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A television series well ahead of its time

DVD Review: Hawaii Five-O – The Third Season

Written by Hombre Divertido

Hawaii Five-O was a series well ahead of its time as it used the beauty of the state long before Thomas Magnum took up residence there. It also had well-crafted scripts with intricate details that viewers have become accustomed to in the crime-solving shows of today.

Not only did Hawaii Five-O take place in the same locale as Magnum P.I., it was also focused on one character. Though titled after the special unit of the State Police that answered directly to the Governor, this was Steve McGarrett’s show. Played stalwartly by Jack Lord for the entire twelve seasons, McGarrett was the star of the series, and though Danno (James MacArthur as Danny Williams) brought a great deal of youthful energy to the show as McGarrett’s right-hand man, Danno and the rest of the team simply did as they were directed.

Season Three contains twenty-four episodes that are a solid reflection of what kept this show on the air for twelve seasons, showcasing an endearing cast and excellent writing that are at the heart of the success of this series. Though women are noticeably absent from the team, and would be until the final season, this group of guys were macho, smart, and fun to watch, which allowed them to fit in well in the television landscape of the seventies. During the third season the cast included the previously mentioned Steve and Danno, along with Kam Fong as Chin Ho, the well-respected senior member of the team, and Zulu as Kono, the muscle.

Most of the episodes were constructed primarily the same: an opening sequence where we are shown the crime, followed by an introduction to our suspects, and then we would follow along with the Five-O team as they tried to solve the crime. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s much like many of the successful shows of the day.

There are not a lot of extras in this set, but it does include the episodic promos that would be used to advertise the next week’s episode. They are great fun and will definitely thrust any fan of the show back in time, as each one is narrated stoically by Jack Lord, and ends with the classic line: “Be there. Aloha.”

The third season includes some fun guest appearances including one by Hume Cronyn in one of the most enjoyable episodes of the season (“Over Fifty? Steal.”) as it shows a softer, almost comedic side of our cast. You can also look for a young Martin Sheen in an episode entitled “Time and Memories” though it is one of the worst episodes of the season. I guess every show has to have a clunker and this is it. Poorly written and directed, the solution is obvious, and the editing is awkward. Look for a line added in post production when Sheen’s character gets off the plane and hugs his fiancée, which clearly does not come out of his mouth.

Recommendation: As soon as it becomes available, book it, Danno! Tons of fun for the whole family whether you were a fan when it was originally on or not. This is classic cop television and the theme song rocks. The third season is scheduled to be released on January 22nd.

About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS

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