Hawaii Five-0

Common Sense Media says

Lots of guns, gore in violent remake of classic cop show.

Age(i)

2
3
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show is about fighting/stopping crime, but the characters don't like following regulations: The Hawaii Five-0 unit was formed to take out the worst criminal elements, apparently without regard for due process or constitutional rights. Search warrants are unnecessary, and when in doubt, the characters shoot first and ask questions later (that is, if the suspects survive).

Positive role models

Steve McGarrett is brave, loyal, daring, and willing to put his life on the line to bring down the bad guys. He's true to his pals and willing to give good people the benefit of the doubt. But criminals and terrorists should beware of making him mad, because McGarrett will shoot with little provocation. He's a character who works best in a world where everything is black or white, good or bad. The show's cast is diverse overall, and much has been made of the fact that co-star Grace Park was cast in a role that went to a man in the original series.

Violence

Well-trained commandos frequently take on equally well-trained terrorists and criminal gangs using automatic weapons, attack helicopters, and some intense martial arts moves. Lots of gun battles, and people are shot and some die (albeit generally quickly and fairly bloodlessly). There is also sexually tinged violence: A woman in a tight, short Halloween costume is chained to a workbench begging a killer to let her go; he ignores her pleas and begins doing something terrible to her face that splatters him with blood. There are dead bodies shown, bloody and mauled.

Sex

Plenty of women in bikinis. An undercover officer must take off her dress, ostensibly to prove she isn't carrying a wire, but the bad guys take the opportunity to leer at her in her underwear. Unmarried adults talk about sex and seduction, and kiss before the camera cuts away and implied sex takes place offscreen. The camera sometimes pans slowly up the bodies of female victims as they beg for mercy or scream in terror.

Language

Words include "fricking" and "son of a bitch."

Consumerism

The characters often use iPhones and iPads, and the show promotes the U.S. Navy enthusiastically, with characters often making statements like serving in the Navy was a father's "duty to his country."

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters often relax with beers at the end of the day, though they are careful to avoid alcohol when on duty.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Hawaii Five-0 is an often-violent cop show -- and a more intense remake of the classic TV series -- that focuses on an elite unit of crime fighters who are tasked with bringing down the worst elements of Hawaii’s underground, with very little in the way of rules or regulations (or regards to civil rights) to get in their way. There's a lot of shooting first and asking questions later -- though not everyone survives the shooting part. Expect lots of gunfights, often using automatic weapons, and some deaths. As the series has progressed, it's grown more violent, and more likely to focus on murder than other crimes. Viewers will see car accidents, scantily clad women in jeopardy, serial killers, dead bodies, violence that causes blood to splatter everywhere, and so on. There are also autopsies with bloody, gory dead bodies on a table, and graphic photos of their injuries displayed above. Beach scenes are often an excuse for the camera to leer at women in bikinis. Other than the name, the location, and -- of course -- the theme music, there's little connection between this series (which, like most contemporary crime shows, also includes some drinking, language, and skimpy outfits) and the original.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), a former Navy SEAL, returns home to Hawaii to bring down the terrorist who killed his father. When he arrives, the governor (Jean Smart) offered him a job: heading up an elite new crime-fighting unit designed to bring down the worst offenders in the islands. "Your rules," she promised him, "my backing, no red tape." In other words, McGarrett had free rein to hunt down the bad guys with no regard for standard cop procedure. He could shoot first and ask questions later. But McGarrett's carte blanche was cut short when the governor was murdered, and the new governor had much less patience with his freewheeling ways. Now McGarrett acts more like a traditional cop, chasing down clues in each week's case with the help of his team: Danny "Danno" Williams (Scott Caan), a New Jersey expatriate who's no fan of the beach; Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim), who was caught up in a corruption scandal and forced out of the Honolulu Police Department; and Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park), Chin Ho's cousin, the least experienced team member who's eager to make a name for herself. Other recurring characters include Dr. Max Bergman (Masi Oka), the chief medical examiner who performs autopsies under the direction of the Five-0 team, Lieutenant Catherine Rollins (Michelle Borth), Steve McGarrett's sometimes-girlfriend and Navy intelligence officer, and Kamekona (Taylor Wily), a shave ice truck owner and informant who's chummy with McGarrett.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Hawaii sure seems dangerous these days. The bad guys are all packing automatic weapons, and spooky serial killers are on the loose. Good thing the HAWAII FIVE-0 unit is there to stop this unprecedented crime wave. In this cop show (a remake of the classic TV series with one of the best-known theme songs ever), McGarrett treats law enforcement like a military engagement: Shoot first, and shoot to kill (and thanks to his deal with the governor, there are no pesky reports to fill out afterward). As the show has progressed, it's gotten more violent than ever, more like CSI than a shoot-em-up cop show, with violent, gory, and bizarre murders committed on comely young female victims.

Don't look for realism here. This show is all about the action, and there's plenty of it. There isn't really much connection to the original series, either. The names are the same, and the location, and -- of course -- the music. But otherwise, this is just another cop show, albeit one with particularly choice casting, particularly for guest stars and recurring minor characters.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the show's cops go about their business. What do you think about the idea of "good guys" who aren't obligated to follow standard procedure? Is this a good way to eliminate the worst criminals, or a slippery slope where rights are involved?

  • How does this series compare to the original? What's similar and what's different? Why do you think producers opted for a remake?

  • What's the impact of the show's violence? How does it compare to that in other crime/cop shows you've seen?

TV details

Cast:Alex O'Loughlin, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, Scott Caan
Network:CBS
Genre:Action
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

This review of Hawaii Five-0 was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old Written byGaga4GaGa May 29, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Maika'i Hana kaeka

Ahh, Hawaii Five-O. Ever since season three of Castle has ended, this has been my go-to show. And to my suprise, it is actually really good!! Of course, it has barely anything on Castle, but we can't all be satisfied. Ok, violence. It shows more gore than Castle; the corpses are almost always shown, most of them gory. They also show drowned, strangled, and suffocated corpses. McGarret is not always rational; often he acts before he thinks. Kono is shown to be a clever, resourceful woman and is treated like one of the guys. Chin is her (really hot!) cousin that is always there for her. Yes, women are shown in teeny bikinis, but it's Hawaii for pete's sake. You know, with beaches and such?

What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old Written byemilymeredith101 December 26, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

ten and up!

This is really good. it has some fighting in it but other than that is it great.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byTheSuperman765 April 8, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

i rate this title IFFY for 13+

The good stuff

*
Role models:
Steve McGarrett is brave, loyal, daring, and willing to put his life on the line to bring down the bad guys. He’s true to his pals and willing to give good people the benefit of the doubt. But criminals and terrorists should beware of making him mad, because McGarrett will shoot with little provocation. He’s a character who works best in a world where everything is black or white, good or bad. The show's cast is diverse overall, and much has been made of the fact that co-star Grace Park was cast in a role that went to a man in the original series.

What to watch out for

*
Messages:
The show is about fighting/stopping crime, but the characters don't like following regulations: The Hawaii Five-0 unit was formed to take out the worst criminal elements, apparently without regard for due process or constitutional rights. Search warrants are unnecessary, and when in doubt, the characters shoot first and ask questions later (that is, if the suspects survive).

*
Violence:
Well-trained commandos frequently take on equally well-trained terrorists and criminal gangs using automatic weapons, attack helicopters, and some intense martial arts moves. Lots of gun battles, and several people are shot -- some die (albeit relatively quickly and fairly bloodlessly).

*
Sex:
Plenty of women are seen in bikinis. An undercover officer must take off her dress, ostensibly to prove she isn't carrying a wire, but the bad guys take the opportunity to leer at her in her underwear.

*
Language:
Words include “fricking” and “son of a bi-ch."
*
Consumerism:
One character often uses in iPhone, and the show promotes the U.S. Navy.

*
Drinking, drugs, & smoking:
Characters often relax with beers at the end of the day.

What other families should know
Too much violence

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