giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
The original TV series. And honestly, every time I rewatch I have different political feelings about it.

Right now, they are mostly positive feelings. And I think I've posted about this before, so forgive me if I am duplicative.

The show was derided - even at the time - as "jiggle TV," relying on the sex appeal of the actresses and putting them in exploitative costumes to cater to male fantasies (nurse, women's prison, maid, etc). And there's some truth to this - the women's prison episode is, well, less-than-subtle. But what's also true is that the vast majority of the time, the costumes were, well, pretty modest. The Angels were fully clothed, often in multiple layers (sweaters on top of shirts, etc), and anything else is just what the viewer brings.

Another problem is that the Angels almost go out of their way to be as soft-spoken as possible; it's really obvious on first watching. It's like a palpable feeling that someone felt that if the Angels raised their voice to anything above a mild murmur, they'd be viewed as harpies. And you can do that in fiction - women can speak softly and still be heard and respected by the men around them - but in real life, people ignore women, and especially ignore soft-spoken women. It's a trap; women can't speak uniquely in dulcet tones and expect to actually be heard.

But then there are the positives.

The first - and I'm always surprised by this in 70s and early 80s media, though I shouldn't be - is the sexual sophistication of the women. That's something we lost, along the way; in modern media you can be a likeable slut but usually that means you're the best friend, not the heroine. The 70s and early 80s actually weren't like that; women could be interest in sex, even casual sex, and still be heroines. It's not in-your-face in Charlie's Angels, but it's definitely there; that all of the Angels are sexually experienced is not even in question.

Second, the woman are extremely competent. If you've got a competence kink, this is your show. They are extremely skilled at physical tasks, going undercover, pumping suspects for information, etc. And they are absolutely fearless, and without embarrassment - they do what it takes to get the information they need, regardless of the enemies they might make or temporary humiliation they may endure.

Third, the show is really about women bonding with women. The Angels themselves are portrayed as being closely emotionally bonded, and very often, they bond with the episodic female guest stars. Women are their clients, or are mixed up with the villains, and the Angels are incredibly supportive; a lot of time is spent on women's stories and the basic idea that women defend other women. The concept may have been intended to appeal to men's libido, but the women-centric nature of the show is inescapable.

So, you know, you go Charlie's Angels- you were an important milestone in pop cultural portrayals of women, despite the haters.

Date: 2017-05-04 07:43 pm (UTC)
jetpack_monkey: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jetpack_monkey
When I did a really quick rush through the first three seasons for my Charlie's Angels Festivid, I found myself extremely impressed by the show, especially Sabrina.

Date: 2017-05-04 07:50 pm (UTC)
dragovianknight: closeup of a green dragon (Default)
From: [personal profile] dragovianknight
Charlie's Angels was one of the formative shows of my childhood.

Date: 2017-05-04 07:51 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
From: [personal profile] sovay
It's not in-your-face in Charlie's Angels, but it's definitely there; that all of the Angels are sexually experienced is not even in question.

I always like running into that. Thanks for pointing out that it used not to be uncommon.

Date: 2017-05-05 12:36 am (UTC)
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
From: [personal profile] twistedchick
I loved Charlie's Angels. And they had really good guest stars who later became big names -- Kim Basinger started out as one of the Angels' little sisters.

Date: 2017-05-06 06:59 pm (UTC)
veronica_rich: (Default)
From: [personal profile] veronica_rich
I used to love that show when I was little. That and new episodes of Wonder Woman made up a fair chunk of my grade-school weekly TV anticipation.

Another surprisingly decent show was Threes Company, IMO. Jack had a lot of "feminine" duties at home, and the women were shown to enjoy working and dating a number of men. Jack had to learn to see his roommates as people and not just attractive women. He was protective of them, but they were shown taking care of themselves most of the time. And while there was some squiffy gay stereotypes, for the times it wasn't AS bad as a lot of shows' jokes, and even the straight male landlords who thought Jack was gay respected and liked him (Furley more than Roper, but still). And Larry was shown to be just as skeevy as the audience felt he was, LOL.

Date: 2017-05-07 07:42 pm (UTC)
veronica_rich: (Default)
From: [personal profile] veronica_rich
His son, Jason, is pretty good at that too, as well as delivery.

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