Thursday, 12 March 2009

Charlie's Angels the Pilot

Sometimes I envy the view-point of those with a completely heteronormative perspective. When they watch a show they can focus on canon, they can so easily ignore f/f and m/m subtext, because they simply cannot see it. Not because they are ignorant or narrow-minded, but because it means nothing to them. It’s a blindness brought on by expectations, assumptions and experience. It doesn’t make their worlds any less colourful, it just makes them more…precise. Therefore I have decided to go about this Charlie’s Angels reviewing in a reversed heteronormative pov. I will disregard any episodes that deal with a possible male attraction and I will turn a blind eye to anything that does not support Sabrina/Kelly. I want to experience a black/white world for myself. Obviously this means I won’t be watching anything beyond season 3. It also means I start watching with the belief of them being lesbians, but due to place/age unable/unwilling to be out. In my mind there is nothing beyond a same-sex attraction and relationship, I will pretend that m/f does not compute in my brain. Men and women cannot be anything other than good friends or family. Or at least when it comes to the characters of Sabrina Duncan and Kelly Garrett.

On to the story -

Charlie's Angels
Subtext review of
episode no.1x00 Pilot

This is a story about three young women who left an unfulfilling life in the Police Force to join Charles Townsends’ team of Private Investigators. They are lovingly (or condescendingly) referred to as his Angels.

Whereas Jill Munroe’s (Farah Fawcett) hair stands out, the characters of Sabrina Duncan (Kate Jackson) and Kelly Garrett (Jaclyn Smith) are equally or dare I say even more noticeable. I hadn't even watched through an episode before I started falling for the two, and it appears as if they are falling for each other as well.

[The Angels. Kelly, Sabrina and Jill]

The episode starts off with playful flirting between Sabrina and Kelly, simple looks, smiles and light-hearted banter. The tone between them immediately sets them apart from both the actual character of Jill, but also Jill’s behaviour. When Sabrina and Kelly gain pleasure out of flirting with each other, Jill on the other hand turns the same type of attention to the disembodied voice of the patriarchal Charlie.

To further set the characters apart, this time not only in the way they act, but the way the world perceives them, we have a scene in which Kelly in a black leather jacket rides up to a mansion on her motorcycle (!). Not knowing who the impressive figure with the black helmet and jacket is, the people coming out of the house politely asks her, “Can I help you, Mr?”. Two scenes into the episode and series and we’ve already established how S/K interact, but also how they are set apart from the other characters.

[Kelly. Motorcycle. Leather. 'nuff said.]

Furthermore, as Sabrina joins the con they’ve got going, the first question out of her mouth is, “How’s Kelly?”. Simple, but effective to show the importance of Kelly’s welfare on Sabrina. In relation to this scene, when the two meet again for the first time without having to play their parts in the con, they immediately grab hold of each other and briefly, but oh so tellingly, hold hands. It should also be pointed out that Sabrina does appear to naturally fall behind Kelly and rather protectively peek out from behind her shoulder.

[Physical contact, the foundation of any good relationship]

Before I leave the first episode behind it needs to be mentioned that during their role-playing, Sabrina stated that she thought Kelly was “very pretty”. It's such a random throw away comment I'll accept it as the truth and nothing but the truth, despite their act. And one final cap to close on.

[The ring! The dykey-bike ante has been upped.]

Who knew lesbianism thrived on television thirty years ago and under the rule of Aaron Spelling (again with the exclamation point!), but judging by this -- it most certainly did.


Coming Up:
Chains, Butches and delousing.

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