Anyone who even watches mainstream television on an irregular basis should be more than aware that certain genre shows tend to follow the same formula, no matter which network they air on. Some comedies like to employ the wittily-written Arrested Development approach to laughter. Many dramas take the House M.D. misfit protagonist to the nth degree of shame. And then there’s that so-action-packed-it’s-painfully-tedious procedural show that takes every cliché imaginable from shows that not only preceded it, but which are currently on the air as well, and outright dares you to take it in on a weekly basis.
One such series is the abominable Hawaii Five-0 re-boot, which — for reasons unknown to this reviewer — is still allowed to infiltrate homes regularly. In just one season, Hawaii Five-0 managed to pick every chestnut from the tree in order to keep things as fresh as possible. Of course, “fresh” is a relatively loose term when it comes to recycled garbage. Sure, it’s new for this series, but if you’ve ever seen any of the NCIS or Criminal Minds variations out there, it tends to be more than routine. All one need do is boot up Hawaii Five-0: The Second Season to see how truly laughable it all is.
The season begins with our hero — that youthful and indestructible maverick, Steve McGarrett (the incredibly bland Alex O’Loughlin) — wrongfully arrested for the murder of the Governor, though she was actually killed by the diabolical Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos), who she may have been secretly working with. The entire Five-0 unit has been disbanded, McGarrett becomes a fugitive, and learns their may also be some dirty secrets about his dearly departed father (William Sadler). Soon thereafter, everything is neatly wrapped up and squared away in order to get the new season underway, along with its new arrivals: the new Governor Denning (Richard T. Jones, rounding out every politically correct mandate needed — save for a token Latino character, of course), who — in turn — brings in a young blonde female guest lead (Lauren German) for a spell. Of course, no series is complete without the mandatory appearance of the now-proverbial Terry O’Quinn, who has a recurring role as McGarrett’s old commanding officer.
Seen it. All of it. At least twenty times over, people! And then, just when you think things can’t get any worse, the show’s producers decide to have a crossover episode with one of the other really bad and overrated procedural shows presently on television, and the unbelievably awful leads from NCIS: Los Angeles — Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J — guest star for a round of the same ol’ dull routine in a two-part episode, the conclusion of which was shown on their aforementioned program. I guess you have to boost ratings somehow, huh?
Have no fear, people — for that NCIS: Los Angeles show is included with Hawaii Five-0: The Second Season as one of several completely uninteresting special features. Additional extras include several deleted scenes, the occasional audio commentary, a gag reel, and four behind-the-scenes featurettes. Everything from the regular episodes to the featurettes look pretty damn great in 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC, with truly robust colors, strong detail and contrast overall. Likewise, Hawaii Five-0: The Second Season is a first-rate foray into DTS-HD MA 5.1 excellence. Truthfully, if I could get this kind of A/V quality on something good, I’d be a happy lad.
But then, most good shows don’t have as many habitually lackluster explosions, gunfights, and car chases as this one does. Yawn.