but it is also heading toward syndication and is surviving.

    I read in an article that when a show does mediocre on a Friday and is in syndication then a lot of the times its survival can depend on something as simple as the new pilots presented for the following year. If CBS gets a lot of good ones, they could can H50. IF they get a "not so great" group of pilots, H50 could stay. The Mentalist was in its 5th season and moved to Sunday night and not doing really well there but at the last minute was renewed because there weren't a lot of good pilots to replace it.

    CBS has a lot of new shows BUT only one new drama this season. New dramas are the only thing that needs to be looked at. Comedies replace comedies and dramas replace dramas.
    So there weren't a lot of new dramas on CBS this season that made it to air. Next season, that could change. In fact, I would argue that CBS is DUE for a slew of new dramas next season as it has many aging dramas on this season.

    So, if H50 doesn't improve in ratings and and good drama pilots show up next year that CBS likes, I predict that would end H50.

    Having said that, I did enjoy the last two episodes better then any of them in a while. They have brought in two new writers. If they begin to write better scripts and stop being all over the place and starting new possible storylines and then leaving them up in the air, they could have more than one season left.

    I also believe it will be Grace that leaves the show. Sadly they underused her and overused the Kath character in her place. I am sorry but that character was so undefined and her antics far from realistic, it ruined that character for me.
    But I do believe that that is what will happen. Kono will leave and Cath will take her place.

  2. theDman:

    Although the show is trying to build the "drama" to who is leaving, it really is one out of two characters, Danno or Kono. Why? Well, because Alex has already gone on record that he has a 7 year contract, and Daniel is apparently building a house out on the east side of the island. Just some of the little things that we know...

    Scotty does not really like it here in Hawaii, that has already been made very public, but, to remove him actually kills the show. Danno has to be there and re-casting that role would be absurd. Odd person out is Grace, and...her character aside, there has been talk that she does not like it here either. Yeah, some say she is not exactly Miss Congeniality when she is out and about in the community.

  3. fans are too defensive:

    All actors get a 7 year contract when they are regulars on a show. That is the standard in the industry and basically means squat. It just insures that the network is covered IF the show continues. BUT if a show gets canceled after,say, 3 episodes, that contract is null and void.

    If an actor is unpopular or gets out of hand, that contract is again null and void. It really only protects the NETWORK.

    SAG-approved TV contracts don’t represent any kind of job security for actors, ever. I mean ever. They serve two exactly two purposes:

    They outline what the network expects of the actor - time commitment, behavior and confidentiality, for starters;
    They put into writing the financial compensation the actor can expect in exchange for his/her “services.”

    That’s literally it. When you hear “an actor has signed on for two more seasons” on a TV show, all that means is that the actor has agreed to be available for filming at any time during two more seasons in exchange for a certain amount of compensation. It doesn’t guarantee that the actor will be used for two more seasons - it just means that, if the show needs them, they’re available, and they’re getting paid for it.
    No contract ever says that an actor’s character can’t be killed off or written off. For starters, this limits what the writing team can write in a major way. The story may dictate that character getting shot in the face mid-season; you just never know. Secondly, actors are, by and large, prone to bouts of acting crazy and no network is ever going to give one carte blanche to go off the deep end, and, say, release a series of Satanic bestiality sex tapes, join the Klu Klux Klan and begin advocating kitten-poisoning and still be guaranteed a job.
    Because actors are unpredictable as a rule, networks and production teams need an escape clause at any time. Hence, contracts usually place a much heavier burden on the actor than on the network. Unless they are an executive producer, they owe them nothing except whatever money they promised for whatever work they are called on to do.
    It doesn’t matter if you’re the lead character on a show - they can kill you off at any time.

  4. AniMatsuri:

    ...and that's why actors on long running shows tend to get producer credits if the network really wants him/her to be invested in the process and give them slightly more job security that some one with a standard 7 year contract.

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