3 ways that Hawaii Five-0 was better than the original series

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Hawaii Five-0

“Ka lā’au kumu ‘ole o Kahilikolo” — It’s Thanksgiving, and while Junior and Tani track down the thief who robbed his parents’ home, Five-0 investigates the murder of a beloved philanthropist and the theft of his ultra-valuable koa tree. Also, Danny moves in with McGarrett, on HAWAII FIVE-0, Friday, Nov. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured L to R: Meaghan Rath as Tani Rey, Alex O’Loughlin as Steve McGarrett, Scott Caan as Danny “Danno” Williams, and Beulah Koale as Junior Reigns. Photos: Karen Neal/CBS©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved (“Ka lā’au kumu ‘ole o Kahilikolo” is Hawaiian for “The Trunkless Tree of Kahilikolo”)

The Hawaii Five-0 series finale airs on CBS this Friday, after almost a decade of a show that was not only a TV crime drama fan favorite—but also was able to surpass its iconic 1986 predecessor.

TV reboots are lucky to get out of their first season, let alone last ten seasons and become one of their network’s most reliable hits. But that’s what happened when the Eye announced Five-0 was coming back in 2010 with Alex O’Loughlin (Moonlight, The Shield) in the role of Steve McGarrett. It caught on immediately, and lasted just two seasons less than the original series starring Jack Lord, with over 230 episodes.

Of course, television has changed quite a bit since the first Hawaii Five-0 premiered in 1968. For that and other reasons, the 2010 version of Five-0 has ended up being better than the original in a number of respects.

Check out these ways that the Hawaii Five-0 reboot beat the original series:

1. It was more of an ensemble

There was no doubt that Jack Lord was the star of the previous Hawaii Five-0. In many episodes, the other characters that worked with Steve McGarrett on the task force felt like they were just props to support him as he ultimately solved the case of the week. While some installments did focus on different main cast members, Lord was always the driving force behind the show and Steve was always the unquestioned center.

(This was to some extent intentional; per The Independent, Lord also had a financial stake in the series, and thus insisted that all the other cast members were “featured guests” rather than his co-stars. Even James MacArthur, who played Steve’s right-hand man Danny Williams, only got a “with” credit in the seasons that he appeared.)

In the current Hawaii Five-0, while Steve is still the head of the task force and the show’s most dynamic character, things have always been much more well-balanced. All of the other characters have gotten fleshed out, and all of them get episodes or moments where they get to be the hero, too. The unit truly does feel like the ohana that the show wants us to believe it is, and that made watching this series more enjoyable than the one that came before.

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