Saturday, August 07, 2010

Hawaii 5 0 -- then, now, and the one that didn't sell

CBS premieres a new version of HAWAII 5-0 this fall. Unlike most shows today, this one will have opening titles (albeit shorter) and a new version of the familiar Ventures stirring theme. You can preview it here. But first, the original 60s version and a rare version from a 1998 pilot that didn't sell.

Which do you like best?





55 comments:

Nat G said...

New one's not bad, original is best....

but what I want to know is who thought "You know who the modern equivalent of Jack Lord is? Gary Busey!"

iain said...

Agreed, the original opening credits & theme are the best, but the newest version does deserve points for having a shot of Grace Park in a bikini. Certainly better than a shot of Gary Busey or Zulu in a bikini, anyway.

YEKIMI said...

My vote goes for the original...I can play that at various sports games I announce, at parties and clubs when I DJ and if the dance floor is dead that always seems to get them moving. And invariably, when I was in radio and played it at the few oldies stations I worked at, I could always count on someone calling up and asking what the name of the group was that did that song. {Yes, unlike stations of today, I DID answer the phone when someone called in. Guess it's sorta hard for a computerized voice tracked "personality" to do that nowadays.]

D. McEwan said...

Well it's easy to see why the 1998 version didn't sell. Gary Busey? What were they thinking? (I'd ask whatr Gary was thinking, but we all know by now that "thinking" isn't part of Gary's skill set.)

And "Elsie Sniffen"? Or, as we asked on the playground: "What Elsie Sniffen?"

YEKIMI said...

Oh, and a Friday question: In your DJ days, ever have a favorite song that you just couldn't get enough of and if the PD or MD would have let you, you would have played over and over? And ever play a song that you thought was going to be a huge hit and it absolutely stiffed...and vice-versa?

Gary said...

Soooooooo, when Danica McKellar turned up as Elsie Snuffin in season 4 of the West Wing, her name was 99% borrowed from Ms. Sniffen, who now goes by Kayla Blake and appeared on another Aaron Sorkin show, Sports Night? Cool name. As for 5-0, the original tune remains the best tho the new version has some plusses. PLUS having Grace Park, in any form, is another plus.

Aaron said...

CBS has thankfully decided to trash the "new theme" shown above and replace it with one that is essentially the original with better audio quality (a little harder in spots, but there's no arguing it's the one we know and love).

New Theme

JT said...

Is it just me or are those the most caucasian looking Hawaiians in the '98 version?

The original version had legitamate looking natives, but jeez even the newest one, the gals have '97 "Rachel Green" haircuts.

DonBoy said...

I love how on the CBS site you have to watch a commercial before they let you watch the commercial you came there to watch.

hazmatzak said...

Gary, good to know I'm not the only one wondering about the whole Elsie Sniffen/Snuffen thing.

Courtesy of Alan Sepinwall, a video of the re-recording session of the "new old" theme, including a slightly better sub-second clip of Grace Park in a bikini.

That Neil Guy said...

Hey! I already did this post: http://filmscoremonthly.com/daily/article.cfm/articleID/6526/Book-em/

It includes a couple of extra bonus versions of Morton Stevens' theme (The Ventures popularized it with a hit recording, but Stevens is the genius behind it).

Will Teullive said...

The second Five-O failed because Busey kept forgetting his lines...he left them back home on his night stand.

WV: turdingr.."An excruciating bathroom experience triggering a 911 call" or "Only the best damned porcelain money can buy!"

Max Clarke said...
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Max Clarke said...
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Max Clarke said...

The new one is good. Had to run it a couple of times more to adjust.

The old one was iconic, and I like it more, but the new intro is faithful to the old. They did a good job.

As for the show, afraid it will be a CSI/007/Miami Vice/24 spin-off. At least they're spinning in Hawaii.

Five-Oh Fan said...

In the first new episode, will the origin of "five-oh" be explicitly explained so people won't continue to think it has something to do with Hawaii being the 50th State?

KEN LEVINE said...

Hey, no bad mouthing Elsie Sniffen. She guested in BIG WAVE DAVE'S and was fabulous.

Anonymous said...

The new one needs more Grace Park. Than it would be the best.

Vermonter17032 said...

No contest. The original is the best. Though I must concur on the Grace Park in a bikini comment.

James said...

Cancelled by Christmas.

Let's bring back an old show and do it again. That ALWAYS works!

Susan D-L said...

I'm a 60s baby so the original is my favorite. But I like the other two versions, and their nods to the original.

I love Grace Park, but not for the same reasons as the bikini crowd. But I bet Alex. O could rock a Speedo. (Hint to CBS execs.)

Gary said...

The newest of the new seems to be the truest of the true. I did like Brian Setzer's rendition, I've always enjoyed his stuff and as an old drummer, playing along to 5-0 is a lot of fun. I'd love to hear Dick Dale's take on this tune, and I imagine he's done it. I noticed that Leslie Nielson and James Gregory were in the orig. pilot. Gregory was terrific in Barney Miller as Insp. Lugar. Anyway, a fun run with the tunes. I don't think anyone bad mouthed Elsie, Ken. We love the names, Sniffen and Snuffin.

From Wiki: The name of this television series comes from the fact that Hawaii was the 50th state to join the United States.

Mary Stella said...

Sorry, guys -- Less Grace Park, more, more more of Alex O'Loughlin.

MrEd said...

Any other Dallas people out there? We weren't allowed to watch the original Hawaii 5-0. It was condidered "too racy" back then, so it aired at 10:30 on Sunday night instead. That's messed up.

DrBear said...

Kenny, and you a writer ... how about some love for Morton Stevens, who wrote the music?

John Pearley Huffman said...

The Ventures' version of the Hawaii Five-O theme was a cover of the version used to open the TV series.

The original TV theme was written by Morton Stevens and performed by an assortment of studio musicians. They happened to do a brilliant job.

The new Hawaii Five-O won't use the music you featured in that trailer (which is way too heavy on tin-plated guitar). They've gone back and re-recorded the theme using a somewhat modified version of the original Morton Stevens arrangement.

That re-recording is featured in these videos posted by CBS.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bto4C9xa_n0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBteQbxPYd4

For fun, here's a mash-up of visual elements from both the 1960s and 2010 versions of the Five-O opening set to the original music. It actually works very well and the new producers should let the theme have a full minute to open the show this way.

John Pearley Huffman said...

Sorry, here's the mash up link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwhCt34PNbg

Rich said...

New one sucks! Original is the best and the un-aired one was pretty good. The original is such a classic, plus I love hearing the trumpets instead of a synth (ya, I'm a trumpet player... haha). Seriously, I think the original is way better, much more fun and exciting.

MikeN said...

Yup, Jin survived the sub explosion.

Anonymous said...

Grace Park overrated

Phist said...

Seriously, that second one is from 1998? That musical arrangement sounds incredibly dated--I would have said it was 80's. The new arrangement that you posted (which I think is not the final version, as other people have pointed out) is struggling to update the theme as well. I think it's a melody that just screams 1970's, and some syncopation and synthesizers really don't do much to modernize it, especially when targeting a generation that listens to Lady Gaga and The Black-Eyed Peas.

Bonus trivia: Marching bands love this song.

Sebastian said...

I was about to watch the new 5-0 and didn't know that Grace Park was on it.

Now I don't want to see it anymore. I can't stand any more whiny overacting and to me she never was that much of a looker. After all the exposure I just can't stand seeing her anymore. She annoys me because she doesn't serve any purpose on these shows she's on (like "The Cleaner"). Same as Tricia Helfer. She's been EVERYWHERE in recent months.

Oh and first one is best.

emily said...

Why have guys stopped shaving?

bevo said...

The original works best. Ten years ago, casting Gary Busey as Jack Lord made sense. The guy was outstanding in Point Break.

Ten years from now, we will have a similar reaction seeing Alex O'Laughlin. The better question is why the hell is this show on the air? Should this show reflect how creatively bankrupt broadcast television has become?

Reality television, game shows (and that's what Survivor and American Idol are), and remade shows are reasons 1A, 1B, and 1C why I stopped broadcast television.

brickben said...

That assortment of studio musicians was responsible for most of the hits recorded in L.A. in the '60s. The bassist on the original 5-0 track, Carol Kaye, played some of the most iconic bass lines of that era. Here's one of my favorites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCdGqed6Ajg

John Pearley Huffman said...

Brickben,

My use of the word "assortment" wasn't meant to disparage anyone. In fact I should have written something along the lines of "a collection of Hollywood studio musicians who did their usual brilliant job."

By assortment I meant that it wasn't a formal group. That's all. Studio musicians, like so much other below the line talent in the entertainment business, get little credit for their immense contributions. It has always bothered me that The Ventures (great surf band that they were and are) get credit for the Hawaii Five-O theme when it should go to Morton Stevens who wrote and arranged it and the ad hoc group of professionals he put together who recorded it.

I love the Grass Roots clip by the way. Those horns are awesome! Even if they don't appear on camera. Probably some of the same horn players on the Hawaii Five-O theme.

Nat G said...

"Let's bring back an old show and do it again. That ALWAYS works!"

Nothing always works. But with the diaspora of TV viewers, methods that worked for smaller outlets should still be considered... and the runs of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Battlestar Galactica, Still The Beaver, and so forth show that there's nothing inherently wrong with a remake or long-delayed follow-up, businesswise.

-Nat (who would like to remake Remington Steele. To make it work in the modern age, Laura Holt would have to have some limitation beyond just being "a woman", you'd have to cast a young Cameryn Manaheim or somesuch to have a social stigma. But the cool part is who you cast for the title role: Pierce Brosnan. He would make a lot more sense in that part now.)

alopecia said...

Never actually liked the theme, myself. (dodges bricks lobbed in his direction)

Here's the critically important question about the remake: will car tires squeal on dirt roads the way they did in the original? That always made me laugh.

Andrew said...

I give the '98 pilot points for having Russell Wong, a fine actor. I prefer the original, and I like the way the new one updates the style of the original. And Grace Park.

Tom K Mason said...

Well, I like the old version of the theme better too - it just rocks. The 1998 one looks like the opening to an SNL parody.

I'll give the new one a chance, though. I've seen a couple of clips that looked promising. Plus it's Kurtzman and Orci from Star Trek and Fringe. (And I don't think the old H50 series holds up well at all - I saw a couple dozen of them recently and was not that impressed.)

@NatG: I'll be someone's already working on a new Remington Steel.

wv: "stabli" - the new wine-and-knife shop on Melrose.

Ed Blonski said...

New opening - at least the one posted on Ken's blog - is basically NCIS: Los Angeles with a nod to the original 5-0.

Is that what the show is going to be, as well - NCIS: Hawaii?

Joe Jusko said...

The original is still the best1 The new one here is really "tinny" sounding. I hope they do change it. On a side note, I;'ve ben in love with the Hawaiian girl who spins around right after the little boy is shown in the original montage since I was 8 years old! She's still hot, though she's probably between 60-70 years old today! lol

rita said...

adding an outsider's voice: i've never seen any "hawaii 5-0" being from the wrong generation and hailing from foreign climates east of the big pond. the original trailer somewhat reminded me of "the prisoner" and their visual style. even s0me 45 years after, they still have their 60s-cool. -- the nineties version not so much. actually, that second one looks more dated somehow. does that make any sense?

Rose said...

I like the new one, but nothing will hold a candle in your memory to the one you grew up with!

HAWAII FIVE-O was on when I was really young. My mom loved it. I remember the Jack Lord credit at the beginning, and honestly, I really believed that Jack Lord was THE LORD. As in JESUS.

That's what a good Catholic education will do for you!

Baylink said...

That is not *quite* the version that's on the trailer for the new CBS series, and I like that mixout a little better, though neither of them is as good as the original.

The Ventures, of course, did a release version of the original, and that's even better than the TV version.

Baylink said...

Oh, and re "Elsie Sniffen"...

how in hell did Aaron Sorkin get a look at that pilot?

(TWW Season 6 had a character, played by Danica McKellar, named Elsie Snuffin)

Pelentr said...

I have not seen the 1998 version, only seen this opening and read a bit about it, but--

I am under the impression that Gary Busey actually plays the "Danno" equivalent, and that Russell Wong is the Jack Lord equivalent. Can anyone confirm or deny that?

(I use "equivalent," because another impression that I under is that this is a continuation rather than a remake of the original series. That is, the new actors are playing new actors, and the surviving original cast members put in appearances in their old roles--with Danno having become governor of Hawaii.)

pelentr said...

I mean, obviously, "the new actors are playing new characters," not "playing new actors."

Anonymous said...

No one can beat the first version. However, Gary Busey is my second choice. That theme is almost similar and the song runs about the same length as the first version. Plus I like where they added the fire dancer. The music with the Scott Caan version seem too short.

mktngmvn said...

Our Dad was Che Fong in the original. The new 5-0 is so different - no celebrity guest stars like Leslie Nielsen, Helen Hayes, Herbert Lom, Hume Cronyn - so many others - at least not yet. There was something charming about all the locals in every episode. If you lived in Honolulu, chances are you made it into an episode or two. Still, nothing is as sure as change. It will be interesting to see if this new rebooted version makes it...Good Luck to the new cast.

mktngmvn said...

Our Dad was Che Fong in the original. The new 5-0 is so different - no celebrity guest stars like Leslie Nielsen, Helen Hayes, Herbert Lom, Hume Cronyn - so many others - at least not yet. There was something charming about all the locals in every episode. If you lived in Honolulu, chances are you made it into an episode or two. Still, nothing is as sure as change. It will be interesting to see if this new rebooted version makes it...Good Luck to the new cast.

Anonymous said...

Back in the day of episodic tv especially Quinn Martin productions the "stars" were really still character actors, ie: Dean Stockwell,Leslie Nielson, Stalone did an episode or two of Police Story before he was Rocky. Sad;ly there would be no way a show could get a top star. I think the last would have been Magnum PI getting Sinatra in his last acting role.

mysticstar said...

As a kid I loved the original Hawaii 5-O and the opening music was so catchy and made you want to get up and shake the bootie and of course being a female i wanted to be one of the dancers in the grass skirt.Now as an adult I was totally stoked when i found out a new Hawaii 5-0 was coming on and even more thrilled to see Alex O'Laughlin as the lead. That works much better for me than Gary Busey! No offense Gary but your not eye candy for the ladies! And as far as your acting skills go.... well, I wont get into that!So in answer to the question, nothing beats the original but the one airing now is definetly pretty darn good! Thanks for bringing it back... (minus Mr. G.B.)

beachboy said...

The old revolving (38 seconds or so into the old intro) restaurant's classic neon light was a beacon of cool for decades ... Now the owners of Ala Moana Shopping Center (General Growth Property) have turned it OFF :( ... Hawaii looked coolest when it had it's 60s/70s style ... Now it's looks really ghetto and bummy.

Hans Erichmann said...

New series is pure Hollywood with all the usual stereotypes,prejudices and subtle racism. Its a fact Hawaii is one of the 2-3 states where Caucasians are a MINORITY.

The Majority ethnicity in Hawaii is Japanese American, followed by the rest of the other major Asian groups.

This show completely ignores reality and is an insult to native or people born and raised in Hawaii of all ethnicity's.

The original series was more true to how Hawaii was but of course those were the 60's "white" days but even then it showed Hawaii in a more realistic light. Just my opinion.

I dislike the remakes including the current one starring all former Extra's. But I like the original. For realism of Hawaii and the entertainment and performances of the show? Well facts are facts.