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October 06, 2011 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-10-06

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, October 6, 2011- 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, October 6, 2011 - 5A

Hot'Angels,'no plot
At least new 7
'Charlie's Angels'
reboot has action
By KAVI SHEKHAR PANDEY -3
Senior Arts E ditor

Bello prime in 'Suspect'

Another year, another reboot
of a classic television series on
the fall schedule (actually replace
"classic" with
fondly remem-
bered-but-
actually-quite- Charlie's
mediocre). This
time it's "Char- Angels
lie's Angels," Pilot
a show about
women getting Thursdays
a second chance at8 p.m.
as crime-fight- ABC
ing private
detectives,
that's getting a second chance
after a failed, hideously campy
film franchise that more or less
killed ('U' alum!) Lucy Liu's movie
career. Graciously, the only tie to
the movies is star Drew Barry-
more, who serves as an executive
producer (also known as The Title
That Means Jack) on the show.
This "Charlie's Angels" fol-
lows the standard copy-paste
checklist of every modern-day
reboot, filling out the cast list
with pretty young things, blaring
a top-40 soundtrack (Rihanna's
"S&M," natch) and establishing
the contemporary setting (almost
desperately flashing iPads and
referencing Twitter feeds), while
keepingthe iconic theme song and
basic premise - in this case, three
women work for a rich do-gooder
named Charles Townsend who's
always heard but not seen.
The new Angels aren't exactly
a heavenly trio of actresses, but
consider the casting restrictions
and it's easier to be forgiving:
The leads have to be leggy ladies

COURTESY OF ABc

"Minka, no! The necklace is a horcrux!"
who are Gorgeous with a capital
G and athletic enough to lay the
smackdown on chumps - not
exactly a sample size bubbling
with acting talent. Minka Kelly
("Friday Night Lights") is the
most famous of the bunch but also
the weakest link, delivering dia-
logues as a posh secret agent with
the same amount of panache she
had as a cheerleader in a podunk
Texas town. The other Angels
are a former cop (Annie Ilonzeh,
"General Hospital") and a former
socialite (Rachael Taylor, "Grey's
Anatomy"), the latter wearing
the shiniest halo of the cast as a
prissy princess turned ass-kicker
extraordinaire.
But so far, the Angels have
as much chemistry as a paper-
mache volcano filled with baking
soda and Kool-Aid. The humdrum
writing is as much to blame as the
acting, but the show has a micro-
scopic chance at success unless
the camaraderie of the Angels is
ramped up.
The final member of the crew
is the Angels' sidekick, resident
Adonis and weak attempt at comic
relief, Bosley (Ramon Rodriguez,
"Transformers: Revenge of the
Fallen"). His character is the
only prominent alteration from

the original, de-aging from an
older chap (appropriately played
by Bill Murray in the 2000 film)
to a young, ladykilling lothario -
clearly it would be too sexist to
have the ladies use seduction as a
weapon, so in the pilot, it's up to
Bosley to be the piece of meat.
Salvation is found in the action
of "Charlie's Angels," as the ladies
(and gentleman) display amaz-
ing athletic prowess, engaging
in full-throttle combat against
hordes of nasty henchmen. With
eye-popping stunts galore, these
secret agent women are the best
female action heroes since "Kim
Possible."
The pilot admirably tries to
raise the stakes with a whopper
of a twist midway through, but
its ramifications essentially fade
away by the second episode. And
besides some sweet feats by the
Angels, both episodes lacked any
true "wowza" moments to justify
a weekly watch (except for a char-
acter in the second episode played
by the Old Spice Guy, what a man).
Right now, the show is the enter-
tainment equivalent of a pack-
age of Kraft American slices - if
we're chowing down on cheese, is
it too much to ask for a wheel of
gouda?

By MATT EASTON
For the Daily
Shot of gray interrogation
room. Suspect sits in chair. Maria
Bello enters. "Now Mr. Hull, I'm
going to ask
you once again,
where were you
between 10 p.m. Pdje
and 8 a.m. of
last night?" Sus- Suspect
pect turns head Pilot
to side, mum-
bles something Thursdays
about being in at10 p.m.
bed. Anoth- NBC
er detective
enters. With a
raspy New York accent (an accent
that every cop but Bello seems to
have), he says, "Detective Tim-
oney, this is my case. I told you to
go to the apartment and do some
useless activity." The two detec-
tives have a stare-down. She says
something sharp and leaves. Cut
to overhead shots of New York
over rock music. "Prime Suspect"
logo appears on screen.
This, for better or for worse, is
what you're getting with NBC's
new drama "Prime Suspect."
For one hour every week, Maria
Bello ("E.R.") plays connect-
the-dots down the alleys and
back streets of New York, chas-
ing murderers and kidnappers
along the way. She has quite a lot
on her plate, but luckily, she's up
to the challenge.
Realistically, if you're watch-
ing this show, it's for Maria Bello.
As Detective Timoney, with her
"take-no-crap" attitude and deep
empathy, she is honestly likeable,
sauntering through her scenes
with the sharpness of an experi-
enced actor. In one scene in the
pilot, a little boy who watched his
mother's murder says, "I would
kill that man." Bello's response,
"I would help you," is powerful
in its justice and understanding.

She do
the cri:
in a v
bined
approa
this "h
charac
Thei
pect" i
rounds
so entr
voices,
after t
ers cot
than t
Sole
i
even if
stretch
disting
are per
not sui
ently)-
is the r
Surp
themse
of dept
a majo
ping of
"cured

esn't stay detached from set his life straight. His interac-
me; she becomes involved tions with Bello, and the ques-
ery personal way. Com- tions these interactions ask of
with her methodological both of her and the audience, are
ch to catching criminals, not so easily solved as "shoot the
eart" creates an effective bad guy," "bad guy goes to jail."
ter. Can a child molester be cured?
problem with "Prime Sus- Would you judge him by present
s not Bello; it's what sur- actions, or past ones? His final
her. Her co-workers are scene with the star is powerful
enched in sameness (raspy and makes us question the meth-
crew cuts, gray suits) that ods used by police.
wo episodes, no watch- Still, she can't do it all. In one
uld honestly recite more scene, Bello chases a rapist down
wo of their names. And an alley. Then suddenly, he turns
and ,attacks her. Her aura of
invincibility is shattered as she is
ye a problenmi beaten by the criminal, her face a
bloody unrecognizable mess. As
[ke M aria. he strangles her, we realize she
can't do everything by herself;
she needs support from those
around her. In the show, the
they could, they would be other officers ,rescue her just in
ing to give more than one time. The question is: Will these
uishing trait. The scenes same characters become the kind
rpetually gray (it's always that can help her carry the show
nny in New York, appar- and keep us watching?
- the only splash of color Does television need more
ed of blood stains. cop shows? Probably not. But, if
prisingly, the suspects "Prime Suspect" can keep giv-
elves contain some amount ing audiences Maria Bello while
:h. In the second episode, developing the world around
:r suspect of the kidnap- her, there seems to be no reason
f a three-year-old girl is a why it won't find some amount
" child molester trying to of success.

STUDY (N"T.E OST
Tel Aviv
University
Study Abroad
rg
ProN ram

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