Based of the 70’s era show by the same name and produced by Aaron Spelling, there was one thing this show was in dire need of: a fresh perspective. Those of you who have seen the original know that it elects eye-rolling and groans, which is why when I learned producers re-booted the series for the 2011 TV season, I was thrilled to pieces – that is exactly what the show needed.
Second chances are what the elusive Charles Townsend is all about. He runs one of Miami’s most successful detective agencies and each of his detectives were in need of just that. Charlie’s criteria is very specific when it comes to his employees – all of them must be in need of redemption. The three women currently working for the Townsend Agency are his “angels,” each deserved another chance to reach their potential but more importantly, he wanted to save them from themselves. Wealthier than most 20-somethings her age Abby Sampson (Rachael Taylor) had anything she wanted. She was a spoiled Park Avenue princess bored with her life… so instead of picking up a hobby or two, she became trained as a world-class thief – a thief who had never been caught until Charlie. Then he finds Kate (Annie Ilonzeh). Kate was a Miami detective who had it all including a wonderful fiancé who adored her… until she became a detective on the take. Rounding out the trio is Gloria – a former Army lieutenant whose specialty is explosives. Following a seemingly routine case, Gloria dies forcing Charlie to convince the girls to find Gloria’s close childhood friend Eve (Minka Kelly) in order to assist them in bringing down the guy who murdered Gloria. Needless to say things get off to a rough start.
Eve is a tough street-wise racer whose own muddied past follows through with Charlie’s cause. With the help of Bosley (Ramon Rodriquez), their thirty-something Townsend associate, the girls eventually reach a tentative agreement: One that includes finding out the truth about Gloria’s death – no matter where the leads take them.
I am not going to lie; I had very high expectations for this show… and at first, it was mediocre. Don’t get me wrong, its premiere was darn entertaining but there isn’t that “spark” that convinces – especially the studio execs calling the shots, it would get the go-ahead and a multi season renewal. Where the pilot was more cautious, the series’ concluding episodes were an improvement not unlike so many other shows and by the end, the show was actually very good. Producers pulled together a cast that had nice chemistry and the gadgets were high-tech and cool. All three of the actresses are attractive without making it impossible to believe they would chose the life they did, but Minka doesn’t jive with being a tough tomboy. Her face and voice were way too sweet, “good-girl” while Rachael fits a rich-kid persona and Annie pulls off a believable stereotype in an ex-cop.
Neither one of the developers – Alfred Gough and Miler Millar were well-know to television writing but they do have a number of credits thanks to the popular teen series, Smallville, which explains guest star Erica Durance in a memorable episode, “Angels in Chains.” (Star of the feature films, Drew Barrymore also produced this.) What was so comical about the now-dated Aaron Spelling-produced show was how poor many of its production qualities were (though thirty years ago, it was impressive). I cannot tell you the number of times the girls would go through some harrowing situation, and come out looking like a beauty queen! In the beginning, one of my biggest concerns for this re-boot was that it’d be too flashy… too tacky… too sexy… too… 21st century! Though it does meet those prospects, there is a happy medium. By today’s standards, the show did this right, dressing down the girl’s under the guise of proper gear (though they were still designer clothes). No longer do the girls always look runway-perfect – or to revise that, it isn’t as obvious, instead they are tough, leading females who actually look the part of detective – and can handle their weapons!
Though it is now cancelled after a slim eight episodes, the nods to its predecessor may have been partial reason why. The original creator (Ivan Goff) gets a leading credit while both the theme music and opening is much the same, albeit modernized. The little petty issues I may have had with this series were offset by the camaraderie and the fact that the action sequences weren’t bad. Back prior to its premiere, this was one of TVGuide’s top ten most anticipated shows, and with a healthy dose of promotion, I only wish it had done better (its premiere garnered 8.6 million viewers, the most for the slot since 2009). The cliff-hanger had already been set up, the clothes were stunning and I’d have loved to see where Eve’s crush on Bosley had gone – she was just a bit more impressed with him than her co-workers. Unfortunately, though we have the option of buying this on MOD, we will never get the answers to these lingering questions.
(What to know: There is a good deal of immodest dressing. Some of the dialogue is mildly suggestive but profanity is rare. Certain characters are shot and/or threaten victims. There are several hand-to-hand combat scenes. The rating is TV14.)