Tuesday, March 8, 2011

James MacArthur

I was very sad to hear yesterday of the death of James MacArthur. He had appeared in Disney's Swiss Family Robinson, one of the loveliest of that studio's live-action films, but of course he will be best remembered as Detective Danny Williams on TV's long-running Hawaii Five-0. Coincidentally, I have been avidly watching the DVD boxed sets of that great series just recently over the last few months, and I truly believe it is one of the best of the crime dramas from that terrific era of television. The character of Danny Williams was always such a sturdy and reliable second-in-command to Detective Steve McGarrett, and James MacArthur played the role with such a quiet dignity that he imbued the character with real integrity.

It's hard for me to watch so many actors, singers, and various performers from my cherished entertainment of the past being lost each year. The 1960's and 1970's were a special time for me, and so many of my favourite performers were at the peak of their popularity in that era. In my opinion, television was at its absolute best back then - nothing today appeals to me, I'm afraid. Out of pure curiosity, I watched most of the pilot episode of that new updated Hawaii Five-0 series that just debuted a few weeks ago, and I thought it was typical contemporary crap. Yes, I know it's meant to appeal to the MTV generation as evidenced by its youthful cast with their casual attire and unshaven mugs, but it is hardly a worthy successor to the original series. I'm just starting into watching season two of the original Hawaii Five-0 and I long for when TV featured lavish colour, jazzy music scores, and admirable and appealing actors like Jack Lord and James MacArthur. We'll miss you, Danno...