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Featured TV on DVD Review: Hawaii Five-O: Season 11

September 17th, 2011

Hawaii Five-O: Season 11 - Buy from Amazon

The penultimate season of Hawaii Five-O hits the home market this week, and it could be a hard DVD release to review. I'm reviewed most of the previous seasons of the show and it's getting hard to come up with something new to say about it. Lets face it, at this point, either you are a fan of the show, or your don't care. For the most part, all you need to know from a review is this: Was the show still going strong in season eleven? Or was it starting to show its age?

The Show

Fans of the show will know exactly what to expect this season. It's a no nonsense police procedural focusing on the police force headed by Steve McGarrett working with his trusty partner, Danny Williams, a.k.a., Danno, they fight a number of criminal elements, some international, others decidedly local.

I've seen many, many, many episodes of this show and admittedly it's starting to blend together. It would be impossible for me to tell you what season was the best without going back and watching them again, and since that would take days at the very least, that's not going to happen. That said, I think it is not unfair to say this season got off to a slow start. For the first couple of discs, nothing stood out as a great episode. The Sleeper was a typical espionage episode with a rather silly hook to it. (It involves hypnotism.) Horoscope for Murder is most noteworthy because the guest character is a psychic named Agnes du Bois, which is eerily similar to Patricia Arquette's character from Medium. We don't get a really good episode till Number One With A Bullet, which is a two-parter about rival gang warfare. Coincidentally, the best episode of the season is also a two-parter, The Year of the Horse, which is about the drug trade.

That's not to say there are only two good episodes (technically four episodes) on this six-disc set, it's just that they are far enough above the average to really stand out. Death Mask is good, involving an art robbery that starts out looking like a rather simple smash and grab, but quickly gets a lot more complicated. The Miracle Man took a look at a church that was less interested in miracles and more interested in money. The Meighan Conspiracy is about a bank heist that was an inside job. One of Steve McGarrett's friend's son died of a drug overdoes in A Very Personal Matter, but the dealer isn't the kind that hangs around a street corner. Finally, a serial killer is loose in The Skyline Killer, but the police have competition catching him from a journalist looking for the next big story. There were not a lot of bad episodes, and there are certainly more good episodes than weak ones, but at this point the show felt more average than amazing.

On a side note, there were not as many interesting guest stars this season as I remember in seasons past. Robert Vaughn, Paul Williams, Victoria Principal, Barry Bostwick, and George Lazenby all makes appearances, the last three in the season finale.

The Extras

The only extras are the episode promos, but now they are stuck to the front of each episode. Before you were given a choice to watch the show with or without the promo, now you are not. I hate promos. Including them on the DVD as an option is okay, because they are of some use as an historical artifact, but they are nothing but spoilers. At least the episodes have proper chapter placements so you can skip them without missing anything.

The Verdict

It's not exactly fair to say Hawaii Five-O jumped the shark by the time it got to Season Eleven, as there was no one moment where you say, 'That's it, it's all downhill from here.' It is true that this season is not as good as seasons past, but its decline was so gradual that it is still worth picking up if you own the previous seasons.

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