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Ghost Canyon

'Hawaii Five-0: The First Season'
(Alex O'Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / 2011 / CBS-Paramount)

Overview: The first season of the 2010 re-make of the fabled TV series features Alex O'Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Kim, Grace Park, Jean Smart, Michelle Borth.

DVD Verdict: WARNING: SPOILER ALERTS COMING! ... OK, let's get this straight from the star - Congratulations to Alex O'Loughlin for finally getting a successful show on prime time TV! And, as I'm on a roll here, and for garnering the recognition he so richly deserves within the business.

But, my worries were with him from the off as this reboot came in the aftermath of such other tried-but-failed TV shows as Knight Rider (half a season), Bionic Woman (one complete season), and Wonder Woman ... where not even the pilot was shown!

Anyway, moving on and let's get knee deep into 'Hawaii Five-0: The First Season,' the upgrade! With the original Jack Lord-run show running an incredible 12 years (did you know that?), kinda knowing this show was never built for that length of run, from the very first Pilot episode it takes ahold of the scenery and chews it up for good measure - in a good way, of course!

The 2010 show, given its name from Hawaii's status as our 50th state, is better edited, way better paced, and a lot more colorful than the oiginal for those fair-weathered remote control holders within the family. Like another good program 'NCIS,' the crimes are secondary to the interaction between the characters. All the actors are good here and they are not secondary to the show either. Far from it, for they all have their own plot lines, troubles, and come together as one tight unit like you'd hope.

For instance, Detective Danny "Danno" Williams' (Scott Caan) divorce is one pitful after another, which is hard to watch as he plays it so real that, well, either you know somebody whose been in his shoes, or that person was you! The beautiful Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park) has changed sex here in 2010, and is not just a gorgeous woman, but very intelligent and highly capable of taking care of herself re: hand to hand combact. Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) is a very honorable man, who was accused of taking bribes, but Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) knows (mostly in his heart) that he is innocent.

Throughout all 24 explosive episodes, (seemingly) every day in Hawaii is trouble in paradise for either the islands elite law enforcement unit or the residents/tourists that inhabit it! I mean, they say Detroit has the highest crime in the country, but surely somebody needs to take a look at this islands crime stats! Anyhoo, for the first few episodes McGarrett (O'Loughlin) finds himself continually trying to track down the elusive killers of his legendary father. And, as much as this gets old fast, at least episodes like 'Ohana,' 'Malama Ka Aina,' 'Lanakila,' 'Nalowale,' 'Ko'olauloa,' and 'Ho'apono' all propel the storyline by creating other things/adventures for him to focus on.

Shot entirely on location throughout Hawaii, this new series is spectacular, truly incredible with regard its cinematic layering regard some uber showboating visuals and pristine clarity - Blu ray, or not, thankfuly for us DVD viewers! And these in-depth, bold, vibrant colors and a rich scenic textures continue onwards with such episodes as 'Mana'o,' 'Po'ipu,' 'Heihei,' 'Palekaiko,' 'Hana 'A'a Makehewa,' 'Ke Kinohi,' 'He Kane Hewa'ole,' 'Kai E'e, and 'E Malama.'

Although Danny's effort to stay close to his young daughter (who is totally adorable) and his divorced wife (who is also so well orchestrated) are ongoing, and turn double-twisty towards the final episodes (especially the final one when new news comes down the line - by phone), another recurring theme is the redemption of Chin Ho. Cashiered from HPD for corruption, s mentioned above, we come to find out that he was actaully left holding the bag for another officer!

As for other characters that get a fair amount of air time, I also have high regard for both Taylor Wily as Kamekona and Mark Dacascos as Wu Fat. Giving props to the old show in adding these characters, this 2010 show is really a forward motions concept, good for a few seasons, me thinks. And luckily for all us fans, that iconic first "BOOM" comes in at the beginning of each show and we're off into that brilliant theme song. Gotta love the classics!

And as the final third of the episodes play out, 'Powa Maka Moana,' 'Loa Aloha,' 'Ne Me'e Laua Na Paio,' 'Ma Ke Kahakai,' 'Ho'opa'I,' 'Ho'ohuli Na'au,' and 'Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau,' and the arguments and banter between both Steve and Danny get more and more funnier! Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if most of it is unscripted and improved between them both!

And come the final episode, 'Oia'i'o,' sure the Five-O team get busted up for something that didn't happen the way that everyone assumed had (and, my God, Jean Smart is SUCH a great actress!), but the second season opener sure wraps that b/s up in a brillaint manner. Save for his obsession with finding his fathers killer, who evades again and is obviously to be the focal effort of the second season.

As for the Special Features, well, there's a monster amount of goodness there. In total there are eight (8) featurettes that include a lot of promotional material through to interviews and even some CBS Launch Promos! And ALL presented in HD, of course. My favorite featurettes include the one that gives us a comprehensive look at the making of the pilot episode (Picture Perfect), another that gives comparisons between the old show and the new one (Legacy), and another that takes a look at re-scoring the opening theme. [RT] These are all Full-Screen Presentations (1.77:1), and come with the Special Features of:

Shore Lines: The Story Of Season 1
Aloha Action!
Grace Park's Hawaiin Tour
Picture Perfect: The Making Of The Pilot
Re-Scoring The Theme Song
Inside Comic-Con
Inside The Box
CBS Launch Promos
Cast And Crew Commentaries On Select Episodes
Deleted Scenes
Gag Reel