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Hawaii Five-0 & My Grandmother

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sounds like a wild combination, right?

But Hawaii Five-0 and my grandmother go together beautifully. At least in my mind.

You see…

The very first time I remember seeing the show, it was at my grandparents’ house when I was a kid.

I can remember hearing the awesome theme song and being hooked instantly–watching reruns on their television. The only color I remember is BLUE. (Was it because of the colors or Hawaiʻi or the color mix on their television set?)

I don’t remember understanding the plot. In truth, I don’t really remember much about it.


When the classic show was released on DVD, I started at the very beginning.

Starting with Season 1 I was hooked immediately–although THIS time I was hooked on the show and not just the theme song and the color blue. (Come to think of it, the show really DOES feature the color blue a lot. Especially Season 1. Check it out!)Yes, the acting is dated. Yes, the plots are kind of silly. But it’s kitschy and fun (and a fantastic visual time capsule of Oʻahu during those years!) and it makes for a great evening of classic television viewing! Throw in a pizza and some friends and you’ve got the makings of party.


In my mind, the television show and my grandmother are inextricably linked.

The other day, I was talking with my grandmother on the phone. And she wanted to know what I thought of this new version of the show.

SHOCKING UPDATE: I haven’t seen it yet!

I know… I’m embarrassed. It’s terrible for a Hawaiʻi-phile like me to not have seen a new network show about it. Especially because I loved the original series–at least when I watched it again on DVD.

I think my grandmother was both shocked and horrified that I hadn’t seen it. She thought I would have not only VIEWED it, but also ANALYZED it.

But it gave us an opportunity to do some talking.

And you know, my grandmother is one smart lady.

Her thoughts: even if the show is not a commercial success, it will be a good thing. It will bring Hawaiʻi to the forefront of pop culture, again. Just like the original television series did. It will make people AWARE of it–and that has the potential of being a great thing. Because when people are aware of something, it’s harder to ignore it.

I mentioned that I had my doubts the show could really convey what Hawaiʻi is all about–that it was still a cop show that was FILMED in Hawaiʻi, but not really about Hawaiʻi or her people.

My grandmother thinks that it’s still GOOD for the islands. It will raise awareness.

So smart, right? Go, Grandma! (I love having a hip tūtū!)


I’ve got a few episodes recorded on my DVR and ready to go. I heard they even mentioned Molokai in a recent episode! How cool is that?!

I’m curious to hear what YOU all think about this new show. Do you like it? Do you hate it? What kind of effect do you think it will have on the islands–positive or negative?

**Fun Crooner Factoid: I have had the Hawaii Five-0 theme song as my ringtone on my phone for years. I totally LOVE it. Iconic.

9 Responses to “Hawaii Five-0 & My Grandmother”

  1. Kanani says:

    Your Grandmotherʻs positive thoughts aside, I think itʻs an unfortunate experiment. Thereʻs so little of Hawaiʻi shown, mostly car chases and violence, and what little ʻolelo is spoken is NOT good. All in all, itʻs very disappointing. I wonʻt be watching more than Iʻve already wasted my time with. A shame because there was opportunity and great potential to recreate a positive, compelling series. Aue.

  2. Wailana says:

    I have seen the episodes of the new Hawaii 5-0 and must say I do like it. I am not big on cop shows so that’s not what is appealing to me. They are trying hard to insert some culture, albeit a few words of Hawaiian or references to kapus or islands but they are trying. Hopefully, it won’t be lost on the general audience. It is a little violent so I am worried about the subliminal message it is conveying about Asians and Pacific Islanders being evil and unscrupulous. I think Chin Ho and Kono’s characters are supposed to negate any unfavorable stereotypes. Unfortunately, some of the other local characters are not portrayed that way and Chin Ho is still trying to erase his dirty cop reputation. In the end if there is a little bit of culture imparted, I am like your tutu, I am all for it. I also love recognizing streets and landmarks just like shows about NY. It is now the only TV I watch if that counts for anything so I am hoping for the best and supporting any efforts of giving us a glimpse to Hawaii, good or bad. Aloha!

  3. Lindsay says:

    Love, Jason!! I remember watching Love Boat at Grandma and Grandpa’s house…funny huh?! Thanks for taking me down memory lane! I think I’ll rent the Hawaii 5-O season now!

  4. Jill Knox says:

    I haven’t seen it yet but have meant to watch it. I think us old folks might be sleeping through it!

  5. Da Sistah Kinolau says:

    I’m not drawn to see it, bruddah. I will check it out at some point. But the main cast does not feature any kama`aina! Also, I have a problem with detectives working in Honolulu who don’t seem to have lived in Hawaii!! No accent, no pidgin! Did they import these guys from the mainland to be the top detectives? Kama`aina not good enough to make detective? It’s somewhat acceptable for the original show, but not ok for 2010. Kinda racist, don’t ya think?

  6. Kūlana says:

    It’s cool to have Hawaiʻi in the background and see familiar sights that we know. However, I am not too keen on the writing, story lines or the actors casted. I should go back and watch the original, but the remake is not really speaking to me. Nevertheless, I continue to watch just because it’s “Hawai Five-0.”

  7. mariko says:

    I like the riffing on the original show, down to having the son of a famous actor be on the show as Dano. The references are funny. I like that there’s ‘olelo at all. It would have been so easy for there to be none. I like the exploration of male bonding — at least I think that’s what it is. It’s often too violent but that’s modern day cop shows for you. I have sketchy tastes in TV and film, but i’d be a hypocrite if i didn’t admit to enjoying the show. It ain’t trying to be art.

  8. stefanie says:

    My husband and I are enjoying it a lot. Probably because we get to see Hawai’i through our tv and we like to watch cop shows. And I get attached to actors and I loved Jin on Lost so it’s great to see Daniel Dae Kim again (although I’m still adjusting to his non-Korean accent). :)

    I think wherever a tv show is set, it will stereotype the characters and location. Law and Order LA just started, being cop-and-lawyer show fans, husband and I have watched a few episodes. LA is not all movie stars and surfers, but that’s what the show portrays.

  9. Daniel says:

    great post, thanks for sharing