3 Tips From Hawaii Five-O That Are Sidekicking Awesome Part 1

Photo by appelcline

Photo by appelcline

There is nothing quite like watching a TV series to give me character ideas. Who doesn’t love sidekick characters like Abby and Ducky in NCIS or Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties?

Did you know that initially Family Ties was designed to focus on Elyse and Steven Keaton, but with Michael J. Fox playing Alex, he gained such popularity that he became a focal point in the show? That is how a secondary character can grab a reader’s interest as well.

3 Tips From Hawaii Five-O That Are Sidekicking Awesome Part 1 was inspired by the latest TV Series that I am watching. In the process of seeing these two central characters spar, I’ve learned a lot about my own characters as well.

Each week in April I will share another installment of 3 Tips From Hawaii Five-O That Are Sidekicking Awesome starting today with Tip #1.

Tip #1: Arguments Bring on Humorous Tension 

Right from Hawaii Five-O Season 1, Episode 1 Steve and Dano are arguing.

Here is a clip from Season 1, Episode 1:

(Please note there are a few words in it that I wish weren't, but the example is so helpful.)


Interesting Elements of this Sidekick Character:

1. Conflict between two people that have to work together to accomplish something, especially when they are in dangerous situations, builds tension. In the end, the two conflicted characters develop mutual respect for each other, but the differences are still there, ready in the line up to cause conflict again in the future.

2. Juxtaposing Key Values of the Hero and Sidekick make us like them both more. This shows us the character’s values. When they defend it to each other it makes us want to defend it, too.

Dano is all about his daughter and he doesn’t plan to get killed and leave her without a dad, so when he risks himself it’s important to him that Steve understand the value of what he just did.

Steve just wants to catch the man who killed his father. He’s about justice at great personal cost and doesn’t care if that gets him killed.

3. The Character who is in charge in the segment gets the upper hand first. It establishes that character as the Alpha male or dominant role in leadership in the story.

4. The sidekick gets to show their strength as well, that they are a force to be respected. It establishes their worth on the page. No one wants a pansy of a sidekick.

5. Each Character learns to appreciate the value of their sidekick. Steve appreciates Dano’s commitment to his daughter. Steve illustrates this by giving Dano a three night stay at a hotel where his daughter can go swimming.

Dano accepts Steve’s apology and commitment to justice. He accepts being late to pick up his daughter because of the urgency of stopping the villains’ escape. He can put Steve’s big initiative for justice front and center.

What are some of your favorite sidekick characters?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

7 thoughts on “3 Tips From Hawaii Five-O That Are Sidekicking Awesome Part 1

  1. Hi Michelle –
    I LOVED this illustration. I’m working on a novel right now (or two or three, LOL) and I felt like something was missing. I think this is it! I need more conflict between my two main characters as they work together. This helped me visualize how that “looks.” This was great!

    • Michelle Lim says:

      Michelle, I’m so glad it helped you with your book! When I’m struggling to find that missing element I often watch a TV series and it sparks a new idea of how to fix a missing ingredient.

  2. Gilmore Girls’ Mrs. Kim opened my eyes to the potential in a secondary character. She’s the stereotypical Asian mother … with a twist: she’s a devout Christian. I love thinking of a stereotype then twisting it into something original.

  3. I like this! Jude Law as Watson is probably my favorite sidekick.

  4. […] 3 Tips From Hawaii Five-O That Are Sidekicking Awesome Part 1 we talked about the importance of arguments bringing humor and tension to make the sidekick […]

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