Archive for October, 2015

'Five-0' monster mash ramps up viewership

October 31st, 2015

The seasoning of the bewitching — a Frankenstein, body parts, vampires, blood bank robbers, serial slayer — helped CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” to ramp up viewership and 18 to 14 demographics overnight. An All Hallows Eve treat, for sure.

dannycharlieToss in an carguments transferred to the unnaturally foggy Koolaus, between Steve (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danno (Scott Caan), instead of cars (so, a walkument?); Danno doing a practice solo cargument in his  car, en route to pick up an AWOL Grace (Teilor Grubbs), dressed up as a fairy for a presumed trick-or-treat Halloween party, but detoured to a North Shore gig with older kids, without telling dad or mom; when she’s in Danno’s car, he delivers the sermon to her, only to wreck his car, as he avoids hitting a darting animal crossing the dark roads.

Expectedly, ghouls and costumed celebrants  were everywhere; Jerry (Jorge Garcia), as an ample, full-bodied vampire; Max (Masi Oka), in a Keanu Reeves-inspired period garb from “Dangerous Liaisons;” Taylor Wily as, er, who-knows-precisely-what, with a headband and necklace of bones.

Serial killers are in the mix (hence, beaucoup body parts), and the procedural often felt like a blender  bounty of figures and crimes from such flicks as “Halloween,” “Scream,” “Friday the 13th,” or any spootacular franchise from the past.

This seasonal nonsense, themed “Na Pilikua Nui”  (monsters in Hawaiian),

nonetheless upped “Five-0’s” ratings to 8.3 million viewers and an 18 to 49 demo rating of 1.1, in the 8 p.m.  (9 p.m. Mainland) hour, up from last week.

With all the masked ghouls, the bludgeoned body parts and thriller tension, the episode’s final moments — with Danno and son Charlie, at Shriner’s Hospital — was warm and rewarding factor of sharing (the kid passes out chocolates to fellow patients as he departs)  and of family (dad and kid, walking hand in hand). A joyous celebration — a treat — after all that cinematic tricks.

ABC’s “Shark Tank,” a competitor in the hour, posted a better 1.4 demo and  with 6.09 million  viewers, fewer than “Five-0.” The night’s champ for audience was Fox’s World Series Game 3, with 12.51 million viewers, and a runaway 18 to 49 demo of 3.1 for  the 7 to 10 p.m. (8 to 11 p.m. Mainland) block. Numbers may change, when Nielsen makes the usual adjustments.

CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland), was the night’s most secure regular show, with 9.54 million viewers and an 18 to 14 demo rating of 1.1, equaling “Five-0.” And ABC’s “20/20,” at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland), was just behind “Blue Bloods” with 8.16 million tuned in, and a better 18 to 49 rating, 1.7.


Hello, mudder; hello fodder

October 25th, 2015


It was “Tough Mudder” — and rough fodder — on Friday’s (Oct. 23)  “Hawaii  Five-0.”

The fifth episode of the CBS procedural’s sixth season mixed motorcycle mania with a plot of dirty mud as the “Five-0” team  prepped for a race in the mud to kokua a police fundraiser, contrasted by a family taunted by criminal elements and a dad shot by his daughter because he was willing to deliver a deposition.

muddyLoopy, but ‘twasn’t a Halloween episode. That one’s next Friday.

The episode, entitled “Ka ‘alapahi nui (Big Lie),” was unexpected muddy fodder. Must’ve been fun, though, filming those training bits in the goopy muck. But the episode also boasted souped-up cycles — one soaring in the air from one high-rise to another — plus classic machines for cycling culture. Even a real-life biker biggie, Robbie Knieval (son of Evel Knieval).

The road warrior stunts, with cops in pursuit of cyclists on the H-3 — were smartly filmed with stunning aerial footage — are the common stuff of procedurals. But some of the plot turns, like a daughter eliminating her father because of past issues, was hard to fathom. Fiction flies only so far.

Oh,  Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) saddled up in a cycle for this one. Another fun instance.

The carguments were back, with Danno (Scott Caan) and McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), having a go like old times, without repeating the woes of McG’s heartache of the departed Catherine (Michelle Borth). And yep, there will be more future ponderings about Kono (Grace Park) and her Adam (Ian Anthony  Dale); there are still loose strings of unfinished business.

But the ratings? Not much fodder — not many surprises:

Most watched show: CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland), with 10.27 million viewers and a 1.2 rating in the 18 to 49 demographics.

Best in the demos: ABC’s “Shark Tank,” at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Mainland), with a 1.5 18 to 49 demo and 6.28 million viewers.

Holding up at runners-up in the demos, all with 1.2 ranking in the 18 to 49 demos: ABC’s “Last Man Standing,”at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. Mainland), ABC’s “Dr. Ken,” at 7:30 p.m.; ABC’s “20/20,” at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland), with 5.20 million viewers, and the aforementioned “Blue Bloods.:

Struggling to remain in the game : CBS’ “Amazing Race,” at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. Mainland), with 1.1 18 to 49 demos, and CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0,”at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Mainland), with a 1.0 18 to 49 demo and 8.39 million viewers.

"Five-0" fantatics will retort that their fave show is No. 2 on Fridays, but they may still have mud in their eyes,  forgetting that the demos are what matters most to the networks since they mandate advertising rates.


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A master class for singers, by a masterful Shari Lynn

October 23rd, 2015

Entertainer Shari Lynn, who recently concluded a triumphant performance in “Side by Side by Sondheim” at Paliku Theatre, has had a multi-tiered career as a singer, actor and educator.

While she continues to perform — in gigs large and small — she is ramping up her teaching, not for youths as she has been doing daytime nearly two decades at Hawaii School for Girls at La Pietra, but as a master class professional eager to share her experience and savvy in prepping for an audition to land a role. The wider community reach is an expansion of her private voice lessons she’s been giving for two decades. Besides, it’s never out of fashion to learn more and improve.

linnAt last year’s Maui Jazz Festival with Tommy James on piano, she presented a vocal class for part-time singers and pros who wanted to acquire a few more skills to polish their talent.

This time, she’s bringing that concept for her Honolulu colleagues, with a master class — on Halloween day — from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Manoa School of Art and Music at Manoa Marketplace’s Toby Hall.

“The technique I use is based on the same one used by Neva (Rego) and Betty (Grierson)

at the Bel Canto School of Singing,” said Shari. “I still study with Neva and I have attended many workshops for jazz and cabaret performers, teachers of musical theater and acting singers. I believe we should never stop learning and improving.”

With five decades of experience as a performer, she dubs herself as a “performance” coach, having gigged in every conceivable situation.

“So many singers don’t know their keys, or how to amass a repertoire or how to work with musicians, or how to phrase or gesture or ‘take the stage’ or even dress properly.”

She’s got answers and techniques to share, even tips on how to properly use a microphone or where to look when singing a love song.

“On the Mainland, ‘chick singers’ had a bad name among jazz musicians,” she said. “Women would call themselves ‘singers’ without knowing anything about music theory or the business. I would like female singers to earn the same respect as instrumentalists. And you earn it with the knowledge that experience and education bring to your performance.”

The class is open to any singer 10 or older, with a limit of 10 for the class.

Prospective students should  come prepared to sing a Great American Songbook  standard (the likes of Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, Rodgers, Hart, etc.) and bring a lead piano sheet in his or her key for accompanist Jim Howard. Carolyn Stanton, owner of Manoa School of Art and Music, will handle registration and inform applicants how to contact Shari for preparation instructions.

Once chosen, singers will perform and the instructor will critique; the performers and the discussions will be open to the entire class, so other participants learn from

everyone’s performances.

“It just feels good to help people succeed,” said Shari.


Shari Lynn’s Master Class

When: 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 31

Where: Manoa Schoolf Art & Music at Manoa Marketplace, Toby’s Hall, 2754 Woodlawn Drive, #7-103

Who: Open to singers 10 and older; auditors may attend, at reduced fee (no critique or performance)

Cost: $75 per person

Information: Call or text 779-5363 to register, or visit and leave message and email



Two upcoming Shari Lynn performances


What: Jazz Peace Concert, with Alika Lyman on bass, Joshua Kaye on piano

When: 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 24)

Where: Valley of the Temples, Kahaluu


What: Shari Lynn Trio, with pianist Jim Howard and bassist John Kolivas

When: 7:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 30

Where: Medici’s at Manoa Marketplace

Cost: $20 cover

Information: 779-5363


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There's an echo or two or three, as 'Five-0' slips a skosh in demos

October 17th, 2015


That stoic, sad gaze of Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), at the start of “Hawaii Five-0” Friday (Oct. 16), may have double meanings. Yes, he’s hurt and disappointed in Catherine’s (Michelle Borth) decision to leave again, this this time to Nepal, but he could be aching because of the CBS’ show slight dip in the Nielsen ratings.

mcg“Five-0” has slipped in the coveted 18 to 49 demographics (the one that matters most to advertisers) to a 1.0 rating, behind its 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Mainland) competitor, ABC’s “Shark Tank,” which earned a 1.3 rating. In terms of viewership, “Five-0” had 8.89 million viewers, compared to “Shark’s” 5.74 million.

The evening’s best demo tally was Fox’s ALCS (American League Championship Series) game, which earned  a 1.7 rating in the demos and  6.20 million viewers. The evening’s most-watched series was CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” with 10.34 million and a 1.1 rating in the demos.

The usual demo victor was eclipsed by the ALCS game, but ABC’s
“Last Man Standing” nonetheless logged a 1.3 demo rating, tied with “Shark Tank” and ABC’s “Dr. Ken.”

Overall, Fox won the demo derby (1.7 rating) and CBS had the best viewership of 6.20 million. There may be figure adjustments when delayed viewership is tallied.

Back to “Five-0.” Danno (Scott Caan) was off this week, tending to dad duties and a bone marrow transplant for his newly-discovered son Charlie. So there was no bromance in the car with McG, though Lou (Chi McBride) attempts to ease McG’s heartache with some barmance.

The show, “Ka papahana holo pono (Best Laid Plans),” was packed with echoes. Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) is still taunted by the Yakuza, taken hostage in an elevator, but happily not the target of torture this time. Adam is tapped by his captors to get information from  Aaron James (Michael Maize), who might know the whereabouts of  Gabriel Waincroft (Christopher Sean), brother-in-law of Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) and a dark element in the family ties.

The crime centerpiece involved a wealthy victim Harrison Crane, found with an arrow sticking in his body, discovered by some hikers amid faux money dancing in the wind.  It’s the same loot figuring in last week’s episode, printed in a bathroom, and linked to Gerald Hirsch (Willie Garson), an art dealer reappearing. It’s this kind of a recurrence of a figure from a previous episode that contributes to the somewhat wobbly storytelling — the show no longer is a stand-alone thing, with far too many strings and coils from the past. Regular viewers might appreciate the flashbacks, but these echoes do little to grip a newbie interested in a crime-of-the-week procedural. That’s not to say that there can’t be a continuity, but there are far too many characters cluttering the viewscape.

Add Jerry (Jorge Garcia), brought into the art investigation by Chin, to indulge in his vested interest in the past about Crane. He might as well have mentioned a parallel to the real-life Japanese investor who let mansions in Kahala go kaput. But as a historian, he didn't.

Throughout the episode, there are car chases, car-dodging, and the discovery of a woman in a cavity shielded by a stone cover; there are attempts to get Hirsch help corral the baddies, but he gets a clothes switch and ditches his phone, making tracking impossible.

Hirsch’s caricatures of the “Five-0” team have a foundation in Waikiki; there used to be a dude who did remarkable sketches for a few bucks, and these random pen-and-ink creations reflected the personalities of Kono (Grace Park), McG, Chin, etc.

As for the walk-on by former NFL star Jerry Rice, it was contrived, but fans adore this kind of stuff.

It was a nice surprise, however, to find that the “Five-0” folks now huddle and share good times at Sheraton’s RumFire (twice this season so far, including aerial shots of the hotel) instead of the Tropics zone of the Hilton Hawaiian Village that had been home since season one. A behind-the-scenes switcheroo of hotel brands in Waikiki?

But echoes remain, and will recur: Adam and the Yakuza hustle; Kono trying to maintain happiness in her marriage to Adam; Danno, who'll have tales to share when he returns on camera; McG, either getting over Catherine or mooning about the distance.  Call it a hope opera instead of a soap opera?

Bottom line: Can "Five-0" regain its downward glide, now delicately at the 1.0 rating meter in the demos? Anything under 1.0 would signal a certain demise.


So just where do you stand in the 'Five-0' like/dislike radar?

October 11th, 2015



McGarrett and Catherine: He has a ring but hasn't popped the question.


Depending on where you stand on the “Hawaii Five-0” like/dislike radar, Friday’s (Oct. 9) episode offered a dosage of conflicting emotions and credibility lapses. In the end, the ratings said it loud and clear: “Ua o’ oloku ke anu I na mauna (The Chilling Storm Is on the Mountain)” — the third episode of season six — was largely ho-hum.

CBS’ “Five-0” was static in numbers in its 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland) time slot: 8.9 million viewers (topping the hour) and 1.1. rating in the important 18 to 49 adult demographics (what advertisers say matters most). The No. 1 in adult demo was logged by ABC’s “Shark Tank,” with a 1.5 rating (also, the evening’s best posting), with 5.77 million viewers.  Friday’s consistent performer was CBS’ “Blue Bloods” with 10.47 million viewers (topping the evening) and 1.2 rating in adult demo; but two ABC series logged 1.3 demos,  “Last Man Standing” and “Dr. Ken.”

Overall, ABC won the demo derby (1.3 rating) but CBS copped the viewership totals (8.42 million). The see-saw continues, in other words.

Perhaps it’s too much to expect better performance figures from “Five-0” to to match earlier season levels; less is more-or-less the prevailing tone on Fridays, which is why the notion, true or untrue,  is that a series slotted on Fridays is  just one-step closer to cancellation. Remember when “Five-0” had to duke it out with ABC’s “Castle” on Monday nights?

The currnt plotlines don’t make it any easier to elevate viewership and ranking.

Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) is so hopeful that  Catherine (Michelle Borth) is home to stay from Afghanistan, so he acquires a ring for third finger, left hand, anticipating to pop the question; he overhears her speaking about leaving again, this time for Nepal. So  that final clutch scene (and his anguished expression) says a lot.  Cancel the wedding bells, don’t book the church; McG hasn’t even had a chance to ask for her  hand and heart. What matters doesn’t, at least for now.

Maybe McG should join the air/sea rescue effort to locate missing aircraft and seacraft; he’s able to miraculously find a bag of loot and a gun in just a single pass in the Pacific — evidence to help solve a current case of a John Doe with a fatal gunshot wound. His savvy is lost in our waters with this kind of skill. He could enlist Kono (Grace Park), who suspects the unknown swimmer was accidentally shot.

Oh, there are nepotism issues, too. Danno’s (Scott Caan) nephew Eric Russo (Andrew Lawrence)  is back as a forensics employee, under Max’s (Masi Oka) watch. Do you have to be a kin of sorts to score a job? Further, Youngaisa Wily, son of Taylor Wily (Kamekona, the shrimp truck dude), now is an on-screen actor, playing Ani, an under-aged hire, to assist Jerry (Jorge Garcia) in a basement evidence room.

Danno had two good scenes this week; one, in a variation of the bromance with McG, he counseled and coached the commander, instead of the usual bickering, about the relationships with Catherine. And not in a racing car, but aboard the boat headed to Rockpiles to collect evidcence. It was a big-bro kind of a conversation, continuing with a trek to talk turkey with Catherine, about McG, even if it’s none of his business to intrude. Well, he cares about McG’s happiness.

And Kono’s and Adam Noshimuri’s (Ian Anthony Dale) bouts, dodging the Yakuza threats, are becoming boring. Can the issue be resolved, once and for all?



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