To me, the star of the show is the scenery. I tend to focus more on figuring out where the scenes are set than paying attention to the plot. I could probably watch an hour-long program of paint drying if the show included scenery of Hawaii. 😉
As a couple of Hawaii nerds and frequent visitors, we notice some things about the show that don’t exactly portray reality. To be fair, we do bear in mind that Hawaii Five-0 is fiction-based. So, we’re not upset about it, but we are just a tad concerned that the show might be giving the wrong impression to would-be visitors. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the top myths about Hawaii Five-0.
Myth 1: Honolulu is laden with crime.
The show’s ongoing plot is built on fighting crime in Honolulu County, which is the island of Oahu. So, crime is naturally emphasized each week, but Honolulu is the nation’s third safest city per a recent Forbes report.
Myth 2: You can use your cell phone while driving.
As McGarrett and Danno drive around Oahu, they sometimes pull out their cell phone for personal calls. While that may be ok for law enforcement, that’s against the law for us civilians. If, as a civilian, you are caught driving while talking or texting on a mobile phone, you could get a $67 ticket. In fact, if you’re caught just holding a cell phone or any other electronic device while driving, you get a ticket. So, do beware of that law when you visit Oahu. (Read about this law here.)
Myth 3: Five-0 Headquarters Located in Historic Buildings
When the detectives gather at headquarters, a scene of a very attractive historic building shows on the screen with a caption that it’s their headquarters. Well, those are actually scenes of Iolani Palace and Ali’iolani Hale in downtown Honolulu. From this link, you can see a photo of the real Honolulu Police Department headquarters.
Iolani Palace is the US’s only royal palace and is cherished for its history. The following photo is of Iolani Palace.
Ali’iolani Hale is located across the street from Iolani Palace. Ali’iolani Hale is home to Hawaii’s judicial system. Ali’iolani Hale is shown in the following photo.
Myth 4: Kukui High School Fighting Nuts! Let’s go Nuts!
In a recent episode, we learned that McGarrett played football at Kukui High School. That’s a fictitious high school. Some enterprising local guys have generated a social media stir by creating a website along with facebook and twitter pages supporting this fictitious high school. You can even become an alum of this high school and play along.
Myth 5: The North Shore is just few minutes away from Waikiki.
Sometimes, you’ll see the guys driving from the North Shore down to Waikiki or Ala Moana beaches within minutes. While, we’d all love that to be true, in reality, you need to allocate about 45-minutes to an hour to make that trip.
Myth 6: You can openly drink wine on the beach in Hawaii.
In a recent episode, we saw McGarrett and his lady-friend enjoying a sunset barbeque and bottle of red wine on the beach. Well, consuming alcohol on the beach is actually illegal in Hawaii.
Myth 7: Sunrises are sunsets.
In the scene mentioned in myth 6, we are led to believe it’s a romantic sunset beach barbeque, but that scene was actually filmed on the eastern shore of Oahu. (If I remember correctly, you can see Kaneohe in the background.) So that romantic barbeque was really at sunrise. Doesn’t seem as romantic now, does it?
Myth 8: Hawaii Five-Oh
I learned that I’ve been mistakenly typing Hawaii Five-O, with the letter O. CBS would like to refer to the show as Hawaii Five-0 with a zero. So if you’re searching for official information about the show, you need to use a zero, not an O.
As we view more episodes of Hawaii Five-0, I’m sure we’ll discover more myths, impossibilities and quirks. In the comments, feel free to add myths and wacky things you’ve noticed about the show.
Mahalo to my Hawaii tourism friends – Nathan Kam, Noreen Kam, and Rebecca Pang – for their contributions to this article.