Thursday, January 24, 2008

PTL Club -- Hawaii Style

It is time to Praise The Lord -- Jack Lord -- with today's release of Hawaii Five-0 Season 3 on DVD.

Some highlights of the first two seasons:

  • It's Danny Williams. Dan-O has not been invented yet.
  • Repeated perfromances of the 60s Hawaiian tune It Ain't No Big Thing, including an intentionaly bad one by Sal Mineo
  • Latin revolutionairies! In Hawaii?
  • An evil dictator coming to the islands, opposed by the local exile community, who have Hispanic names. Can you say based on Ferdinand Marcos, Philippines?
  • Drug freak-outs
  • Biochemical terrorism by proto-unabomber
  • Ricardo Montalban as a Japanese bad guy who deserted the Japanese Army at Pearl Harbor!
  • Capt Stubing as a local crime lord
  • William Windom with a record-setting scenery-chew in McGarret's office, picking up every single knick-knack in the office and examining them while explaining to The Lord that he's just in Hawaii for pleasure, not safecracking.
  • Hot Lips Houlihan (Loretta Swit) being insufferably ... hot
  • And of course, various Wo Fat intrigues

And now, a revisionist imaging of the title credits:

By today's standards, Five-0 is not a very realistic cop show. Would a guy who meets with the governor all the time really be out solving crimes and apprehending perps? He'd probably have his staff take care of that. But not The Lord.

Maybe that's because his staff is incapable of solving crimes. When the team sits around the big glass board that The Lord draws upon with markers, only He can connect the dots. Not Danny, Kono or Chin Ho.

Who finds the clues? None but The Lord. When he visits the crime scene alone, he is usually presented with a a big fat clue. A little boy comes along. "Gee Meeester, I saw a guy leaving here last night. It was kinda dark, but I think he was 5'11 1/2, 215 lbs, has a mole on his left cheek, shoe size is 10-and-a-half, and his social security number starts with 4." Who apprehends the criminal everytime? Say it with me y'all: The Lord.

While fairly ridiculous, Five-0 is vastly entertaining, in part due to Lord's unintentionally campy acting style. Behind the scenes, his intensity burned too bright for cast and crew:

From TV Guide, via the Hawaii Five-0 Homepage:

"Let's face it," he said. "This is Lord's last chance to hit it, and he's uptight. He wasn't the first choice for the part, but we're stuck with him now. He owns a piece of it, with Freeman. Just do your job and stay loose -- and keep away from that airport detail."

Another great feature of the show is each week's guest criminal, and the assorted bit players, whether local folks just being themselves, or various rising/falling supporting thesps. While Five-0 can be hokey, the guest stars almost always turn in good performances.

Some Cult fave actors to watch for in Season 3:

Barry Atwater (The Night Stalker)
Don Stroud (Bloody Mama, Angel Unchained)
Marianne McAndrew (Bat People, Hello Dolly!)
Royal Dano (Western character actor)
John Marley (a little thing in the Godfather, something about a horse's head)
Jock Mahoney (Glorystompers!)
Joy Bang (all-time great stripper name, but she wasn't a stripper. Great in Night of the Cobra Woman)
Donna Kai Benz (The Challenge, Pray for Death)
Paul Carr (Brute Corps, Dirt Gang, Severed Arm, Sisters of Death, Bat People, Truck Stop Women)
Sabrina Scharf (Hell's Angels on Wheels, Easy Rider, California State Senate)
Khigh Dhiegh (Wo Fat)

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