As the world, and Hawaii, prepares to say goodbye to “LOST,” news came this week that CBS had picked up the long-awaited reboot of its hit series from over three decades ago. The new “Hawaii Five-O” will be part of the network’s fall line up, and is already one of the most talked-about new shows this year.
Many “LOST” fans were thrilled to hear in February that actor Daniel Dae Kim had been cast in a lead role, portraying Det. Chin Ho Kelly (previously played by Kam Fong). He joins Alex O’Loughlin, who has the biggest shoes to fill in the role of Det. Steve McGarrett (a character synonymous with the late Jack Lord), and Scott Caan, who plays Detective Daniel “Danno” Williams (succeeding James MacArthur).
The cast is rounded out by Grace Park, best known for her role on the reboot of “Battlestar Galactica.” And just as the new “Battlestar” raised eyebrows by changing the gender of an iconic character from the original series, Park will play Kono Kalakaua, originally played by Gilbert “Zulu” Kauhi. In the new “Hawaii Five-O,” Kono is a professional surfer, and Det. Chin Ho Kelly’s niece.
The pilot was filmed all over O’ahu in March and April, concurrently with “LOST” shooting as well as a few other productions (making things unusually complicated for “LOST” spotters). The plot was closely guarded, but basically depicted how the new team comes together. Apparently the final product went over well with network executives. CBS unveiled the official promotional video at its “upfronts” on Wednesday (see above), and easily got the most buzz.
The promo looked great, as the show will obviously take full advantage of the range of settings available in Hawaii (like “LOST”). There’s lots of action — from stunts to car crashes to pyrotechnics — set among gorgeous mountain and valley vistas, gleaming skyscrapers, and grimy industrial lots. Of course, the sun, sand and surf affords many opportunities to show off some skin. And as a cop procedural, the number of storylines is almost limitless.
Even surrounded by so much potential, it still comes down to whether the characters and plots are compelling. Will they go darker and grittier, like the “Battlestar” reboot? Or will they pay homage to, or even embrace, some of the camp and cheese now associated with the original series? Hopefully, they can do both.
Separate from the promo, though, many fans of the original “Hawaii Five-O” series are intensely interested in the new opening title sequence. After all, even if you can’t remember a single storyline from the show in the 1960s and ’70s, you probably know the original intro theme song and images by heart.
Check it out below. I’m actually glad to see how much of the original imagery is echoed (but the “Terminator 2″-like whiz-bang overlays are a bit much). And the theme song is still eminently recognizable. I like the addition of guitars, though it’s just not quite the same without the crisp horns, real drums, and triumphant ending. Still, it says “familiar but different,” and that’s a decent start.