There has been a spate of familiar franchises offering a reliable hour of action and all packaged in the familiar brand name. Offering some tangential relation to the films that bare its name, but with modern location and setting that suit the hour schedule. Typically, full of action and intrigue, but not too much to offend the advertisers. In 2011, after the blockbuster films failed to further the franchise and the original was approaching its 40th anniversary, it was time for the Townsend agency to open its doors for the Charlie’s Angels.
Charlie’s Angels are a crack team of investigators, They all made mistakes and given a second opportunity to work for the Townsend Agency, a Miami based detective agency run by a mysterious man, Charlie, who communicates only via intercom. Their clientele includes royalty, rich elites, and anybody who needs their help. Each week, the agents are thrown into deadly yet glamorous plots, equipped with technology, ingenuity and good old-fashioned combat. The Angel’s tragic backstories might be manifesting in their jobs, as figures from the past plot schemes in shadows.
The show’s first (and unfortunately only series) laid out a lot of overreaching threads that promised days of entertainment. The audience learns from the first 20 minutes that show that dramatic changes to the proposed formula can happen on a whim. Suffice to say it was a bold choice killing off an Angel in that time, one that hinted at the game-changing directions the creatives were willing to go to. The characters also have secrets that will gradually be revealed, and I would assume provide future seasons with many hours of intrigue. The day-to-day adventures mainly of The Angels focus on the Miami-Dade area of Florida, and the striking location makes an impressive backdrop to the weekly undertakings.
The new Angels themselves are similar to the ones that come before, but have relatively fresh backstories, despite filling similar roles and impressive resume, highlighted in a fun intro sequence in the first episode. The Angels consist of Rachael Taylor as Abby Sampson, expert thief, until she got caught that is who alongside cracking safes, she also cracks wise; Annie Ilonzeh as Kate Prince a former cop, who unfortunately took some bribes, but is now repentant; and finishing off the trio is recruit Eve played by Minka Kelly, who joins the team through tragic circumstances, though quickly learns the ropes. I also like how Bosley, played by Ramon Rodriguez, feels more engaged with the rest of the team, and less of a support player than previous incarnations. Make no mistake it is still Charlie’s Angels show but the former hacker features prominently in the missions.
More professional and serious than the arguably campy incarnations of old Charlie’s Angels, the 2011 show had a lot of promise for its eight hour-long adventures. Those looking for another dose of stylish action will be pleased that Miami is still a gorgeous location for jet-setting excitement and that these newcomers wear the angelic crown well and adapt to the times satisfactorily. In the darkest hour of boredom and when you need a thrill, you can safely rely on the Townsend Agency.
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