Discussion in 'Notable TV' started by ClassyCo, Jun 4, 2017.
I've seen the "Girls with Guns" one. I downloaded it to my computer off MP3 Rocket Player some time ago.
Apparently before Spelling-Goldberg decided on Shelley Hack, singer-actress Shari Belafonte was considered as having potential to replace Kate Jackson. I don't know if a role was offered, but refused, or it a meeting with her switched the producers' minds. Couldn't say.
I recently read an article from People magazine about Shelley Hack's being axed from the show. Charlie's Angels, which once enjoyed ratings shares in the high 40s, had plunged to the low 30s during her tenure on the show. Apparently, the network and producers thought all the blame was rightful to be placed at Shelley's door. On Valentine's Day 1980, all of the cast received invitations for them to return for the fifth season, expect Shelley. She was quite simply not asked to come back.
Her likability with audiences was deemed too low, and her physical attractiveness seemed to have always been of some concern. Evidently, she refused the acting classes the network and producers had lined up for her, and over time, she became increasingly demanding about the direction and treatment of her character and over other issues, such as working hours and wardrobe. Costume designer Nolan Miller admits no one on the production ever expected her to turn out so fussy, a fact that lowered her already shaky employment.
It is quite shocking when one hears the names considered to replace Kate Jackson. Michelle Pfeiffer, Connie Sellecca, Shari Belafonte, Barbara Bach, and Catherine Bach among others. Hack was well-anticipated, but she didn't meet network-appointed expectations. She was cut. And the decision was made quick and without warning.
Shelley, on the other hand, never seemed concerned with her firing. She always stresses she wasn't expecting to be on the show longer than a year, and how she wished to further her career in films. She did both.
One thing puzzling about the aforementioned article was the last line. Apparently, it was touted that Farrah Fawcett, the first season's breakout star, was in talks with Aaron Spelling about coming back to the show full-time for Season Five, replacing Hack. I don't believe I've ever read this before. I wonder if it's true...?
Well, watch one scene with Shari from "Hotel" and you will be able to say...
I'll give some of her Hotel work a look later on. Thanks for the suggestion.
In the TV Tales episode featuring Charlie's Angels, there's one thing that stands out to me because of its inaccuracy. Charlie's Angels, to the best of my remembrance, had the highest ratings for a debut television series since The Beverly Hillbillies back in the early 1960s. In the spring of 1977, the cheesy and sexy P.I. procedural finished fifth in the Nielsen ratings, with an average 25.8 rating.
Okay, here's my beef:
There's this common misconception that the series did better its second season than its first. At the end of the second year, in the spring of 1978, the series was fourth in the ratings, but with a 24.4 share. (As we know, season two was when Cheryl Ladd took-over for Farrah Fawcett.)
The 24.4 rating share it ended with for the 1977─78 season was actually lower than the 25.8 rating share from the first year. The ranking was higher, however; it was #5 in 1977 and #4 in 1978. Only three shows were doing better in 1978, but the show(s) themselves all had smaller audience shares.
I decided to revisit Season Four today with two episodes as my re-introduction:
The first was "Fallen Angel", the first episode of the season to feature Farrah Fawcett in the fourth of her six contract-obligated guest gigs. The Angel trio (consisting this year of Kelly, Kris, and Tiffany) are recruited to catch Damien 'Ice Cat' Roth (guest star Timothy Dalton), an infamous jet-setting jewel thief, who happens to be in love with Jill. All turns out well, however, because it turns out Jill was doing some undercover work for Charlie to help nail Roth.
I then flipped through the DVDs, and decided on "Catch a Falling Angel", which plots the Angels trying to salvage country girl Bess-turned-porno star Sally Storm from her pending doom at the fate of her ruthless producer boyfriend. They end up rescuing her.
It has been some time since I've watched any episodes of the show, so I wanted to revisit some I remember fondly. These episodes still let me know why I love the Angels, but I now look at this fourth year in a different light. We've been discussing Shelley Hack, her character Tiffany Welles, and the actress's tenure on the series a bit here, so that's a main reason I wanted to give Season Four another look.
There were a few things that certainly stick out from these two episodes. Tiffany (or Shelley, however you wish to reference her) has close-ups, but she hasn't too many with other characters. She has some with Bosley, but her shots with the other Angels, in these two episodes at least, are scarce. I recollect reading an article on Hill Post some time ago where they drew from the fourth season finale's final scene that concludes on a shot of Kelly and Kris together, but leaves Tiffany out. They reasoned that this foreshadowed the producers' dismissal of her, and thus preparing their viewers for the new Angel that would enter the following year.
I certainly don't think the Season Four ratings erosion can all be placed on Shelley Hack. She isn't the best of actress in these episodes, especially the earlier ones, but once she's given more screen time and more to sink her teeth into, I do think she fits in with the series rather nicely. Of course, kinks could have been ironed better and far earlier than they were, but I think she could have worked well enough to stay for the last season, especially since everyone knew the 1980─81 season would be the last year any way. Almost all knew Jaclyn Smith didn't want to extend her contract, Cheryl Ladd and David Doyle were weary to continue, and John Forsythe had already started filming Dynasty.
I think had the episodes been reorganized the reaction to Hack's Tiffany Welles wouldn't have been as harsh. This season is full of episodes placing an individual Angel at center stage and having the rest of the core cast more or less as wallpaper around them. The problem here is the Tiffany-centric episodes don't start until almost halfway through the season. Her episodes are decent, and some I'd argue are more entertaining than the Kelly and Kris ones.
Either way, it wasn't all Shelley Hack's fault. I wish they would have kept her.
I agree with you, Shelley Hack did her best given the conditions. She had a classic movie star aura à la Lauren Bacall, and as the pic above proves, she was a real beauty. Maybe more in the line of Jaclyn than Farrah´s or Cheryl´s. I don´t think the show needed Actors Studio alumni to star in it and Shelley was a good replacement for Kate. I don´t wanna be bitchy but this is especially true when we compare her with Tanya Roberts (who very obviously was chosen for her generous physique). TBH, I haven´t yet watched one episode with Tanya in it, and I´ve owned the complete series for awhile. And the "model academy" dumb stuff from the Opening didn´t help in that matter...I guess that if I were straight, things would be different though...I´m not really sure.
Cleavage is the name of the name...especially for Tanya.
The fact that they later cast her in Hotel must mean that she couldn't have made too bad an impression.
That I remember being reported at the time.
Perhaps they liked her, but didn't think she'd fit as an Angel, or maybe they were pressed for time, or maybe that simply decided to go another route. I suppose they kept up with her, and by the time her Hotel gig came around, they felt she was ready to proceed.
It was the time when famous last names meant something, remember? Presley, Belafonte, Oxenberg, Welch... The more famous, the least talented...
"I´ll say whatever lines I want to say,
I´ll wear whatever Travilla gowns I want to wear,
and if you disagree, the power of Elvis will fall on you...
Oh and Bobby loved emeralds just because I do..."
Speaking of Presley and Welch, rumor has it they were each considered for as potential Angels in the show's earliest stages. Spelling apparently offered Presley a role and a rather lucrative paycheck, but she declined because "she disliked the show". What ever that means, I don't know.
She probably thought it was dumb. But she would have fit in perfectly.
I would have liked to have seen Priscilla do the show, if only in guest shots.
If the original series had been controlled with more depth to the plots and back stories, Priscilla could have been an ex-Angel (kind of like Fawcett's Jill Munroe in her guest stints) with a name something like Ginger Riley, who pops up occasionally to help out her ole pal Charlie whenever he requires her services. She worked for him years ago (late 1960s/early 1970s), and possibly knew Jackson's Sabrina, but felt the call to move and relocated overseas. I'm thinking she thought Australia looked appealing enough to have her, and over time, she took work for the CIA or some TV land counterpart, and peeks in on the Townsend Agency whenever the ratings dip.
I started rewatching Season Four from the start yesterday. I want to review ABC's treatment of Shelley Hack and her character, Tiffany Welles, through the glass of the episodes themselves.
I've watched the first disc of my Season Four of Charlie's Angels set, which includes the season's first four episodes, depending on how you judge the opener.
The season opener, "Love Boat Angels", obviously employed its gimmicky title for the ratings they wished it could generate. (The episode ended up placing first in the weekly Nielsen's.) The first five minutes or so of the episode concerns the movement and stealing of museum antiques, with almost no dialogue whatsoever. When the camera does its traditional transfer to the Townsend Agency, we learn from Charlie that Sabrina (season three exiter Kate Jackson) has married and is expecting a baby. Charlie informs remaining Angels Kelly (Jaclyn Smith) and Kris (Cheryl Ladd) that they should be expecting the arrival of their new partner, Boston police academy graduate Tiffany Welles (Shelley Hack), although the girls apparently thought their partnership had dwindled to a trio consisting of them and their sidekick Bosley (David Doyle). Within moments, Bosley's entered the office with Tiffany at his side, and so goes the introduction of Charlie's newest Angel.
Fast forward a little: The Angels are given their assignment and aboard the Love Boat to solve it. Kris masquerades as a decoy for a thief (Bert Convy), while Kelly and Tiffany cater to their client (Dick Sargent), and Bosley stays on shore to stir up any information he can with the leads available there. From the outside, this would appear as a ploy to simply get Bosley out of the way so Kelly and Kris and the audience can get use to Tiffany being the third side of the Angelic triangle. It doesn't quite execute that way, however. This two-parter (shown here in its separated syndicated version) focuses predominantly on Kris and her relationship with a good-turned-bad guy that she can't seem not to have feelings for. The episode plays out well, and the conclusion is to be expected.
Following is "Angels Go Truckin", one episode I clearly remember watching when I originally got this set. The Angels are hired to solve the crime of a stolen load belonging to Venus Trucking, which is ran by a woman and only uses female drivers. Charlie orders to Kris and Tiffany to take a truck driving course to prepare them to handle their big rig cover, while Kelly gets a job (perhaps thankful to 'gifted' Southern accent?) at a diner where a fight that broke out was presumably a diversion so the load before could be stolen. In the end, we learn that Venus' owner, Maggie, has been stealing her own loads hoping to "bring home the gold", but says she has proven women can do anything because a man wouldn't have so easily saw her scam. I liked this episode back when, and I still like it. It's a throwback to those earlier seasons and the episodes therein; Tiffany's edged into the group a little bit, but shares most of screen time here with Kris.
The last episode on the disc is "Avenging Angel", which is probably the most well thought out of the batch here. In an attempt to draw back to a never-before-heard-of case, Kelly is crossfire of a man she aided into prison some years ago. This a Kelly-centered outing here, and the other Angels basically take up the background to find where Kelly's been taken. Naturally, we know she's going to be found in time for them all to return and give their farewell to Charlie before the end credits roll.
Anyone that knows my Amazon screen name and taken the time to read my reviews for this season of Charlie's Angels knows that I wasn't initially a fan of Shelley Hack or her addition as Tiffany Welles. I had watched the first three seasons almost exclusively, and I didn't want to accept anyone else stepping into this well-oiled machine.
My view has shifted. While I can't say that Tiffany's introduction necessarily evokes a breath of fresh air, it does bring a different wind. And that wind isn't overtly bad. She photographs superbly, and there is some early promise that she's going to fit in with the Angels that didn't register in previous viewings of these first batch of episodes. On the face of it, however, she isn't given a whole lot to do in the opener, and she's just a part of the big rig ploy in the trucking episode. However, in watching "Avenging Angel", I saw some minor attempts by the writers and producers trying to possibly push Tiffany as the trio's new 'leader', taking over from Sabrina. The way she instructs Kris how the order of execution, the need to call Bosley, etc. evoke similarities to the role Sabrina held on the show. Yes, I know the Angels have all taken charge in different situations, but here it seems as if they leave most of that leadership nudging for Tiffany to pick up. And I can't say I mind that. Kelly's too vulnerable to be the head and Kris is too quirky, so Tiffany's the only possible option left. This episode, to me at least, seemed to show that good things were possibly in store for Tiffany if the writers keep edging her to the forefront of the trio.
I'm going to keep up with these disc-by-disc reviews of this season so the information and my thoughts will be fresher in my head.
Why did you post a pic of Krystle from The Reunion asking Blake to turn the air-con off? Not everything is about DYNASTY.
I finished watching disc two of the fourth season of Charlie's Angels earlier today. Two of the four episodes featured here I've watched enough that I didn't feel the need to revisit them, while the other two I needed some definite refreshing on. Considering the fact that I'm re-watching Season Four to reexamine the treatment and evolution of Shelley Hack as Tiffany Welles, I feel these pieces I'm constructing disc-by-disc should be more Tiffany-centric than I initially intended. These episodes have Tiffany masquerading as a violinist, a nun, and a hooker.
First, I'll take a moment to highlight the episodes themselves:
"Angels at the Altar" (October 3, 1979): Kelly's childhood friend hires the Angels to investigate the multiple near-death experiences and attacks on her fiancee's life.
"Fallen Angel" (October 10, 1979): The Angels are hired to protect a valuable diamond from infamous jewel thief and notorious stud Damion Roth (guest star Timothy Dalton). They are shocked to learn that he's being aided in his plot by Jill Munroe (Farrah Fawcett in the first of her three guest shots this season).
"Caged Angel" (October 31, 1979): A young female inmate is shot and killed during a robbery. Kris goes undercover at the minimum security prison to find out how the girl got tangled up in such a mess, and soon walks upon trouble of her own.
"Angels on the Street" (November 7, 1979): After a young music teacher is beaten up by a pimp, Kelly and Tiffany go undercover as streetwalkers, while Kris tries to get close to the girl. In the meantime, they learn this girl might not be who she says she is.
I've watched "Fallen Angel" and "Angels on the Street" enough these past few years that I didn't see the necessity of revisiting them before writing this tonight. I know the plot points and the outcome, so there's nothing else I really needed any particular refreshing on. In "Fallen Angel", Tiffany is basically on the sidelines as Kris worries about Jill's involvement with jewel thief Damion Roth. There is one instance where Tiffany makes the assumption that Jill could possibly be hiding something from the rest of them, which shakes Kris and prompts her to exit the room. While this might seem minor, considering Tiffany and Jill don't know each other, it can hit a viewer sideways that's use to the close-knit bond the main characters on this show generally hold together. Jill's deliberate refusal to cooperate with Kris and Kelly come off as odd, but somehow fresh in a show that's grown increasingly formulaic.
"Angels on the Street" has always struck me as one of those "Wow, that's a really good idea" episodes the producers cooked up to put the Angels in a sexy situation. Certainly, the material was probably considered a little edgy for a late 1970s cop procedural, in which the female leads were usually presented in a fashion which suited them to be role models for young ladies across the globe, but the outcome is pleasant enough. Tiffany, I must say, looks stunning in her hooker get-up. Her face isn't clowned out like poor Kelly's, and I like how they have her hold her own against a hooker who calls herself "Rose" and the pimp that goes by Freddie. Her purse-twirling street walk is cheeky, but adds a certain flair that shows a TV buff like me that Hack was at least trying to broaden this character of Tiffany, and that she was perhaps trying her hardest to find some fun in the role.
As I said earlier, I had to revisit the other two episodes before I felt I needed to write this piece. Visually, albeit briefly, the episode "Caged Angel" evokes memories of Season One's "Angels in Chains". There's a bit where Kris opens her towel and has to be sprayed for lice just like Jill, Kelly, and Sabrina had to do back in the show's infancy. ("Angels in Chains" was the show's highest-rated episode ever.) Tiffany, along with Kelly and Bosley, sit the majority of this episode out because Kris' adventure here is deliberately a solo outing. After the episode's half-over, there's a need for the Angels to get information to Kris that Charlie's just given them. Their contacts aren't available, and so Tiffany and Kelly borrow some nun outfits and go into the prison as soul-saving sisters and give Kris a pamphlet laced with the information she needs to fulfill her undercover operation successfully.
The last one ─ but the first one on the disc ─ is "Angels at the Altar". I remembered the least about this episode, so a re-watch here was a must for sure. Kelly's old friend needs the Angels to help her find out why all these death threats are coming against her fiancee, so they all take disguises at her wedding. Tiffany channels her inner violinist and takes a sit in the orchestra, while Kris is a waitress and Bosley minds the bar. The peach-colored dress that Tiffany wears to the wedding is beautiful, and she looks stunning in it. We learn in this episode that Tiffany is a skilled violinist, but not much else.
In watching these episodes, I still don't have a clear shot as to what the writers, producers, directors, what have you, want to do with Tiffany. She's beautiful and she wears clothes beautifully, but her execution and usage is sparse. In some cases, it seems they want to push her to the forefront and make her the new "leader," but at the same time, she's held back to make room for the other Angels, especially Kelly, although I've always found the Kelly-centered episodes a bore for the most part. But hey, Jaclyn Smith had stuck with the show for four years and I'm sure the producers didn't mind catering to her a little here and there. When considering the size of her role in these episodes, Tiffany doesn't have a crowning achievement on this disc. I'd argue her best work this go-around comes in "Angels on the Street". Her sharp-tongued comebacks and blank stares to the antagonists are pretty effective, and like I said, she looks nice in her hooker outfit.
I'm enjoying re-watching these shows. Maybe I'll have a complete change of heart for Shelley Hack in revisiting her episodes.
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