‘Hawaii Five-0′ ends epic week at Sunset on the Beach
NOTE: Click here for complete “Hawaii Five-0″ Sunset on the Beach coverage.
BY MIKE GORDON / firstname.lastname@example.org
With thousands of adoring fans on hand to share the moment, the cast of “Hawaii Five-0” finished a milestone week unlike any in the history of the CBS show — one that started with the first scenes of their historic 100th episode and ended with the show’s annual Sunset on the Beach celebration of the new season.
The beach premiere, which gives fans an adavance screening ahead of the network premiere each year, is the show’s way of saying mahalo for the support it receives, both from fans and everyone else who lives in Hawaii.
But the 100th episode — a rarity in television — made Saturday’s celebration at Queen’s Surf Beach a special event. The long parade of celebrities who walked the red carpet was proof of that. All the major stars were on hand and there were even actors from the original series, which ran from 1968 to 1980. To the delight of fans who lined nearby barriers, the red carpet arrival took 30 minutes longer than previous years.
Each of the actors expressed gratitude for the fans but none with more heart than Alex O’Loughlin, who heads the current cast as iconic lawman Steve McGarrett.
“People let us into their homes,” he said. “We block their streets off when they’d like to get their kids to school. They let us blow up their cars. They let us trample their doors in. They’re the unsung heroes. Without our Hawaii ohana, we don’t have a show.”
The crowd, which police estimated at 5,000 and included fans who traveled to Oahu from around the world, suffered through hot and humid conditions as well as flying termites. An O’Loughlin fan club brought members from Australia, Belgium, Holland, Ireland and the United States.
“This is unbelievable,” said actor Ian Anthony Dale, who plays Adam Noshimuri. “I’ve been told what to expect by many friends and they could never have prepared me for what I am actually experiencing right now.”
The most stalwart fans began staking out spots on the beach as early as 8 a.m. Friday but they were rewarded at midday Saturday when “Five-0” executive producer Peter Lenkov arrived with bottled water and Liliha Bakery Coco Puffs with “Hawaii Five-0 100” written on them with frosting.
Visiting with fans has become as much a part of Sunset on the Beach as the screening, said Lenkov, who quizzed them on “Five-0” trivia and handed out T-shirts, hats and scripts.
“I think their passion for the show is the same as mine,” Lenkov said later as he arrived on the red carpet. “We’re kindred spirits and I look at them like family. They’ve been with us since the beginning. They’ve been with us through thick and thin and really love the show. I consider them partners in this thing.”
Actor Scott Caan, who stars as Danny “Danno” Williams, said the beach premiere is a reminder of the impact “Five-0” has on people.
“It makes you feel good,” he said. “You do so many episodes every year you kind of lose track — if what you’re doing is good. But people show up and they’re into it and it helps you remember that you’re doing something people like.”
Co-star Grace Park, who plays Kono Kalakaua, reached a similar conclusion.
“I think we’re used to this event being huge,” she said. “I’m going through hair and makeup and fittings during the day. My head’s in another place. It’s a work event. But to look out at this, it’s pretty amazing.”
For actor Jorge Garcia, the experience offered other reminders: When he starred on the popular ABC TV series “Lost,” which also shot in Hawaii, he attended similar Sunset on the Beach celebrations hosted by the show. But “Lost” ended in 2010 and Garcia is a newcomer to “Five-0,” having turned a few guest appearances last season into a regular role this year.
“It’s kind of surreal,” Garcia said. “This may have a bigger impact on me later in the evening when I decompress at home.”
He said he felt like he joined the 100th episode party just in time.
“It’s been a fun couple of days celebrating,” he said. “I just got here and I feel lucky that I got grandfathered in on the 100th. And now we’re here at the premiere. That’s a rush.”
Daniel Dae Kim, who stars as Chin Ho Kelly, got a bit too much rush. He ripped his suit jacket when he jumped over a barrier to greet fans. He didn’t mind, though.
“There are double barriers here and a lot of the fans don’t get signatures and pictures so I try to jump over them and get to those folks who couldn’t get a better seat,” he said. “But I don’t think my suit was ready for that.”
But Mark Dacascos, the martial arts master who plays the evil terrorist Wo Fat, kept clearing the barriers for fans, then posing for selfies and signing autogrpahs. He said his jacket was fine but his muscles were sore.
“They put so much effort into getting here,” he said. “This is our way to give back.”
Mike Gordon covers film and television in Hawaii for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter. Read his weekly “Outtakes” column Sundays in the Star-Advertiser.