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With one of the most recognizable theme songs in television history, Hawaii Five-O literally burst onto the television screen with its rapid fire montage of opening credits and a brisk pace to its action that was unusual at the time. It served as a counter punch to the lazy images of Hawaiians basking in the sun, by revealing a complex world of crime that swirled around Honolulu like a cyclone. It was up to Steve McGarrett and his boys to rid the island of these unwanted elements, with Wo Fat being his most memorable nemesis. The show may not have been the first to showcase local talent, but it had a strong cast made up of Americans and Asians that presaged the multi-ethnic crime dramas of the late 70s and 80s. It goes without saying that it was the inspiration for Miami Vice, but this was no pastel color version of Honolulu. You can forget Don Ho singing Tiny Bubbles. McGarret looked more like a hardnosed FBI agent than he did the chief detective, running his crew like drill sergeant. James MacArthur may have seemed a little soft but he provided the necessary relief to Lord's hardboiled command. Kam Fong played the memorable Chin Ho through most of the series, which lasted 12 years.

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PA889164 Hawaii Five-0 1st Season DVD (1968/Jack Lord) $28.99 $25.99