I’ve talked about TV show remakes in these here parts before. After all, remakes are as much a part of television as commercials that teach us women are all callous shrews and if two men accidentally touch hands it makes them male gays. As we hurl towards TV oblivious (future), remakes will begat remakes. It’s already happened. You can’t stop it. History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce, then, I don’t know, as a science fiction show about a race of mutant cats or something.
Let’s jump into the remake rabbit hole with “Charles’ Angels,” or, as it was known to its friends: Charlie’s Angels. The show was about three ladies who, after making it through the police academy, were relegated to menial work. So they quit and ended up working as private investigators for a shadowy figure named Charlie, who may or may not have been Charles Nelson Reilly. Let’s step past the irony of them leaving their demeaning police jobs to run around mostly in skimpy outfits. The show ran from 1976 to 1981, and launched the careers of Farrah Fawcett and… Shelley Hack?
Charlie’s Angels finally received the remake treatment last year. Evidently, the producers tried to make it gritty. They gave Minka Kelly a job – clearly, looks still mattered. Also, only one of them was a former cop, one was a street racer and one was a thief. They also gave the crew some racial diversity by hiring a black woman. No, they didn’t make her the thief or the street racer. Phew – accidental racial stereotype narrowly avoided. And, the show only lasted four episodes.
So, the remake of Charlie’s Angels was a major failure. However, I’m guessing that won’t keep the remake machine down for too long. Batman and Robin didn’t keep Batman Begins from being made. Secret of the Ooze didn’t keep us from receiving the gift of Turtles in Time.
The 2011 Charlie’s Angels remake purposefully tried to avoid being campy or retro in any way. The next Charlie’s Angels remake will take that lack of camp as a sign…to, of course, crank up the camp. I’m thinking the network will treat us to primetime soap version of Angels. Also, this time they’ll go back to making their racial minority Asian. Time for Lucy Liu to return to the fold? Now, the Angels are all former circus performers and Charlie has a mechanical arm like Dr. Claw. One of them is a fire-breather, one is an acrobat and the other is a strongwoman. Oh – and they’ll all wear bikinis all the time.
This show will be marginally more successful, but ultimately only last one season. The next next Charlie’s Angels remake will, instead of reverting to serious again, decide to ramp up the campiness and hire John Waters as the show runner. Now, one of the Angels is a fat man in drag and Charlie is clearly (finally!) modeled on Charles Nelson Reilly. It will have to move to Showtime to meet with Waters’ sensibilities. The remake remake will also only last a season but will be a cult classic.
After that John Waters’ remake remake, STARZ tries its hand at the ol’ Charlie’s Angels television franchise. To make it work in their traditional style, which is to say an almost antagonistic amount of nudity, the remake remake remake starts to resemble an off-Broadway interpretation of Hair. Most weeks, they won’t even bother solving cases anymore. It’ll last a few seasons, before people remember that porn is a thing that exists on the internet.
The next remake (Charlie’s Angels version 5) will go the reinvention route and be an ABC Family show trying to make teen aged girls feel good about themselves. All three ladies are Bryn Mawr graduates. The women will all look more like “real” women, at least that’s what the press interviews will mention. Bosley will start out a sexist, but he’ll learn that, in the end, a woman can do anything a man can. Then he’ll start romancing one of the ladies because, of course, every woman needs to be in a romantic relationship to feel whole. Plus, they are all, like, secretly witches or whatever the kids are into then.
In the next remake, one of the Angels is a Maori gentleman. Then, the remake all three Angels are men, including a Laplander and Bosley is a woman. The next remake goes beyond the whole three Angels thing. So stifling! They add two more, making it three men and three women when you include Bosley. After that, Charlie gives up running a Los Angeles private investigation company and moves to New York to run a coffee shop. All the Angels and Bosley follow him. The new show name is Bosley’s Angels. Angels number 9 has the whole gang staying in New York, but they drop the whole private investigator thing. They just, you know, hang out and bullshit and stuff. Just getting in relationships and trying to make it in the big city and such. Also, they are all white again. It just becomes a bunch of friends goofing around, hanging in Charlie’s coffee shop. It lasts a decade and is supremely popular.
That’s the story of the future of Charlie’s Angels remakes. Another story ends. It’s the story of an underemployed writer living in Los Angeles who was given the opportunity to write for a website featuring several podcasts he very much enjoyed. He was very appreciative of the opportunity, and grateful to the website for allowing him to showcase some of his comedy work online. He asked for people to check out his podcast and his Twitter account, and thanked them for reading his stuff. Then, he turned out the lights in the bar where he did his writing. There was a knock on the door. “Sorry, we’re closed,” the writer said. “You stole that from Cheers,” the knocker replied. “Fuck you,” the writer retorted. Then, he put on his jet pack and flew off to Myanmar where, at the very least, he wouldn’t have to learn the metric system.
Chris Morgan is a writer living in Los Angeles. You can follow him on Twitter (@CMorganExaminer) and/or listen to his podcast.