Charlie's Angels Series Premiere Review: A Criminal Remake
I want to like Charlie's Angels. I really do. I was a little too young to catch the original when it aired, but I did watch it in reruns growing up. It was campy, silly, fun. Gorgeous women kicking butt and solving mysteries. How can you go wrong with that? Well...
This new version has some fatal flaws. In "Angel with a Broken Wing," we meet the new Angels and I'm turned off before we've even begun. Not by the actresses. They're all beautiful but by the characters.
The original Angels were police officers who, given the sexism of the time, were given menial jobs such as glorified secretary and meter maid. Seeing no opportunity to do real police work, they left and went to work as private detectives for Charlie Townsend.
But, as that scenario will no longer play in modern times, these new Angels are criminals - and I have a real problem with that. Abby's the bored rich girl turned cat burglar, Eve was an orphan turned car thief, and Kate is the worst of all, a dirty cop. Because I consider dirty cops the lowest of the low, I'm finding it hard to get past that one. I'm hoping we'll get some back story soon to give us the reasons behind her disgraceful past.
So far, Eve is the most appealing. Played by the gorgeous and likable Minka Kelly, at least she had the hard knocks life of an orphan to explain her path to thievery. I'm thankful for that because Kelly is hard not to like.
Bosley has certainly gotten a complete make over. He's no longer the balding, overweight uncle type looking after Charlie's girls. Now they've made him this hot stud and I feel as though the character would be more interesting if he were gay. Just my opinion.
Unfortunately, even Bosley has a criminal past. He's a high tech guru and hacker who hates the term. He stole millions from peoples' tax returns one penny at a time. Smart? Yes, but as with everyone else in this remake, it certainly calls his character into question.
Most of the team seems to be here because working for Charlie Townsend is a better option than going to prison. It breeds a particular loyalty to their boss but it isn't as commendable as the premise of the original.
Let's move on to the plot. Is it great? No. It's fluff. I did think it was cute that the human trafficker was stabbed with a wooden angel. During the party scene, our Angels masquerade as servers in red sequined devil costumes. And Abby should substitute for Spiderman on his days off given the way she climbs a building.
I wished they had taken more time assimilating Eve into this crew. They trust her much too quickly and the moment Charlie says she's part of the team she's completely accepted. If they'd made her acceptance a little more difficult I think it could have been more entertaining.
The best scene took place near the end when Bosley tried to convince Eve to work as an Angel. It was the most real moment of the show and the first scene where I actually felt something for these characters. Second best was when Eve took down our villain with a spinning Corvette. I'll admit, that was kind of cool.
The worst scene: the Angels' reaction to Gloria's murder. Abby's crying made me cringe and Bosley barely moved. The car bomb just didn't pack the emotional punch it should have.
There's lots of girl power here and I'm all for that. That's half the reason why I watch most anything Joss Whedon ever does. Of course, the other half is that his writing is in a whole other league than anything you'll see here. And for all of the Angel high kicks and martial arts moves, none of it left me satisfied.
I'm torn because I want to like this remake. Yes, it is cheesy and predictable, but so was the original and I have fond memories. Unfortunately, I just don't have the love for these characters and I'm not feeling enough of the fun. Maybe that will come with time. We'll see. We'll hope.
Charlie's Angels: "Angel with a Broken Wing"
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.