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Art imitates life

Yes & Know By Aline Yamashita

When Magnum PI was cancelled, I was stunned. I am one of 7 million viewers of the weekly show. I simply stared at the news. How can that be?

I am proud to say that, like my dad, I like television. I appreciate the magic of being transported to other places. I enjoy drama, mystery, laughter. I like learning about stuff.

But Magnum PI did much more than all of that. It was my celebration for making it through another week. It motivated me to make it through another. It is no exaggeration that the pandemic had an incredible effect on my little corner of the world. Magnum PI was my anchor.

So when I watch Thomas get into messes and climb back out, I cheer. His character, as a veteran who survived Afghanistan, makes me proud. He is nice and pleasant. He is funny. He is considerate and helpful. He is intelligent.

When I watch Higgy solve how to get her visa renewed or how she partners with Thomas as a private investigator, I nod. Smart as a whip and healthy as can be, I admire her.

As I watch TC become a foster dad, my heart smiles. I love Cade’s story and how tragic childhoods have hope. I stood for TC when he stood for Cade. TC does what all adults need to do for kids.

When I watch Rick and Suzy become parents, I smile. Long-distance relationships rarely succeed so it was so rewarding to see them deliver Joy Frankie. Rick is patient and supportive. He is also strong enough to share his feelings.

Every time I watch Kimu, I cheer. As the elder, the respect for her is enormous. She has the island wisdom that is so needed by families and friends to keep moving forward. She is safe and comforting.

Every time I watch Detective Katsumoto clash with Thomas and Higgy, I smile. Working together even while breaking rules delivers. While the last episode had him suspended, Gordy had no regrets because he saved the mother of his son. Family first.

Every time I watch Shammy join the table, I applaud. When he accepted TC’s invitation to be a pilot for Island Hoppers – after addressing PTSD issues – I was proud.

From his wheelchair to the pilot’s seat sends huge messages of inspiration.

Every time Jin is in an episode, I expect craziness. He delivers. He’s nuts and funny. He’s so comfortable in his skin that others accept him.

Of course, the fact that Magnum PI is filmed in Hawaii, is a huge reason I love the show. Ohana is breathed in and out. Family and friends are the fabric of island life. When Kumu got into the baby ward to see Joy Frankie, Rick asked how she got in. Kumu’s distant cousin is a nurse there. But of course.

The beauty of the island – the blue skies, the turquoise waters, the flowers, the people, the sand, the sounds, the food – adds to the beauty of the program. When Thomas and Higgy finally kissed on the last episode, the gorgeous sunset added radiance to the moment.

I like that Magnum is casual and humble. I like that they enjoy food and drink together. I like that they laugh and cry. But what I really like more is how they always help each other.

I like how Thomas, TC, Rick and Shammy find a way to survive the pain of war. Their memories give them strength and capacity. Their bond gives them love and courage. Their attitudes give them life and laughter.

Much credit goes to the writers, directors, and producers. Thank you for helping so many of us make it through the pandemic. Every day, I check to see if Magnum PI got renewed.

Miracles happen. Magnum PI sparked miracles in everyday life as it reassured and pressed us to enjoy life with love and laughter.

Aline Yamashita is a mom, a teacher and former senator. She served in the 31st and 32nd Guam Legislatures. You may write to her at

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