Blu-Ray Review: CBS’s ‘Hawaii Five-O’ Was Made For HD

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CHICAGO – I wonder if a show so founded on its beautiful people in a beautiful setting as CBS’s “Hawaii Five-O” would have even made it to a second season in the days before HD. Sure, there have been shows like this that have been hits before (most of the nighttime soaps of the ’80s) but it’s undeniable that the look of this update of “Five-O” is one of its most addictive qualities. It’s nice to take a trip to the islands after a long Monday at work. Now you can do so every night of the week (or for about 18 hours straight) with the recently-released DVD and Blu-ray set of the first season. Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

Fall 2011 hits like “Unforgettable” and “Person of Interest” might want to view “Hawaii Five-O” as a cautionary tale. This show was a breakout hit around a year ago but by the end of the 2010-11 season there were honest questions as to whether or not it would make it to another year. What happened? How did “Hawaii Five-O” go from hit to bubble watch? I think viewers realized that the show was a little creatively bankrupt and that the characters weren’t interesting enough to make up for the fact that the mystery-writing wasn’t as strong as some other crime shows on the network (like “C.S.I.,” “N.C.I.S.,” or “The Mentalist”). The fact is there’s a glut of mystery-of-the-week shows and a program needs more of its own identity to stand out and “Hawaii Five-O” too often blends in with the crowd.

Having said that, it’s a DAMN good-looking crowd. There are some people who would be willing to pick up this release just to have Grace Park or Alex O’Loughlin in HD. The show almost works better when it plays up the lush beauty of its titular locale than when it tries to take itself seriously. The transfers on the new Blu-ray release are expectedly stellar. And the release includes a remarkable amount of special features, especially for a show that seemed at one point like it might be on life support. This is a quality enough release that it could make on-the-fence fans more loyal to this series and help keep it on the air. There may be another crest to this escapist wave.

Hawaii Five-O: First Season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 20th, 2011
Hawaii Five-O: First Season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 20th, 2011
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

Catch the wave of the re-imagined hit drama in its sizzling, landmark first season! Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) leads an elite crime-fighting force, cracking the island’s toughest cases while also tracking down the elusive killers of his legendary father. Joining the intensely driven McGarrett are by-the-book Detective Danny “Danno” Williams (Scott Caan); former protégé of McGarrett’s father, Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim); and ex-pro surfer now rookie cop-with-attitude Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park). Throughout all 24 explosive episodes, every day is trouble in paradise for Hawaii’s most elite law enforcement unit.

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

“Hawaii Five-O: The First Season” stars Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Grace Park, and Daniel Dae Kim. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 20th, 2011. content director Brian Tallerico

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