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.