In Hawaii Five-0, we have a reboot of a police action show from the 1970’s. Both instances of this idea have a group of policemen from the state police force investigating and fighting crimes in idyllic Hawaiian settings. Island-specific crimes involving the beach or the ocean and the ethnic diversity on the show (it could hardly be avoided even in the 1970’s as Hawaii has been very diverse since the beginning of its colonization by the United States) have set this show apart from others and are also features in both the original and the remake.
Yet there are a surprising torrent of differences between the old and the new here. Almost all of the characters in the original are wearing suits. Many would brush this off as nothing more than a sartorial difference, but it runs deeper than that. The policemen depicted on the new show are often unprofessional. In fact, leader of the tribe Steve McGarrett is perhaps the most unprofessional of all, getting himself into risky situations through excessive confidence. Looser clothes allow for more movement. Indeed, the original relied more on dialogue, questioning, and cerebral detective work than flat action. Action scenes are constant in the new iteration of this Hawaii police series. Hardly a few minutes go by without some fistfight, vehicle chase, or gun drawing.
The original ended almost 40 years ago now, which means that the producers probably weren’t trying to tap into the old guard of fans which would have enjoyed the show in its first incarnation. Nielsen supports this assumption as a large chunk of the 9 million viewers who tune in on Friday nights for @HawaiiFive0 are in the 18 – 49 age range. The gap in time between the 60’s version and the modern retelling serves the series well with critics and fans. MacGyver ended its run in the 90’s and the remake got mostly jeers from fans and critics who remembered it; some complained it was too unlike the original and some complained it was a sacrilegiously bad carbon copy of the original.
#HawaiiFive0 is flying above the clouds over controversy online since there aren’t legions of keyboard warriors to bemoan how it is desecrating a classic. It’s scoring well with critics, who give this run-of-the-mill police action show a 66 out of 100 on Metacritic. Fans also find it entertaining and are even pushing it into the culturally significant end of the spectrum with their ratings. 48,000 strong have given it a 7.4 out of 10 on IMDb and Metacritic users give it the same rating. 82% of people logging into Rotten Tomatoes to rate it certify it as fresh. These are marks which indicate a high level of satisfaction with the show.
#HawaiiFive0 is the highest rated program in its time slot and one of the most watched programs on television as a whole. For season 6, it scored well over 8 million viewers on average, frequently surpassing the 10 million viewer mark. This is not much different from its situation almost 10 years ago at its inception, when it was given the title of “most watched new show” in record books by gathering a similar number of viewers. With such a healthy run and a wealth of easily rehashed plots from other shows in this category, it is unlikely that CBS will stop production on this Hawaiian police series any time soon.
That is, unless there is some reason the actors don’t want to continue. Alex O’Loughlin, who plays Steve, is rumored to be considering ending his participation on the high-impact cop show due to health issues. The program is more polycentric than the original version, by which I mean that lead character Steve isn’t as singularly important as he was in the 70’s version. The other characters are given a good amount of screen time and personality. Even so, the departure of a major character tends to kill most television shows within a couple of seasons.
The marriage between Adam and Kono at the end of season 5 could have been an in-series hint that the writers were getting ready to cut the show. While this has not happened as of season 7, there is speculation that the couple may have a baby. Again, major life events for main cast may be hints that the show is looking for a soft landing for its final episodes.
Season 7 was announced in March. As Steve is contractually obligated to do the show in season 8 and the show’s popularity is as high as ever, it appears that @HawaiiFive0 will be approved for an 8th year, although no official word has been released. There are also big possibilities that the 8th will be the final season, considering O’Loughlin’s views on it. We’ll let you know for sure once we get word. Once we do find out if the season is renewed for season 8 or is cancelled, we’ll be sending out emails to the effect. Sign up below for our email notification list to know what we know.
Are you an avid watcher of Hawaii Five-0? Do you think Kono and Adam will have a baby before the end of this season? Do you think we’ll see any more marriages as the series goes on? Would you still watch the show if Steve were to be written out in the 8th season? Leave us your opinions down below.