By Wayne Harada
When neither Grace Park nor Scott Caan showed up at the Sunset on the Beach launch of “Hawaii Five-0’s” fourth season here recently, I wondered why they lacked the allegiance and team spirit to walk the red carpet along with Alex O’Loughlin and Daniel Dae Kim.
No reason had been given — working on the Mainland, illness, disinterested, whatever — as far as I could ascertain. I’m sure there was a valid excuse, but asking H50 offcialdom for an explanation was pointless ... since they’re always mum about the personal lives of the acting crew. You’d think Tannya Joaquin, in one her gushing moments on Hawaii News Now, might tell us, but then she’s solely interested in McGarrett.
Maybe it’s none of our business anyway. But it’s no secret Park prefers her native Canada than our Honolulu; her absence, it turns out, was motherhood. Since she isn't travel-friendly yet, the show has gone to her for filming in Vancouver. Still, you gotta wonder if she really wants to continue to come back to live and work in Hawaii.
And we know, even if he’s apologized, how Caan feels about his workplace
I bring all this up because a few nights later, I had a curious dream that is worth sharing, if only for chuckles.
I dreamed that Park had been replaced by an unlikely actress, who already has her own series on the same CBS network, so you know it ain’t true. But it was such a lightning rod of a notion, I thought just maybe, somebody should drop a hint, just in case Park is on the skids, or wants to bail out by choice.
Don’t laugh at my dream, but I imagined that Melissa McCarthy was tapped as her replacement. She’d bring a bounty of energy and calamity to the set, don’tcha think, based on her notable credits to date: “Bridesmaid,” where she tried to put a new use to the kitchen sink; “Identify Theft,” where she stole not only a guy’s identity, but walked away with film’s accolades; “Mike and Molly,” her hit sitcom where her keen humor and humility touches the heart, week after week, though not seen so far this season (see below); and “The Heat,” her unexpected summer popcorn flick where she had gravity and gravitas despite the rampant façade of lunacy alongside Sandra Bullock, both portraying bickering cops in pursuit of crime and punishment — the buddy film with two savvy women instead.
Perhaps that’s the booster shot H50 needs as it transits into a syndicated show — another soul mate who can hold her own and have carguments not only in a moving vehicle, but out at sea, on a surfboard, OK, maybe not a surfboard. McCarthy, who could be lovingly and affectionately named Mele Maunakea, would surely not don a bikini to go paddling off Waikiki, but her a badge and have her cruising on a waterski in a wetsuit ... she'd be a demon and she'll kick the proverbial butt
There was no one in my dream to fill the role played by Caan, and yes, he is contracted to stay (especially since he’s the best actor of the current four-member crime squad), but if McCarthy vacated “Mike and Molly,” there’d only be “Mike,” and what fun would that be? (OK, his mother is one howlingly hilarious matron, but “Mike and Mom” wouldn’t have much appeal). So maybe tonight, I’ll have another dream, where Mike (Billy Gardel) actually moves over to H50 to be there with Molly, good golly. And if you’re wondering where “Mike and Molly” is on the CBS primetimescape this fall, it isn’t; the network is utilizing Monday for a new block of comedy shows like “Mom,” “We Are Men,” “The Crazy Ones” and “The Millers,” with only “Crazy” (with the zany Robin Williams) with sure footing so far. But: CBS just canceled "We Are Men," a wise decision because it's such a stupid, sophomoric, moronic show with wasted talent; and they're hauling back "M&M" to the Monday sked, juggling the roster, effectively immediately, to regain lost viewers.
“Mike and Molly” was in storage for a 22-episode season that was to be unconventionally launched in 2014, perhaps hoping that McCarthy will have another hot film by then that will further buoy her fan base when the sitcom materializes again.
But why wait? Book her on H50. Now. She’d bring new blood to partner up with as lead-in to “Blue Blood” on Fridays. She could learn the hula and trek to New York for a crossover case. Heck, Tom Selleck surely must miss our island since his show is filmed on another (Manhattan) island, where hula doesn’t sway or play, and he was a king of procedural dramas in his heyday as “Magnum, P.I.”
But I digress. Danno got a new black Camaro this year, since the silver one went kaput in the season’s opener, and if McCarthy winds up in our paradise, I say give her a Chevy Silverado pickup. She’ll need substantial wheels with ramped up cylinders to varoom across the freeways and byways, and she’s as game and gutsy as they come – remember how she crawled out of a parked sedan in “The Heat”?
I betcha McCarthy would dig Liliha Bakery’s coco puffs and Kamekona’s shrimp truck (and perhaps him, too) and poolside mai tais at the Hilton. But chopper rides to Korea? Not so much.
OK, it was an improbable dream. McCarthy wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen to the series. Best of all, she wouldn’t be somebody’s cousin or aunt or mother or a long-lost Wo Fat ally. She would amp up the laughs — and maybe help boost the ratings, too.
Somebody, make it happen! Dream or no dream! And wake me up when it's over.