Friday, September 23, 2011

TV: Charlie's Angels

Charlie's Angels (2011)
Annie Ilonzeh
Minka Kelly
Rachael Taylor
Ramón Rodríguez
Victor Garbe

I know my regular readers are puzzled. What am I doing watching TV - and actually writing about it?

Well, I do watch some TV, but not a lot. And I cannot remember the last time I made a point of sitting down and watching a pilot of a show.

However, I am a big Charlie's Angels fan from way back. When I was 13 and the original show came on, I never missed an episode. And I liked the first Charlie's Angels movie with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu. The second one, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, is okay but it went a little over the top, moving from detective to superhero in one gigantic leap.

So I was curious to see what the new incarnation of Charlie's Angels would look like. Plus I am taking this class on detectives in film and literature, so I could plausibly call this homework.

This will be a spoiler, so if you are not keen on knowing what happens, please walk away now.

The three angels, Abby (Rachael Taylor), Kate (Annie Ilonzeh), and Gloria (Nadine Velesquez), are more or less criminals. Abby is from a wealthy family, but she is also a good cat burglar. Kate is a former police officer who went bad. Gloria was in the military but received a court martial. Charlie has given them a second chance.

Bosley (Ramón Rodríguez) is a very handsome young fellow who got caught hacking the IRS's computers.

In this first show, called Angel With a Broken Wing, the three girls go off to save a young girl who is being sold as a sex slave. They accomplish their mission quickly and meet back at headquarters for a pat on the back. Abby and Kate decide to go party, but Gloria says she has something else to do. They all go outside, and Abby and Kate stop to have a chat about some unopened letters from Abby's father that Kate found in the trash. Gloria goes to her car, gets in, and the car explodes. She is dead.

Exterior cameras caught a woman on a motorbike leaving the scene of the crime. Kate and Abby go after her and find her on a boat. The woman in question, Eve, turns out to be a tough catch. As they have a stand-off, a helicopter comes roaring over the water and bullets fly. They all dive in the ocean, and Kate and Abby decide Eve is not the bad guy.

They join forces to find Gloria's killer. Eve is a childhood friend of Gloria's, and she relays a horrible tale of a time when she and Gloria lived together in an orphanage and some men came to take them away to sell as sex slaves. However, they escaped but they could not forget the looks of terror on the faces of their fellow orphans. Of course, the fellow that the Angels were after originally is the very same guy.

The evil sex trader is now a wealthy millionaire, so they infiltrate a ritzy party and capture his woman. Eve gets caught, though, and the evil fellow recognizes her as the little girl who got away. He takes her away for torture.

His woman soon tells them where Eve and other enslaved young girls are, and the Angels go save her.

Charlie asks Eve to join the team as the third angel, and she agrees.

That's the basic story. Not bad, really. This episode reminded me a lot of the Charlie's Angels movie with Drew Barrymore, which is no surprise since Barrymore is an executive producer of this new show.

The show is set in Miami, and I think it was a good idea to move it to the east coast. I thought the girls were pretty, the acting okay. I like the young, sexy fellow as Bosley, though I personally think he should be gay. Just because.

The show offered up a few homages to the original show. First, Kate's name obviously is a nod to Kate Jackson, who played Sabrina Duncan in the original. For those who may not know, the original Charlie's Angels was created as a vehicle specifically for Jackson, who at the time was on her way to becoming a major TV star. She was my favorite Angel and I remember reading that she was Barrymore's, too.

The address of the Townsend Agency was 1976 Ocean Blvd. and that address is obviously a nod to the year the original series began. The original ran from 1976 to 1981.

When Bosley is introduced, Abby says his name and the camera cuts to a fellow who looked very much like David Doyle, who played the original Bosley. I was actually relieved when Bosley turned out to be a hunky Latino with two beautiful women adoring him in a swimming pool.

The idea of killing off the lead angel and bringing in the second sister is what happened with the original show. In the original, Jill Monroe (Farrah Fawcett Majors) left (though she didn't die) and her young sister, Kris Monroe (Cheryl Ladd) took her place.

There were probably more nods to the original that I would see on a second viewing.

The only thing I did not care for was the voice of Charlie. It is far too soft and sexy.

I don't know if this is a show that will stand the test of time - even a few months - because I certainly have no idea what the pulse of the viewing public is these days. I think the show would be a solid medium viewing experience, but these days that is not good enough.

The camera action was interesting and different, very reminiscent of the movies. The show had a lot of fast action and if you like to see girls doing martial arts then this is the show for you.

I did not dislike it. I will watch it again next week to see how it progresses.

You can read a review of it here. This writer calls the show mediocre, neither good nor bad.  Below you can see the trailer for the 2011 TV show.


  1. We didn't watch it... but then my feeling, just from watching the ad was that it would be mediocre. Too bad, since they could probably do so much more with it.

  2. My sister, cousin and I adored this show - it was Girl Power before the Spice Girls. Of course, my other cousin loved the show, too, but I'm thinking it was for a different reason...

    We used to do our own version of the opening credits quick glance back to camera complete with hair swoosh. Sometimes we still do, for a laugh.

  3. I watched the original Charlie's Angels occasionally, but haven't seen the movies. I don't watch much TV, so I probably won't tune in for this show.

  4. I loved the original Charlie's Angels. Gosh I watch it now and groan. But it was good for it's time. I'm not sure I'm going to try the new show yet.


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