Hawaii Five-No October 19, 2010Posted by Skippy in Observations, Popular Culture.
Children, I’ve been watching the latest incarnation of “Hawaii Five-O.” Oh, my Spock, is this show full of gorgeous. The two leads, Alex O’Laughlin and Scott Caan, are gorgeous (despite Caan’s ridiculous hair don’t). Of course, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park are gorgeous. The cinematography is, of course, gorgeous—after all, it’s set in Hawaii. How could it be anything but gorgeous?
But oh, my Spock, is this show full of Fail. I understand that this show is attempting to capture the old school charm of the original and combine that with the sensibilities of 21st century television, but that combination is like putting broccoli in chocolate and calling it a tasty treat. Let me enumerate the problems with this show:
1. McGarrett’s “Backstory”:
Frankly, I don’t give a flying fuck about some ri-goddamned-diculous backstory involving his stupid father and some unresolved case. It really seemed shoehorned in there to give McGarrett(O’Laughlin) some “depth,” and give him the Tragic Beginning that every hero needs. Which brings me to…
2. Am I watching Hawaii Five-O? Or Star Trek (2009)?
This show is produced by Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci. They also were responsible for bringing a little movie called
Fig. 2: Perhaps you saw this little indie film last year?
In their reboot of Star Trek, we get to see James T. Kirk’s Tragic Beginning that puts him on the path to being a hero. Basically, Kurtzman and Orci “Star Wars-ified” Star Trek. While I watched the premiere episode of “Five-O,” I considered all the parallels between Kirk and McGarrett:
a) They had Tragic Hero Beginnings—that involved their fathers getting killed but good.
b) They both have some Superior Official tell them they’re Super Special.
c) They’re both reckless and rakishly handsome.
d) They both at first hate their sidekicks (both of whom continually try to talk sense into these fools’ heads).
3. The heterosexism in this series is off the charts
Children, I’ve come to expect a certain amount of heteronormativity in prime-time television. Hell, I don’t even expect shows that allegedly have gay or lesbian characters to ever feature them until it’s time for That Very Special Episode about Being (A Poor, Oppressed, Benighted) Gay. The status of gays on prime-time TV is abysmal—and I think I’m being generous. However, with “Five-O,” the chest-thumping and female exploiting on this show is in-fucking-SANE. The most recent episode began with a slow pan…of McGarrett in bed, shirtless.
Fig. 3: Y’all DO realize this is the only reason this show is on my DVR, right?
As the camera continues to pan, we see that he is in bed with…Scott Caan!
Psh. I WISH.
Anyway, the camera pans, and he’s in bed with some woman. Who has absolutely nothing to do with the episode. Nothing at all. Oh, but wait! Actually, she does serve a purpose. The woman in bed with McGarrett serves as a big old signal to the audience—HE’S NOT GAY!! Might as well have had a giant neon sign above his bed.
3a. Grace Park is basically there to Be Pretty.
As the heterosexism marches on, we come to Grace Park’s character on the show. She shows up as, basically, the cheesecake to O’Laughlin and Caan’s beefcake.
Fig. 4: This show has something for everyone!
Now, I’ve only seen Park on Battlestar Galactica. And most of the time, she was in clothes. While Park wasn’t the strongest actor on the show, she wasn’t a slouch—she actually did a good job playing Cylon clones of the Sharon Valerii model. I think they could do a bit more than play her up as Junior Barbie Police Sexpot.
4. Daniel Dae Kim is wasted on this show.
He spends his time playing second fiddle to two jock/fratboy bastards who can’t stand each other and snipe at each other more than Al and Peg Bundy. He’s basically Lieutenant Sulu, minus the actual usefulness. This is a guy who could carry his own damn show, but here he is, traipsing around after
Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock McGarret and Danno.