Wednesday, September 1, 2004
Hawaii provides the lush backdrop for the cop drama called "Hawaii" (7 p.m., NBC). I wish I could say that the producers were too exhausted from concocting an original story to come up with a more memorable title, but that would not be true. After the success of "Las Vegas," NBC must think that naming a show after its venue has some lucky cachet. Let's hope this trend doesn't continue. What if they had simply called "The Sopranos" "New Jersey"?
"Hawaii" wastes no time exploiting its Aloha State locale. Cops find headless bodies in a volcano's lava flow. But all the exotic scenery in the world can't distract us from a cop show that trades in ancient cliches.
The introductory hour gives way to fat-cop jokes, rookie hazing moments, and, of course, that most trite and true cop show convention, the crazy team of swashbuckling detectives (Ivan Sergei and Eric Balfour) who break all the rules to get their man while providing eye-candy for the ladies. Somewhere in some TV-land purgatory, the "Hawaii Five-O" team and "Starsky and Hutch" are calling their lawyers.
- Henry David Thoreau once wrote that "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Of course they do. Everybody knows that the mass of men really want a tummy tuck, a brand new kitchen with Sub-Zero fridge and a Viking stove, a house with curb appeal and a "pimped out" car. And that's why the gentle souls at Fox invented "Renovate My Family" (7 p.m., Fox).
The first family to be "renovated" is the Biggins family from the first installment of "Trading Spouses." They may have seemed perfectly content, but five minutes with host Jay McGraw (son of Dr. Phil) and they'll become a desperate, covetous brood, not happy until a panel of experts sets them straight.
Tonight's other highlights
- George Lopez hosts "The Fifth Annual Latin Grammy Awards" (7 p.m., CBS). Carlos Santana, Los Lonely Boys and Robi Draco Rosa are among the scheduled performers.
- Jim Lehrer hosts three hours of coverage of the Republican National Convention (7 p.m., PBS). Scheduled speakers include Mrs. Lynne Cheney, Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.).
- Scheduled on "Dateline" (8 p.m., NBC): Jane Pauley discusses her battle with bipolar disorder.
- Network coverage of the Republican National Convention (9 p.m., ABC, CBS, NBC) begins.
John McCain and Tom Russell chat on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno hosts Lance Armstrong, Paul Teutel Sr. and Jr. and Usher on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).