‘Charlie’s Angels’ Pilot Recap: “We Earn Our Wings Together”

Whatever possessed me to watch ABC’s new relaunch of ‘Charlie’s Angels’? I honestly don’t have an answer for that. Morbid curiosity, perhaps. I have no particular nostalgia for the original 1970s show, and I pretty much hate those Drew Barrymore movies from a few years back. Nonetheless, I found myself recording and watching the new version’s premiere last week. This just isn’t for me. But I watched it, and so now I’ll recap it.

For a pilot episode, ‘Angel with a Broken Wing’ wastes no time at all establishing an “origin story.” The characters and their backstories are introduced in a very quick opening credits sequence (reminiscent of the original), and then we just jump in as if the show had been on for years. I guess the producers expect that the audience is already familiar enough with the concept that nobody needs it to be retold. I kind of like the idea that perhaps the original series, the movies, and this new show are all one continuum, with the same Charlie simply employing new batches of girls as the years go by.

The latest batch that we’re introduced to include Abby, a naughty rich girl with a penchant for cat burglaring (Rachel Taylor from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’); Kate, a former dirty cop (Annie Ilonzeh from ‘General Hospital’); and Gloria, an ex-soldier and one-time gang member (Nadine Velazquez from ‘My Name Is Earl’). Given that none of these actresses is top-billed Minka Kelly (‘Friday Night Lights’), it stands to reason that one of them is going to get killed off quickly. That would be Gloria, who goes kaboom in a car explosion that’s set up with painful obviousness.

The voice of Charlie is literally phoned-in by Victor Garber (‘Alias’). The new Bosley is a young Hispanic stud (Ramon Rodriguez from ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen‘), though the original actor a lookalike of the original actor (from the ’70s, not Bill Murray) makes a wink-wink cameo.

After Gloria’s death, the remaining Angels are very sad. In searching for her killer, they come across Eve (Minka Kelly), Gloria’s homey from the orphanage in El Salvador where they both grew up. Just so you know, it actually pains me to type out some of these words.

Needless to say, Eve’s going to be the new Angel before the episode is over. In order for that to happen, the three girls need to avenge Gloria by bringing scummy crime lord Pajaro (Carlos Bernard from ’24’) and his Russian henchwoman (Ivana Milicevic from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’) to justice and breaking up their white slavery ring. The details of how that happens aren’t important.

The episode is filled with really bad acting and even worse dialogue, sprinkled with a few shoot-’em-up scenes and a little bit of martial arts. In other words, it’s exactly what anyone tuning in should expect.

Beyond that, I don’t have much to say. The show is what it is. Either this is your sort of thing or it’s not. Personally, although I fully understand that the series is intentionally trying to be campy, it falls flat for me. And I have to question whether we really need something like this in 2011. What’s the point?

I was bored for the whole hour. I have no interest in watching again. Your mileage may vary.

12 comments

  1. that wasn’t the actor who played bosley in the original show. david doyle passed away years ago. they got a great look a like for that cameo. it’s a bad show with nothing going on. bad casting on bosley.

  2. Jane Morgan

    Are there any good TV shows in the action genre?

    Television seems ideal for episodic drama, but the budgets are small, the shooting schedules are short, the action sequences are cheap/generic.

    Would it be technically possible for someone like Tarantino to put ‘Kill Bill’ on TV, with movie-quality action?

  3. Jane Morgan

    ‘The Raid’ on HBO would kill. Older televisions would explode.

    On the other hand, should Gareth Evans confine himself to TV? Or would his career be better spent evolving the action movie genre?

  4. Vortex

    Just waiting for the Angels to say they broke their fingernails. None of actresses look tough or crazy enough like they can fight.

    During the pilot episode commercial breaks, Drew Barrymore advertised her makeup product 4 times. Being one of the producers, Drew really knew how to make use of the airtime.

  5. I watched it, and fairly enjoyed it. However, I liked it as a novelty. I just cannot see watching this show week after week. I expect it to die mid-season.

    As for other shows that have not been recapped yet:

    Pan-Am – THIS SHOW IS AWESOME!!! Pulled me and my roommate in! As it comes on right after Fox’s Animation Domination, I think we are adding Pan-Am into our Sunday night schedule.

    Terra-Nova – Eh, about what I expected. Seems like it would make for a great mini-series, based on the first episode. I don’t really see how this show can maintain itself past, oh, about six episodes, especially with the budget it must have. But I will keep watching it at least a few more weeks, and see what happens.

  6. Wyatt

    I also watched this new version of Angels and wow it was awful. I’ve never seen Minka Kelly in anything before this show and wow she’s an awful actress. Great eye candy but damn she’s a bad actress. Let’s just say I won’t be watching episode 2 of the series.