So, once upon a time, my grandfather caught an episode of a television show, found it hilarious, and called my father to tell him he’d found this uproarious parody about a bunch of dumb girl detectives. My father told him the show wasn’t tongue in cheek. My grandfather insisted that couldn’t possibly be so. But the next day, he called back, crestfallen, and told my father that he’d been right. That show was the original Charlie’s Angels.
Now, the show is on the verge of a comeback, produced by Drew Barrymore, who of course starred in the movie remakes. And while the concept is as ludicrous today as it was 34 years ago, I actually think that a tweaked remake of the show is worthwhile. Of course, there are female action heroines on television, but often on Leverage or Burn Notice, they’re someone’s girlfriend, or ex-girlfriend, or like on the upcoming Covert Affairs, going into action mode to escape a bad relationship. The Angels may work for a faceless dude and a bumbling male handler, but they’re in it for fun. In the recent movie remakes, their friendship was the highest value in the movie, something I think happens all too rarely in popular culture, where women far more often undermine each other. They’re extremely competent, they’re aggressive and action-oriented, but they don’t need to be acting out of extreme psychosis or trauma to act that way.
The setup may be absurd, but that doesn’t mean that all the principles the show is built on are worthless. If they keep it light, and fun, it could actually end up being more worthwhile than a lot of self-serious stuff that’s on the air already.