The third incarnation of the 70's hit series, Charlie's Angels is filming in Miami and fills me with ambivalence. Excitement is from the $4 million per episode budget which pumps funds into our dire economy. Nervous? My stomach is aflutter! As a fan of both the original series and the film adaptation, I wonder will it flop or raise the bar for female action heroines? Any remake is a high-stakes game.
In doing some research I learned producers opted to film in Miami instead of Los Angeles, signaling a number of changes to come. The Angels, ironically, are former con artists, and the premise is "realistic" and "friendship". The goal is to broaden their characters and reportedly, while the Angels will be stylish, there will be less "flesh". It's more than sex appeal. According to Executive producer, Al Gough in speaking to television reporters:
“We wanted to make this more grounded, make these women feel real, to give them a past. We wanted audiences to have something to come back to each week. The show is about redemption and second chances”
So far so good. The girls are an ethnic trio (representative of Miami's diversity and criminal element), perform many of their stunts, and face real life incidents and stories. So I'm thinking it's part ALIAS (former ABC series starring Jennifer Garner where she performed her own stunts) part....? Hmm have to give this more thought. What do you think?
The actresses are relatively unknown. “Grey's Anatomy” actress Rachael Taylor (the brunette), Minka Kelly (blonde) of “Friday Night Lights” and Annie Ilonzeh, last seen on “General Hospital,” will take on the roles first made famous by Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson. Instantly I thought of the late Farrah and how the role propelled her to international sex symbol. Remember that iconic poster? Find out where it is now. Farrah went beyond and fought for roles with characters of depth.
This past Sunday I had the opportunity to meet the cast at the Betsy Hotel in South Beach. Again I had mixed emotions. Heart throb, Ramon Rodriguez plays Bosley. He's only 31! Yes he's the actor from the movie Transformers about a teenager who befriends giant toy-looking robots vs. the bad guys--another gang of robots. As the "manager" and go-between for Charlie and the Angels, shouldn't he be older than the girls? More mature? The trailers confirmed it. "Bosley, adult swim is over" says Minka Kelley, the blonde angel, to Rodriguez who's sandwiched between two gorgeous bombshells in the swimming pool. Well, he's suave-looking and Latino--very Miami. I'll get past my hangups.
The other big question: Who will be the voice of Charlie? At first Robert Wagner was signed on. However, recent reports indicate Wagner was dropped due to "scheduling issues". The program makers have kept a tight lid on the voice of a new Charlie, someone whose voice has the sufficient “mystery, paternalism and authority.”
Unfortunately with the swarm of people around the cast this past Sunday, it was impossible to get a photo with the stars without performing my own daredevil stunt to distract the throng and land beside Rachel Taylor like Spiderman. I should probably say Cat Woman, given my local "fame".
Regardless, I'm looking forward to the new series and secretly hope one Angel is part geek like the character played by Cameron Diaz in the movie version to show beauty on the outside and the inner nerd in all of us.
Charlie's Angels is set to premiere on September 22 at 8pm on ABC.