Five-0 Redux: Fans share their manaʻo

Aug. 24, 2013 | 22 Comments

The ʻFive-0ʻ team of McGarrett, Danno, Kono, and Chin Ho are one of the reasons fans watch "Hawaii Five-0" every week. (Courtesy CBS)

The Five-0 team of McGarrett, Danno, Kono, and Chin Ho are one of the reasons fans watch “Hawaii Five-0″ every week. (Courtesy CBS)

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

The word “fan” is derived from “fanatic,” which refers to someone enthusiastically devoted to a cause, celebrity or television show like “Hawaii Five-0.” After writing the “Five-0 Redux” for nearly three years, I can personally attest to the sincere and ardent admiration “Five-0” fans have for anything and everything associated with the show.

Yes, they mostly adore Alex O’Loughlin, but there is also lots of aloha for Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, as well as the recurring actors. I’ve seen Michelle Borth and Mark Dacascos fan pages, as well as lots of followers of Masi Oka, Brian Yang, Teilor Grubbs, Taylor Wily and Dennis Chun.

Even some of the folks behind the scenes, like executive producer Peter Lenkov, stunt coordinator Jeff Cadiente, assistant director Lon Takiguchi and guest directors Jeff Hunt and Larry Teng have fans following their every Instagram and Twitter update. Fans of the show will go to great lengths — and more than 140 characters — to express their undying love.

The fans have also been unusually kind to me, and many people I’ve met within the “Five-0” fandom have graced me with their friendship and hospitality. Several people, who I only met because I write about “Hawaii Five-0,” are now some of my closest friends. We like to call ourselves the “H50hana,” but our friendships go deeper than just a love for a television show. I know when the sad day comes and “Five-0” leaves the airwaves, I will still have these friends in my life.

The humor and backstory presented in “Lana I Ka Moana” (Adrift) made it a big fan favorite. (Courtesy CBS)

The humor and backstory presented in “Lana I Ka Moana” (Adrift) made it a big fan favorite. (Courtesy CBS)

One major thing I learned about fans of this show? They really do know their “Five-0’ facts. They know storylines, specifics about each character arc, trivia about guest stars, which episode certain things happened, as well as details about the “Core Four” and their lives. Some are not so adept with remembering Hawaiian language titles for each episode, but they know them by number and sometimes the English translation.

Nevertheless, if I forget a detail, believe me, there is someone out there who will tell me or correct me. No doubt about it.

I recently created a fan survey about “Hawaii Five-0,” and 133 people took time out of their day to answer my questions. I also posted questions on the “Five-0 Redux” Facebook page, and have added their responses. I gave fans 10 episodes to choose their favorite from, which I selected because of comments I received on my blog and general buzz surrounding those episodes. I tried not to choose my personal favorites, and I know I left a few off the list, but there was a fill-in option to provide a different choice and explain why they liked a particular episode.

According to the survey, “I Ka Wā Mamua” (“In A Time Past”) was a fan favorite, but “Hookman” had the highest percentage of votes when fans were asked to choose their top three episodes.

Close behind were “Lana I Ka Moana” (“Adrift”), “ʻŌlelo Paʻa” (“The Promise”) and “Huakaʻi Kula” (“Field Trip”).

Michelle Borth and Alex OʻLoughlin in a touching scene from "ʻŌlelo Paʻa" (The Promise). (Courtesy CBS)

Michelle Borth and Alex OʻLoughlin in a touching scene from “ʻŌlelo Paʻa” (“The Promise”). (Courtesy CBS)

“I Ka Wā Mamua” (“In A Time Past”) seemed to be a favorite because of the interplay between McGarrett and Danno. Fans also liked that they got to learn Danno’s backstory and more about his life in New Jersey before he came to Hawaiʻi.

Many also mentioned that while they enjoy the bromantic “carguments” between the two, they also love when Danny and Steve show their vulnerability and complete trust in each other as partners.

“I liked “I Ka Wā Mamua” best because it focused on our principals, who are working through the situation together,” said Bert Hayling from the Bahamas. New York resident Dina Guevara said she liked the episode because “there was a balance between crime drama of week and the personal and character storylines.”

Many folks mentioned the reason they liked “ʻŌlelo Paʻa” (“The Promise”) was because it focused on McGarrett and gave us more of his backstory before “Five-0.”

“Alex O’Loughlin was simply phenomenal in ‘ʻŌlelo Paʻa.’ His range of emotion was breathtaking to watch,” said Ohio resident Candy Abrams. “He was not only a SEAL fulfilling a promise to a fallen brother in arms, he was a friend in mourning facing feelings he’d suppressed for years. This made for powerful television, in my opinion.”

“Lana I Ka Moana” (“Adrift”) and “Huakaʻi Kula” (“Field Trip”) were also favorites because of the interplay between McG and Danno.

“Adrift was my favorite due to the heavy amount of solo Steve/Danny interaction, and how funny those scenes were,” said local resident Emily MacGillivray.

Scott Caanʻs performance in “I Ka Wā Mamua” (In A Time Past) is one reason why it was the fan's choice for favorite episode of season three. (Courtesy CBS)

Scott Caanʻs performance in “I Ka Wā Mamua” (“In A Time Past”) is one reason why it was the fan’s choice for favorite episode of season three. (Courtesy CBS)

While many fans had a lot to say about the season — both good and bad — I thought most of the comments were positive. While some fans liked season one or two over season three, many fans had a lot of praise for their favorite show.

“I loved this season!” said Angela Gerstner from Munich, Germany. “I love the ‘character stuff’ (as Alex loves to call it) and the comedy aspects. The actors are extremely well cast and I’ve grown very fond of almost all of them and just can’t get enough of watching them.

“Of course, Jeff Cadiente and his stunt team are also contributing to the allure of the show by delivering top-class stunts and action that keep us viewers glued to the screen. And, last but not least, the setting of the show in beautiful Hawaiʻi is also one of the reasons why this is my favorite show.

“The main aspects I love about (‘Five-0’): character, comedy, a super-likeable cast, great action and Hawaiʻi!”

Many fans loved last season because of episodes where characters revealed themselves and the secondary characters were given their own moments to shine.

“I enjoyed this season because we learned more about each character,” wrote Alabama resident Amy Norris. “I loved bringing Catherine (Michelle Borth) in because it showed a different side of McGarrett. And I love any opportunity for carguments or dinghy-ments between McG and Danny.”

“Overall, the interplay with the whole team made season three more like season one,” said Linda Stein from Philadelphia. “I also liked the addition of Catherine into Steve’s life. It helped to show his softer side a bit more.

“The action sequences are always movie quality and I have always enjoyed the stories. But it’s these characters and the actors who play them that keep me glued to my TV every week.”

The "bromantic" repartee between McGarrett and Danno is one of the fan favorite elements of "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)

The bromantic repartee between McGarrett and Danno is one of the fan favorite elements of “Hawaii Five-0.” (Courtesy CBS)

While many fans had specific complaints (e.g. dislike of specific characters, not enough screen time for others, criticism about weak writing and storylines), for the most part, the fans still like a lot of what makes “Hawaii Five-0” tick.

“The acting, production, storylines, location shots, and stunts all combine to make ‘Hawaii Five-0’ … the best series on TV,” wrote Julian Hurst from England.

Whether you agree or not, this was just an online survey. While I received roughly 150 responses, I didn’t have enough space to add everyone’s manaʻo (opinion) to this post. I thank all of you for answering my questions and sending me messages on Facebook and Twitter to share your input as we all anxiously await season four.

Redux Side Note:

There was no “Hawaii Five-0” this week on CBS, due to NFL preseason action between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers.

On Aug. 29, TNT returns with repeats of season one — “Hoʻapono” (“Accept”) and “Manaʻo” (“Belief”) — while CBS will air “ʻImi Loko Ka ʻUhane” (“Seek Within One’s Soul”) on Aug. 30.
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Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • Dina

    THIS WAs great! again a comprehensive look at what a “small” pool of fans opinions- I would LOVE to see another survey out of redux! You always give a spot on take – honoring everyone opinions in a respectful manner!

    • Wendie Joy

      Thanks Dina! It was a small pool- and I’m kind of thankful because I have no idea how I would have read thousands of responses! LOL But I’m glad folks can comment here to add to the list and that most people have agreed for the choices in the post. Thanks for always reading and supporting Dina;) Aloha, Wendie

  • LindaStein

    Mahalo for including me in your article Wendie. I’m glad the response to your survey was, for the most part, positive. Yes, no show is perfect and I agree there are aspects that, in my opinion, could use improvement but all in all I find Five-0 extremely enjoyable week after week. Between CBS, now TNT, iTunes, DVDs and BluRays I spend a good chunk of time and money on my favorite show. I have very little of each to spare so it is not a choice I make lightly. If Five-0 wasn’t still enjoyable for me and a great weekly escape from reality and a hell of a lot of fun, I wouldn’t have anything to do with it any longer. Other than the great Ohana I’ve met through it, of course.

    Thanks for letting us voice our opinions about this past season. I can’t wait for us to kick it into Season #4! Aloha nui loa sistah. ♥

    • Wendie Joy

      Thanks Linda for your quote and for spreading the word about the survey:) H50 is definitely an escape for me even though I have to review the show most times, rather than just sit back to enjoy it:) Thatʻs what repeats and DVDʻs and now TNT is for:) So I know what you mean about it being such fun. Both Chief and I really enjoy watching it together and of course, meeting up with all of the H50hana. :) Thanks for always reading and supporting the Five-0 Redux Linda:) Youʻre the best! Aloha, Wendie

  • Angela Gerstner

    Mahalo,
    Wendie, for including quite a few of my answers J I’d
    like to say that I gladly participated in your survey – not only because I love
    your blogs, as you know, and am proud and happy to have you as a Facebook
    friend – but also because I love H50 and don’t mind sharing my love and
    opinions about my favourite show with others. If I hadn’t filled in the
    questionnaire some time around midnight and beyond, my answers might have been
    even longer and probably better formulated J

    Anyway, it’s good to see that so many other fans love the show for the same
    reasons I do – the character development and the comedy moments (especially in
    the Steve/Danno interplay). I also agree with Amy and Linda who both wrote that
    bringing in Cath as a regular was a great idea.

    And while there will always be fans complaining about stuff they don’t like,
    I’m quite sure that the majority of us fans absolutely loves and appreciates
    the show as it is because we know that everyone on the great team of H50 (Cast,
    crew, producers and writers) “works hard toward a common goal – to produce
    a quality product that everyone can be proud of and enjoy” (A quote from
    one of your fabulous recent blogs). I definitely enjoy this ‘quality product’ and am looking forward to (hopefully) many more seasons of it!

    • Wendie Joy

      Hi Angie! Thanks so much for reading and allowing me to use your comments:) I know that many of the fans (like you!) really love and appreciate the show. I’m just happy that there are fans who say how they feel in a very positive and supportive way. Iʻm looking forward to season 4 for sure:) So thank you for always supporting the Five-0 Redux:) Aloha, Wendie

  • jlopie1

    Good Saturday morning! I’m getting trained to watch for your blog now on Saturdays, Wendie! This is an interesting one! I know I fall into the category of a “fanatic” because I am hopelessly enthusiastic about all things H50, but I also think I enjoy the fandom because of all the new friends I’ve made (even though I’ve only met one H50 friend in person).

    Yeah, I have concerns about the direction the show takes from time to time, but when viewed as a whole, rather than episode by episode, or even season to season, it’s still a unique and fun television series to escape with each week. At least, for me it is!

    Interesting to note the favorite episodes people commented on! So nice to know I’m in the majority! “In a Time Past” (I’m one of those who can’t remember the Hawaiian names!) is my favorite episode to date for all of the afore-mentioned reasons!

    Keep up the good work with these Saturday morning H50 blogs, Wendie! It goes well with my coffee (and sweat pants!! LOL)!

    • Wendie Joy

      Thanks Lynnette for adding Five-0 Redux to your Saturday morning coffee break:) Iʻm with you about the show being a great way to escape- I’m actually looking forward to ending the week with H50 this season. It will be great to be able to enjoy the show on Friday after a long week- what a treat:) Thanks for always reading and commenting:) Aloha, Wendie

  • alavenia

    Great article Wendy, somehow I missed your poll, I enjoyed season 3 a lot, if I had answered which one was my favorite episode would had been “Olelo Pa’a”!!
    I have been watching Season 1 on TNT with my husband and it has been a lot of fun, we always have a great time, my husband mostly because of the scenery which he finds breathtaking, I do too but I can’t help to love my McGarrett and the gang!

    • Wendie Joy

      Hi Anita- glad you got your comment in- and your favorite was definitely in the top 3 episodes. I am really enjoying re-watching episodes on TNT as well. So fun to see H50 on two nights a week! Thanks for reading and commenting:) Aloha, Wendie

  • KAD1228

    I’m sorry to have missed the poll but my favorite episode was Hookman followed closely by Steve and Lucy and the Sunshine girls (there’s nothing more special than watching Steve interact with kids!). While I might not always like a character or actor I know the combination of them is what makes this show so fantastic. Jeff and his team are the greatest – the stunts are so realistic. But the core4 actors are the true hold of this show. Their chemistry is undeniable and their range of acting ability and emotions are par none.

    I’m looking so forward to more of your great, informative blogs Wendie and to the new season ahead! Mahalo nui loa for all you do!

    • Wendie Joy

      Hey Karen- no worries about missing the poll- glad you liked “Hookman” as well! It was definitely one of my favorites of this season. I agree with all of your comments- the characters are great, the action and stunts are great and add to not only the plots but the characters, and the chemistry is a win all around. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Aloha, Wendie

  • edmattes763

    Thanks for giving us the survey, Wendie, and the opportunity to voice our opinions. 133 is quite a great number of responses to go through. Finding out about Danny’s day on 9/11/2001 was a question I had always had, and I’m glad they showed us.

    • Wendie Joy

      Hi Ed:) Thanks for taking the survey and Iʻm with you on the 9/11 question about Danny- I thought they handled it very well:) Thanks for reading and supporting! Aloha, Wendie

  • Kate J

    Great blog, as usual, Wendie! I have yet another reason to look forward to Saturdays!

    I filled that survey out in a hurry last week and neglected to mention that one of the things I really appreciate about Hawaii Five-0 is the respectful relationship it has with the military. It’s a big part of the show, and I think it’s well done! That in addition to the beautiful O’ahu locations! And of course the cast and crew are top notch.

    Regarding one specific episode, I feel like an oddball. I LOVED episode 3.21 Imi Loko Ka ‘Uhane (Seek Within One’s Soul)! I think it had some of the funniest moments of the season, like when Steve jumped off the balcony into the pool to catch the baddie. And it had some of the most serious moments, too, with the Wo Fat story. For me it was fun to see the team portrayed through a 3rd party’s viewpoint. Maybe it’s one of those ideas you either love or hate.

    • Wendie Joy

      Thanks Kate! Glad you read and commented:) Your comment about how the show respects the military is such a great point! Thank you:) As a Navy wife, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I think they have been very good at not only presenting the military in a positive light, but also utilizing our military men and women as extras in the show. It’s always cool for me to see a real Navy chaplain in a “funeral service” or a real admiral or general “filling in” McG and Danno. Thanks for mentioning that.

      And while I didn’t really care for the type of reality show they set up for “Imi Loko Ka ‘Uhane” (meaning it seemed too light hearted for Five-0- maybe it should have been more like a 20/20 or 60 Minutes reporter) I would agree with you that seeing the Team through another person’s eyes was very interesting. And the ending with catching Wo Fat and his helicopter accident- oh, that part was really great drama and Five-0 at it’s best. Thanks for mentioning that episode:) Aloha, Wendie

  • Andrej

    Well done, Wendie. Even though your writing (apart from our beloved H5O) mostly relates to the beautiful state and people of Hawaii, it is always a pleasure to read.
    I live in Slovenia (a small European country) and went to the lengths of purchasing a separate cable subscription just to be able to watch Hawaii five-O as it is airs in the US (well, actually the evening after the original air date in the US and adapted to the CET).

    This show has made me laugh, cry, and shiver in anxiety together with the characters/cast. No, it is not perfect (some people we have loved or have loved to hate have left the show, not every storyline will appeal to everyone). But if a show makes you relive and recreate the feelings actually viewed on-screen, it has to be as close to perfect as it gets. There are cast members who make the show and the ones who ARE the show. The vast majority of them extremely likeable if not outright brilliant. I am also no acting expert, but to me, it is flawless. And I simply cannot see anyone else playing McG, Danno, Kono and Chin. Or Cath, Mommy McG, Kamekona etc. etc. Keep up the good work Wendie and keep up the good work H5O Ohana.

    • Wendie Joy

      Aloha Andrej- Thank you so much for reading and commenting from your lovely Slovenia! And I think the cast and crew of “Hawaii Five-0″ thank you for watching the show considering what lengths you have to go through to tune in! Awesome:) I think there might be a few Americans who may have to do what you did in order to watch Season 4 if CBS and Time Warner don’t come to some kind of compromise. I love what you said about the cast and their acting. For me, they are terrific at what they do and I enjoy watching them for sure. Thanks for supporting the show and for reading the Five-0 Redux:) Mahalo nui- Wendie

  • Diane

    Sorry I missed the survey as well. Great article. I think I would have a hard time picking my most favorite episode of season 3. I do have several, which some were already mentioned. I love this show, and I know there are others out there that are the same. I don’t usually agree with the complaining. It usually seems to be from the same people over and over, about the same thing over and over. I guess I just don’t understand why someone who has so many complaints, still watches the show. I think TPTB have a done a great job with this show, not everyone can be pleased with every episode. I prefer to accentuate the positive, not to the point of not seeing what is wrong, but just not complaining about it over and over.
    I also love how you give us history and facts about Hawaii and the actors that appear in the show other than the regulars. Thanks for teaching us Wendie.

    • Wendie Joy

      HI Diane- no worries about missing the survey- thanks for stating your opinion here:) I’m with you about accentuating the positives- I like the show, I enjoy writing about it because I feel like there’s always something I can bite into and discuss or analyze. I sometimes will point out things I didn’t like, but I *try* not to dwell on it– so pointing out the good always outweighs the bad with me. Obviously, if folks have problems with this show- like you said- they should just not watch, yes? :D Thanks Diane! Appreciate you reading and glad you like the information about Hawai’i and Hawai’i's actors:) Aloha, Wendie

  • Mimi Wilms

    Aloha Wendie, great article by the way. I’m a huge fan of H50 myself and they all do a fantastic job with producing the show and I can’t wait for the premiere of season 4 and hopefully more seasons to come in the future. Mahalo! :)

    • Wendie Joy

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting:) I’m with you on looking forward to season four! Thanks so much- Aloha, Wendie