Outtakes Online: Fan-built ‘Five-0′ a challenge

Apr. 4, 2014 | 2 Comments

BY MIKE GORDON / mgordon@staradvertiser.com

One of the most unique episodes of network television will air Friday when CBS and “Hawaii Five-0” unveil a story that was created with plot elements chosen by fans.

reunion entrance

Actors Jorge Garcia, as Jerry Ortega, and Daniel Dae Kim, as Chin Ho Kelly, arrive at their high school reunion. (Courtesy CBS)

Dubbed “Fan-Built Five-0,” the episode has been in the works since last October, when fans were allowed to vote on the scene of the crime, the victim, the murder weapons, the evidence, the suspect and the take-down.

Fans chose Chin Ho Kelly’s high school reunion for the scene of the crime — which was shot at Roosevelt High School — and they decided to kill the victim with a 5-inch stiletto heel. The evidence? A toy rocket. The suspect? A struggling illusionist, who will be played by Rob Corddry.

And the “Five-0” fans decided that the takedown would happen in a giant maze. “Five-0” shot the twisting and turning scene at Dole Plantation’s Giant Pineapple Garden maze but merged it with scenes shot at a home in Nuuanu. The maze is the largest in the world and features about 2.5 miles of pathways.

During the next selection round, they got to chose which of five deadly shoes looked as lethal as it did stylish as well as wardrobe items for Chin Ho Kelly and Kono Kalakaua. The emphasis was on black.

The next selection phase saw Hawaii band The Green emerge the winner. Its song “Good One” will be featured during the episode. (Read band member Zion Thompson’s thoughts here.)

Finally, fans chose the title last month: “Ho‘i Hou,” which is Hawaiian for “Reunited.”

Peter Lenkov, executive producer of “Five-0,” said the fans forced his writing team to approach the episode with a different mind-set. But Lenkov, who answered a few questions on the episode, thinks fans will enjoy what his team came up with.

HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER: How difficult was it for the writers to blend all the elements?

Chin exit limo

Daniel Dae Kim, as Chin Ho Kelly, arrives at his high school reunion in the fan-built episode of “Hawaii Five-0.” (Courtesy CBS)

PETER LENKOV: “It actually was an incredibly fun challenge. Usually when you’re breaking a story, you’re starting with a blank page. With this, it was more like doing an improv show — we were given all of these random elements and we had to find a way to make them work. We found ourselves asking questions that might never have come to mind before: How do you kill someone with a stiletto? What would make a toy rocket evidence? It just made us step up our game in thinking outside the box. I think fans are gonna love how we made it all come together.”

SA: How wacky are those elements?

PL: “Not ‘wacky,’ ‘challenging.’ When we were coming up with the lists for the fans to choose from, we really weren’t trying to pick things that would make a specific story. We wanted the fans to have the freedom to choose. We just went for elements that would be the most fun or challenging to work with.

I’ll admit there were a few items we were hoping the fans would stay away from, but they choose fantastic elements, and I think we stepped up to the challenge. The thing that surprised me most of all is that while the elements are ‘diverse,’ we really found a way to make them organic to the story.

If you didn’t know it was a fan-built episode, you couldn’t tell. It’s a testament to our fans knowing the show so well and choosing great elements for us to work with.”

SA: Why would you want to go to all the trouble to create a fan-built episode?

PL: “We are incredibly lucky to have the greatest fans in the world. Their passion and support of our show is why we get to come to work everyday and why we’re soon to enter our fifth season. With support like that, you can’t help but want to think of ways to give back to the fans. When the idea for a fan-built episode was floated around, we knew we had to do it. It’s just a chance for us to show our gratitude to our amazing fan-base and let them be a part of the show we all love.”

“Hawaii Five-0” airs at 8 p.m. Fridays on CBS.
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Mike Gordon covers film and television in Hawaii for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Email him at mgordon@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter. Read his weekly “Outtakes” column Sundays in the Star-Advertiser.

  • Angela Gerstner

    I absolutely love “Hawaii Five-0″ and I’m very happy to be part of that fan-base Peter has mentionned. This show is simply the best – so it deserves to have the best fans ;-)

    A huge Mahalo to the producers of “Hawaii Five-0″ for taking on this challenge and for allowing the fans to participate in building an episode of our favorite show. All of us are very excited and curious to see what the fantastic writers of H50 have come up with!

  • pauldunn1

    Excellent points in your article. I thought the ep was excellent and included something I voted on. They continue to provide a great show.
    Paul