One of the best TV shows growing up in the 70s was without question Hawaii 50. The dramatic music and Detective Steve McGarrett with his famous catchphrase “Book ‘em Danno”. The series ran for 12 years with just under 300 episodes being screened. It was fantastic.
McGarrett played by Jack Lord was a proper cop. Rugged good looks and a manner that meant you knew who was the boss. His sidekick was Detective Dan Williams along with another detective, Chin Ho. Together, they fought crime on the tropical island. No criminal was safe – it was great. The last episode was aired in 1980 and occasionally old episodes would be shown.
Now we move ahead to 2011. Its the age of Simon Cowell and his world of crappy Karaoke cover versions. Big screen films rely on special effects and 3D rather than story lines and in the last few weeks, Hawaii Five-0 has been remade and is appearing on British TV.
The modern Steve McGarrett is pathetically complete; Alex O’Loughlin is younger than Jack Lord (bit of eye candy of the girls), a former Navy Seal, a grandfather who was on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbour and former college quarterback. Did I mention he also goes by the rank of Lieutenant-Commander rather than Detective?
Danno is has family issues and doesn’t seem to get on well with McGarrett while the 2011 Chin Ho is around 15 years younger than in the original series. A new character is rookie detective Kono Kalakaua (a bit of eye candy for the boys).
Out of morbid curiosity and low expectations, I decided to watch a couple of episodes. My fears were fully realised. I recognised the music and the opening titles even had that scene where the camera zooms in on McGarrett standing on the balcony of a tall building as he turns to face the camera.
However, as I eluded to earlier, the 21st century appears to be devoid of decent script writers. The last episode I watched saw McGarrett fly a helicopter in pursuit of a bad guy (obviously piloting helicopters is a key skill in the Navy Seals) and when he lost contact with a car he was chasing, he does what any good policeman does….call a contact on a US Navy Aircraft Carrier on the other side of the world and gets a girl (young and pretty of course) to use a military satellite to find him.
It gets better as the US Navy girlie beams the live feed straight to McGarretts iPhone. I wonder how much the app for that cost? Jobs will be pleased getting a 30% cut.
However, the worst thing (so far) makes all this seem insignificant. Its the new McGarretts voice. As in the original series, he still uses the phrase “Book ‘em Danno” but its not the voice of the tough, rugged Jack Lord. The 2011 Steve McGarrett sounds like John Inman and if you don’t know who I mean, trust me, its not a good sound for a detective.
CBS had tried to restart the series in 1997 but the pilot was never taken up. In 2011, this poor relation of the original show finally made it back to our screens and somewhere a unicorn died.