First Impressions

The Event / Hawaii Five-0

Aired on: NBC / CBS

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            The 2010 fall season has offered up quite a few interesting television dramas.  Two shows receiving a great deal of hype are The Event and Hawaii Five-0.  I had been hearing a great deal about these two dramas, one a unique and new concept, and the other, a remake of a ‘60s TV hit.  So, on Monday, September 20, 2010, I prepared myself for a night in front of the television and watched the premiere episodes of The Event and Hawaii Five-0.

            “If 24 and Lost had a baby it would be The Event.”  This is just one of the numerous comments about the show made by individuals who were given an advanced screening of the premiere episode of The Event, airing at 9pm EST on NBC, and I believe that it perfectly describes this series.  The show stars Jason Ritter as Sean Walker, a man who is preparing to propose to his girlfriend (Sarah Roemer) on a romantic cruise when she suddenly disappears.  A series of events finds Sean attempting to hijack a plane in an effort to stop it from being used to kill the President (Blair Underwood).  Meanwhile, President Elias Martinez has just recently discovered the presence of a secret detention facility in Alaska which houses a special group of people led by Sophia Maguire (Laura Innis). 

            Sounds interesting, right?  Well, maybe, but the show lost me in the first fifteen minutes.  It’s not like I couldn’t follow the storyline, but that I had to work too hard to do so.  The premiere episode consisted of a story told in numerous flashbacks, which, if you are not paying attention, will serve to completely confuse you.  One moment you are watching something in present time, then you are watching a flashback that occurred seven days earlier, flash forward to a flashback 27 minutes before the initial scene and then flash back to two days earlier.  See my point?

            24 was an action-packed adventure if you could believe in the plausibility of the events taking place and that they could all possibly occur within 24 hours.  I couldn’t and therefore didn’t care much for the show.  Lost offered up a puzzle for the viewer to solve, using flashbacks and clues.  However, if you missed anything, you would feel…well…lost.  My first impression of The Event is that this series will be a hybrid of the two featuring loads of action taking place in a short span of time with a puzzle the viewer will have to try and solve using the clues supplied in each segment.  If you don’t mind working so hard to figure out a show and have no worries about missing any one moment which could provide the vital clue one needs to understand what’s going on, The Event may just be your kind of show.  As for me, I don’t have the time for such a complex series and even if I did, I might be disappointed.  I mean, after all, I only lasted through three seasons of Lost and then gave up, offering up a hypothesis after the first few episodes which turned out to be correct once the last show of the series was revealed.

            Airing at 10pm EST on CBS, the Hawaii Five-0 series premiere is something I have been waiting a whole summer to see.  As a kid, I watched the original series which aired on the same channel from the late 1960s until 1980 and featured Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett, a former Naval Officer appointed by the governor of Hawaii to oversee a special task force of Hawaii State Police Officers in an effort to wipe out crime in the Hawaiian Islands.  I must confess, I don’t remember much of the old series, but I know everyone remembers that amazing theme song composed by Morton Stevens and performed by The Ventures.  I couldn’t wait to see what the new series would be like.

            This new version of the classic features Alex O’Loughlin as Detective Steve McGarrett and, just like the original version, McGarrett is a Naval Officer recruited by the Hawaiian Governor (Jean Smart) to head up a special police task force.  He is reluctant to accept the offer, but realizes that this is the only way he can hunt down his father’s killer, Victor Hess (James Marsters), a terrorist who killed McGarett’s father as revenge for the death of his brother.  Unfortunately, taking over the murder case would mean taking it away from Detective Danny “Danno” Williams (Scott Caan), a former New Jersey police officer who joined the force in Hawaii to be close to his daughter.  Detective Williams has only been in Hawaii for a short time and McGarrett thinks it only best that he take Williams under his wing to give him a crash course on crime in Hawaii.

            McGarrett then enlists Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim), who was once a hero in the high school McGarrett attended.  Kelly was on the police force in Hawaii, but left when he was accused of taking bribes.  Trusting that Kelly is on the up-and-up, McGarrett has him reinstated and adds him to the task force.  When the trail for his father’s killer leads to a human smuggling operation, McGarrett is in need of an undercover cop that the crime syndicate has never seen before.  Enter Kona Kalakaua (Grace Park), Chin Ho’s cousin, a former surfing champion forced to drop out of the circuit after a knee injury.  After the injury, Kona went to the police academy and is scheduled to graduate in a week, making it less likely that she will be recognized as a cop.  Together, the team break the smuggling operation wide open, discover the hiding place of Victor Hess, hunt him down and…well, you’ll have to watch the show to find out the rest.

            I loved this new version of Hawaii Five-0.  The show is hard-hitting in the drama and action departments and offers up just the perfect amount of comedic banter to soften things up a bit.  The cast has perfect chemistry and play off each other well.  The events that take place in the pilot episode are actually believable and are full of action and suspense.  The scenery is gorgeous and, just like the original show, scenes from the episode are broken up using flashes of scenes of the locale - surfing, boating, beaches, etc.  Hawaii offers up some of the most beautiful scenery and this show takes full advantage of its location. 

            Although this new version of Hawaii Five-0 may not be exactly like the original, it’s safe to say that this version is just what the adrenaline doctor ordered.  It supplies the required adrenaline rush associated with any good action drama, contains main characters who are quite easy on the eyes, offers up some great scenic shots of Hawaii, and contains a great storyline.  Hawaii Five-0 is definitely a show I will be adding to my television schedule this fall.


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