In today’s edition of our ongoing TV Heroes article series, we’re putting the focus on a character in Steve McGarrett who really is the driving force of Hawaii Five-0. He anchors the crime procedural with humor and with strength, but the character is also not your typical leading man.
Obviously, Steve possesses many of the typical attributes that you would expect for a main character on a cop show: Strength, perseverance, and somehow the ability to put his life on the line dozens of times a season. He gets fazed by some of what he goes through but, in the end, he always finds a way to bounce back and move forward.
Yet, there are also things that make him different — starting of course with his relatability. Maybe not everyone knows what it’s like to be the leader of a specialized task force who constantly puts his life on the line in order to help others. However, many people out there can relate to the idea of having a best friend that they are constantly bickering with (like Danny) or the struggles that come with starting a new business — take, for example, a restaurant that is turning out to be a nightmare just as much as it is a business with potential. You bring in people to try and help (see Vito), and they end up making things more of a disaster; also, your partner in the venture keeps coming up with schemes that often don’t align with your own vision. Steve makes mistakes constantly and that is a part of the appeal. He’s an approachable leading man to some of the other characters and to the community.
Also, remember Steve’s vulnerable side. This is a guy who has been through heartbreak in some of his relationships and to go along with that, very recently faced the possibly that the radiation poisoning he suffers from could eventually kill him. These make him something more than the guy on paper you’d see fronting any show in this genre.
The testament to Alex O’Loughlin
There are a couple of ingredients that go into the success of McGarrett as the relatable hero that he is for Hawaii Five-0. Some of the credit goes to Peter Lenkov and the rest of his writing team; meanwhile, you also have to look towards what O’Loughlin does himself with this character. He makes Steve funny at times and serious at others, and with every passing episode you want to root for the guy more. Right when you think that he’s the perfect character for the show, they go ahead and add a dog to the mix.
When you think about the physical and emotional commitment that Alex has put into this role for almost a decade now, we’re not sure that any one actor has given more — also remember the massive 25-episode commitment for Hawaii Five-0 a year. He’s one of the most important actors on network TV, let alone one of the most underrated.
Check out the video below on O’Loughlin’s hopes to return to Hawaii Five-0 — if you enjoy this, be sure to subscribe to the CarterMatt YouTube Channel for more.
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