Fall 2011 Review: Charlie’s Angels

20 Nov

I tried holding off watching Charlie’s Angels as long as I could; it was probably the hour long show I was least interested in making it through.  I waited so long, in fact, that the show was already cancelled by the time I watched it.  Of course, that wasn’t particularly surprising.  Long before I watched it, and very soon after I heard of the existence of the reboot a quick cancellation seemed inevitable.  It’s hard to explain exactly why it seemed so certain before even the details behind the show were, but quality programming seemed exceedingly unlikely.  The revival of a ‘70s series there seemed to be absolutely no one clamoring for a reboot of was ill-advised in and of itself.  The show is remembered, but more for sex symbol Farah Fawcett than for anything else, let alone its quality, and my friend is convinced the only reason Charlie’s Angels was so successful in the 1970s was because looking at hot girls on TV was a bigger draw before the advent of the internet.

I put myself through the paces of watching, and it was certainly bad, though it was by no means absolutely unwatchable.  One lesson watching pilot after pilot has taught me is that the worst dramas can never stack up next to the worst comedies for cringeworthiness or sheer unwatchability.

The first episode begins with the short prologue that three girls ran into trouble with the law but the mysterious Charlie character got them out of trouble and gave them a second chance, and they became his Angels, some sort of private investigators.  I quickly noticed that one of the introduced Angels was Nadine Velazquez, rather than Minka Kelly and anticipated a near-immediate grisly death for Velazqeuz, which happened within the first seven minutes or so of the show.  Kelly is Velazquez’s best friend, and helps the remaining two Angels avenge her death, eventually joining their ranks at the end of the episode.  24’s Tony Almeada, Carlos Bernard, plays the villain, responsible both for the death of Velazquez, and the capture and sale into slavery of children – not a good guy.  They do this all with the help of Bosley, the sole male major character who works with the girls and seems to be a conduit for messages from Charlie.

The action scenes were fine.  It’s a bit of a stretch to think that characters who were allegedly cat burglars and hackers have action skills like experts, but if it wants to be a silly little action show I can live with that.  What I can’t live with is the particularly terrible writing and acting.  It felt extremely forced and unnatural and not in a good stylized David Mamet or Qunetin Tarantino way.  There’s jut not really anything worth watching here.  None of it makes me angry enough to go on a rant, and the show met its cancellation fate which is no more or less than it deserves.  It just makes me wonder what studio executives ever though this would work.

Will I watch it again?  The question’s moot, and honestly, the fact that I took this long to watch it means the question would probably be moot regardless.  That said, it’s unfair to judge ahead of time, but the show lived up to my expectations and I would not watch it even if were on to watch.

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