I never saw the appeal of Charlie’s Angels, but in all truthfulness, I never gave it a shot. While I still can’t include myself in the loyal throng of followers, I now respect the kind of show it actually was. The series centers on the unseen Charlie, and his three beautiful lady detectives, who can hold their own both physically and mentally. There is a serious danger with a series such as this to cross over into exploitation, or extreme campiness. From what can be seen in this complete third season DVD relea…e, the series mostly stays on the tasteful side of the line. With titles such as “Pom Pom Angels” and “Angels in the Stretch,” the uninitiated may be rolling their eyes at what awaits. However, the series can sometimes surprise you, even if you would rather skip past it in the channel surfing shuffle. Of course, there are some throwaways included… most notably, the season finale, which is that most hated of all episodes, the dreaded “clip show.” It’s especially unwanted in this DVD package, which gives you all the moments from season three you could ever want, without resorting to the cheapness of a highlight reel. But alas, here it is, taking up valuable disc space.
But to make up for this inclusion, you get my pick for best episode in the set: “Rosemary, For Remembrance.” It’s a sentimental mystery that recalls the rough-and-tumble days of Prohibition, as an ex-mobster gets out of prison and becomes the target of an unseen killer. In the process, he meets Kris (Cheryl Ladd), who reminds him of his beloved wife, who died on a night so long ago, and has haunted his dreams ever since. Did the mobster kill his wife? Is it guilt? Or did he truly love her? And is someone else responsible? It’s a situation the writers have a lot of fun with, and you will, too. And as for Cheryl Ladd, she does a fine job of filling Farrah Fawcett’s shoes; in fact, I found her more attractive, a better actress, and possessing of a “girl next door” sensibility that Fawcett never came close to capturing in her run on the show. Still, if you prefer Farrah to Ladd, you won’t be disappointed by this set either, as she makes frequent guest spots, along with familiar faces such as Dean Martin, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Scatman Crothers. Twenty four episodes – over 1000 minutes – of Charlie’s Angels action is included.
It’s the 1.33:1 full frame for Charlie’s girls, but it has been cleaned up from TV viewings. The colors have richness to them that bring new energy to the show, though it stops short of transplanting the look from 1970’s kitsch to the modern day. Contrast also fares quite well with deeper blacks than I ever remember seeing from a Nick-at-Nite airing. Also, most of the graininess, popping, and cigarette burns, which come from the wear and tear of age have been sifted out for one of the better viewing experiences of 30-year old pop culture in the DVD format.
Something very ABBA-esque disturbs me about the theme song and the opening of this series. Then again, it’s probably just the seventies. Charlie’s Angels – The Complete Third Season boasts a nice, clean 2.0 track. Yes, it’s an action-detective series, but there is nothing overblown here like you’ll find in the big screen efforts of not too long ago. It’s a straight dialogue series, with the occasional punch, kick, gunshot, and screeching tire thrown in for good measure. As a result, the track suits the needs of the series just fine with an even balance between sounds and dialogue, and relatively high volume on each.
Nothing in sight. I don’t know if there were contractual problems or what – but the bonus content can be nothing more than a sore spot for fans of the show.
Well, it’s here, and it’s in digital. It looks and sounds better than it ever has, which, though good news, implies nothing dynamic. Sony skimped on the extras, but if it’s Angels you want, it’s Angels you shall have. Six discs carry the weight of the series, and thank goodness for that. With virtually nothing else going for its sizable price tag, it’s good to know every bit of disc space is being utilized for the technical enhancement of the show. Still, you’d have to be a pretty big Angels fan to walk away thrilled with the overall treatment.
Special Features List