REASON TO WATCH: Inspired by the classic Jack Lord CBS drama, which gifted TV history a deathless phrase - "Book 'em, Danno."
WHEN/WHERE: Monday night at 10 on CBS / 2
Top of his class at Annapolis, and a decorated SEAL, McGarrett wants to assume investigation of the brutal murder of his father, John - played all too briefly by terrific veteran character actor William Sadler - so he agrees.
His team: Det. Danny Williams (Scott Caan), who had to relocate from New Jersey to be close to his daughter; Det. Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim), forced to leave the force because of trust issues with his commanding officers; and Chin's cousin Kona Kalakaua (Grace Park), ready to graduate from the police academy.
There's good and bad here, and being in a charitable mood, let's get the bad out of the way first. "Five-0" is too violent. You'll count 10, maybe 15 kills in the first four minutes. Add another seven or eight over the rest of the pilot, and the question will occur to you as it did to me: Are producers getting paid by the body count?
Beyond this, the news is all good. This is an excellent remake featuring two actors - Caan and O'Loughlin - who almost seem made for each other. As "Entourage" fans know, Caan is a dazzling talent with a gift for portraying prickly characters who draw blood and elicit contempt. He's a little more cuddly here, but just barely - a hotheaded tough guy who permanently misplaced his shaving kit and manners. Still, he's perfect for O'Loughlin - a cool, distant type who had trouble breaking through the screen in previous failed TV efforts for exactly that reason. Caan makes O'Loughlin more human, appealing, and you suddenly realize why CBS has stood by him through all these years; with "Five-0," the network's faith will likely be rewarded.
All the requisite beauty shots, but the two leads steal the show. A winner.