Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Clash of the Monday Titans

Our television sets and DVRs are about to kick into overdrive as fall TV arrives in just a few weeks.  Many of our favorite programs are returning, so Amber West and I decided to share a few more Why It’s Worth a Watch reviews to check out two of the dueling Monday night titans coming back to us September 19th – ABC’s Castle and CBS’s Hawaii Five-0


In 2008, TV viewers learned that CBS planned to remake the popular television series Hawaii Five-O, a hit that remained on the air from 1968-1980 starring Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett and James MacArthur as Danny Williams. 

Mixed emotions spread like wildfire – some of the older generations were furious that the networks would once again ruin a classic by attempting a remake, while others jumped in joy at the thought of their favorite television show in the ‘70s returning.  Not all that familiar with the original, the younger generations, particularly the women, marked their calendars for the series premiere and the return of some Australian sexiness to the small screen.    

Forty-two years to the day from the debut of the original Hawaii Five-O in 1968, the new Hawaii Five-0 aired.  Continuing the tribute to the original series, the 2010 opening credits remained exactly the same (except for the actors and a tad bit of our new technology today, of course).   The 2010 series also plays the original theme song composed by Morton Stevens during the opening credits. 

Don’t believe me?  Check these out!



What did you think?  Okay, now on to the characters!

Steve McGarrett played by Alex O’Laughlin (Moonlight, The Back-up Plan)

The series opens when McGarrett, a former Navy SEAL, hears his father murdered over the telephone.  He returns to Hawaii for the funeral and decides to stay when the governor (Jean Smart from Designing Women) appointments him the lead of the Five-O special task force, a unit with the ability to do whatever they deem necessary to close the case at hand – perfect for McGarrett’s way of acting & thinking. 

McGarrett takes down the bad guys for his “day job” while searching for the evidence to bring down Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven), the man he believes is responsible for his mother’s death years ago and for his father’s recent murder. 

Viewers get to see a tad bit of McGarrett’s personal life when his sister visits (Mary Ann McGarrett, played by Taryn Manning, 8 Mile) and his recurring love interest’s carrier docks in Hawaii (Lt. Catherine Rollins played by Michelle Borth, The Forgotten).  

Danny Williams played by Scott Caan (Varsity Blues, Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen)

McGarrett’s partner, Danny, moved to Hawaii to be closer to his daughter, Grace, and he misses the mainland and Jersey food tremendously.   

Remember the popular phrase, Book ‘em Danno?  Well, the younger generations, not as familiar with the original series, learned that the term “Danno is actually a term of endearment that Grace uses instead of “daddy” or “father” for Danny.   When McGarrett overhears an adorable exchange between Danny and his daughter, he takes a mental note and busts out with, “Book ‘em Danno” at the scene of their first arrest, much to Danny’s dismay. 

Danny operates more like a police officer should (the term “by the book” comes to mind), therefore he disagrees with McGarrett’s way of doing things.  The banter between the two partners adds a humorous element to the show, although many original Hawaii Five-O fans believe that the Danny of the ‘70s would never have talked to the McGarrett of the’70s the way our current day Danny does. 

The third and fourth members of the team, Chin-Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim from Lost) and Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park from Battlestar Galactica), are native Hawaiians with a history of their own. 

Chin-Ho was excused from the Hawaii Police Department for allegedly stealing money and his cousin Grace is the only family member who hasn’t disowned him over the supposed crime.  This matter is cleared up towards the end of season one, but we’re not offering up any SPOILER alerts today.    

Grace, a former professional surfer and recent graduate from the Police Academy, anxiously joins the Five-O task force to work with her cousin, even if it means she’ll never get to wear the HPD uniform that she worked so very hard to earn.   

Other recurring characters include: Kamekona (Taylor Wiley, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), a confidential informant and shaved-ice vendor who sometimes babysits Grace for McGarrett and Danny; Max Bergman (Masi Oka, Heroes), the medical examiner/coroner; Victor Hesse (James Marsters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), murderer and Wo Fat associate; and Jenna Kaye (Larisa Oleynik, The Baby-Sitters Club and 3rd Rock from the Sun), a former CIA agent and consultant/assistant to the Five-0 team.

The creators and CBS have brought back a classic in style, and they have glorified the beauties of the islands of Hawaii for the rest of the world to see.   Regardless of all the nay-sayers out there, I give Hawaii Five-0 a MacTV rating.   There aren’t many television programs that both my guy and I like to watch simultaneously, and this happens to be one of them. 

I really wanted to give McGarrett and Danno a GTV rating, but I just don’t quite think Beef Wellington and an expensive bottle of Cabernet when I think of Hawaii Five-0; instead, I think meatloaf covered in chili sauce served with shells-n-cheese and an ice-cold beer.  Every Monday night we sit curled up with our dinner plates in our laps enthralled in the action and mystery while shoveling the yummy food into our mouths without paying the least bit of attention to the mess we’re making.  Guilty pleasure, agree? 

What do you think? Do you like the new Hawaii Five-0 or prefer the original?  Are you like me and would watch Alex O’Laughlin in anything that guarantees the occasional shirtless scene (Navy SEALS swim a lot!)?  What do you think of Scott Caan – does he remind you of his father, James Caan (you knew that, right?)?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of Nathan Fillion….I mean, the crime and mystery drama Castle on CBS!  What happens when a mystery writer tags along with a detective?  Said writer gathers tons of writing material! 

Come back next week when Amber and I continue to review a few more of our favorite programs on CBS returning this fall – the Thursday night hit, The Mentalist, and the Friday night sophomore, Blue Bloods.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.  We’re currently working on our September schedule and would love to chat with you!

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

26 Replies to “Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Clash of the Monday Titans”

  1. This is my VERY favorite TV show! I would watch Alex O’Loughlin in anything! (Even the movie where he was a bad guy.) I think he is the sexiest guy on TV or movies right now.

    I love all the characters. My late best friend always liked Scott Caan better, and I used to give her a hard time and told her he had terrible hair. I really hope they change his hair for this season. He’s kind of cute, but I just couldn’t get past the awful hair. And he does look like his dad, I think.

    I think Daniel Dae Kim is cute as can be. I consider him extra eye candy. 😉

    Grace Park is a really beautiful woman, so I’m sure that’s one of the reasons my husband enjoys watching the show so much. LOL

    I’m always skeptical about TV show remakes. But I really feel like they’ve nailed it with Hawaii Five-O. I like this better even than the original. Great acting, great story lines, great scenery.

    1. Lauralynn, I remember watching the original with my dad when I was a little girl, but if I had to choose – I choose Alex O’laughlin. Every time. Hands down.

      I like Scott Caan too. He cracks me up. I see “Big Ed” everytime I see him. Did you watch Vegas?

      The only thing the new Hawaii Five-0 is missing? Allowing Steve McGarrett to vamp out as Mick St. John…just once! I thought when he was fighting Spike in the pilot episode that surely the two would vamp out! 🙂

      1. No, I didn’t watch Vegas. I wondered if Scott Caan was on anything else before.

        Man, when those two former vampires (my two FAVORITE vampires) were fighting, I was saying to my husband, “I can’t believe both of those guys used to play vampires!” I kept wondering if it was done on purpose to see if anyone would “get it”. LOL. It would have been so cool if they had vamped out. I think the producers missed a good chance for something fun there. 🙂 They could at least have had the characters make some kind of subtle reference. LOL

      2. Scott Caan wasn’t on Vegas, his dad was. He really reminds me of his dad. Scott was in all three Ocean’s movies (you know…Clooney, Pitt….) and also Varsity Blues. I love that movie too.

        Speaking of favorite vamps, I always expect Booth to vamp out on Bones too….maybe when he’s interrogating a suspect. That would be great! LOL

  2. I was so happy they brought back the series with a modern feel. I didn’t get a chance to watch it as much as I wanted to. I will this season!

    P.S. – less than 12hrs until Survivor, Tiffany!! 😀

    1. YAY! You should definitely try and catch last year’s season finale of Hawaii Five-0 before 9/19 if you haven’t already….it was a good one!

      Four hours and counting….. Team Ozzy! Thanks for stopping by, Kathy!

  3. I watched the first couple episodes, but couldn’t get into it. I don’t actually like characters who start out not liking each other. I understand chemistry has to be built, but I often don’t have to patience to wait around for that to happen. Nope, it’s Castle for me. 😀

  4. I’m usually one of those snobby purists who hate when someone covers a terrific song, remakes a near-perfect movie, or rehashes a classic TV series. So admittedly, I have not partaken of Hawaii Five-O this time around. If my arm is twisted (behind my back, around my neck, and through my ear), I might admit that SOME remakes are really good. Sounds like they did okay with this one! Thanks for the heads-up, Tiffany!

    1. If you like a good week to week crime drama PLUS an on-going mystery (Wo Fat storyline), then I absolutely recommend you at least add Season 1 to your Netflix queue. It doesn’t hurt that there is a ton of eye-candy and the islands are beautiful. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Julie!

  5. Oh man, I have been dying to watch this show, and I don’t know how I let the first season slip past me. It has so many things going for it – Alex O’Laughlin (who I would watch in anything, even if he was just reading the dictionary), Grace Park, Daniel Dae Kim (who I find impossibly attractive), not to mention the fact that I hardly ever see television shows with Asian actors, and this one has a bunch. This is definitely going on the list of things of watch.

      1. Okay, just popping by to say that I caught last night’s season 2 premiere, and I am now in love. I will have to find a way to balance this with Castle each week!

      2. Isn’t it good? So glad you checked it out, Lena! I hope you enjoy the rest of the season. I was thrilled to see Spike and Mick (Marsters and O’Laughlin in case you aren’t a big Buffy and Moonlight fan) go at it again, however I was sad to see the outcome for Marsters. I guess we won’t be seeing him much more. I love the on-going story line with McGarrett’s dad, the addition of his old Seal trainer, and I’m looking forward to the new girl next week. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. We had just got a color television when this started in the UK. It’s funny, I can remember the music and the title scene, but after that all I remember was lots of flashing colors are they ran/drive about. So either I’m getting really old, or that new fangled color TV was really that good!
    I’m off to see if the old ones are one Netflix!

    1. Nigel, you always make me smile! I hope you found what you were looking for on Netflix! I saw the previews for the new season last night, and another Lost alum is joining the cast this year. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Don’t tell Amber you were so close to NF. She may get jealous….speaking of jealousy, I’m jealous that you went to Comic-Con! It’s on my bucket list….

      I highly recommend some double-DVR action Monday night at 9CST. Seriously. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, Tameri!

      1. Ooops, I already told her. She was cool with it.

        You HAVE to come to Comic-Con! It’s super fun and I can totally see you rocking it. We live close, so you wouldn’t have to get a hotel room (although we did this year and it was very nice to have that pool within walking distance).

        Wait, was that creepy that I just offered up my house to you even though we’ve never actually met? Eh, that’s just the way I roll.

    1. Anne, I’m sorry to hear that you don’t get to watch beautiful Alex O’laughlin on TV every week over in the UK. I highly recommend streaming or renting via Netflix, he’s too adorable to miss. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

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