Mockumentaries have been around for a long time (at least since 1964's A Hard Day's Night) and though they became prominent in film in the 1980s, the 2000s have truly belonged to the this type of TV show.
From full-tilt shows like The Office, to one-off mockumentary episodes of more traditional shows (like this recent episode of Castle), the faux-doc format lets us view a well-known situation with fresh eyes, drawing attention to quirks that get lost to us during long-time fandom, allowing us to see favorite characters in a whole new light.
Tyler's Walker was at the center of this week's episode, grabbing most of the best Hawaii Five-0 quotes and taking up the bulk of the screen time.
Tyler did a knock-out job with the role, crafting Walker into just the right kind of annoyingly intrepid reporter - the mutant offspring of Oprah Winfrey and Gale Weathers from Scream. Her energetic performance and (mostly failed) machinations to get info from the team were at least as captivating for me as the episode's gory crime (ewww, skinned arm!) or complex motivations (3-D printers have the potential for great evil, people!).
So what did we learn from looking at the world through Savannah's eyes? We discovered that Bergman has just been waiting for the right opportunity to whip out the hair gel and...was that a cravat? We learned that Kona is awesome at Xbox. We learned that you can say "son of a bitch" on TV.
But most interestingly, we learned that there really is no room for outsiders in the 5-0. Often, mockumentary episode will end with a member of the core cast eventually warming up to and/or breaking down in front of the crew members, letting us see an aspect of their personality they keep closed off from the other characters (yes, it took The Office nine seasons, but it did happen!).
But there was no such last second opening-up here. The 5-0 are a self-contained unit, all of whom would rather do their job in relative anonymity than receive any media glory (well, except for maybe Bergman and that cravat). The greatest insight that this mockumentary yielded is that Chin played the trumpet; but really, its true lesson was that the 5-0 only spill their secrets to each other.
And then, of course, there was Wo Fat. When we last saw him, things looked fairly dire (and bloody) for the ol' super-villain. Is this the end for Wo Fat?? Just kidding, it is never the end for Wo Fat. But I will be very intrigued to see how a hospital-bound Wo Fat plays out for the rest of the season (and whether Doris will show up to seal his fate one way or the other).
What do you think will become of Wo Fat? What's your favorite TV mockumentary episode? Was anyone else reminded of Waterworld when they explained that the tattoo was also a map (what do you mean, I'm the only one who's seen Waterworld?)?
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