Magnum, P.I.

Season 1 Episode 11

The Curse of the King Kamehameha Club

1
Aired Unknown Feb 19, 1981 on CBS
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
50 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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The Curse of the King Kamehameha Club
AIRED:
Rick is organizing a surf-ski competition to be held at the King Kamehameha Club (much to the disapproval of co-committee member Higgins) when a Kahuna appears and places a "curse" on the club and all who use it. Magnum and others are skeptical, but it seems there may be something in it when one of the competitors suddenly collapses and dies, fire breaks out in the kitchen, and Rick falls ill. Magnum investigates to try and find if there is a more logical explanation behind the events, but his inquiries aren't helped by a hounding news reporter, who sees the series of strange incidents as a chance for a big news story.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Rick and T.C. uncharacteristically act like cool, normal people and Magnum gets medieval on a nursing home patient.

    8.0
    **** SPOILERS **** Outside of the lame plot, this is a pretty decent episode. I think the T.V. executives took a week off during this filming and weren't around to screw it up. This week, Magnum shows some real emotion as he's frustrated on a case. He slaps the T.V. camera of a crew that's following him during his investigation, he shoves a sweet Latina maid that was very nice to him on a previous visit, and he gets up in an old man's face who's senile and confined to a bed. Pretty hardcore S! Higgins does a great scene with the King Kamehameha Club's board of directors, going over the "Complaint Corner" suggestion box notes he received from members that all pertain to Magnum. T.C. doesn't come across like a bunch of TV execs are advising him about how to act more black, and Rick hardly seems like a dork at all (woot???). In fact, Rick demonstrates some pretty savvy business skills in this episode - except that he walks around the office with his shirt almost completely unbuttoned and he talks like he's one of the Jerky Boys. In this episode, Magnum's shirt is also always almost completely unbuttoned - even when he's talking to doctors at the morgue. If I was talking to the doctors at the morgue, I'd probably feel a little naked and would take it up a few notches, but Magnum has no such insecurities. His chest hair needs room to breathe so good for him! I liked that I got to see a little of the club in this episode. The club's board members wear plaid leisure suits and the place is decorated and furnished like a cheap 1970's Holiday Inn. The ending is stupid since the killer completely spills her guts to Magnum about all the people she's killed and then asks him to go for a drive to "nowhere in particular". Of course, Magnum accepts this generous offer - I mean, who wouldn't??? Great characters, crappy plot, two thumbs up!!!moreless
  • At the King Kamehameha Club, where a surf-ski competition is planned, a Kahuna places a 'curse' on the club. Soon, a member dies, a number of 'accidents' occur and Rick falls ill, but Magnum is sure there's a more logical explanation. A good episode...moreless

    9.0
    When I think of great first season episodes of MPI, 'The Curse of the King Kamehameha Club' is one that I always tend to overlook. Which is somewhat unjust, as it is a good episode, if one not to be taken too seriously.



    This episode is the last time that we hear the original Ian Fairbairn-Smith theme on the opening credits (the more familiar Mike Post and Pete Carpenter theme had been on the closing credits since 'The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii' a few episodes previously). Although Post and Carpenter's theme is the more iconic, I really liked Fairbairn-Smith's theme, and think it suited the early episodes really well.



    This episode takes place completely away from the Robin Masters Estate, centring around the King Kamehameha Club (obviously). The story also acts as more of an ensemble, as Higgins, T.C. and Rick also get a lot of screen time together with Magnum (incidentally, this is the first episode where Magnum is called "T.M.", by T.C.).



    In fact, there are a lot of first and lasts in this episode, and it really feels as if the show is making the transition into a on-going series: It is the first time we see Magnum on his surf-ski, which will be seen MANY times in the series; it is the last time we see Moki (Remi Abellira), an early recurring KCC barman; and we get our first mention after the Pilot of Rick's disco, which seemingly went bust before he took over running of the Club.



    To look out for, playing pushy news reporter Christine Richards, is Gretchen Corbett, who played the recurring attorney Beth Davenport in that other classic detective show, 'The Rockford Files', for the first five seasons. Corbett reappears as a different character in 'Magnum' in the fourth season's 'The Look'.



    The story is a bit silly in places but still a good one, and there are several red herrings as to who might be behind all of the trouble at the Club. The final outcome is a pleasing conclusion, and well played. This does stand out as one of the times that Magnum gets his judgement seriously wrong at one point though (boy was he hard on that poor old man!)



    Overall, as I say I tend to overlook this episode, but it's still a good one. I hadn't watched it for quite a while until I came to review it, and I really enjoyed re-watching it. Not an all-time 'Magnum' classic, but a fair example all the same.moreless
Gretchen Corbett

Gretchen Corbett

Christine Richards

Guest Star

Lew Ayres

Lew Ayres

Sidney Dollinger

Guest Star

Manu Tupou

Manu Tupou

Charlie Kalo

Guest Star

Remi Abellira

Remi Abellira

Moki

Recurring Role

Michael Santiago

Michael Santiago

(voice)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Magnum is shown to be an avid surf skiier in this episode, and it continues to be a major hobby for Magnum throughout the series.

    • The camera carried by the news cameraman was made of wood, but was an exact copy of the RCA - TK76 then in use in the industry.

    • Rick, frustrated with the sudden spate of trouble at the King Kamehameha Club, mentions the club, Rick's Café Americana, that he was seen owning of in the Pilot; the first of only a couple of times that it is ever mentioned. He even mentions Sam the D.J.; and while it's not made overly clear, it seems that the club went bust.

    • "Moki" can be seen placing ear plugs in each twice due to the editing of the scene, and the variance in the actor's performance.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (2)

    • The German episode titles are "Der Fluch des Kahuna" ("The Curse of the Kahuna") and "Grundstücksspekulanten" ("Real Estate Speculators"). The French title is "La malédiction du roi", meaning "The Curse of the King". The Italian title is "La maledizione del King Kamehameha Club", an exact translation.

    • This is the last episode where Ian Freebairn-Smith's original theme for the series is used. From the next episode, Mike Post and Pete Carpenter's familiar theme, used on the end credits and in in-episode incidental music since "The Ugliest Dog In Hawaii", takes its place on the opening creidts.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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