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Charlie's Angels

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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Thanks @SilverStormm for adding this show! And so fast!

 

Y'all, I LOVE this show! Loved it as a kid and still love it, even though when rewatching, the screaming of Jill when she's invariably being attacked sounds like some awful B-Grade movie actress.

 

These thoughts were running through my head today, that although the opening has Charlie, a.k.a. Blake Carrington, a.k.a. John Forsythe as taking Jill, Sabrina and Kelly away from the tedium of being nothing but meter maids, when they got the bad guy, you could see, well, I could see, that some part of them, still thought like cops.

 

Like how they would always say "FREEZE!" with their gun. Now, why would a P.I. have a need to do that I ask you? 

 

I'm always conflicted, because I really can't decide who is my favorite. It's a close tie between Sabrina and Kelly. But if I had to really choose just one? It has to be my girl, Sabrina. Because she was smart. Not that the others weren't. But she used her brain, she could suss out what why and/or whom? She, well, Kate Jackson, would so get into the most ridiculous of outfits they put her in. And unlike the others, Sabrina never used her sexuality. Not that that was a bad thing. She didn't have to. And it wasn't because she didn't have a good body. She did. Hmm...maybe this last part should go in her own thread...

 

I've always wondered why they didn't actually use John Forsythe as Charlie, since they used his voice. Because the glimpses of Charlie's head, or body or hand we'd see? That was SO Not John.

 

And I've always wondered who played Charlie when Kelly got shot in the last season. That wasn't John Forsythe. Was it? It didn't look like him.

 

And I find that the first three seasons with Sabrina/Kelly/Jill and Sabrina/Kelly/Kris are by far my favorite. Season four was okay. But good God Almighty, why was Season five? UGH.

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Apparently, Oprah did a "Where Are They Now" for Charlie's Angels.  I missed it. Jaclyn Smith posted the 7 odd minute video on her Facebook page, but the it kept freezing. I was only able to catch that Jaclyn, Kate and Farrah were the best of friends when the show started and remained so.  She was asked to come up with one word to describe each of the actresses who played the Angels:

 

  1. Kate: Perfectionist
  2. Farrah: The All American Girl Next Door (guess she couldn't come up with one word, heh)
  3. Cheryl: I couldn't make out.
  4. Shelly: couldn't hear
  5. Tanya: I think she said Wild or something.

 

Then the clip froze. Dammit.

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I haven't found the whole thing yet (jeez, the OWN website sucks), but I saw enough to finally answer a niggling question ... I knew the original three had remained good friends, so I had always wondered why Jaclyn wasn't at Farrah's funeral.  I saw pictures of Kate, but none of her.  Well, now I know -- poor Jaclyn!  She left her mother's hospital bedside to fly out for the funeral (at her mom's insistence), but got news upon landing that her mom had taken a downturn and been placed on a respirator, so she had to turn right back around.  She lost her mom seven weeks later.  She says in the interview she has always felt bad about that, but knows Farrah would have understood, since Farrah had gone through losing her mom, with whom she was so close.

 

The fact those three stayed friends after only working together a relatively short time in the scheme of things has always touched me in a way.  As silly as the show was in hindsight, it really meant something to me as a child, and to know they got a lot more out of it than a paycheck enhances that memory.

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The fact those three stayed friends after only working together a relatively short time in the scheme of things has always touched me in a way.  As silly as the show was in hindsight, it really meant something to me as a child, and to know they got a lot more out of it than a paycheck enhances that memory.

 

I know. And even though I said this in the episode thread, I'm going to say it again; though the premise was that Charlie took the women away from the drudgery of police work, how they did their jobs as PIs? They were cops; just without the uniforms.

 

And wow, I'd never heard why Jaclyn couldn't make it to Farrah's funeral, and it always makes me tear up, when Jaclyn tears up, whenever she talks about Farrah.  At least Kate, Jaclyn and Farrah were able to appear together right before Aaron passed, at the Emmy Awards. At least, I think he was alive and sitting in the audience.

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Wasn't it an "In Memoriam" thing, that Spelling tribute at the Emmys?  I think he had already passed away earlier that year, and that's why they put the package together of his various shows - and then had the original "Angels" come out on stage to close it out. 

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Wasn't it an "In Memoriam" thing, that Spelling tribute at the Emmys?  I think he had already passed away earlier that year, and that's why they put the package together of his various shows - and then had the original "Angels" come out on stage to close it out. 

 

That's right! I'm not sure why I'm thinking Aaron was in the audience, tearing up at their words of praise. I'm going to blame it on my migraine.

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Okay, somehow, during my two week binge watching of Scarecrow & Mrs. King, I totally missed the first season on Cozi. So we're in the second season and it's the Sammy Daviis episode, and can I just say how fucking BADASS Kate Jackson/Sabrina looks in the opening credits with her shooting at the target range?

 

And it's clear she sort of did a lot of her stunts here, with her being pushed into the clothes rack after trying to jump on one of the kidnappers' back...and then I remember how horribly horrid and obvious it was that stuntmen where used when she was playing Amanda King. Which weren't as dangerous. I mean, sitting on a motorcycle?

 

Hmmmm, maybe I should have posted this in the Sabrina thread.

 

Anywayyyyyz, I just love Sabrina and this episode was just a hoot. Sammy Davis, Jr. playing Brubaker who was just a look alike for Sammy...and kidnapped by mistake. And hello! Martin Cove, who would show up later in Cagney and Lacey!

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I was going to ask about favorite episodes, but I have to say overall, the first season was my favorite because of the chemistry of the cast. It seemed to be missing in the later seasons. Kelly and Sabrina had fun moments, so did Kelly and Chris, but the cast as a whole felt fractured.

 

I also think season 1 had the best one liners. Jill was so funny.

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It's a very good thing that I can't stand the final season, because the price for that season is equal to the first four seasons put together! It's outrageous. And since I'm only interested in the seasons with Kate, I plan only on getting the first three seasons, and the fourth, only because there were a few episodes I liked and COZI isn't airing them all; I'm finding that COZI skips over certain episodes, just like it does with Magnum, P.I., which just confuses me.

 

Anyway, The fourth season features appearances by Robert Reed and Patrick Duffy in the same episode, and I just love that episode, even with its idiocy and how Duffy's character, within a week's or whatever time, "falls in love" with both Kelly and Kris. Blech. But Reed is so deliciously evil, and it was the first time I saw him playing a villain, while watching the reruns of The Brady Bunch at the same time, it was quite traumatic.

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So we're in the second season and it's the Sammy Daviis episode,

 

I remember that one.  I was always a sucker for Sammy Davis Jr. showing up in an episode of my TV shows -- this, Cosby Show, All in the Family -- especially when he played himself.

 

And Dean Martin was in an episode, too, playing a Vegas casino owner.  I think Sabrina got to kiss him.

 

I was going to ask about favorite episodes, but I have to say overall, the first season was my favorite because of the chemistry of the cast.

 

I like the first season best, too.  I like pretty much all those episodes, and have special affection for the fantastically cheesy Angels in Chains.  I also really like the one where they fake Sabrina's death, the roller derby episode (because roller derby was The Shit back then), and the one where everyone - including Bosley - goes undercover at a hospital.

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I bought the first four seasons and they arrived yesterday. No way in hell am I forking over $35 for the last season. Which I detested for the most part.

 

And I took the show off my DVR since they're now in season 4, which I really don't care for, except for a handful of episodes.

 

And really, I think that Kris was the weakest link, during her first two years, what with the kind of undercover work she did, was so unbelievable. I'm not ashamed to admit, I would fast forward her scenes unless Sabrina and/or Kelly were also in them. She just irritates me. I never knew how much until binge watching the episodes while at home.

 

I also love "Angels in the Outfield"? I think it was? The one where they had to play football?

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I also really like the one where they fake Sabrina's death

 

 "KELLY, OH GOD, SHE'S DEAD, SABRINAS'S DEAD!"   Jill dear, sometimes less is more.   Don't oversell it.

 

 I am in the minority; I liked Kris and Kelly/Kris/Sabrina is my favorite combo.  I like earlier Kris better and liked when she would do the ditzy blonde routine.  I didn't like uber serious Kris as well (I think it was the proto-80s hair and puffy blouses that changed her  lol; I didn't care for that look on Kelly either).

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Spotting the stars on this show is so much fun! The Sammy Davis Jr. episode was great, with Sammy throwing out "groovy" and "heavy" and an occasional Yiddish word here and there. Jamie Lee Curtis showed up as a blonde in a '78 ep, and I didn't even recognize her! 

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Okay, I changed my mind.

I've been watching the first season on DVD past two days, and the best team is Sabrina/Jill/Kelly. And they're all really, very, very beautiful, smart, cunning, smart and fucking badasses. I'm so glad that I have this show to watch again and again from my childhood to show me that women could be friends and badasses and thar weren't no need for no MAN to be shoved in, to either make it "better" or to have the ridiculous and par for the course triangles that are far too prevalent on current shows.

And now speaking of famous folks, there was Tommy Lee Jones and David Ogden Stiers in the pilot...Hugh O'Brian, Cesar Danova (who showed up twice; once in the first season--"The Mexican Connection", where he played a drug dealer, than again in the third season's "Angels on Skis"?), and then there's Robert Pine, who would later show up to play Sarge on CHiPs a couple years later...and a few future soap opera stars. Too bad Frank Sinatra never made it on the show, then we could say all members of the Rat Pack appeared! And also, Robert Loggia.

And being the anal person that I am, when it comes to stuff, I noticed a goof/mistake in the pilot. The client, turns out to be the daughter, Janet Lamierre (sp?); the picture shown to Sabrina, Jill and Kelly of Janet as a little girl, has her with very light, light almost translucent blue eyes. So one would think Kelly and then Sabrina showing up would have tipped off the stepmother and her henchman, that neither could have been Janet. BUT THEN...at the end of the pilot, when we find out that Janet was the client, adult Janet has brown eyes. Not that it bugged me too much, but I noticed it and it had me going 'huh.'

Too bad I can't enable the subtitles, because sometimes Farrah and Kate speak so softly, it's hard to make out what they're saying.

 

ETA: D'OH! How could I forget! a Very SEXAY, unmustachio'ed  Tom Selleck as Alan, Kelly's doctor boyfriend, in the episode where Sabrina faked her death.

Edited by GHScorpiosRule

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So, I watched the special features "Angels Forever Featurette" on the first season DVD, which apparently is a bunch of interviews of fans of the show; some famous, some presidents of Kate Jackson's fan club, and some die hard show fans.

 

Leonard Goldberg was the only person associated with the show who was interviewed. I was hoping to see some with Kate, Jaclyn, David Boyle, John Forsythe and Farrah (assuming this was made when she was still alive and healthy/before she got sick).

 

But I call foul on one "fan" who didn't even know that Beamish from "Séance" was NOT Kelly's maid, but the matron at the orphanage where Kelly grew up. BAH!  Though the character of Beamish seems to contradict an earlier episode where we learned that it was nuns who raised Kelly in an orphanage, and I can't imagine them letting that horror Beamish abuse Kelly.

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So I'm up to the third season, and bleaaach.

 

It's just not the same without Sabrina/Kate.

 

And for some reason, I always thought they had revealed that Sabrina had remarried her ex- Bill Duncan. But in watching the premiere, all Charlie said was that the honeymoon was over because she discovered she was pregnant.

 

I'm going with Sabrina and Bill got back together again.

 

Speaking of Bill, for someone who was supposed to be a smart cop, he totally blew Sabrina, Jill and Kelly's covers in "The Blue Angels" which was the season finale.  And that 'stache looked horrid on Michael Bell (Bill).

 

Anyway, it's just not the same. Kris, who really looked and acted like someone a lot younger and even naïve in her first season, seemed to have morphed into this experienced sophisticate in the fourth season premiere. blech.

 

And maybe it's just me, but with Kate gone, it looked like the show tried to show (pardon the awful pun) the women as glamor models who became detectives, with the heavier make-up, clothes that I wouldn't want to wear because I'd be afraid to get them dirty or ripped or destroyed. I dunno.

 

I did find, however, that I didn't fast forward a single episode from the first season or second season, but did so a lot, in the third and fourth. Of course, I didn't fast-forward any scenes with Sabrina/Kelly.  Not sure what that says about me, though.

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For the uninitiated such as myself what is Cozi?

 

It's a cable station that airs shows from the 60s 70s and 80s...Magnum, P.I., Starsky & Hutch, Hart to Hart, 6 Million Dollar Man, Bionic Woman, Charlie's Angels, to name a few.

Edited by GHScorpiosRule

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6 Billion Dollar Man

I knew inflation was bad, but damn.

A quick check tells me that Steve's 6 million cost in 1973 would equal 31,912,297.30 today. Or the 32 million dollar man to keep it simple.

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I knew inflation was bad, but damn.

A quick check tells me that Steve's 6 million cost in 1973 would equal 31,912,297.30 today. Or the 32 million dollar man to keep it simple.

 

D'OH! All fixed!

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Jill, Sabrina and Kelly away from the tedium of being nothing but meter maids

Which never made sense, since in later episodes they would have people coming at them who they had arrested or testified against.

 

 "KELLY, OH GOD, SHE'S DEAD, SABRINAS'S DEAD!"   Jill dear, sometimes less is more.   Don't oversell it.

Thanks for the laugh. I'd forgotten that scene.

 

Season 5 had that creepy transvestite episode with this awesome scene:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voxd93QmENU

 

I mean come on, how could they not tell that was a dude?

 

I seem to remember alot of porn references in the early seasons.

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 I never really watched The Mod Squad, but happened to catch the beginning of an episode last week.   It has the female lead on a picnic with a young boy, telling him a story about a prince, seashells, etc.  I knew it sounded familiar and placed it to Charlie's Angels, where Kelly gets shot by a young boy (To Kill an Angel).  I never heard this fairy tale outside of Charlie's Angels so hearing it in another show I thought it must have been something popular in the 50s or 60s.  A few scenes later, the boy in the Mod Squad (who doesn't speak and is was an abandoned child) episode witnesses a murder and shoots the female lead.  This causes her two partners to start trying to track down the boy.  Obviously the Charlie's Angels episode was almost a direct copy of this one (down to a 3 year old time card being the sole clue).  Both shows were by Aaron Spelling so I guess he was able to transfer scripts between shows.  It seems kinda lazy to reuse a script so completely, especially in the first season of a show.  

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  Obviously the Charlie's Angels episode was almost a direct copy of this one (down to a 3 year old time card being the sole clue).  Both shows were by Aaron Spelling so I guess he was able to transfer scripts between shows.  It seems kinda lazy to reuse a script so completely, especially in the first season of a show.  

 

Spelling wasn't the only one to do this. Stephen Cannell did the same; he had a plot in RipTide about Joe's old high school reunion/murder, that was literally ripped off and used in another of his shows, starring Mario Van Peebles (I can't remember the name of the show) that had the same plot; I think it was a former classmate that committed the murder or something.

 

But I agree, it's very, very lazy.

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They did the same thing on The Bionic Woman. A Season 1 episode "Fly Jaime" is the exact same script as a Season 1 Six Million Dollar Man episode, "Survival of the Fittest". Very lazy.

Edited by Writing Wrongs

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Mod Squad & Charlies Angels had a lot of similar plots & storylines. That said, even The Rookies had the same plots. All Aaron Spelling productions & with 3 people leads. In retrospect, not terribly creative of Spelling but they were sure all fun shows. I watched all of them.

Jill screaming out the window that Sabrina is dead is hysterical but I did think Farrah Fawcett-Majors played it well. Of course, her hair blowing out the window really added to the scene. <sarcasm>

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I wanted to edit to add but don't see the option. Anyway, tonight's Mod Squad is set at a Circus with Pete, Julie & Linc going under cover as part of the Circus. Another Charlie's Angels plot for later use. Man! Aaron Spelling really didn't care what the writers wrote , did he?

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 I saw part of that episode tonight.  From what I could tell, at least the Charlie's Angels episode altered some of the details.  More than the kid shooting Julie/Kelly episode.  No, he apparently no qualms about reusing plots.  I suppose we should be lucky we didn't have Fallon, Sammy Jo and Kirby going undercover in the circus with Joseph Anders as their handler on Dynasty.

 

 I managed to catch Friday's episode, Dancing in the Dark.  Sabrina always cracks me up as the ditzy daughter.  If this had happened in a later season, I'm sure Kris would have been cast as the vulnerable target of the blackmailers.

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 I managed to catch Friday's episode, Dancing in the Dark.  Sabrina always cracks me up as the ditzy daughter.  If this had happened in a later season, I'm sure Kris would have been cast as the vulnerable target of the blackmailers.

 

I love how Kate Jackson would go all out in the different personas she would play.  If Cheryl/Kris had played the vulnerable target, I don't think she would have been even close to funny as Kate was. She would probably throw in a Southern accent, which is what Cheryl/Kris did for almost all her undercover assignments; except for the one with Barry Bostwick; she used a horrid Swedish accent in that one.

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Ah,The Jade Trap. Yes that accent was horrible but for me it crossed into the so bad it's funny realm. Seriously it's like she was angling for a guest spot with the Swedish Chef on The Muppet Show.

I liked Sabrina undercover, but her go to was generally her wise guy new yawker character.

My favorite bits were where one of them was undercover as some overy the top caricature and they interacted with each other. I loved Sabrina telling the con artist to make Jill go away. "I don't like her" Then there was the episode where Kris plays Bosley's trophy wife and constantly rags on his looks....right in front of him. There's also one I can't remember the episode/details but Kelly is undercover as some pretentious heiress or some such and is ranting at one of the other Angels. At certain points the suspect can't see her face so she makes these goofy faces at the other Angel.

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The best was Season 1. They were playing grifters and really were undercover. Also, all 3 were together for the most part. For whatever reason, Kate Jackson didn't like Cheryl Ladd. To this day, I still don't know if it was Ladd specifically she didn't like or if had been any other actress to replace Farrah. In Seasons 2 & 3, it was usually Kelly & Kris together and Sabrina on her own. Thank goodness Smith got along with Ladd. Who knows what the show would have done if Smith hadn't got along with Ladd either. What the heck was up Jacksons butt? There's a neat interview clip from the Mike Douglas Show right before Season 2 airs. Kate is interviewed separately from Ladd, all of the sudden, she needs to get back to the set and then Ladd shows up with a script in hand and sits next to Jaclyn. Already, you can tell there is tension with Jackson. She is ever so careful with her words. If those studio walls could talk.

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Yeah, I remember Cheryl saying that some days Kate would talk to her and some days she wouldn't. Obviously, she had some problem going on.

 

I used to always pick up on the goofs that they left in the episodes. There is the episode "Angels on Horseback". They are listening to Bosley lay out the case and are trying on cowboy boots and one of them gets theirs stuck. The others do a double take and kind of laugh. It looks unscripted. Also one where two of them answer, "Hello Charlie." at the same time and they look at each other and laugh. And one where David Doyle trips on something and they kind of laugh. I love those moments.

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And, there's a another great interview (thank god for YouTube) with Farrah on Merv Griffin. It's some Ladies Home Journal Award (or something like that) and, Farrah looks amazing in a full length fur coat. Long before PETA came a knockin. LOLA!! Anyway, she is in the middle of filming Season 1 and Farrah is already saying how exhausted she is. She said she barely made the taping of the talk show because she was still at work after 16 hours. It's real telling because you can tell she has already mentally checked out and that she & Lee aren't too happy with the long hours. With what we know know it's interesting to see a real time interview. Of course, we all know that shortly thereafter she bolts. At one time, I thought it was made up about her happiness but she is already talking how the scripts aren't good and she is basically beat. BTW! Did I say she looked amazing!! She was simply stunning then. She was my favorite.

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Finally got around to watching the roller derby episode, which is even more fun than I remembered. Farrah is quite attention-getting in a couple of scenes, walking around bra-less, with nipples that look like eyeballs! And I couldn't explain this the first time I saw the ep and still can't: someone attaches a bomb under Kelly's car, and when she gets back in and calls Charlie, somehow he knows it's there. Not only that, after she pulls the car over and gets out, Charlie yells, "The suitcase, Angel, the suitcase!" Kelly had stopped to pick up a suitcase when the bomb was planted. So how did Charlie know, from over the phone, that the bomb was there, and how did he know she had left the car without it? That's why Charlie makes the big bucks!

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And, while they jiggled they were all natural and/or real. Jill did everything on wheels, didn't she? Whether it be a skateboard or roller skates Farrah and/or Jill were game. Awesome!

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Just finished watching the season opener from Season Two, Angels in Paradise. (The original episode was a 2-hour movie but syndication and the DVD box set break it up into two episodes.) Some thoughts:

 

The good:

Even though Charlie was the titular head of the agency, I've always thought that Sabrina Duncan was the true leader of the Townsend Detective Agency and, in my opinion, this episode proves it. The Angels are up to their necks in trouble in this, and Sabrina is the one who has to find a way out of their various predicaments: Charlie's been kidnapped, Jill is gone, they have a new and inexperienced Angel to work with, and the entire team is caught between two rival gangland factions. Sabrina is the one who the other Angels (and Bosley) turn to for leadership and she is the one who formulates all of their counter-strategies against their opponents. Sabrina Duncan at her very best as far as this viewer is concerned.

 

Cheryl Ladd steps in effortlessly as Kris and develops good rapport with Jaclyn Smith and David Doyle. She gets stuck with the worst set piece in the episode -- visiting a nude beach -- but she does it with enough humor that the whole thing feels more dumb than exploitative.

 

The person who really adds to this episode is France Nuyen as gangland boss Leilani Sako. She is pitch perfect as the icy Leilani, who kidnaps Charlie in order to blackmail the Angels into breaking her husband, Billy, out of prison. It's a pity she was never asked back as she would have made an outstanding recurring villain.

 

 

The bad:

The rival gangland faction, led by Mr. Blue, is a joke. Somehow, overweight gangsters in a cheap-looking plaid suits don't exactly strike fear in the heart of the viewer and hardly seem like worthy opponents for either the Angels or Leilani Sako.

 

Norman Fell also makes an appearance at the nude beach, and this is the kind of campy guest appearance that really gives 70s television a bad name. 

 

 

Overall grade: A-

Edited by Jan Spears
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Episode 2 of the second season, Angels on Ice, was another two-hour movie. When skaters associated with an ice show disappear, the Angels and Bosley go undercover to discover what is going on and why.

 

The good:

Unlike the season opener, Angels in Paradise, this episode is more of a hit-and-miss affair. But there are some exciting/suspenseful moments, particularly when Sabrina enters the apartment of one of the missing skaters without realizing that one of the kidnappers is in the apartment as well. Kelly also has a great moment when she performs a belly dance at a Middle Eastern restaurant for the assembled bad guys.

 

As in Angels in Paradise, Sabrina is the one who provides leadership to the group, and she is also the one who acts as an intermediary with Charlie.

 

Jim "Mr. Howell" Backus appears as a backstage worker at the ice show.

 

The bad:

Enjoyment of this episode really depends on how much 70s comedic shtick you can stomach. With Edward Andrews on hand as an alcoholic homeless man and Phil Silvers playing the owner of the ice show, the broad comedy goes on too long and often brings things to a dead halt. Adding to the general groan-inducing atmosphere is the very stereotypical depiction of the ice show's choreographer. 

 

How do the Angels thank the alcoholic Edward Andrews-character for his help at the end of the episode? They buy him a bottle of wine!!!

 

This is the first episode where you can see Sabrina splitting off (to some extent) from the other Angels. As the case progresses, Sabrina either goes it alone or works with Bosley. Meanwhile, Jaclyn and Cheryl have plenty of scenes (and developing camaraderie) together.

 

Interesting appearance:

Sherill Lynn Rettino, who would go on to play Cliff Barnes's secretary for many years on Dallas, plays one of the missing skaters.

 

Grade: B-

Edited by Jan Spears
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Season 2 - Episode #3 - Pretty Angels All in a Row - 09/28/77

 

Synopsis: Someone is trying to sabotage a beauty pageant so Kelly and Kris go undercover as contestants and Sabrina and Bosley pose as a news crew.

 

The good:

The best thing about this episode is the friendly rivalry between Kelly and Kris to see who will finish higher in the beauty pageant contest. Also, we get to see the two Angels actually competing with Kris performing a magic act (which would feature prominently in her opening credits segment thereafter) and Kelly dancing yet again.

 

The bad:

Charlie's Angels was always balanced precariously on a ledge above farce and, unfortunately, this episode sees the show fall off that ledge into full-on farce. With the exception of the Angels and Bosley, everyone in this episode functions on a moronic level, especially the two good 'ole boys who are the ostensible villains. The whole episode is played at such a low brow level that, at times, it feels more like an episode of Three's Company than Charlie's Angels.

 

Adding to the problem is the fact that, once again, Kate Jackson is separated from the other Angels. She is either on her own or working with Bosley.

 

Interesting apperances:

Don Starr, who would play Jordan Lee on Dallas for many seasons, makes a brief appearance here. Patricia Barry plays a judge and she would go on to become a company member on Guiding Light during the 80s. Finally, Dana Kimmell, who would go on to play the female lead in the third Friday the 13th movie in the 80s, has a small part.

 

Grade: C-

Edited by Jan Spears
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Season 2 - Episode #4 - Angel Flight - 10/05/77

 

Synopsis: A college friend of Sabrina's, who trains flight attendants, receives threatening phone calls and ominous black roses. Kelly and Kris go undercover as new trainees at the flight attendant school to unravel the mystery.

 

The good:

This is what I would consider to be a good meat-and-potatoes episode of Charlie's Angels. It's not one of the classic episodes but it gets the job done. Largely this is due to there being something very real at stake. One of other trainees is murdered and this elevates the entire episode above the farce of the prior one.

 

The bad:

Once again, Sabrina is disconnected from the rest of the team (including Bosley). At least in this episode there's a compelling reason for it as Sabrina is shadowing her friend the flight attendant instructor.

 

There's also a weird, peeping Tom type who works at the flight attendant school. He's so weird and peculiar that you wonder why they hired him in the first place.

 

Finally, the sets in this episode look very cheap, even by 70s standards. It's amazing to me how much production design on television shows has advanced since 1977 when Charlie's Angels was actually considered glossy and expensive-looking. I watch this episode now and I can't help but think that the Internet has broadened everyone's tastes by an immeasurable amount in the last 20 years.

 

Interesting appearances:

Robert Gentry, who plays a pilot, would be a featured player on One Life To Live and All My Children during the 80s.

 

Grade: B

Edited by Jan Spears

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Season 2 - Episode #5 - Circus of Terror - 10/19/77

 

Synopsis: A circus owner's son hires the Angels to investigate the acts of sabotage plaguing his father's circus. The Angels go undercover as a mime (Sabrina), a motorcycle rider (Kelly) and a knife thrower's assistant (Kris).

 

The good:

If you asked me to pick my Top 5 Charlie's Angels episodes of all time, this episode would probably make the cut. The episode is engaging from beginning to end, not least because the answer to the mystery of what's happening at and to the circus is not immediately apparent. Unlike many episodes, where you could deduce what was going on after about 5 minutes, this episode takes its own sweet time to unravel the mystery. Helping in this regard are the possible suspects: Is the owner's son trying to sabotage the circus so the father will have to sell and the son will profit? Is the mysterious knife thrower behind it all? And what about the sinister mime/clown?

 

Adding to the general atmosphere is the circus setting itself, especially the nighttime scenes. Circuses at night can be creepy, especially when the only ones occupying the circus grounds are the performers.

 

Another big plus is that all of the Angels (and Bosley) have fun undercover assignments and, more importantly, they are all constantly interacting with each other in different combinations. For the first time since Angels in Paradise, the team feels united.

 

As much as I like Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith and David Doyle in this, I think the episode belongs to Cheryl Ladd. She is very funny in the role of the knife thrower's assistant and she also displays some very good detective work along the way. Kris Monroe at her best as far as this viewer is concerned.

 

David Doyle does a lot of comedic work in this with a member of the circus, Tinkle Belle, and most of it is actually charming (i.e. the "Bosley John Bosley" gag).

 

The bad:

There really isn't much bad in this other than the recurring gag with the head with no body. The gag works once and then it peters out.

 

Interesting appearances:

Marvin Kaplan, who plays the body less man, would start playing Henry on Alice around this time.

 

Grade: A

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Season 2 - Episode #6 - Angel in Love - 10/26/77

 

Synopsis: The Angels and Bosley go undercover at a health resort to find out why a murder occurred at the resort.

 

The good:

The parts of the episode with Kelly and Kris acting as a team are interesting and suspenseful. Even though this is only Cheryl's sixth episode, she already has great chemistry with Jaclyn.

 

Like Circus of Terror, what's really happening at the resort isn't immediately apparent. In a nice twist, there are multiple people with different agendas adding to the intrigue.

 

The bad:

After the team cohered so successfully in Circus of Terror, we are back to a fractured team in Angel in Love. Sabrina barely interacts with the other Angels (and doesn't contribute much to the investigation on her own) and Bosley is a non-factor as well. As previously mentioned, that leaves Kelly and Kris to actually manage the investigation.

 

The "Angel in Love" of the title is Sabrina and, honestly, her depiction here makes her look like an idiot. Not only does she not contribute to the team's efforts but she ends up falling in love with one of the crooks. For those of us who love tough, no-nonsense Sabrina, watching a love struck Sabrina is hardgoing.

 

The chase scene on horseback at the end is more side-splitting than exciting. It's blatantly obvious that the "Kelly" and "Kris" on horseback in the long shots are stunt men in wigs and the close-ups of Jaclyn and Cheryl make it perfectly clear that they're not riding horses. Stunt work on television has come a long way since 1977.

 

Grade:

Kelly and Kris scenes: B

Sabrina scenes: C

Edited by Jan Spears

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Season 2 - Episode #7 - Unidentified Flying Angels - 11/02/77

 

Synopsis: The Angels and Bosley go undercover at the Celestial Research Foundation when a wealthy older woman disappears at the foundation. Sabrina poses as a loudmouthed reporter (w/ bad accent to match), Bosley and Kris go undercover as a sugar daddy and his brainless wife, and Kelly investigates the handsome ex-astronaut who is part of the foundation.

 

The good:

The basic premise of this episode -- UFOs -- is ridiculous but, the more ridiculous it gets, the more you'll enjoy this episode. Basically, this episode is a great excuse for all concerned to play different kinds of characters: Sabrina in full obnoxious mode as the reporter, the comical interaction of David Doyle and Cheryl Ladd as the "married couple," Kate Jackson and David Doyle pretending to be bank officials in order to get information out of the wealthy woman's fiscal agent, etc., etc. Most ridiculous of all is Kelly posing as an alien! It's all more comedy than anything else but it is entertaining.

 

The team is much more united in this episode and we actually have Kris saving Sabrina at the end!

 

Jaclyn Smith's second husband, Dennis Cole, appears in this episode as the astronaut and he and Smith have some nice scenes together.

 

The bad:

Kelly posing as an alien is funny but it really is groan-inducing and is the kind of thing that really dates 70s television.

 

Interesting appearances:

Veteran character actor Ross Martin appears as the chief villain.

 

As mentioned, Dennis Cole, who was married to Jaclyn and was a fixture of 70s television, appears in this. It's a little bittersweet seeing him here at the peak of his looks and making such a handsome-looking couple with Jaclyn, and knowing that his later life would be filled with a fair amount of heartbreak. The marriage to Jaclyn didn't last and Cole's son from his first marriage (with whom Jaclyn remained close to even after her divorce from his father) was murdered in a crime that has never been solved. Just a reminder that the private lives of these very famous people aren't necessarily any happier than the lives of non-famous people.

 

Grade: B+ (B if I grade down because of the alien bit.)

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Season 2 - Episode #8 - Angels on the Air - 11/09/77

 

Synopsis: After a news radio reporter narrowly escapes death at the hands of a sniper, Sabrina, Kelly and Bosley go undercover at the radio station. Meanwhile, Kris investigates the leader of a cult who threatened the reporter.

 

The good:

I always forget what a strong episode this. The suspense is non-stop and there are plenty of worthwhile suspects. The Angels all have interesting assignments in this but the episode belongs to Jaclyn Smith. This is the tough-as-nails Kelly Garrett I love, especially at the end when she takes down the suspect on her own.

 

Probably the best part of the episode is a very well-done car chase sequence along country roads on the outskirts of the Los Angeles area that morphs into a car vs. helicopter battle. This whole sequence is well-executed from beginning to end and the production team made excellent use of rural California, which is somewhat creepy even though the action occurs in broad daylight. Kelly finds herself in a world of trouble during the car chase and its only the well-timed intervention of Sabrina (via helicopter) that insures her safety.

 

The bad:

There's nothing truly bad about this although the actor playing the cult leader comes across as more stupid than sinister.

 

Interesting appearances:

Nicolas Coster, who plays the villain, was a daytime soap veteran during the 70s and 80s, appearing on Another World, Somerset and Santa Barbara.

 

Linda Dano, who plays the reporter, would go on to play Felicia Gallant on Another World for 17 years.

 

Grade: A

Edited by Jan Spears
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Season 2 - Episode #9 - Angel Baby - 11/16/77

Synopsis: The Angels and Bosley investigate a baby trafficking ring. Sabrina and Bosley pose as would-be adoptive parents, Kelly goes undercover as an unwed mother and Kris tries to infiltrate the trafficking ring.

The good:

For whatever reason, some of the show's best episodes were the ones where the Angels investigated some kind of illegal vice. Maybe the seriousness of the material forced all concerned to adopt a relatively serious tone with these kinds of episodes. Regardless, this episode really benefits from the general seriousness of tone. There is some humor, mainly due to Kate Jackson's portrayal of a know-it-all would-be mother. For the most part, though, the material is not played for laughs.

The best part of the episode is the ending when Kris shoots one of the villains. It's made perfectly clear that Kris had never shot anyone before and we see her visibly shaking. What follows is one of the all-time great moments in the show's history when Sabrina takes the gun from Kris and then comforts her. For all that we've heard about the coldness Kate Jackson displayed toward Cheryl Ladd behind-the-scenes, this scene proves that they were both professionals who got the job done when called upon to do so.

The bad:

I really have very little bad to say about this episode. I could have lived without the knowledge (conveyed to the viewer at the end of the episode) that the person Kris had shot was still alive. The prior scene and Kris's reaction works better when she (and the viewer) thinks she killed the person.

The only other minor negative is the really 70s look of this episode, the men looking particularly ridiculous with big collars and flared pants.

Interesting appearances:

This episode is a mini-Dark Shadows reunion of sorts as John Karlen, who co-starred with Kate Jackson on that show during 1970-71 and appeared with her in the Night of Dark Shadows movie, appears as one of the villains. Karlen, of course, would go on to great success in the 80s as Harvey Lacey on Cagney & Lacey.

Edward Winter appears as one of the other villains and he is best remembered today for his recurring role of Colonel Flagg on M.A.S.H.

Finally, Scott Colomby, who appeared in Caddyshack and Porky's in the 80s, is the male protagonist here.

Interesting note:

The opening credits to the series tell us that Charlie took the Angels away from the mundane tasks they were given in the police department(s). But Kelly's interactions with the Scott Colomby character reveal that she was doing something more substantive than guiding school children through a crosswalk -- she was involved with the police department's gang unit.

Grade: A

Edited by Jan Spears
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Season 2 - Episode #10 - Angels in the Wings -- 11/23/77

Synopsis: The Angels and Bosley investigate why someone is trying to disrupt the filming of a musical. Kris takes a singing part in the film.

The bad:

After a run of good-to-great episodes, the show hits a brick wall with this disaster of an episode. The two lead guest stars, who play bickering former spouses and current leads in the movie musical, are completely obnoxious and unsympathetic. The numerous musical numbers bring the action to a dead halt whenever they occur (and they occur frequently). The action is minimal and there's no end to the constant "dramatic" monologues of the lead couple and their son.

Cheryl sings in this episode but her presence in the movie makes no sense. If the movie is released with her in it, then her use to the Townsend Agency is over with. If she's cut out of the movie once the case is solved, then the production incurred thousands of dollars of cost for unusable footage.

Truly this is a case where the plug should have been pulled on a nonsensical script like this before it ever reached a sound stage.

The good:

Cheryl sings in this so, if you're a fan of her musical career, this might be of interest.

The only redeemable part for me is when Sabrina, Kelly and Bosley chase the main suspect through the cat walks high above the sound stage. There's a creepy ambience up in the rafters and the fact that the three of them are clearly out of breath once they lose the suspect only adds to the realism of the scene.

Interesting appearances:

Musical film star Gene Nelson gets special mention in the credits for his contributions to this.

Grade: D+

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Season 2 - Episode 11 - Magic Fire - 11/30/77

Synopsis: The Angels try to clear a magician suspected of causing various fires. Sabrina poses as a French fashion designer (w/ ridiculous accent to match), Kelly pretends to be the daughter of a famous magician, and Bosley and Kris go undercover as a magician and his assistant.

The good:

Like Angel Flight earlier in the season, this is a good meat-and potatoes episode. There's a decent amount of action and humor, although the humor emanating from Kate Jackson's French accent may have been unintended. David Doyle and Cheryl Ladd are funny in their magic act and once again show how well Cheryl integrated into the team in such a short amount of time.

The bad:

While Kate Jackson interacts more with the rest of the team than she had in prior episodes, there's still a pronounced feeling to this episode of a solo Angels episode being spliced into a team adventure.

Interesting appearances:

E.J. Andre, who plays the magician the Angels are helping, would go on to play Mr. Eugene on Dallas during the 1980s.

Grade: B

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