Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A "Charlie's Angels" Stretch

Confronted with travel and not a lot to do the past couple weeks, (at least not a lot I was in the mood to do) I started watching some old episodes of “Charlie’s Angels” that I got for a steal on iTunes years back. "Charlie’s Angels" is the stereotypical “guilty pleasure” for me. Not something I feel ashamed of because it is wrong, just because it is so bad. This is not the stuff of high art, or even quality pop-culture. Especially the last couple seasons, episodes I had never seen before now.

As the show entered the early eighties, they started spending more money on “high fashion” and—if the scantily clad angels of earlier seasons bothered some, the Eighties tastes are downright offensive! Hair became frizzy, sweaters and furs popped up everywhere, and for some reason the girls started carrying those money bags you get from banks as purses.

However, I have always enjoyed the Angels. I think most of my fascination stems from the first episode I remember seeing as a little kid. It was a first season episode involving a strangler who killed women with a rag-doll. It was basically a horror movie for a grade-schooler. It terrified me, and I was hooked. I also like any story where basically normal people are thrust into adventure. The Angels may be professional investigators, but they always came across as normal girls in over their heads.

Then there is the spiritual dimension. Yes, I am reading into things here, but only a little bit. Mystery stories can be deeply symbolic and spiritual. “Charlie’s Angels” is a bit like a poor man’s Nero Wolfe in some ways. The Angels are agents of a boss they never see, but who they take orders from. They are sent out on clear missions with mere guidelines of plans, and they are expected to be agents of good in a bad world using those guidelines and their own wits. In many ways that is a picture of the Christian life. We are Angels on a mission.

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