With Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park leaving Hawaii Five-0 in advance of Season 8 — amidst a huge controversy over an apparent racial pay gap — the series is going to undergo some major changes, and we all know how cast shakeups can affect ratings. But they also can affect other characters as well.
Unfortunately, the departures of Kim (who plays Chin Ho Kelly) and Park (who plays Kono Kalakaua) will, most likely, result in more semi-regular cast exits simply because of their on-screen connections to Kelly and Kalakaua. For example, Park's character is married to Adam Noshimuri, played by Ian Anthony Dale. With her no longer on the show, it's doubtful that the series will have much use for Dale.
In addition, Julie Benz had appeared in several episodes of the show as Kelly's love interest — and Kelly had adopted his niece, Sara Waincroft, played by Pilina Koko. Both of these characters will likely disappear from the series.
These additional characters had added layers to the series and created more fans. Ian Anthony Dale's character proved that there's always a chance to turn your life around, while Kelly's adoption story tugged at heartstrings. Now, how will viewers get the opportunity to follow the stories of these other characters they've grown to love?
Both Park and Kim play characters that were born and raised on Hawaii. They know the people, the language and the customs. And their connections to the other residents of Hawaii have been woven into the series from the beginning. Their exits will take away a huge part of the task force's bond to the island.
The character of Chin Ho Kelly, portrayed by Kam Fong, played a large role on the original Hawaii Five-0, appearing in 241 out of the 281 episodes. He was killed in the tenth season of the series, and it left a hole that could not be filled. The modern Hawaii Five-0 will not be the same without Chin Ho and Kono, but it's losing much more than just two characters; it's losing a part of what made the show a hit series.
Will you continue to watch Hawaii Five-0 without Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park?