How many of you remember the cheesy seventies-era Charlie’s Angels? Or perhaps the more accurate question: are there any of you who watch the show through re-runs? I can admit that I have – and I love it. There’s many things about it that bring on eye-rolling and groans, but above all it’s cute, which is why when I learned producers were re-booting the series for the 2011 TV season, it made me happy. I’ve decided to share my early thoughts on the millennium version, Charlie’s Angels, Season One Episode 1, of a now iconic television show.
Charlie’s Angels, Season One Episode 1 (2011) ABC TV Review
Everyone deserves a second chance – even thieves and cops who get in over their heads. The elusive Charles Townsend runs one of the most successful detective agencies in Miami. All three of his detectives are women, they are Charlie’s Angels. Charlie’s criteria is very specific when it comes to his employees, and all must need redemption. The three women currently working for the Townsend Agency are learning this. 20-something Abby Sampson (Rachael Taylor) is a spoiled Park Avenue princess bored with her life. This inspires her to train as a world-class thief. Then he finds Kate (Annie Ilonzeh). Kate is a Miami detective who had it all including a wonderful fiancé until she goes on the take. Rounding out the trio is Gloria, a former Army lieutenant whose specialty is explosives. Following a seemingly routine case, Gloria dies.
This forces Charlie to convince the girls to find Gloria’s close childhood friend Eve (Minka Kelley) to bring down the guy who murdered Gloria. Needless to say things get off to a rough start between the three very different girls. Eve is a tough street-wise racer whose own muddied past follows through with Charlie’s cause. With the help of fellow detective Bosley (Ramon Rodriquez), the girls tentatively work together.
I am not going to lie; I had very high expectations for this show, and the premiere isn’t up to par. Don’t get me wrong, it’s darn entertaining but there isn’t that “spark” that convinces me it will last. I’m willing to overlook many of the shows flaws because I have had this experience with a pilot episode before the show turns into a very impressive hour of entertainment. Unfortunately, the acting is just so-so while the gadgets are, as usual really high-tech. All three of the actresses are attractive without making it impossible to believe they would chose this life, but Minka doesn’t jive with being a tough tomboy. Her face and voice are way too sweet “good-girl” persona while Rachael fits a rich-kid and Annie makes a credible ex-cop.
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Neither one of the developers (Alfred Gough and Miler Millar) have much experience when it comes to television writing but they do have a number of episodes (Smallville). (Star of the feature film and its sequel, Drew Barrymore also is a producer, too.) Where the 70s Aaron Spelling show is bad in its action sequences, one of my biggest concerns for the 2011 version is that it’d be too flashy; too tacky’; too sexy, too… 2011. It does justify some of these expectations, but there is a happy medium. By today’s standards, the show finally got most things right. No longer do the girls always look runway-perfect, instead they are tough, leading females who actually look the part of detective – and can handle a gun to boot!
In a move that might hurt or assist the show, there are reflections of its source. The original creator (Ivan Goff) gets a leading credit while both the theme music and opening is much the same. For my two cents, I don’t want to be too harsh because, to be fair, these are just first impressions. The little petty issues I may have with this premiere are offset by the camaraderie and the fact that the action sequences actually look credible. Unfortunately, I think the script tries a little too hard to be witty and the dialogue suffers as a result. The wardrobe is “very 2011,” but there are some attractive pieces. As one of TVGuide’s top ten most anticipated shows, and with a healthy dose of promotion, I have no doubt that the show will garner a decent following for a couple of weeks (its premiere has the most for its time slot since 2009). But the real question is, will it be enough?
That will be answered in the weeks to come. For me, I am willing to give it leeway and am going to root for its survival; the DVD release will be a source of excitement at my house… even if it won’t be until next summer!
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