Other TV Shows Discussion Forum -- November 2018

The following are archived comments from November 2018. After looking around, please add your own comments!

Links back: Discussion Forum Main PageOther TV Shows Discussion Forum Archives

Submitted by: John Chergi
From: Pittsburgh PA

I enjoyed McGarrett and the Classic HFO team more than Magnum PI. McGarrett was a true dedicated professional and head of Hawaii Five-O. He didn't have time to analyze himself or talk about his personal life. He had to stop Wo Fat and his Red Chinese Associates, serial killers, and other type of criminals. Gradually, you might see McG play handball or go sailing as the years went on. McGarrett might have been the leader of HFO but Danno was a solid Lt type 2nd in Command and Chin Ho a solid detective for 10 seasons. Duke, Frank, Kono and others also important to the team.
I think Magnum was similar to Rockford in Rockford Files. There was a more light-hearted tone and comedy to the episodes and few of the villain types were as interesting as Wo Fat or Alika. I did enjoy the ensemble cast with Higgins, Larry, TC. Never liked Higgins much. He got on my nerves. I would be hard-pressed to recall 15 or 20 Magnum episodes but I could recount probably most of the 278 HFO episodes with the title and a brief description of the characters and plot. My guess a conversation with McGarrett and Magnum would have been interesting. Could Magnum been a HFO member? I don't know. Magnum had his own style. He was good at what he did in his PI profession. JC

Added: November 21 2018 10:42:54 PM

Submitted by: Mr. Mike
From: Vancouver

This show ran in the early 60's for 2 years of 30 shows per season. Does anyone remember this?


https://www.wbshop.com/products/mr-novak-the-complete-first-season-m od

The early 1960s are remembered as a more innocent time, but behind-the-scenes changes were roiling the nation. Into this fray stepped a groundbreaking series based on true stories from the nation's high school students and the teachers charged with tending them. James Franciscus stars as John Novak, an idealistic novice teacher, while storied stage and screen veteran Dean Jagger co-stars as his mentor, Principal Albert Vane. Constantly challenging the rules of the educational establishment, the dedicated young Mr. Novak guides his bright but troubled students and fellow educators dealing with teen pregnancy, drug abuse, racial conflict and alcoholism - problems as relevant and shocking then as they are today. Notable guest stars include such luminaries as Lillian Gish, Martin Landau, Edward Asner and Beau Bridges, this groundbreaking series also features students from Los Angeles' Marshall High School. Winner of the Peabody Award for Excellence in Television.

Added: November 15 2018 02:20:59 PM

Submitted by: ringfire211
From: Philadelphia

I kind of agree that MAGNUM is in some ways a more grown up show compared to FIVE-O, which is an odd thing to say because the characters hardly acted like grown-ups on the show. The characters on FIVE-O definitely acted more grown-up and professional. But I guess FIVE-O was a bit more formulaic in its structure. You knew a crime would be committed at the start, the team would investigate, and the bad guys would be apprehended at the end. On MAGNUM, however, you never really knew what to expect. You could be thrown for a real loop in the story and sometimes there wasn't even any real case to work on. Other times it was something totally surreal and dream-like. In that sense I suppose it was more fresh. It also delved more deeply into the characters' personal lives and actually had quite a surprising amount of continuity (surprising for an 80s show). So in that sense I guess you could call it more "grown up" in that pretty much every show today stresses characters and continuity. We just don't have standalone by-the-numbers shows anymore.

But I have to disagree that FIVE-O is more dated than MAGNUM. With the exception of the fashions on both shows, I find that FIVE-O isn't any more dated than MAGNUM. They're just completely different shows. Maybe the later seasons of FIVE-O feel a bit dated (because of the cheese factor and drop in quality) but the earlier seasons can match any modern show on cable for sheer energy and grit and hard-hitting stories. That period of late 60s/early 70s produced some crime dramas which, aside from the fashions, have not dated at all and are just as gripping today as they were then. FIVE-O, MANNIX, M:I, STREETS OF SAN FRAN, KOJAK, COLUMBO, etc. It's the late 70s and early 80s that produced output which feels quite dated today, MAGNUM excepted. MAGNUM produced some groundbreaking episodes, but so did FIVE-O during its peak years. But also both shows had its share of cheesy episodes. They were just different shows, that's all. But as far as "dated" goes FIVE-O holds up much better than its contemporaries, as does MAGNUM against its contemporaries. So I find neither dated on the whole.

Added: November 09 2018 02:37:08 PM

Submitted by: Mr. Mike
From: Vancouver

A very old discussion from 1995 I found in my e-mail...

Karen Rhodes said somewhere:

I didn't watch (Magnum) at first. I never felt about Tom Selleck the way I felt about Jack Lord, but once I did begin watching Magnum, I certainly did like Selleck's "gee-gosh-wow-ins't-this-fun" demeanor. They also had a good selection of characters with Higgins and all the rest. It was for fun, not as "heavy" as Five-O could be.

My friend Kurt (who I used to trade Magnum tapes from KOMO Seattle for H50 tapes from Philadelphia) replied to this (also somewhere):

Depends on the episode, doesn't it? I liked Hawaii Five-O before I "discovered" Magnum too, but quickly considered Magnum to be a more, I think, "professional" and "real" show. Sure, the Five-O characters all took themselves seriously (undoubtedly following Jack Lord's lead), but (speaking for myself), I don't think the viewers really did. How could you, considering how often the plots were so very contrived, and how unrealistically simply the Five-O team treated them? I almost think of Five-O, despite its 70's run, a throwback to the late 50's and early 60's. Five-O was very much like, say, Dragnet in the way it was so very falsely and unnecessarily serious.

Magnum, on the other hand, was truly an 80's (and, dare I say, modern) show. It dealt with issues realistically instead of idealistically. The characters were all allowed to have flaws and depth instead of being one-dimensional as with the previous genre to which Five-O belonged. When Magnum got serious, it got SERIOUS. Take, for example, Magnum dealing with his father's death in "Home From The Sea." Having seen nearly every episode of both series, I can safely say Hawaii Five-O has little that can even approach the emotional depth of this episode.

Your word "heavy" is a good way to describe Five-O, and it's the primary difference between it and Magnum. Whenever you see the "bad guys" on Five-O, the producers play music that disallows any mistake upon the viewer's part: these people are bad, bad, bad, and you should look down on them! And the Five-O detectives are all business. Personal lives? Well, we must cherish the very rare times we get to so much as glimpse them. Yes, Magnum has a more light-hearted approach, but in contrast to Five-O, almost *anything* would look light-hearted. And this, I think, is where Magnum (the show) gets a bad rap. The character of Magnum isn't so much light-hearted as resistant to growing up. During its 8-year run, the show explored, in great depth, the reasons behind Magnum's immature shenanigans. Part of it was his fun nature, part was the way he never completely came to grips with his father's death when he was six, part was his lingering trauma from Vietnam. But all of this shows just how much we know about Magnum's character vs. how little we know about any Five-O character. In *one* (just one) episode, we hear about McGarrett's childhood loss of a parent, which is what he says drove him to dedicate his life to law enforcement. Whereas Magnum spent episode upon episode exploring his past and how it contributed to the character he was, Five-O apparently deemed it unimportant, only mentioning characters' pasts in passing and never exploring them at all. By showing Magnum's personal life in addition to his professional career, we are presented with a *real* person, one with whom we can truly identify. And the irony is that, as a result of this, we can take Magnum more seriously than we can any of the "serious" Five-O characters.

My basic feeling (and I fear this may sound insulting) is that Magnum was a more "mature" series than Hawaii Five-O. I always had (and have) the feeling when watching a Five-O episode that most of it is just a sounding board for the character of McGarrett to launch into another one of his didactic monologues. Magnum, on the other hand, dealt with everything *realistically*, the way you would expect a real-life human being to do. While McGarrett never failed, Magnum often did. Where Five-O always had a nice, tidy ending, Magnum on many occasions did not. In this and other ways, Magnum was quite ahead of its day, as there are many other shows that followed it (some of which still survive today) that echo this genre. And, I think, this is why even when you consider the time-difference between the two shows, Magnum still looks far more modern and less dated today than Five-O does.

These are, of course, just my opinions.

Added: November 07 2018 12:36:48 PM

Submitted by: ringfire211
From: Philadelphia

Yep going from memory I would probably pick Most Likely to Succeed as my favorite from season 4. Id also say that Police Buff (excellent Bill Bixby scene talking to the mannequin) and Judgment Day are up there too!

Added: November 02 2018 03:09:49 PM

Links back: Discussion Forum Main PageOther TV Shows Discussion Forum Archives