New vs Old Magnum P.I. Review


Jordyn Seamans, Writer

Magnum P.I. was an American crime fighting television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum a private investigator on Oahu, Hawaii. The premiere was on December 11, 1980 and the series concluded on May 8, 1988.

On Sept. 24, the reboot of Magnum P.I. was released. People have mixed opinions about the remake of the classic series. To me, the original  Magnum P.I. from the 1980’s is irreplaceable.

The old series had personality, it was witty and at its time it brought attention to women and nonwhite characters. But it still had all the action and romance we all love. The new Magnum P.I. is trying to live up to the classics standard, but it is very hard as they want to make it their own while also adding in enough details that portray back to the original.

There are many differences from the old to the new one, such as the famous Higgins played by John Hillerman is now seen as a woman. Higgins was very strict and always acted as Magnum’s foil. I could see how the new director wanted to add more female roles since it is three decades later. Since she is a women, they could take a spin off of the original and have a romantic relationship form between Magnum and Higgins. One of the main details that the new series didn’t show was Magnum’s famous bushy mustache. The new Magnum played by Jay Hernandez has a light goatee.

The producers and directors of the new show did not try to find someone with the characteristics of Tom Selleck, they rebranded his look by hiring a Latino actor. They also changed his style and the first impressions other people would get from him. Selleck towered over people and wore hawaiian shirts, while Hernandez is more compact and has a classier look.

Now while there are tons of differences, there is still a details they tried to keep the same. They kept Higgins dogs the exact same, there are two Doberman pinschers named Zeus and Apollo who get along with everyone except for Magnum. The director also didn’t change anything about Magnum’s friends, they still have a sense of strong bonds and brotherhood, as they all fought in the war together.

Hernandez has a hard role to live up to and it is probably a good thing they are portraying the series a little different, then Hernandez can add his own twist on the classic. As many fans were expecting to see an exact replica of the old series, unfortunately this will not happen. To those fans including me will either have to rewatch the classic or change their mindset and try out the new series.

The remake will still give us action like car crashes and helicopter stunts, while it will also give us banter like the original did. Of course you can’t expect the new series to be just as good as the old one, but hopefully it will be just as good in its own way.