"Hawaii Five-O" script sparks on-line idea

Ryan Ozawa
Ryan Ozawa
Valentino Valdez
Valentino Valdez
Dave Lancaster
Dave Lancaster

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After the "Hawaii Five-O" premier splashed across TV screens, social networking sites were humming over one slice of dialogue.

"I know you?" Steve McGarrett asked.

"You better - Chin Ho Kelly," actor Daniel Dae Kim answered.

"Chin Ho Kelly. Kukui High School. You were a great quarterback," McGarrett said.

Islanders know Kukui High School doesn't exist. But twelve hours after the show aired, kukuihigh.com showed up on the web.

"The beauty of social media is that things happen at a lighting pace. After the episode aired and people were either complaining or laughing about Kukui High School, it was a very small leap to set up a web site," Ryan Ozawa said.

Ozawa and graphics and web page designer Valentino Valdez are the men behind the Kukui High craze.

There's a Facebook page and a Twitter account. The fake campus now has an on-line identity complete with a logo and a mascot.

"We went with the Kukui High kukui nut tree. That became the seal. The mascot became the Fighting Nut. So that's how it came about," Valdez said.

Anyone can sign up to be part of the school's fictitious alumni that includes radio personality Dave Lancaster, who "really" graduated from Farrington.

"I just got creative and sat there and created my virtual yearbook story and uploaded a picture. It was fun," he said.

Ozawa thinks Kukui High's catching on because it lets people reinvent themselves.

"If you never were in the glee club, now you can say you were in the glee club. And certainly being the Kukui High Nuts, it gives you the opportunity to make all kinds of nut jokes," he said.

"We want to see the show succeed," Valdez said. "We want people to be fans of the show in a fun way."

The laugh is that so many folks are getting caught up in Kukui High fever.

The school created by a TV script has taken on a life of its own.

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