Charlie’s Angels: The Complete First Season

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Jill Munroe (Farrah Fawcett), Sabrina Duncan (Kate Jackson), and Kelly Garrett (Jaclyn Smith) all used to be police officers, but that career didn’t pan out. Although their skills as law enforcers were sizable, because they were women, they were delegated to menial tasks. So instead of battling criminals and such, the trio found themselves getting coffee, answering telephones, and doing clerical work. But when a mysterious man of wealth, Charles Townshend (voiced by John Forsythe) entered their lives, all that changed and then some. Charlie, as the girls refer to him, decided to found his own private investigation service, so he needed skilled workers. The three women needed a task to take advantage of their immense talents, so the match was a perfect one and soon enough, they became Charlie’s Angels. The ladies never met Charlie face to face however, as his personal assistant Bosley (David Doyle) handled all the details. After Bosley fields the call from Charlie, the girls listen to their assignment via a telephone speaker. Bosley also serves as a helping hand to the ladies when needed, often adding information of his own to Charlie’s orders. The girls travel all across the globe, battle all kinds of crooks, and undertake disguises of all sorts, all part of the job when you’re a part of Charlie’s Angels.

A long while before Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, and Cameron Diaz suited up for the big screen version of Charlie’s Angels, Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, and Jaclyn Smith were kicking ass on the small screen. Although the movie was fun in a fluff kind of way, it simply cannot compete with the magic of the television series itself. The show had action, suspense, and romance, not to mention three gorgeous women. The basic plot is a decent one and while the episodes go up and down, on the whole the series is loads of fun. The movie was cool at times, but it had to try hard to be so cool, whereas the series does so with ease. The girls are a blast to watch even in the bad episodes, as their use of gadgets, hand to hand combat, and sex as a weapon blisters the screen. So yes, this show has the ladies in various outfits and plays up their sexuality, but this is no mere peep show, as the women are empowered. I mean, we watch as they crumble evil empires and take down villains of all kinds. A lot of people claim this show exploited the women and paved the way for “jiggle” television like Baywatch, but I have to disagree. This first season is one of the best, as the three ladies are the finest combination of actresses in the show’s run. So if you’re even a casual fan of the series, run and snatch this release for your collection.

I was a little concerned when a compilation disc was issued for this series, but now Columbia has given us what we wanted. Yes, we have the complete first season of Charlie’s Angels, so we can relive all the adventures, right from the start. As with most of Columbia’s television show releases, this one has tons of episodes, but no real bonus materials. I guess I’ve been spoiled by Fox, who put a lot of effort into their television sets, but I expected a new featurette here, perhaps even a few audio commentary tracks. Even so, I am thrilled to have the complete season in one swoop, as Columbia has done “best of” and other compilation editions with some shows, which has rubbed fans the wrong way. So we have all twenty-two exciting episodes, including the pilot episode and the ever popular Angels in Chains. The episodes have been spread across five discs, so space is never an issue in this case. The packing is made up of a thin slipcase, which holds five colorful slimline cases. I was let down by the lack of artwork on the slimline cases, as most studios include covers, but even so, the colors look cool. So I would tweak that, but aside from that point, Columbia has done terrific work here. Now there’s nothing left to do except issue a solid recommendation, which I am more than able to do.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. These episodes look about as good as a ’70s television show can. The prints have some grain and debris, but when compared to reruns, these episodes look terrific. I found colors to look solid and suffer from only slight fading, while contrast is sharp and shows no age related troubles. I do think the image is a little soft thanks to the years behind this series, but the visuals still look very good in this edition. A few episodes look more worn than others, but most look more than solid. By the same token, a few look almost pristine and of course, make you wish all of them looked as good. All things considered, a more than acceptable visual treatment.

Audio: How does it sound?

The included mono track ensures these episodes sound much like they would have on television, which is about all you can ask from this release. The sound effects & music come through well here, no age related issues surface and I was pleased with the overall clarity involved. If you’ve never seen the show, the music is very ’70s and sounds cool, which is why I am so glad it sounds good here. I had no problems with the dialogue either, as vocals were smooth & crisp at all times. In a surprise move, no subtitles have been included, not even English ones. That’s not good news, so let’s hope future seasons have subtitle options.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The sole supplement here is the Angels Forever featurette, which includes fan interviews and a chat with one of the show’s producers. Not only is this a rather weak piece, but it was already included on the Charlie’s Angels: Angels Under Cover release. Some new cast interviews would have been nice, but no such luck.

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