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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 11, 2010

'Lost' ends strong as 'Five-0' tries again


By Lee Cataluna

It's sad that the TV series "Lost" is filming its last season in Hawai'i, but it's good that it's coming to a strong end. Too many beloved television series hang on well past the limits of the basic plot and long after the main actors have become jaded and uninterested. There are so many examples. Too often, when a series finally goes off the air, it's almost a relief because what was left was just a shadow of the former glory. But "Lost" still has enough fuel in the tank to end as good as it began.

Hopefully, 30 years from now, no one will get the bright idea to remake it with a new cast and an updated script. What could ever top the original?

Which brings us to yet another attempt at remaking the iconic "Hawaii Five-0." While certainly everyone wishes them well, there isn't much of a track record in resurrecting that series. Every few years, a new production company surfaces with big plans. In 1997, a new "Hawaii Five-0" actually got off the ground with some of the old gang on board: James MacArthur, Harry Endo, Kam Fong, Moe Keale, Herman Wedemeyer, even Zulu. Inexplicably, the actor picked to play the lead among all those great co-stars was Gary Busey. Needless to say, the series didn't fly. It got Busey'd.

Sadly, many of the Five-0 originals have since died; not that cameos from the first cast are required for a successful remake, but it is cool to honor the source that way after all, remakes are hard.

More than a few local creative types have mused about putting together a modern-day Checkers and Pogo, which would pretty much be guaranteed to be disastrous. The charm of that show was simplicity and wonder of Hawai'i kids in the 1970s. Today's children would not sit still for two grown men throwing pies at each other's faces. Today's parents would not see much value in a show that was purely entertainment with little college-prep content. The original was such a product of its time, and, without that framework and that cast, it would just be an old title to something very different.

So hopefully this latest attempt at a Five-0 redux will balance all the expectations of modern audiences with the authentic cornball assuredness of Jack Lord and his crew. It would be great to get another hit series like "Lost" filming here, but "Lost" is one of a kind.

So was "Hawaii Five-0."