#HawaiiFive0 …… where have all the ladies gone?

This post is in response to some conversations I saw on twitter, and some of the comments made here with us, as well. There are some feelings that the show sidelines women by casting so few and also struggles to write good characters for the few who are actually there. As usual I don’t want to base things purely on feelings, but went to examine the trends of casting, for the past 4 seasons.

To be brutally honest, I could not really care less who else, apart from Alex, are cast in Hawaii Five-0. But no man is an island and to make the story of Steve work, Alex needs at least a few characters around him 😀


Let us examine the history of the main, regular and recurring cast of the show ……

Main Cast:

Main Cast

Main cast of 3 men and 1 woman – at least there is a woman as part of the team this time around with the reboot 😀 .

Regular Cast:

Regular cast

Additions to the team: 3 men and 1-1=0 women – at least we got 2 seasons of Cath. (I really do not believe it was planned for the team to lose a woman at this stage – it is just sad circumstance created by bad choices 😦 )

Let us take a look a the casting of women vs men:


Recurring women – family

Family 1

We have 6 women who are family members of the main and regular cast, who have been on the show more than once. Some good choices in casting, some maybe not. The main problem with them is that they are not all readily available in Hawaii for filming odd episodes and they are therefore not seen that much.

Recurring women – girlfriends


The wives and girlfriends are the ones in the danger zone, for me. They are usually the target of both the fangirls and the writers. Do they have a place on the show as good characters or are they putting the show in danger of being a ‘Soap Opera‘? Do we need them or do they just spoil the fun between the boys?

Recurring women – support cast

Support cast

I have Lori here, because she struggled to fit into any other category amongst the ladies for me. Maybe her problem was that she always was the odd one out. For the rest, I believe most people would only vaguely remember these other ladies on the list …… Not really part of the Ohana gatherings are they?

Recurring women – dead


All  4 of these female characters had the potential of adding something more to the show. Did their deaths mean that much to the storyline of the show, or could they have been of use as ongoing characters? ? How do you feel?

They used so many different babies for little Joan – at least 7 for first episode (Epi 407) we saw her in and a few others for 2nd one (Epi 409). Guess the baby girls are just as interchangeable as some might believe most of the other women on the show are?!  😀



Recurring men – family


Here I combine the family and boyfriend list, because there are not that many men for these categories.


Recurring men – friends


The boys club seems alive and well – and growing all the time. Does not take much to get one of the boys a place at McG’s table, does it? 😀

Recurring cast – Support cast

Support cast

I personally would love to see the Governor and Toast more.

Recurring men – villains


I guess there are not a lot of women villains who can be used as snitches. Maybe women are not capable of being good villains? 😀


Recurring men – police support


This is a male only category – maybe there are also not a lot of women in HPD for the team to interact with. Also not any of them capable of doing research as lab techs or other skills the team need. Oh, I do remember vaguely that there was someone they used on occasion – she used to work for Navy Intelligence. Wonder what happened to her? 😉

Recurring men – dead


I know a lot of the fangirls would have liked to see more of bad brother Michael – mainly because they never got the chance to see Dr Andy and Dr Lee together on their screens again. 🙂

Some are glad to see the end of Ian Wright (aka Nick Jonas) – I for one feel that the character had some potential for a few more encounters with our crew. (maybe if someone more believable portrayed the character? I do not think Nick did badly, but maybe a villain of this caliber needed someone (real actor) with a little more experience)


As you can see from the names on display above, the recurring male characters for the show far outweighs the women. The men even have a few categories that I could not find for the women. Difficult even to weigh the %’s of it.

Because I like men and do feel that they are more fun to be around with, it does not really bother me that much, that there are so many men as recurring characters in the cast.  It would however be nice to see some nice female characters for our men to interact with.

As I said in the beginning, as long as Alex and his Steve graces the screen of Hawaii Five-0, I will be watching the show regardless of who is or is not there with him. But it is great when there are some nice characters and stories around him, that can display his talent as well……… (and of course nice colleagues to work with and who create a fun vibe on set – because I believe the vibe on the set also spills over to the show and the fun we have with it!)


The question is, does women have a place as recurring characters in a cop show like this or have the writers got the right formula for it? Will more regular women characters draw more viewers or not…..? I would think that, that is the bottom line for decisions in casting for any show?

Just want to mention that the lists of recurring characters I have compiled, contains every single actor I could find who occurred in Hawaii Five-0, with a talking role, on more than one occasion. If I did miss one, I apologise, because it is a rather daunting task to find everybody.



Filed under Hawaii Five-0, Steve McGarrett

46 responses to “#HawaiiFive0 …… where have all the ladies gone?

  1. Tracey Maloney

    But of couse you are another one who believes its a one man show thats why it will never ever beat the original


    • Tracey, I honestly do not know why you waste your time and energy with Alex and his career and to comment on pages and sites about him. (trust me, I have seen what you wrote on other posts we have made and on other forums and sites as well)
      As far as I can see, you are one of the people who think you know what is best for him, about his life and his career. I myself just don’t bother with actors who I think are idiots – as you seem to think about Alex. So some advice – don’t waste your time with things you do not like!.
      And for your information – please read what I wrote again – I do follow H5-0 for Alex, but I also said he can’t do it on his own!! I never said it is a one man show – just that I like one man in it AND HE IS GORGEOUS!! ❤
      This post is about who the producers chose to cast with him and whether they are good or bad for the show…………..


  2. Hi!
    First, you didn’t post season 5 for Chi McBride, and it’s obvious that he will be in it… and I think that Duke should be regular, don’t you? maybe we should tweet Peter about it, LOL
    I miss Charlie Fong, we haven’t seen him this season, right? And this finale with Wo Fat is not enough for bridge to next season, in my opinion…
    It’s great that we even have Kono as female character, since it was man’s role in original… I do NOT miss Lori, but there are some women characters that could be interesting to be back sometime in future (like Rachael, Gaby, or Jenna as memory – or Catherine, if “fans” let her)


    • Hi Andrea
      Read the header with the regulars – it says ‘since’ – meaning from which season they have been regulars. I therefor also did not list all Masi’s seasons. 🙂
      If Duke is a regular, then Kamekona should also be one and Gracie etc……
      The contracts with regulars is different to other contracts and it most probably have to do with people who have been in the industry in other shows and not just people who are local and on hand to play recurring characters. It all has to do with the weight of the character as far as the storyline goes.
      Not sure but Fong has been listed in 4 episodes of this season 4. As much as I like Charlie, I think it can be a role given to a women – as long as they use her right.


  3. vanduyn

    It’s hard to deny what’s in black and white. The show diesn’t have the best track record when it comes to women. I am also an Alex fan and watch 5-0 for Alex. I enjoy all of the characters and love the show but if Alex was not on it I probably wouldn’t watch. I’ve seen the original 5-0 and IMO this 5-0 far surpasses it. Excellent post 🙂


  4. buttercup4u

    With all the women dying and disappearig on horses, i wonder why they don’t bring in Chin more often! He and alex really had some great scenes in s1 (i’m rewatching 😉 ) and he even has the bigger gun than mcg 😆 !!
    If scott is away, again, let Chin do more scenes with alex, they do great together, and as far as i remember DDK lives there too!
    Great post, intense study FOYeur, i always enjoy your thoughts, and Paula’s gorgeous gifs! Alex shines through the lines 😉 .


  5. buttercup4u

    I have to add here, that i like all the characters men/women, some a bit more, but i watch for alex!


  6. gracenotpark

    Man! The lopsided ness is even worse than I had thought! Thank you for doing this!

    The constant casting of only men in parts that could be either gender is troubling to me. Indeed cops can be women too, lab detectives can be women too, villains can be women too, see ANY other CBS procedural! The way they use women mostly as emo foils for the main cast also is troubling to me. I don’t think this Is purposeful so much as it is subconscious gender discrimination on the part of the producers. They need to expand their worldview.

    We dunno why Cath is gone. I personally fail to believe it is Twitter related, as the issues there never broke into the actual media. But they surely painted her into a corner by putting her on the team. They had her as a PI with Billy. That coulda been a perfect spot for her, to sometimes interact with the team as McG’s GF, but other times as a fellow investigator. A woman’s POV is different but equally valid, and it is often missing from this show.

    H50 really needs to enter the 21st century. I watch for Alex too and I enjoy his work. But it would only improve his show for it to be more realistic. McG’s not in the military anymore. The real world contains daily interaction with both genders. Thanks, Foyeur. Sad but true… 😦


    • PhilippaJ

      Who wants this show to be realistic??? I live in Germany, here they pretend to have “realistic” crime series. Two things about this: they are not realistic, because real police work would be much more boring then the episodes already are. And they are boring compared to US shows. I prefer good stories and authentic – which does not mean realistic – characters in a show.
      The reason why you find less women than men in Hawaii Five-O is, that it is action stuff, created for a younger male audiance. What has gone wrong 🙂 is Alex, it’s because of him a lot more women of every age watch the show.


      • “The reason why you find less women than men in Hawaii Five-O is, that it is action stuff, created for a younger male audiance. What has gone wrong 🙂 is Alex, it’s because of him a lot more women of every age watch the show.”

        That is very insightful and I believe you are on to something, They should have but they didn’t anticipate the amount of women who would be watching.


        • PhilippaJ

          I’ve read a lot of (German) fanfiction the last weeks, all written by women. And therefore I’ve read a lot of Hawaii Five-O soap operas with a lot of babies, wonderful fathers and nearly no action. I did not like this. What I like to see is an emotional Steve, because Alex play this so wonderful, enough close-ups of him and some shirtless stuff if it fits into the story. The rest can stay like it is for the boys. :-), it’s all the women’s stuff I need.


      • Blame it on Alex! LOL
        Yes, I don´t see many woman watching this show for the plot, it´s the man-candy and occasional humor that entertains us 😀


  7. I have said repeatedly that someone at the top doesn’t appear to have a great deal of respect for “women”. I have also said that any actress asked to be on the show should run as fast as she can the other way because she won’t be around long enough for the ink to dry on her paycheck. I would also go as far as to say I don’t think it is very respectful to Grace P. to be the token female who more often than not is written as a tomboy. I too watch for Alex, will continue to watch for Alex but Hawaii Five-0 may not have started out as a “boys club” but that’s what it has turned into. 🙂


  8. I never really think about it. I guess because it doesn’t bother me. I want well written characters and most of the good writing is for the male characters. When there is good writing. Catherine was written well in spurts. I thought Jenna Kaye was written well. Kono is written up and down I would like to see more and better story lines for her and Chin. Aunt Deb was written well for the one episode she was in. Honestly, i tend to not notice the details as much as everyone else seems to. Right now, in my opinion, this show has an overall writing problem and that is not specific to anyone gender.

    Really Sang Min is a villain?? lol I love him. Don’t worry I know technically he is but I really don’t see him that way and I hope he returns next season at least once.


    • buttercup4u

      I can’t get into the writing stuff because i don’t care that much, but i’m with you there jenna was nice at the beginnig, and so was cath, but as soon as they get regular “boom” it’s like they don’t have anything to do than handle the magic table 😉
      I kinda liked lori, she had some good scenes, she was a profiler, but i didn’t get the steve issue, steve was never interested i her, and it looked to me, that she wasn’t in him, and in the last scene, all hearty and bothered, and i was like “huh”!?!?


      • I think it was quite apparent that Lori was gaga over Steve from the start 😀 And he was always there to safe her when she was in trouble. I think the writers really tried hard to create some sort of spark there.


        • Which was ridiculous because Steve was never going to cheat on Catherine so while Lori always wanted him I never got the sense that he ever wanted her because he was in love with Catherine.


    • The once off casting of good females for the show disguises the lack of recurring women a lot. There has been great woman on many of the episodes as guest and the show thus far really have been great.
      Will Yun Lee (Sang Min) has been kind of busy with many other big projects this past year. And I think that is why we haven’t seen anything from him for a while. I saw some tweets between him and Peter and maybe we will see him back in S5 🙂


      • Yes, I follow Will Yun Lee in Twitter as well and I agree if things slow down for him maybe we will see him next season.

        That is a very good point, the writing for guest stars is usually pretty good. Someone mentioned Vanessa Marcil, the psychiatrist/madam, she was very well written. And that is probably why I don’t notice it so much. And like I said i just want overall good writing. Season 5 can only go up from here right? 🙂


  9. I had the feeling that Kono didn’t get much to do after her return. I felt strangely bewildered when Ian Wright made his entrance at H50 headquarters talking about the Beatles as if she wasn’t even there. Whoever came up with that line… FAIL!
    On the other hand, I totally like Grover and him being a regular now. 🙂


    • I think Grace most probably have reduced screen time because of the baby. 😀
      I also like the new additions of the men (Grover & Jerry). They create a nice vibe all around and provide some great interaction – espesially with Steve.


  10. karen

    Love Sang Min. He is a lovable villain. Trying to remember the female villains. The sadistic fake psychiatrist madam comes to mind quickly, but aside from female “gang” tagalongs, I am stumped.


    • buttercup4u

      There are some i really liked and were well done, like the blond terrorist girl recently, and the one in s1, was it irene (the one with “josh”) they really brought out some hot and bothered mcg!


      • The once of women, whether they were villains of victims have most of the time been great. Most of them are well accomplished actresses – but they have all been once off.
        This is all about characters with the potencial of being seen more often and with a more lasting connection with the team.


  11. karen1228

    I would like to see more women – not necessarily as love interests – involved with the team. Looks like we need a new head of SWAT so why not a woman? I don’t want to see any of the past ladies back – Lori was awful; Jenna was almost invisible. And lets leave dead dead please (bringing mom back hasn’t worked out so well to date). As for Cath returning, nope. They made a mistake retiring her – she was more valuable and interesting when she was in the Navy.
    Look at NCIS and NCIS-LA. They’ve done well over their seasons with minimal women characters whether main, regular, recurring or guest – so maybe 5-0 needs to discuss the secret, successful formula with those writers!
    Seriously, I watch for Alex and if a woman comes on board who can act and be written well then I’m all for it.


    • I must confess I am not up to date with either of NCIS or NCIS-LA……but NCIS-LA does have 3 women as main cast members and with Hetty in the lead they all seems larger than life and have proper things to do.
      Also in NCIS, the 2 females who are/where there are so big as characters – they are never just an after thought to fill up screen time.


    • I think women can be used as supporting cast even if the “show” is mainly men. I LOVE H50 and I also am a HUGE fan of NCIS. If you look at that show there has been only 2 women in the entire series as “regulars” the female agent (who ever was cast) and Abby. The rest of the crew are men and it works. I think that show (along w/H50) work because the (regular) characters are so defined. I don’t think 50 would have lasted so long if we had one dimensional characters.

      As far as the women go…maybe if they cast one (or more) that seemed to fit well within the group/storyline then maybe we would see more. Chin seemed to have a good chemistry with Leilani…maybe we will see more of her. I truly believe, however; that the show is about the core characters and how they are written with the supporting cast….look at how they have bonded with Kamekona, Duke and even Fong…although they aren’t regulars they add something to the story.


    • buttercup4u

      I agree to Ncis and Ncis LA, i like them, always have!
      It seems in h5o they are throwing the women in and out as they think it’s right! It needs more stability and not such a mix of characters! Steve and kono is like tony and abby, more like the sisterly relationsship, it needs more sparks, like kate and tony!


  12. I agree with you 100%. And I also watch for Alex and nothing else. 😉 And I know many others that do too. I want his show to succeed. And I also freely admit I don’t like eps that show little of Steve.
    I was watching the Twitter feed the night of the finale. I saw the tweets of those who wanted the “core four” back and were happy Cat was gone. But….then they were ecstatic it seemed, when they made Grover a 5-0 at the end. So, it appears that Cat was okay, kind of, when she was Steve’s sometimes girlfriend making guest appearances or when she was a regular but NOT 5-0. It also seems that is okay for people other than Steve to have a love life. I liked Lori but it seems no one knew what to do with her character. And I already miss Cat. I will never believe the Twitter ugliness had nothing to do with it. Looking back, 5-0 had better ratings with Lori than without that season. And I am noticing since it was announced Michelle was leaving the ratings have dropped. Maybe it has nothing to do with it and I am just assuming the reason, but I do believe the show sans Catherine Rollins is not going to be the same (and not for the better).


    • Ratings 101: Just about EVERY series suffers a decline in ratings during the Spring. Look at NCIS, it does really well, and then drops off 2-3 tenths during the Spring. People are staying out later and it doesn’t help that 5-0 is on Friday night. That is prime “going out” time.

      Now if it had been announced that one of the main 4 characters were leaving, then yes, it could be considered a legitimate argument for a ratings decline.


  13. buttercup4u

    I think MB did a great job with her acting in s4! She gave cath so much passion it hurts my heart just to think of her gone! That scene when she was on the locker room and put her uniform away, and she nearly lost it, and put herself together again, i hate to see her gone 😦 !!!! She had the passion steve sometimes lacked! And she gave some of her passionto steve, and steve felt with her, became vulnerable! They could have done a better job with her! She could have renoined and be of service for steve again! ( sorry for the whinning, it just got over me 😉 )!!!


  14. karen

    Everyone has such good points to make. I don’t watch H50 just for Alex. I would have watched from the beginning even if Alex had not played McG. I am a cop procedural junkie, and watch all of CBS’s dramas, NCIS:LA being my favorite. Love Linda Hunt as Hettie. I don’t mind H50 not having a full time female other than Kono, but the writing could be better for H50. The other CBS dramas have very good scripts. (Well, except for Under The Dome, which I hate with a passion) I wish the H50 writers were as good as the NCIS and POI writers. Even BB has good writing, though I am not as attached to that one as the others.


  15. I love the formula the way it is because I’m a women and I like seeing hot men lol. But truly if I wanted to see a strong kickass women based show I would watch something else but I do enjoy Five-O and having Kono there is good enough for me. Like Karen above I also would have watched as I am a fan of NCIS, NCISLA, all the CSI’s etc and they have minority women casting too, it really doesn’t bother me either way. I’m definitely not a feminist.

    As a side note this is NOT Nick Jonas first acting job and he has PLENTY of experience and IS a real actor. Nick is a very accomplished actor, he has been acting on Broadway since the age of 7. He is that talented that he was asked to be Marius, one of the male leads in Les Miserables for the 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2 arena where he ACTED alongside some of the original cast and Broadway greats. Aside from his Broadway work he has Film and TV credits under his belt. Nick is much much more than the ‘boy band Jonas Bros’ you make him out to be. Nick has also been instrumental in raising money for and running his very successful charities and being ambassador for Diabetes research as he was diagnosed with Type 1 when he was 13.


  16. Foyeur, thank you for this post. It’s a subject that bothers me.
    H50 is a tv show that in every season struggles and fails in writing female characters and as a viewer let me disappointed. I know very well that the show is about Steve McGarrett, i don’t need anyone to remind me, but women are needed to build and develop the storyline. Alex is a great actor but a tv show shouldn’t be a monologue or like 70′s old H50, only with male cast.
    One note: some of you mentioned Vanessa Marcil’s character on 3.08. The episode was written by women, Stephanie Sengupta and Courtney Kemp Agboh. And the most watched H50 episode in US (1.15) was written by women too (Melissa Glenn and Jessica Rieder). So not only we need more women is the cast – regular, recurring, guest, hero, victim or villain to mess with our favorite Commander but writers and directors – they know how to tease us, like Christine Moore in 3.04 – only her to give us nice and unique views of Steve.


    • gracenotpark

      Excellent point, Marta. It’s tough to have good women characters without good women behind the cameras.


  17. Love H5-0 and really watch it for Alex, but it is a good entertaining show. I think it was a mistake to kill Billy Harrington off so soon, he could have caused mayhem between Cath and Steve and made Michelle Borth’s part more interesting. I must be one of the few who really liked Lori, and some of the glances exchanged between her and Steve were interesting to say the least. But I think it is mainly a “man show” and that’s fine as long as the story lines are interesting.


  18. Thank you for another thorough job, Foyeur! You asked in the title of this post, “Where have all the ladies gone?” Now I have a very SARDONIC answer to your question.
    [Insert lots of SARDONIC]
    Answer: “writers dissed them everyone, when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?” [My DEEPEST apologies to Joan Baez and Pete Seeger.]


  19. k ballan

    ive watched Hawaii five o from the started and Michelle broth. who played.Catherine Rollins, who i assuming that door is still opened to her to come back.some day .that.s, i how fell.


  20. Marnov Fucup

    Whew, that’s an EPIC research! And greatly interesting too. Clearly, Show needs to hire me as a recurring character. I’d show them 😛


  21. k ballan

    iam for that and they need to recurring character you can show them all’ right on\


  22. tronvillain

    This show is at the bottom of our (my wife and I) list of favourites – it just barely makes the cut each year. And now Catherine is gone? She was the best female character the show has ever had, including Kono (sadly, the last interesting of the main characters). The lack of decent female characters on this show has been our main complaint.


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