Last Night's Viewing: Charlie's Angels, E4
Frozen Planet, BBC1

 

But for the few remaining seasons of Mad Men and Breaking Bad, a golden age of American television is coming to a close. While the last decade was populated by vital original dramas, the next one promises the defibrillated corpses of long-dead shows: the new Hawaii Five-O, shaken awake for its second season; Beverly Hills 90210 MkII, now on its fourth; and Dallas, due for a Bobby Ewing-esque resurrection next summer. In the meantime, the undead Charlie's Angels comes shuffling into our sitting rooms like a zombie with a spray-tan.

I'm too young to remember the Farrah Fawcett original, so my sole reference point for this pilot episode was Hollywood's godawful movie version, directed by Joseph McGinty Nichol, better known as "McG". Replacing Diaz et al as the new employees of Miami's Charles Townsend Detective Agency – aka "Charlie's Angels" – were Abby (Rachael Taylor), a former jewel thief; Kate (Annie Ilonzeh), a bent ex-cop; and Gloria (Nadine Velazquez), a court martialled US marine. They'd all been given a second chance by their anonymous employer, with whom they converse only via conference call.

Gloria, however, was killed in a car bomb after about eight minutes, forcing Abby and Kate to emote woodenly from beneath their tear-proof mascara. "Please tell me she's not really gone," said Kate. "I never thought my heart could hurt this much," Abby replied, looking constipated. I never thought my eyes could hurt this much.

Velazquez must have been gutted when she read the script and realised her character would be killed off so quickly – but not nearly as gutted as the rest of the cast, when they realised they'd have to film a whole series of this rubbish. Gloria was soon replaced by the equally pert and forgettable Eve (Minka Kelly), who is a mechanic, or something. The Angels' investigation of Gloria's murder led them to Nestor Rodrigo, an import-exporter of child slaves, played by Carlos Bernard. Bernard is better known as Tony Almeida from 24, which is, I fear, responsible for the rampant over-use of split-screen in inferior television thrillers such as, for example, this one.

Charlie's Angels purports to be about strong women kicking ass, but it's really just an excuse to squeeze strong women's asses into tight pants. When the gals were required to demonstrate depth of character, the screenwriters gave them tedious gal problems: clothes, catfights, boys. In what might be a nod to gender equality, Bosley – the Angels' schlubby male mascot – has been transformed into a Latin looker with martial-arts expertise.

In these more enlightened times, there's surely something suspect about an unidentified man of inordinate wealth, remotely ordering a trio of ex-convicts to clear the streets of criminals. Is Charlie really a civic-minded billionaire philanthropist, or just a crime boss eliminating the competition? This is the sort of mildly interesting question that Charlie's Angels – the show and/or its protagonists – completely fail to ask. Thankfully, the ABC network and its viewers were as underwhelmed as me, and it was cancelled after just seven episodes. Come back, McG, all is forgiven.

As far as American viewers are concerned, yesterday's was the final episode of Frozen Planet, the BBC's latest natural history masterpiece. Next week's seventh instalment, about the effects of climate change on the ice caps, will not be broadcast in the US. Apparently, this is due to a "scheduling issue" on the Discovery Channel, rather than any domestic political concerns. Last night's sixth makes a fitting conclusion nonetheless, focused as it was on man's relationship with the frozen wastes. It opened with a super slow-motion sequence of overweight Russian men bombing into the Arctic waters, presumably so as to be compared unfavourably to more graceful mammals, like the walrus.

Arts and Entertainment
At this year's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas

Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Arts and Entertainment
Crime watch: Cara Delevingne and Daniel Brühl in ‘The Face of an Angel’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
music Malik left the Asian leg of the band's world tour after being signed off with stress last week
News
Author J.K. Rowling attends photocall ahead of her reading from 'The Casual Vacancy' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on September 27, 2012 in London, England.
peopleNot the first time the author has defended Dumbledore's sexuality
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall

Mexican government reportedly paying Bond producers for positive portrayal in new filmfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Disney’s flying baby elephant is set to return in live-action format
filmWith sequels, prequels and spin-offs, Disney plays it safe... and makes a pachyderm
Arts and Entertainment
Nazrin with Syf, Camden
photography
News
The QI Elves photographed at the Soho Theatre. They are part of a team of researchers who find facts for the television programme 'QI'.
people
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv0-star review: Sean O'Grady gives it his best shot anyway
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss