Friday, September 23, 2011

TV PILOT REVIEW: ABC's "Charlie's Angels"

I'm probably one of the few film critics who absolutely loved Drew Barrymore's kitschy, glossy, girlie, badass Charlie's Angels trilogy, but you can't deny that it was the most profitable TV-to-film revival. Needless to say, I was psyched to hear that Barrymore would be bringing it back to TV. What I was hoping for was sexy, smart, badass women who save the day, pull off cool stunts, and have formidable opponents. Alas, lightning didn't strike twice.

I know that it's unrealistic to expect the same production value as the films, but couldn't they just have borrowed Hawaii Five-0's cinematographer, Nikita's combat trainer, and Gossip Girl's wardrobe? Even the Angels themselves are more B-team than A-Team. They cover the basic archetypes and skin tones. They seem qualified and feisty. But I don't feel the sisterly love. That's in part because the writers decided to introduce a new Angel as a plot device for explaining who these women are. It was a practical decision, but again not what a modern Angels fan is accustomed to. The Bosley they cast, Ramon Rodriguez (Battle: Los Angeles and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), is way too young to believably control three rebellious women who have a history of bucking authority. The Charlie (Victor Garber from "Alias") they chose for the intercom voice doesn't sound as refined and fatherly as Charlie normally does. He sounds like old Kit ("Knight Rider"). They should've got Malcolm McDowell ("Franklin & Bash") or Alan Dale ("Lost"). And to be honest, watching them report to an intercom seems incredibly archaic in an age with so many types of advanced technology.

I actually had high hopes for Minka Kelly's ("Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood") first lead role, because she didn't get enough screen time on her previous shows, and I knew Aussie Rachael Taylor was meant for more after watching her steal every one of her scenes in Transformers. But it's hard to get in the Angels spirit when they're not all bffs yet. And there's nothing that entices me to stick around and watch as their friendship grows.

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