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Showing 1-10 of 292 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 404 reviews
on November 20, 2013
I became dissatisfied with TV fifteen or twenty years ago when prime-time viewing began featuring unfunny sitcoms, unreal reality shows and melodramatic dramas. Then they started producing DVDs of old shows, so I decided to collect the best of them to watch anytime .
So far I’ve bought DVDs of forty shows. I’ve found some fine shows, such as Matlock and Trapper John, which I missed the first time around.
One of the most pleasant surprises to me was the rediscovery of Hawaii Five-0 starring Jack Lord as state police Chief Steve McGarrett. If you watched the first five minutes of that show, you were hooked by immediate, intense drama. It was much more than just, “Book ‘em, Danno.” This was a truly excellent show, probably the best mystery-suspense thriller of all-time.
It was an extraordinary cop show, even though some members of the cast were inexperienced actors recruited locally in the Honolulu area to give the show a more authentic sense of place.
Jack Lord was terrific as the relentless McGarrett. The show even had a super villain in the Chinese Red commandant Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh). The friction between the clever Dhiegh and the relentless McGarrett remained unresolved at the close of the show’s twelve seasons.
Here are the ten shows I watch most often in a delightful fare of prime-time DVD viewing: 1. Little House on the Prairie; 2. Touched by an Angel; 3. The Closer; 4. Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman; 5. Bonanza; 6. Hawaii Five-0 (the original show with Jack Lord); 7. The Dick Van Dyke Show; 8. Highway to Heaven; 9. Wings; 10. Jackie Gleason’s Honeymooners. This list features at least one show from every era of TV.
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on July 25, 2015
Sometimes old shows are enjoyable not for their writing, acting, plot lines, or even its premise. Sometimes its the music, the visual effects, iconic language or phrases. So it is with this series, introducing an up and coming new (island of) Hawaii, in this series Hawaii Five O (50th state). It was still an obscure destination by most viewers,
It's a series about the Main (island) of city reality, as hard as any, with all the trouble. Its opening scenes offered bold, exciting music and visuals of exciting modern island life, with visuals of the still old, then, green landscape, nature, beautiful clear water, warm climate, sunshine forever and more to offer, on the smaller (outer islands). It enticed city folk to go to a warm climate that stayed mostly the same all year. Not long after its beginning, it put Hawaii on the larger map, drawing tourists and viewers alike. But even earthly paradises have enticements of their own, and law and order must finally push in.

This show revealed both sides of the coin, the modern with its typical modern city issues of crime, lawlessness of every kind, poverty, the older-the breakdown of traditional family, and "growing" problems equal to all others, and came as a shock to many viewers.
It enticed with a slice of heaven, on a green patch of land-called tourism. And it worked...as well as keeping viewers coming back to the show itself with its theme music, car chases around the island to get the (island) bad guy, sunshine glaring, which is easy to watch. And of course the handsome Jack Lord as McGarrett, Island native, Kono, and James MacArthur as Book'em Danno!
This show is fun to watch, as I continue on toward its ended series.
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on July 10, 2013
In the title of my review, what I'm trying to say is that the original Hawaii Five-0 was the type of television we (the United States) used to export to the rest of the world. And it were characters like Steve McGarrett that epitomized the American ideal in regard to ethical law enforcement and strict dealings with the criminal element. This realization was the big take-away I had after watching the first season of this classic show, that and the fact that I wanted to watch more. I guess what I'm saying is that we no longer export this kind of entertainment to the rest of the world and because of that, we suffer for it.

This first season, originally broadcast in 1968, is interesting, quirky, and entertaining. Steve McGarrett, the head of Hawaii's Five 0 division, is of course the main focus with his no-nonsense approach to police detective work. He's willing to go to any length to catch the crooks. This includes some undercover work that sometimes borders on the ridiculous, yet succeeds because of McGarrett's boyishly honest sacrifice to put himself on the line. Check out the episode, "Six Kilos", where McGarrett teams up with the bad guys on a Mission Impossible-like heist to steal heroin for an unknown crime boss.

The scenery is of course beautiful, the Hawaiian settings, whether on the beach or in the city and suburbs, are lush with blowing palm trees and Southern Pacific skies. Its so very interesting to view the world of the late 1960's, with the cars, the clothing and the hairstyles. In particular, I found the female of this time period to be very alluring, despite or in fact because of the fact that the dress styles were more modest and appealing, more womanly I would say. McGarrett is obviously attractive to the ladies, but he doesn't mix police work with pleasure, unless he's putting on the act.

There are some strange moments in this season as well, such as Ricardo Montalbon playing a Japanese guy with very odd/fake looking eyes. They must have realized how silly it looked right? The depiction of the 1960's hippies was also quite amusing, such as in the episode "Up Tight", which includes some psychedelic drug scenes that are truly spaced out man. This counter culture topic was better handled in the episode "Not That Much Different" where a murder upsets the politics of a group of hippies running "Peace" magazine.

Overall, I had a fun time watching this show. Jack Lord as McGarrett and the supporting cast, were all very good. The Hawaii flavor and the 1960's time period were so cool, just like McGarrett, not the ugly American at all, rather the type of man that used to be the America hero.
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on August 26, 2009
I'm so thrilled that CBS is releasing the show "Hawaii 5-O" on DVD (up to 7 seasons so far). Owning each season is a treat. Hawaii 5-O set the standard for crime shows. It has a perfect balance of action, mystery, realistic crimes and character development. It doesn't rely on special effects or car chases to draw an audience. It amazes me when I remember hearing at the time Hawaii 5-O was on the air how it was the most violent show on T.V.

Jack Lord played the Head of 5-O, Steve McGarrett, beautifully. He made the role believable and likable. You couldn't wait to see how he led his team to solve crimes every week. It took work, logic and a team effort to catch the criminals. No computers or scientific wizardry. It is a gritty crime drama that entertains. I looked forward to hearing McGarrett say at the end of each episode, "Book 'em Dano". A great show to watch-not to mention the best theme song and gorgeous scenery. I can't wait until season 7 (releasing in October)
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on November 22, 2014
I noticed one "review" complain about "complete" collection. It never makes that claim. It just says "First Season".

I was just a child when I watched this originally (even there, I'm dating myself) and always enjoyed it.

I strongly disagree with the tone of the Amazon.com "review" that seems to indicate you're either a nostalgia nut or crazy if you like these shows (if not both). Besides -- what's wrong with nostalgia.

I enjoy the early days of this series. The flashing light during the ending credits is just as hard to watch now as it was years ago but there is just no replacing the quality of this series.

I had purchased the FULL series but had problems with a few disks and returned it. Both disks that I found bad for the first season in that set were fine in this set. It's hard to watch when the last 10 - 15 minutes skips and freezes on you!

I'm very pleased and it brought back a lot of memories from WAY back in 1968!

I'm working towards getting the whole series one season at a time!

Book 'em Danno! (Danny was always my favorite character of the show -- he was the cutest!)
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on January 21, 2016
For being as old as it is, this is a fast paced action-cop series that lasted twelve years. The episodes fall into the adult category of the time, similar to the way The Untouchables fell into that role. Each show demands absolute attention, and the pacing is incredibly fast. There is little wasted time spent on mediocre scenes. If there is any complaint, it is that the show lacks the personality of the new series (also highly rated). McGarrett is a tough cop who approaches his role of head of Hawaii's State Police (Five-0) in the same manner that Jack Webb approached his role in Dragnet. There is no voice over, so the two shows bear little resemblance to each other. However, the series is television drama at its best for the 1960s.
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on March 17, 2012
Hawaii 5-0 (1968-1980) {CBS} 284 eps {12 yrs - all-time longest running cop show}
Jack Lord {Steve McGarrett}, James MacArthur {Danno Williams}, Kam Fong {Chin}.
The All-Time Classic Cop Show set in paradise, that has an underbelly of crime that the state
police unit must keep a lid on. As an International Entry Point to the US, there's all sorts of
crime & criminals trying to beat the system. The scenery fascinated viewers worldwide, and
Morton Steven's theme rocked up by Don B Ray, Harry Geller & Richard Shores catipulted the
series to the top & the theme is 1 of only 3 that made it to the top of the Pop Charts & indeed
Hawaii 5-0 theme was the # 1 trac for the entire year of 1969!!! ALL-TIME # 1 TV THEME
Khigh Dhiegh {Wo Fat} & Roger C Carmel {Mischa} were the Chinese & Russian Agents that
gave Steve a hard time in the best episodes. Dhiegh later got his own series, Khan, a cop in
San Fran Chinatown, but it didn't last.
The Sep 20 1968 movie series pilot pitted Steve (ex-US Navy Intelligence) against his arch enemy Wo Fat the Red Chinese Agent, but did not star James MacArthur, Kam Fong, Richard Denning {Governor} or the real US State Dept Jonathon Kaye, until the series began.
TV's most famous line: "Book'em Danno!"
Kam Fong's character was the longest running played by a hawaiian-local in tv history

I have seasons 1-7, waiting for the others to become affordable

season 1 several great eps, 2 Classic eps : disc 3 #4 "Born" {ep #211}, disc 4 #1 "Deathwatch" {ep #213}
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on July 17, 2016
This review covers Seasons 1 & 2. Excellent detective/police series. Before buying the series I occasionally watched episodes on late night rerun slots. I wanted to see the entire series and I am very glad that Amazon has it for a reasonable price. This series is a perfect example of how changes in current police investigation (especially where a police officer is also a suspect or victim of the crime) aren't as bothersome due to the consistency of the characters and the typically excellent scripts. There is a lot of action, mini-skirts galore (and yes, they were that short), Hawaiian scenery both the beautiful and the raw, awareness of many Asian & Polynesian cultures, and the main cast of officers are upstanding and have great integrity. It's a good vs evil show where the good guy always wins. Nice bonus on Season 1 with James MacArthur in a review of the series with honors to Jack Lord. There are a couple of negatives to the series that bothered me even when it was new - 1) women are typically passive and their actions and interactions are an extension of the 1950's ideal woman/wife (there are a few who aren't submissive but even they use 'femininity' to try and get out or into situations and 2) the then popular hippie phenomenon with 'current' slang is badly used by actors who usually were not believable in their roles - almost as if a conservative right-winger who never had teenagers wrote their dialog. In spite of this the series is interesting with some very fun villains and guest stars who are quite younger before they were well-known in other roles - Marion Ross (Season 2 in a very poignant and well-acted role), Christopher Walken (Season 2-excellent), Loretta Swit (Season 2 -short appearance but beautifully acted) for example. As many other reviewers comment - the title music is simply one of the best tunes ever - I listen to it on every episode and I am one for skipping that on all other series I watch. The episode music is also excellent - some very capable scoring that is as important as the dialog in keeping the action going.
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on April 8, 2009
Why it took so very long for Hawaii Five-0 to come out on DVD still mystifies me. The show was a classic while it was still running, and it's remained a classic ever since.

One thing I want to clear up -- the show's title is Hawaii Five-0 -- that "0" is correctly a ZERO, not a letter. The show was named after the USA's 50th state.

Many people -- Amazon.com included -- incorrectly assume the title is Hawaii Five-O ["O" being the letter, not a zero], which makes searching for other seasons of the show difficult, because the only way what you're going to find what you want is to search using the "O" letter -- which annoys Five-0 buffs big time. I hope Amazon takes note.

One other item: during the entire 12 years that Five-0 ran on television, there was only ONE star: Jack Lord. All the other members of Five-0 were billed as "feature" players. No matter who showed up as a guest actor or actress, NOBODY was ever billed as "starring with" -- Five-0 meant Jack Lord. HE was the star. The ONLY star.

The best thing about the DVDs -- and I've got all of them that are currently available -- is that they take us back to the actual time when the series was being filmed. If a specific "issue" is treated in one particular episode, that issue was very specific when it comes to the history of the late 1960s and all of the 1970s. Many episodes were considered daring at the time they aired -- Five-0 tackles Vietnam, organized crime, the Soviet threat [and of course, that of Red China], and struggle for the Hawaiian people who were -- and still are -- trying to maintain their Polynesian identity, and the show sometimes got downright daring AT THE TIME THE EPISODE FIRST RAN ON TV.

Five-0 tackled such stuff as venereal disease, political corruption, drug use which was so very prevalent at that time, and aired one two-part episode focusing on the US military and its secrecy about trying to create our own weapons of mass destruction. Jack Lord was the first person in television history who ever uttered the word "bastard" on television.

Most folks who are new to the series do not understand what it was like to live in the late 60s and 70s, and not many know that much about the history of the period. What seems "tame" to us now created all kinds of furor when viewed on television during those years. Five-0 was forced to reinvent itself in the later years of its run, because of the nationwide furor about violence on television -- and if you've seen the show in recent years -- shows that have been badly chopped up, often to the point where the shows don't make a great deal of sense -- the DVDs will give you every single moment of what ran on television when commercial time was FAR less that what we put up with today. When
Five-0 was forced to tone down the violence [and there's lots of violence in the first 6 or 7 years] and to keep the show running and maintain viewer interest, it turned to character study as a way of filling that gap. Specifically, it became more cerebral -- but it worked.

So when you watch the first set of DVDs [and the later DVDs as well], keep in mind what life was like when leisure suits were "HOT" [they now look quite ghastly to me], disco music was sweeping the country [thanks to John Travolta] -- yep, McGarrett ends up in a disco himself, more than once -- and all kinds of other social matters were highly important, probably more important than they are today.

To watch Hawaii Five-0 [remember that zero!] is to remember history. And now, as in the first place, the show managed to do that in great style.
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VINE VOICEon December 6, 2013
I watched reruns of Hawaii Five-O a long time ago as a young kid and don't remember much about the specifics of this show except that I enjoyed it. I recently decided to order season 1 because the price was just right and I was in a nostalgic mood.

The very first episode knocked my socks off. Some old TV shows don't age very well and end up not being as good as I remembered. But Hawaii Five-O didn't disappoint and I enjoyed every episode of season 1. Also included in this collection are subtitles and a special feature about Hawaii Five-0 released during the mid-90's in Hawaii.
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