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TV Review: Charlie's Angels

This reboot still feels stuck in the past.

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It's hard to imagine why, after a so-so cinematic reboot in 2000 that lead to an abysmal sequel three years later, ABC would think the world was in need of another incarnation of Charlie's Angels. The tale of three badass ladies who, for some reason, seem willing to take orders from a man who doesn't trust them enough to show him his face does little to update itself beyond giving its heroines iPads.

This incarnation of the Angel team is populated by Abby (Rachael Taylor), Kate (Annie Ilonzeh) and Gloria (Nadine Velazquez), three beautiful women who've made mistakes in their past. The benevolent Charlie forgave them for their crimes, in exchange for their services. Where Charlie's intelligence and impulses come from for the missions he sets his Angels on is anyone's guess. After a successful mission rescuing a runaway girl from a sex trafficking ring, Gloria is murdered in an explosion. The Angels new mission is tracking down her killer and, in doing so, they come into contact with Eve (Minka Kelly), a childhood friend of Gloria's that pitches in on the investigation and, unless you've avoided all promotional materials, you know will join the team by the end of the episode.

The whole premise of Charlie's Angels seems a relic of more innocent times. While each member of the team has something sordid in their past, we're asked to believe that they're all just good people who tripped up and, after encountering the magical healing faith of Charlie, will never take the easy way out again. What's more, all of these women have clearly had problems with authority in the past, yet they seem to have no issues following the instructions of a man none of them have ever met, with no clue of where his loyalties lie. Creating tough female characters is about more than having them scale walls and do cool car tricks, they should be intelligent and smart girls don't do what a man in a box says just because he sounds nice. The casting does little to help this either as all three ladies bring little than pretty faces to the table. Even Kelly, who managed to make a frequently annoying character likable in Friday Night Lights, seems to be snoozing through this uninspired pilot. It's never a good sign when your action-filled episode manages to still be boring.

Charlie's Angels premieres Thursday 7pm on ABC.

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