miliosr

Your Favorite (Charlie's) Angel?

41 posts in this topic

Since Charlie's Angels is very much in the news again due to Farrah Fawcett's passing, I thought I would conduct a poll: Who was your favorite Angel?

Note: There's supposed to be a poll attached to this but I've messed it up somehow. Anyway, here are your choices:

Sabrina Duncan (Kate Jackson)

Jill Munroe (Farrah Fawcett-Majors)

Kelly Garrett (Jaclyn Smith)

Kris Munroe (Cheryl Ladd)

Tiffany Welles (Shelley Hack)

Julie Rogers (Tanya Roberts)

My vote goes to Kate Jackson as Sabrina Duncan. Charlie was the titular head of the Townsend Detective Agency but Sabrina was its true leader. She was the one to whom the other Angels looked to for leadership and she would almost always be the one to deduce what was going on with an investigation. When she pulled away from the agency for the last time in her orange Pinto, the Townsend Detective Agency would never be the same.

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Miliosr,

You know I like you, I like you a lot. But please please please, get out of the house a bit more.

(Sabrina Duncan was my favourite too.)

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Not too worry, Simon G. -- I'm off to catch some rays shortly!

As for the poll, well, this board can be so serious (i.e. the Balanchine wars, Veronika Part -- divided opinions, etc.) that the occasional frivolity is sometimes in order.

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Kate Jackson. Always the smart one :)

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Opps, I thought you were asking about the Dark Angel in Serenade!

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Oh, no contest at all. FARRAH. Because for some reason or other, she really was a STAR. The tragedy all the more upsetting when you remember old Barbara Walters interviews when Barbara would say that her magnificent Los Angeles digs 'befit her stardom', having segued from interviewin another big name. I can't remember who it was tho', but she preferred a more modest lifestyle, that was sort ot the theme on that show. And then read that she was on 20/20 last month, and there was talk of Ryan O'Neal 'proposing to her'. This is just heartbreaking, and would be better on the other thread were it not to prove my point that she was the ONLY bona fide star among those 'Angels.' This stardom was not really deep, but it was a true 'American Exotic'. She was a beautiful young woman, and looks like a beautiful Texas girl, which she was. And I think it's this 'American Exotic' that explains that poster, which did seem to be a very strange phenomenon even at the time. But that poster proves something.

As far as I'm concerned, 'Charlie's Angels' is of no importance except for the glamour and relative charm and beauty of the girls. And in this, the rest don't even approach Farrah. They'd even write lines in with guys saying 'you are just so beautiful'. Now THAT I've not heard happen regularly, and they are the only lines I remember from that show, which bored me no end. I don't see any of the others as distinguished in any way., although I'm not familiar with Julie Rogers, so will reserve judgment. Although I do find Cheryl Ladd and Jaclyn Smith impressive as extreme B-list types and 'part go-getters' (lol). I think Ladd even managed to get in a production on B'way, can't have been 'Annie Get Your Gun', can it? Sure glad I didn't see that. Otherwise, TV movie material, no more, no less. Farrah had a presence, and I will add that some of her serious performances WERE extremely good, especially 'The Apostle'. The others interchangeable with Victoria Principal, etc.

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Opps, I thought you were asking about the Dark Angel in Serenade!

My mistake is worse: when I read the thread title I thought immediately of all those little angels in many productions of the Nutcracker, and asked myself: They have NAMES?

This, in turn, led me to think about the Fairies in Sleeping Beauty, each of which expresses a distinctive character trait: The Fairy of Tenderness, the Fairy of Generosity, the Fairy of Bravery, etc. Was the same true of the various Angels?

I don't recall ever watching this show, so I can't vote. But, with your permission miliosr, I'd like to add a further twist to this thread for the benefit of those, like me, who want to learn more about these ladies and their roles.

I know from the press Jackson was the bright competent one, a favorite of women viewers at the time. Fawcett had the hair, which I assume means that she was the glamourous or sexual one. (Big Hair = Glamour/Sex seems to have been one of the core beliefs of pop culture in the 70s.)

If they were dancing in Sleeping Beauty, what characteristics -- and what titles -- would they have?

Sabrina Duncan (Kate Jackson) -- The Angel of ???

Jill Munroe (Farrah Fawcett-Majors) -- The Angel of ???

Kelly Garrett (Jaclyn Smith) -- The Angel of ???

Kris Munroe (Cheryl Ladd) -- The Angel of ???

Tiffany Welles (Shelley Hack) -- The Angel of ???

Julie Rogers (Tanya Roberts) -- The Angel of ???

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Sabrina = The Smart Angel

Jill = The Sexy Angel

Kelly = The Streetwise Angel

Kris = The Spunky Angel

Tiffany = The Refined Angel

Jule = The Trashy Angel??? (Sorry -- not a fan of the character.)

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Interesting thing about Farrah. When she left after the first season (1976-77), everyone expected the ratings to plummet. But they actually went up a notch in the second season (from #5 to #4.) So, her departure wasn't the catastrophe people thought it would be. Kate Jackson leaving after the third season ended up being a bigger problem because she wasn't as easily replaced as Fawcett-Majors had been (with Ladd.)

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I'm voting for Kelly Garrett. Jaclyn Smith was a more subtle presence than the other two. Kate Jackson was a better actress and Farrah was more overtly sexy so I think Jaclyn gets the short end of the Angel stick sometimes, but I always liked her cool, elegant way.

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Interesting thing about Farrah. When she left after the first season (1976-77), everyone expected the ratings to plummet. But they actually went up a notch in the second season (from #5 to #4.) So, her departure wasn't the catastrophe people thought it would be. Kate Jackson leaving after the third season ended up being a bigger problem because she wasn't as easily replaced as Fawcett-Majors had been (with Ladd.)

Kind of like Chevy Chase leaving SNL.

Sabrina's really the heart of the show - it just wasn't as obvious at the time.

I loved looking at Jaclyn Smith, not much of an actress but so gorgeous! and a more refined presence than Fawcett or Ladd, as perky says.

And of course, we have a new trio of big screen Angels today.

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Opps, I thought you were asking about the Dark Angel in Serenade!

My mistake is worse: when I read the thread title I thought immediately of all those little angels in many productions of the Nutcracker, and asked myself: They have NAMES?

I first thought of the Nutcracker angels, too!

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In view of what appears to be widespread confusion I have altered the title of the thread.

As for the poll, well, this board can be so serious (i.e. the Balanchine wars, Veronika Part -- divided opinions, etc.) that the occasional frivolity is sometimes in order.

Yes, why not. It's summertime.

I think Hack and Roberts just weren't up to the established Angels standard in looks and general appeal, which in retrospect was reasonably high.

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Interestingly what made Kate Jackson leave the show was that she was first choice AND offered the Meryl Streep role in Kramer vs Kramer, but the Charlie's Angels producers wouldn't let her have time off filming or even rejig her schedule so that she could do it. That was the final straw. What that might have done for her career, who knows?

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What that might have done for her career, who knows?

You can’t say for certain in such situations, but although I like Jackson a lot I don’t think the role would necessarily have done for her what it did for Streep. Jackson did get another shot with Making Love, which sank like a stone, along with any future Jackson might have had in feature films. (ML also featured two other actors who did better in television, Harry Hamlin and Michael Ontkean. We have an existing thread on the movie here, if anyone is interested.)

It was certainly shortsighted of the CA producers not to be more flexible -- Jackson had no choice except to leave the show or spend the rest of her career wondering what if. Probably Spelling miscalculated, figuring that if the show could do well without Fawcett-Majors it could survive the loss of Jackson, too.

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I'm voting for Kelly Garrett. Jaclyn Smith was a more subtle presence than the other two. Kate Jackson was a better actress and Farrah was more overtly sexy so I think Jaclyn gets the short end of the Angel stick sometimes, but I always liked her cool, elegant way.

Well said perky. While Jackson had the acting chops and Fawcett-Majors had the charisma, Smith had a certain mysterious presence that provided a nice contrast to the more wholesome personas of the other Angels. Until Julie came along in Season 5, Kelly Garrett always struck me as the one Angel who had seen the dark side of life before entering the police academy and then joining the Townsend Detective Agency.

I think Hack and Roberts just weren't up to the established Angels standard in looks and general appeal, which in retrospect was reasonably high.

I agree with you in part dirac. I thought the Roberts hire was a disaster because it went against the whole premise of the show -- professional female detectives (albeit ones who chased tough criminals down Malibu beaches in bikinis!) The Julie character wasn't even an ex-police officer like the five others -- she was "a top fashion model" [Note: Yeah right!] who wound up by happenstance as a member of the agency.

That being said, I think Shelley Hack gets a bum rap for her participation in Season 4. The producers hired Hack to fill the "Smart Angel" void left by Jackson but they correctly deduced that the audience wouldn't stand for the newest Angel assuming Sabrina's leadership position and bossing the more senior Angels around. So, they took their time integrating the Tiffany character into the cast. Unfortunately, I think they took too long.

After the Season 4 premiere ("Love Boat Angels" -- yes, that Love Boat), the Tiffany character practically disappeared while the production staff instituted the new 'Solo Angel' format (w/ solo outings for Smith and Ladd) and aired several of Farrah's "return" episodes (to get out of her contract, Farrah was legally obligated to make three appearances in Season 3 and another three in Season 4.) By the time the show runners got back to the "3 Angel format", the whispers had already started that the newest Angel wasn't integrating with the rest of the team and Hack became the scapegoat when the ratings took a dip. (My own feeling is that the departure of Jackson and the novelty of the show wearing thin were the true culprits for the ratings slide.) It's a shame Aaron Spelling axed her because, by mid-season, the writers had started to integrate Tiffany into the team and she really was a true Angel by the end of the fourth season.

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You can’t say for certain in such situations, but although I like Jackson a lot I don’t think the role would necessarily have done for her what it did for Streep.

Oh I don't know Dirac,

Couldn't you just see Kate Jackson as a downtrodden working class girl awaiting her fiance's return from Vietnam? Or, Wandering the barracks of Auschwitz trying to decide which of her children to sacrifice? Or, Whistle blowing on dangerous safety measures in a nuclear power plant and being killed for it? Or, Refusing to cry even though dingoes DID eat her baby? Or, Peeling an orange on her farm in Africa? Or, Expiring from consumption prettily as a 19th century French lieutenant's woman, whos husband is lost in the Franco/Prussian war or breaking into ABBA's The Winner Takes It All in front of Pierce Brosnan for no apparent reason whatsoever in what must be the most over-feted, saccharine, maudlin, mediocre film of all time?

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Perhaps not those roles, but she'd have gotten a lot more exposure, which could have led to other good career choices. She not a worse actor than Pierce Brosnan, who wasn't worthy to shine Meryl Streep's shoes in that movie.

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She not a worse actor than Pierce Brosnan.

Helene,

If you can find me 10 who are worse actors than Pierce Brosnan. I swear on a stack of bibles, I will pay your rent/ mortgage, gas, electricity, utility bills for a year.

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She not a worse actor than Pierce Brosnan.

Helene,

If you can find me 10 who are worse actors than Pierce Brosnan. I swear on a stack of bibles, I will pay your rent/ mortgage, gas, electricity, utility bills for a year.

I was about to say watch most US soap operas, but I'm not sure they're bad actors or that they're just very good at a particular style.

But I would say the at least 10 actors who are worse than Pierce Brosnan are just about any Ken doll they cast for the single-episode love interests on "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

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I was about to say watch most US soap operas, but I'm not sure they're bad actors or that they're just very good at a particular style.

I actually think there are some marvelous actors on soaps (and always have been) but, in a genre where speed is of the essence (putting on five shows a week), soap acting will always have its limitations due to the time factor. In any event, I firmly believe the daytime soaps will all be gone by the end of the next decade. Guiding Light will leave us soon and As the World Turns will be next. The social and economic conditions that made the soaps possible are gone now and the soaps will go with them.

In happier news, Season Four of Charlie's Angels is coming out on DVD later this month!

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I'll have to take a look, they don't rerun the last seasons on cable. I could very well be too hard on Shelley Hack (although she didn't do much for Night Court, either) and you are right that she was scapegoated - the series was heading downhill anyway.

Don't forget Streep as the Southern lawyer who leads Alan Alda astray in The Seduction of Joe Tynan, SimonG. I really liked her rabbi in Angels in America, too.

Jackson had bad luck. I also liked Lindsay Wagner aka the Bionic Woman and thought she could have made it bigger than she did.

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Having watched the six disc Charlie's Angels - Season Four set released in July, I can safely say that the show's production staff bungled the integration of the Shelley Hack character, Tiffany Welles, into the show. Things start well enough with Shelley joing the cast in the two-hour season premiere, Love Boat Angels. But after that, the Tiffany character only factors in intermittently until about mid-season.

This was a big mistake because it gave the erroneous impression that the newest Angel wasn't integrating with the rest of the team onscreen (and gave rise to whispers off-screen that Hack wasn't meshing with her co-stars.) Those episodes from the season's first half which gave Shelley a lot to do are, in actuality, some of the best episodes of the season. Curiously, two of the episodes -- Angels On Campus and Angel Hunt -- were filmed very early in the season but weren't broadcast until the end of the first half. This was a big and inexplicable mistake because Angels On Campus is crucial to understanding the Tiffany Welles character and Angel Hunt shows Tiffany confessing her fears to the other Angels during a very stressful situation (they are being hunted by a big game hunter) but working through said fears to earn the respect of her teammates.

The original broadcast episode order ran like this:

01 Love Boat Angels (team episode - introduction of Tiffany - heavy emphasis on the Cheryl Ladd character, Kris)

02 Angels Go Truckin' (team episode)

03 Avenging Angel (Jaclyn Smith 'Solo Angel' episode)

04 Angels On the Altar (team episode - heavy emphasis on the Smith character, Kelly)

Watching the show in 2009, I would reorder the episodes to reflect the actual filmed order in order to better introduce the Tiffany character. (The numbers next to the episode titles reflect the original broadcast episode numbers):

01 Love Boat Angels (introduction of Tiffany)

10 Angels On Campus (Shelley 'Solo Angel' episode - background of Tiffany)

11 Angel Hunt (team episode - Tiffany integrates fully with the team)

02 Angels Go Truckin' (team episode - Tiffany no longer a rookie Angel)

(The remaining episodes can then follow in the original broadcast order.)

When you reorder the episodes like this, the Tiffany Welles character becomes much more central to the Townsend Detective Agency, even in subsequent episodes in which she doesn't play a big part. Unfortunately, by the time the focus did shift to her in Season Four, the whispers had already started about the newest Angel and she became a convenient scapegoat when the ratings took a modest dip that season.

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She not a worse actor than Pierce Brosnan.

Helene,

If you can find me 10 who are worse actors than Pierce Brosnan. I swear on a stack of bibles, I will pay your rent/ mortgage, gas, electricity, utility bills for a year.

It doesn't matter if Brosnan has all the acting ability of a pithed frog in a ninth grade biology lab. It matters how he looks in a tuxedo. Who watches him ACT, anyway?

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