Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Whose Angels?

This Thursday the new TV show "Charlie's Angels" will be premiering on ABC. The show, like the movies, will feature beautiful women who made some kind of mistake, and were "saved" by a mystery man named Charlie. Now they are "angels of justice". But they aren't just "angels", they're "Charlie's Angels". The name never comes without the possessive apostrophe. These women are definitely smart and kick ass, but their purpose is to do this man "Charlie's " bidding. They have never met this man, yet he's their "savior" and boss.

The women are accompanied by another man for all of their missions, Bosley. Now, the angels are definitely the heroes, not Bosley. But he is always there. He is, simply, their chaperone. Why do they need him at all? One answer is that he is one of the original classic characters and they can't eliminate him. But this is the 21st century. Characters are cut all of the time. The angels have always been fine on their own, and aside from the new muscles he has in this version, he doesn't bring a lot to the table.

The video "Behind the Action of Charlie's Angel's" that pops up on the show's website may be more interesting than looking at the show itself. In the video one actress talks about her favorite part of being an angel and says "Who doesn't want to do that *flips hair while holding up the symbolic charlie's angels finger guns...flips her hair a couple more times* you know? Who doesn't wanna swing your hair around and and be a fun girl?" So her favorite part of playing a superheroine is looking hot and flipping her hair. I'm sure she's not the only one. But it seems sad that her favorite thing about a supposedly strong empowered woman is her girly qualities.


Dear third wave feminism,
You still have a lot of work to do,


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. It's interesting that you called Bosley their "chaperone", I kind of considered him the Angels' "sidekick". I don't recall him always being around them monitoring their missions, but he sometimes has a small role in a minor task that needs to be complete. I do remember, at one time during the first movie, Bosley required saving from the Angels (yet another example of a male "damsel in distress"). I'm honestly not surprised that one of the Angels said one of their favorite parts of their role is flipping their hair. It's pretty obvious that the Angels are very sexualized, not only physically, but in the way they act. Their missions are always solved by flaunting their bodies to distract men while they crack codes, steal keys to secret labs etc. For this reason, I wouldn't even consider the Angels very empowering, let alone superheroines.

  3. Obviously the Angels are gorgeous because not as many people would watch if they weren't. However, the actresses favorite part of playing the Angels should not be flipping their hair. Playing a superheroine would be an amazing opportunity. You would have strengths and powers that you could never have in real life. Superheroines are heroes because of their power, not their physical appearances, but sadly most people care more about what they see on the outside.

  4. It is definitely interesting to see the evolution of the angels over time, through their various remakes. I have admittedly not seen much of the original, however I own the remake starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu, and always enjoyed watching it growing up. There were definitely some superheros/superheroines who I saw growing up and though, wow I'd like to do that. For a really long time, I wanted to be the pink power ranger because she was a girl who kicked ass. I definitely did not watch Charlie's Angels and want to emulate them. Even at a young age, I saw them as sexy hollywood actresses wearing tight shiny leather pants. Hell, the opening seen has Cameron Diaz in her underwear. It is no surprise to me that the new series is taking that to a new level.


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