by Steven Leventhal
I finally got to watch the pilot for the 2010 re-boot of Hawaii. The debut episode was as impressive as Randy Moss' one-handed 34 yard TD grab against the Jets last Sunday.
This new version of the CBS drama that ran from 1968 to 1980 is very well written, had terrific dramatic pace, and a credible story.
Our new Steve McGarrett is a Navy SEAL, who comes back to investigate the murder of his father by gun running terrorists. The governor of Hawaii (Jean Smart - "Designing Women," "24") gives him the opportunity to create a task force to rid the island state of more dangerous criminal element.
However, he doesn't accept the task until an awkward confrontation with
Danny Williams. Scott Cann, most recently in "Entourage" plays "Danno"
with the same macho toughness, albeit with a slight soft side as a single parent whose ex has married up into the stratosphere. Caan also delivers some of the best one-liners on the show. For instance, when they are recruiting Chino Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim from "LOST,") a disgraced former cop relegated to security work, Williams says, "You're busy? What, are you expecting a crime wave in the gift shop?"
In their efforts to track down the terrorist-killer, Kelly recruits his "cousin" Kona, played by the very hot Grace Park, who used to reside on Battlestar Galactica as Boomer/Athena. This former cylon looks quite good in a bikini, and as the storyline goes, is a former surfing champ whose knee injury made her reinvent herself by enlisting in the police academy. She is needed for some undercover work because as Williams quips, "This is a small island. All the bad guys know all the good guys." As you may know, in the original series, that character was a guy named Kono, played by the actor Zulu.
Danno is definitely the outlet for the comedic moments on the show. In another lighthearted moment, the ring tone on his cell for his ex-wife is the music from the Hitchcock movie "Psycho."
Masi Oka from "Heroes" is also listed in the cast details as the coroner. However, he did not make an appearance in the pilot. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman("Fringe," "Alias," and the "Star Trek" re-boot) are producing, so one would hope they bring the same level of intensity to the show.
A couple of discussion groupies are already ragging on Alex O' Laughlin's pronunciation of some Hawaiian words, but apparently he nailed the Mandarin Chinese. Of all the characters, he does appear as the most "stiff." I can't tell if he's playing it like Jack Lord, who was definitely not the hippest cat on the island, but was a cool customer at crisis time.
Either way, in this first outing, the producers didn't hold back. There was a pretty good body count, lots of things blew up, and a truck rammed into a building.
I'm in. Aloha, McGarrett!