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!

1968

2010

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

Tiffany’s Tele-Tuesday #3 A Pick Per Night

A Pick Per Night

Have time for just one television program a night?  Let me help with that! 

MONDAY – Hawaii Five-0 – a rewarding remake.

The original characters, Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) and Danny Williams (James MacArthur), should smile at the 2010 studs – Alex O’Laughlin as Steve and Scott Caan as Danny.  The scenery of Hawaii undoubtedly is a character within itself; the music & the original 1968 introduction was mirrored perfectly using the new cast; and the “Book ‘em Danno” catchphrase lives once again.  The governor’s appointment of the Five-O special task force provides the team with the ability to do whatever they deem necessary to close the case – perfect for McGarrett’s way of acting & thinking.  McGarrett, a former Navy Seal, battles the evils of his day job while searching for the evidence to bring down Wo Fat, who he believes is responsible for his mother’s death, and is also related to his father’s murder.  McGarrett’s partner, Danny, moved to Hawaii to be closer to his daughter, and misses the mainland desperately.  Danny disagrees with McGarrett’s way of doing things, and the banter between the two partners adds a humorous element to the show.  The third and fourth members of the team, Chin-Ho and Grace, are native Hawaiians with a history of their own – Chin-Ho was excused from the HPD for stealing money, and his cousin Grace is the only family member who hasn’t disowned him.  The creators & CBS have brought back a classic in style.  

TUESDAY – NCIS: LA – spinoff success. 

Special Agent G. Callen (Callen himself doesn’t know what the G. stands for having lost many of his childhood memories) and his partner, Special Agent Hanna, a former Navy Seal, join forces with LAPD Liaison Officer Deeks, who shot his own father after years of abuse, and Deeks’ partner, Field Agent Blye, a strong female character, coming from a marine family, and who was engaged to a marine.  Together, the four solve military crimes most often times threatening national security.  This Secret Naval Intelligence Unit, hidden inside a condemned building in Los Angeles, reports to the ever-mysterious Ops Manager Hetty, and showcase their ability to adapt, and go undercover in any situation.  Despite the frightening story premises, NCIS: LA promises humor in every episode.  Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J (Ladies do Love Cool James), Eric Christen Olsen, and Daniela Ruah possess fabulous on-screen chemistry and that alone is worth a visit. 

WEDNESDAY – Criminal Minds – inside the mind of the deranged. 

Criminal Minds follows the FBI’s Behavior Analysis Unit led by Agent Hotchner, who rarely smiles (not surprising, considering the “unsubs,” or Unidentified Subjects of the Investigations that his team chases).  Agent Morgan, Agent Rossi, Dr. Reid, and the recent addition, Agent Seaver, await invitations from local law enforcement and assist the local authorities in capturing unsubs, utilizing their behavior training and the computer expertise of their technical analyst, Penelope Garcia.   Criminal Minds also finds time to focus on the personal lives of each of the characters – Agent Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) raises his young son alone due to the murder of his wife last season; Agent Morgan (Shemar Moore) was abused as a child; Agent Rossi (Joe Mantegna) returned to the BAU after writing and lecturing about criminal analysis; Dr. Reid (Matthew Grey Gubler) has an eidetic memory, and battles internal demons because of his institutionalized, schizophrenic mother; Agent Seaver’s (Rachel Nichols) father was a serial killer; Garcia (Kristen Vangsness) has been shot, loves Agent Morgan, and fights to see the beauty in everything.  The show has had problems keeping female agents, but reports claim recent deportee Agent Jennifer Jareau (AJ Cook) will return at the end of this season.  The cases are believable and dark, and the characters pull you in.

THURSDAY – Archer – animated brilliance. 

Not offended by South Park? Love to watch Family Guy? FX has introduced Archer – pure animation brilliance.  Meet ISIS (International Secret Intelligence Service):

Sterling Archer = an alcoholic, sex crazed secret agent, who also happens to be a breast cancer survivor (Team Rampage!).  Think James Bond…

Malory Archer = Archer’s alcoholic, nymphomaniac mother/boss, whose apparent affair with the leader of the KGB resulted in Archer’s birth (although we’re still awaiting confirmation).   Think Miss Moneypenny…

Lana Kane = Archer’s sexy bombshell ex-girlfriend/partner who wants to be #1, and always wears her machine gun around her shoulder like a purse .   Think Lara Croft…

Cheryl = ISIS’ billionaire secretary with an S&M fetish. 

Pam = The Human Resource director and head-gossip, who is as sex crazed as the rest of the team. 

Archer’s 30-minutes of raunchy humor are an absolute must see!  I mentioned raunchy, right?

FRIDAY – Blue Bloods – NYC Crime Fighting Family.

 The Reagan family loves each other, and their city.  Each member of the Reagan family serves, or has served, their city in one way or another: Henry (Len Cariou), also known as “Grandpa”, is the retired Police Commissioner; Frank (Tom Selleck), also known as “Pop” or “Dad”, is the current Police Commissioner; Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) is one of the top detectives on the NYPD squad; Jamie (Will Estes) is the newest of the Reagan family to join the force currently working the streets as a rookie cop; and Erin (Bridget Moynahan), the only daughter of Frank and his late wife, is an up & coming Assistant District Attorney.  Every episode features at least one family gathering around the dinner table at Frank’s house, an aspect of television today that is often times overlooked.  The show also has a stellar supporting cast: Jennifer Esposito, Amy Carlson, Nicholas Turturro, and Bobby Cannavale, Blue Bloods fights crime every Friday night in New York City, but the family dynamic is the real hero. 

What do you like to watch on Saturday and Sunday?  I’d love to hear from you!

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