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Exclusive : Charlie’s Angels Pilot Details

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Caffeinated Clint
@http://www.twitter.com/clintmoviehole

Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

Just read the pilot for “Charlie’s Angels”, which “Smallville” brains trust Alfred Gough and Miles Millar are shepherding, and Drew Barrymore – who, of course, starred in the feature films – is producing.

Verdict? Quite entertaining. From what I can tell it’s not as campy as the films, it actually takes itself fairly seriously, and that could either be it’s greatest asset or it’s pebble path to swift undoing.

Did you like the original ’70s series? Then, you’ll like this – it’s a slicker repackaging of it.

The series doesn’t feature the ‘Angels’ from either the original series nor the feature films.
We’ve got Abby Sampson (Caucasian. Former teenage criminal, now the spring-chicken of the Angel’s), Kate Prince (African-American ex-cop) and Marisa Valdez (Latino. The rookie, former marine). And of course, Bosley.

Oh, and the pilot is considerably different to that of the series opener of the ’76 effort. In that, the Angels – already an established trio – head to a Vineyard to locate the missing owner, presume dead. If the body doesn’t turn up in a certain amount of time, the inheritance will be presented to the man’s second wife, instead of his long-lost daughter.

In this one, an Angel, Gloria, has been murdered and it’s up to her former colleagues – and a rookie mulling over an offer to join the Townsend company – to catch her killer. Rumour is it’s ‘gang related’ but as Gloria was such a private person, the Angels don’t know where to start. I imagine, like “Veronica Mars”, that the Angel’s will be working on Gloria’s case, as well as other unrelated cases (‘crime of the week’), concurrently throughout the first season.

First scene is at the office. Group meeting.

Kate’s a former cop. When we first meet her she’s coming in late to the meeting, where Bosley, Abby and Marisa wait patiently for her. Bosley informs Kate that ‘Ray’ has been trying to reach her. They all quickly conclude that she’s avoiding the guy – who, we’re informed, is not only a ‘police contact’ of Kate’s but her ex-fiancee. She eventually gets back to Ray… who informs her of some not so nice news.

Marisa is a former military woman. Tough cookie. She got her ass booted from the battlefield because she ignored a direct order (to shoot a 14-year-old who, as it turned out, was a terrorist). She’s been offered a job working for the Townsend agency but is hesitant to work for ‘a voice on a machine’ (though she said she’d settle for Video Skype, so long as she could ‘see’ Charlie). Bosley ultimately convinces her that this is where she belongs. On the outside Marisa’s this hard-as-nails marine, but inside she’s a nerd that’s creamin’ to get back home and play some Duke Nukem.

Abby, the youngin’ of the gang (and token Caucasian), likes the bad boys. She has a habit of bringing home no-gooders. Her last boyfriend, Finn, was a slacker skateboarder who cleaned her account dry. Seems she’s got a bit of a shady past too – she use to be a thief (robbed Picasso’s). Her dad was a Gordon Gecko-like scumbag. Abby spends a lot of her time working out in her apartment – kicking the crap out of bags.

Bosley is not only somewhat younger than the Murray/Mac versions we’ve seen in the film, but seems a little more level-headed… a shoulder to cry on, a friend in need, the man with the answers.

Charlie, again speaking through a box, is… well, the same ol’ Charlie. If he hadn’t of passed away, I’m certain John Forsythe would’ve reprised the role.

Pretty action-packed pilot – lots of ass-kicking, suspense, angst…

Now don’t get me wrong there, there’s definitely humour here, but by-and-large this is much more reminiscent of the original TV show (in fact I bet the character of ‘Kate’ is a tribute to Kate Jackson) than it is the films. It probably could afford to go a little ‘campier’ – if only because, at times, I couldn’t help but think they’re trying to make this a little too much like the old TV series… and, well, different times now. The “Knight Rider” and “Bionic Woman” reboots stuck closely to the original shows, and they didn’t work. The audience wants to laugh with the characters, not at them, remember? – but the pilot will likely be engaging enough, anyway (The ‘Who killed Gloria?’ subplot should draw people in). The pilot, I guess you could say, plays a bit like a “Veronica Mars” meets “Nikita”. Not a bad thing. Just hope there’s a few more laughs as the show continues.

Look forward to seeing who they cast in the main roles.

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