To begin, the locale was terrific. Each sixty minute show was shot on location on the island of Oahu. For people who had never visited Hawaii, and for those who had been there (like me) it was special to see the beautiful scenery week after week as each exciting plot unfolded.
A second factor was the story lines. There was lots of drama and the bad guys were, well – really bad. The Hawaii Five-O police force had detectives who were of Hawaiian extraction, a fact that added an air of authenticity to each program.
And then there was McGarrett. Played by actor Jack Lord (he had a role in the first James Bond movie as an American CIA agent) McGarrett, actually Steve McGarrett was the head of the local police department and the show’s protagonist. In his role as the “primary good guy” Jack Lord was intense and dynamic. In fact, he performed his role so well that many viewers began to strongly associate him with the character he played and forgot that he was “just acting.”
Interestingly, the cast for this outstanding show enjoyed one of the great perks ever provided to TV actors. In addition to being paid handsomely for each episode, the performers got to work — and live – in a true tropical paradise.
The show had its run during the height of the “Cold War” and one of the recurring “bad guy” characters was a sinister Chinese agent working for “The People’s Republic of China” that McGarrett could never capture.
Other antagonists were evil and despicable, as well, and McGarrett, along with his Hawaiian detectives would fan out all over the island (offering lots of great scenery) in an attempt to corner and catch the bad guy.
There have been many, many other “cop” shows over the years, some of which have been first-rate. But, in my opinion, Hawaii Five-O was – and is – the best TV cop show of all time. Now, if my programming provider would find a way to bring back these awesome shows, I would become one very happy subscriber.
In fact, I’m not sure if there has ever been re-runs of Hawaii Five-O. If that’s the case, the time to “right this wrong” is now!