Tuesday, September 7, 2004


NBC Wednesdays
8 - 9 pm EST

Whenever a show was in danger of losing its core audience, in danger of "jumping the shark", the cast would be shipped off to Hawaii... and thus jump the shark anyway.

So what should we make of a series that's not only situated in the 50th state, but is actually entitled 'Hawaii'?

Based on its description, it's a cop show that's trying for the 'Miami Vice' mojo. But I get the feeling it will end up more like such 'Vice' wannabes as 'Houston Knights', 'Hawaiian Heat', and 'The Insiders'.

Being set in Hawaii isn't really the curse; it's what you do with it. Great shows have been set in Hawaii in the past, and the producers of this show could have paid tribute to them by hinting that they all take place in the same universe. (Of course, that could have backfired. It might have been seen as wishful thinking.)

See, you don't need an actual crossover to make such connections. A mention can do the trick just as easily. 'Magnum P.I.' pulled that off with allusions to Steve McGarrett and the 'Hawaii Five-0' squad.

But what did 'Hawaii' do? They had carjackers running around in Jack Lord masks, thus negating the concept of a shared universe. A quick, cheap joke like that earns my curse for a quick cancellation.

Back in 1993, 'Big Wave Dave's' tried a similar stunt. But in that sitcom, there was a secondary character who was named Jack Lord.

Now, this could have been acceptable. Jack Lord had a movie career (although not a very memorable one), and they could have been just playing on that. I would have given them the benefit of the doubt for the sake of the TV Universe. But no, they have to push it home that Jack Lord was best known for his work in the long-running 'Hawaii Five-0'.

That tidbit of info doesn't serve as a link between 'Big Wave Dave's' and 'Hawaii', by the way. It's more a case of guilt by association.

Book 'em, Dan-O!


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