Tonight marks the 35th anniversary of Charlie’s Angels. Quite fittingly, the new version is debuting on the original’s birthday, though in an earlier timeslot (8pm vs the original’s 10pm). The first series was hardly Masterpiece Theatre and never claimed to be. People loved it for being sexy fluff and it appears that the new series brings more of the same. It’ll be interesting to see if that still works three and a half decades later.
On the new Charlie’s Angels, mysterious millionaire Charlie Townsend (voice of Victor Garber) recruits three beautiful young ladies with diverse former occupations to solve crimes in Miami. Kate Prince (Annie Ilonzeh) is a former local cop, Eve French (Minka Kelly) used to be a street racer, and Abby Sampson (Rachael Taylor) was a thief. They are assisted by John Bosley (Ramon Rodriguez), the Angels’ liaison with Charlie and a computer hacker.
Here’s what the critics have to say about the new Charlie’s Angels:
NY Daily News: “It can’t survive the kind of comically bad writing that requires the ladies to point guns at each other, then work it all out by saying things like, ‘I swear on my life!’ Or to look at a bunch of ominous clues about a mystery man in a dead woman’s apartment and say, darkly, ‘I can’t believe she found him!'”…
“The show does have a good look. You take these three women, put them in Miami and that part would be hard to screw up. But if you like smart women who hide the iron fist under the velvet glove, you’ll get more satisfaction elsewhere – like from, oh, say, Nikita over on the CW, who is better drama all by herself than this ill-served new trio of Angels.”
Chicago Tribune: “Charlie’s Angels, on the other hand, feels exactly like the original—despite what ABC and creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar have said about it having a ‘modern twist.'” …
“And they wear fabulous clothes — or just swim trunks in Bosley’s cast (not complaining) — while doing it. There’s nothing wrong with escapist fun, but I like at least some brains in the mix.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Hey, with a name like Charlie’s Angels, at least viewers have a pretty good idea of what they’re going to get: action, attractive women and gorgeous locations — but not much else.”
LA Times: “The writing is glib (the term ‘cat fight’ is actually used) and the action relies more on gadgetry than Mission Impossible. However, the women all look great.”
Hollywood Reporter: “The writing is atrocious. It’s like a spoof that suddenly took itself seriously. That ABC could have made this on the drama side and the yet-to-air Work It on the comedy side – far and away the two worst shows of this new season – says a lot about what it takes to get fired in this town.”
“Listen, to go on any more about Charlie’s Angels – even to the point of talking about who’s in it or who wrote it (why embarrass them any more than necessary?) gives the show more validation than it deserves. Don’t watch this show thinking it’s so awful it could be brilliant. Or that you could make a fantastic drinking game out of it.”
“No, there are series that will fill those needs. Charlie’s Angels is offensive to every actor and writer currently out of work. It makes Jersey Shore look like Shakespeare. And it sets the standards of television back to, well, the lesser efforts of the 1970s. And that’s nostalgia nobody needs to relive.”
What do you think? Will you be checking out the new Charlie’s Angels? What’s your gut? Do you think it’ll survive to get renewed or will be quickly cancelled instead?
Image courtesy ABC.