Today I’m going to do something people accuse me of never doing. Today I have a complaint. It’s a personal pet peeve that has been bugging me for over five years now. I know it’s silly. I know it doesn’t bother anyone but me. I know it won’t change and I know it probably shouldn’t change. But it bugs me just the same. It is the use of two of Oahu’s most famous and historical buildings and their names.
The ʻIolani Palace and the Aliʻiōlani Hale.
Like I said, it’s something that has bothered me since the beginning of the series but it was this screenshot from the 6.03 promo that stirred it up for me yet again. As you can see, Jerry has listed the address for his new office as being in the ʻIolani Palace.
Now, as we know, even though HQ is located in the Aliʻiōlani Hale, they always refer to it as the “Palace”. I understand why they do this. In the original series, Five-O was headquartered in the ‘Iolani Palace and TPTB have always tried their best to pay homage to the original series. Also, having McGarrett bark “take him back to the Palace” sounds infinitely better than “take him back to the office” or “HQ” or even the “Hale”. If that was all there was to it, it wouldn’t bother me so much. Chalk it up to “literary license” and move on. I’m assuming that Jerry’s office is not across the street in the actual Palace but in the basement of the Hale and they are just using ‘Iolani Palace’ on the card to avoid confusion with casual viewers who don’t know any better.
It’s been said, over and over, by fans, cast and production, that Hawaii is the 5th (now 6th) member of the Five-0 team. To the casual viewer, those not on social media or totally absorbed in the show like most of us are, Five-0 is their little “vacation to Hawaii” each week. They are learning and falling in love with Hawaii through the show. They don’t know that the scene they are watching on, let’s say, a beach in Maui was actually filmed on the North Shore of Oahu and there’s no reason why they should. The same goes for a house or an office building or any other nondescript location doubling for something else. Again, literary license.
So I guess it’s not really what happens in the show that bothers me so much as the ripple effect it can have in real life. I’ll give you an example. There is a gentleman on Twitter who tweets beautiful photos of Hawaii on a rotating basis. This one particular photo I have seen numerous times.
As you can see, the title line of the picture labels it as “The ʻIolani Palace” (In his tweet he goes further and says – Better known as Hawaii Five-O HQ). Yes, the ‘Iolani Palace was the HQ of Five-O. But this is clearly not the Palace but a picture of the Aliʻiōlani Hale, HQ of our Five-0 (zero…not O)!! Homage or not, this is simply wrong. You know what? For the sake of argument, let’s just forget the Five-0 reference all together. These are two of Hawaii’s most important historical landmarks. It is a picture of one and the name of the other. This is just as wrong as if you had a picture of Monticello on the screen with a title labeling it as “The White House”.
I have tweeted this gentleman several times in an effort to get him to change this to no avail because his automated tweet of this picture is perpetuating incorrect information. And don’t get me wrong, I love the photos he tweets of Hawaii. They are, for the most part, breathtaking. It’s just this one that irks me. If the Hawaii Tourism Authority printed this in its brochure of the local sites of Honolulu, it would be thrown out and reprinted because the information is wrong!
That’s why it really bothers me when H50 calls their HQ in the Aliʻiōlani Hale the “Palace”. Yes, as I said before, it pays homage to the original series but regardless, it is misinformation to people who have never been to Hawaii and don’t know any better especially when people who are supposed to know better can’t even get it right.
Ok..no more coffee for me this morning!