Chorus Line Angels
This hour begins with an amateur broadway-style rehearsal staged in a vast, empty sound stage accented by stubby columns and a single over-sized shower curtain - the type of show opening which incites immediate boredom.
An argument ensues between the choreographer and lead dancer in front of a panel of three poorly lit 'judges' who appear alarmed post-argument. Afterwards, the troublesome lead dancer is shot with a tranquilizer dart in the parking garage by a man wearing a skull mask. The show's investor hires the Angels to investigate and naturally, Kelly must take the missing girl's place in the chorus line. Kris poses as a reporter anxious to cover this cheap local dance rehearsal. Julie's cover is that of Kelly's agent, though she never makes the slightest effort not to just look like Kelly's friend.
The cast rehearses around the old standup piano as the retarded errand boy, John, gnaws on a sack of peanuts and looks on. He has a crush on Jessica, one of the dancers, but she's rude to him; he warns, "Be nice to me, or I'll tell them what I know."
Kris, endlessly fiddling with a prop camera, befriends klutzy Nancy who is berated by the continually-irritated choreographer. "Who are you, anyway, and why are you asking me all these questions?" Typical query put to the Angels within hours of taking on a new cover. Nancy breaks into a darkened office to search for files when the skull-masked assailant wielding a dart gun accosts her as she's making a phone call to Kris.
Kris: "You can't just sedate me."
Darian witnesses Kelly, Kris, and Julie huddled in an overt pow-wow on the set amidst the other loitering performers, and later catches Kris rummaging through his office. When she tries the "I'm a reporter looking for information" bit, Darian whips out her Charles Townsend Investigations business card from her purse - and a pistol. Kris' cover is blown. Darian explains he has the missing performers, "on ice", or more precisely, sedated in an undisclosed location. He intends for the show to be a failure so he can profit from multiple investors who each believe they had a 100% share. "You can't just sedate me," Kris says. She is walked out of the office with a gun at her back.
To solve Kris' disappearance, Kelly must dance in the Broadway revue - this time in full costume. Before showtime, Kelly and her "agent" are complaining about Kris having missed their appointment, when they spot Kris being strong-armed by Darian. Kelly and Julie take cover and begin firing, hitting Darian and saving Kris.
A hasty wrap up is conducted including the full cast, who are distraught that the show will not go on, due to investment foul-ups and the fact that they were hired specifically because they suck. Kris encourages them all to give it a try anyway. Kelly is invited by the now-pleased choreographer and friendly cast to join them in their big performance of "Pals, Buddies and Friends". Thankfully we are not made to watch this number in its entirety. But alas, after a none-too-long commercial break, we are treated to the full performance as a filmed version!
• Why is Kelly reluctant to take the dancing cover when dancing is her thing, and she always gets the dancing covers?
• Kris comes about as close as they ever get to casually referencing past episodes, saying she can handle a little ballroom and a little disco. Possibly references to Disco Angels and Dancin' Angels, much more likely a coincidence. You decide!
• What's with Julie's overly excited reaction to Kris' arrival at the audition?
• Nancy calls Kris in the middle of the night, but the shot of Kris' beach house is in daytime.
• Liberal use of stock sound effects are used throughout this episode, including the classic canned scream.
• Why does Kris gasp violently and fall backwards when Darian merely grabs that mask out of her hand?
• Why is that electric candelabra still lit after-hours during the takedown scene when all the other lights are off? It being nearly their only piece of set decor, you'd think somebody would remember to unplug it.
JULIE'S SHOOTING ACCURACY
SHOTS FIRED AT ANGELS
SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS
DAYS TO SOLVE CASE
BAD GUYS SHOT
LOCKS PICKED (..BY NANCY FOX)
A feeble action sequence takes place in what was evidently the only set created for this episode. Julie shouts at Kris to duck and she dives dramatically behind/under a folding card table, taking cover in equally plain view. Julie then shoots Darian in the leg as he tries to run, and he leaps into the air for some reason as he's hit.
Julie gets her only chance to shoot someone here, so we're sorry for her legacy that it had to be a forgettable bad guy in the lamest action sequence in possibly the worst episode. Hers is the series' 14th and final shooting.
Kelly wears the exact same dance togs she's worn EVERY SINGLE OTHER TIME SHE DANCES. Kris is the victim of some shoulder padded 80's looks, and Julie rocks the plaid-and-jeans number seen in the final season's publicity shots.
OVERUSED MUSICAL CUES
When we see the bad guy in a skeleton mask shooting the dancer, they play this spooky sound effect usually reserved for dangers of a supernatural kind. What little value it had gets ruined when they keep using it for less and less appropriate situations, until we're hearing it whenever Kris and the bad guy walk through a doorway.
Was the budget for this episode like $10? It may be the single worst episode in terms of set design. Making all the musical numbers rehearsals was a free pass to use almost zero set decoration (although you get the feeling that if we ever saw the big time final production, it would look exactly the same). Practically every scene was played in front of either a blank white wall or that same beige/puke-colored curtain they kept moving around to try to trick you.
Also, we get that a couple of scenes were supposed to happen in the dark, but the episode overall looks to have been filmed in not only empty, but poorly lit, rooms. And not like "mysterious" dark - more like "we didn't want to pay the electricity bill" dark.
SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS
The fact that there are over 10 minutes of musical filler in this episode doesn't bode well; not surprisingly, it's among the series' emptiest. Kelly got the most screen time, but you already knew that was gonna happen as soon as you saw Nancy Fox was in this episode.
- HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 67%
MUSIC & LYRICS
"The Sleepless Rag"
15 past midnight lying on your back, staring at the ceiling At 6 you're watching hoping dawn will crack, hard lost feelin' That fella's got you on a sleepless jag Might as well get up and do the sleepless rag Here's how you do it Put on the coffee, give the girls a call (we'll come crackin') They'll tell you, he ain't worth it at all (send him packin') But if they can't convince you, cause suffering's your bag then You better learn to do the sleepless rag
Dancing lady in the night, turning To the left, to the right, turning If you should chance to glance to me Please tell me if you chance to seeAm I in your eyes through the night, turning To the left, to the right, turning So you can guess I don't live unless I'm in your sight, dancing lady in the night
"Pals, Buddies and Friends"
We're gonna be pals to the end We're gonna be buddies and friends And if the going gets rough We're gonna all hang tough
We're gonna wing it in the groove Pretend we've got every move And if our act starts to cave in Well at least we never dated
Gonna fly free of the nest Playing it close to the chest Give 'em the best of our best And the hell with the rest
In case you missed it, let me say it again We're gonna be pals and friends and buddies to the end We're gonna be pals buddies and friends To the end, to the end, to the end!
Nancy Fox: Childhood friend of Jaclyn Smith's also plays Amy Jarvis in Angels in the Backfield, a hooker in Angels on the Street, and the maid in One Love...Two Angels.
Michael Callan: Darian Mason also played blackmailer Cass Harper in The Vegas Connection.
Pamela Peadon also appeared as Betty in Dancin' Angels.
Lee Travis also appeared in Angel Flight, Angels in Vegas, and Love Boat Angels, and wrote Antique Angels.
David Doyle directed this episode.
Prolific writer Ed Lakso brought us roughly one third of the series, including Hellride, The Seance, Dirty Business, The Vegas Connection, I Will Be Remembered, The Blue Angels, Pretty Angels All in a Row, Angels in the Wings, Angels on Horseback, Angels in Vegas, Winning is for Losers, Pom Pom Angels, Counterfeit Angels, Disco Angels, Terror on Skis, Angel in a Box, Teen Angels, Marathon Angels, Angels in Waiting, Angels Remembered, Love Boat Angels, Avenging Angel, Angels on the Street, The Prince and the Angel, Angel's Child, One of Our Angels is Missing, Catch a Falling Angel, Dancin' Angels, Harrigan's Angel, Three for the Money, To See an Angel Die, Angel in Hiding, He Married an Angel, Angel on the Line, Chorus Line Angels, Stuntwomen Angels, Angel on a Roll, and Let Our Angel Live.
Joann's Rating: This episode starts with a musical number instead of a crime. We're so in trouble. Cheryl and Jaclyn must have asked for a heck of a lot of time off in Season 5. Enough time to go on vacation in the middle of episodes. And the entire caboodle basically takes place in ONE room. The writers must not have had any ideas this week. They took some concepts from Pom Pom Girls, Angels in the Backfield, Psycho (not really), The Searchers (not really), and barely managed to fill an entire hour, so they tossed in a bunch (3) of musical numbers and looped them for over 10 minutes of musical filler. It's unfortunate that this is David Doyle's debut and only stint as director. Had he a better script to work with, it might have been interesting to see his seemingly dry comedic sensibility put to work. Nancy Fox, frequent CA guest star, plays a dancer named Nancy. Need I say more?
The Angels have to find out who is trying to sabotage a musical production test running for a birth in Vegas before it goes bankrupt. Kris goes undercover as a reporter, Julie (I forget what she does), and Kelly gets to dance in....yup, the chorus. Cue the music! There are some creepy moments with the bad guy lurking about in what looks like an extraterrestrial Scream mask, accompanied by weird pulsating psychedelic music as he creeps upon whoever he's trying to scare, and break to...Kelly waltzing? Why is this in the show? The dance show, I mean. I know why it's in Charlie's Angels. Because there are too many minutes left in the hour. What happens next? Kris (duh) gets taken (Cheryl didn't want to learn lines having just gotten back from her vacation so she ad libs her usual kidnap dialogue) because, suddenly deaf she doesn't hear the saboteur, who she then proceeds to have a chat with so anyone who might have been distracted by the Ziegfeld-like choreography (or waking from coma) can know what's happening in the story. "A-one, an-a-two" (Lawrence Welk wasn't this lame.) Pals, Buddies, and Friends, sings us out. The End! This episode makes Alex DeLarge's aversion therapy in Clockwork Orange feel like a picnic at the beach, but not near Munroe house where kamikaze wicker flies at all times!
Holly's Rating: WOW. This episode is for hardcore fans only. Please don't watch it.
Directed by David Doyle, the best parts of this episode are the overhead camera shots of the pseudo-ballroom routines, clearly a weak homage to Busby Berkeley musicals. Gotta work with what you have, Bos.
Anna's Rating: Save me. Save me from this episode.
My half star is only because Julie got to shoot somebody (but even that was more awkward and boring than I thought a shooting could possibly be). I subtracted the other half of the star for Kris's poor lying performance when caught rifling through Darian's desk. Her sister must've taught her that.. neither Munroe is very good at getting un-caught. Here's an idea, girls: when you're undercover as the southern belle/bikini model/magazine writer, and doing something where it'd be bad if you got found out, don't carry your "PRIVATE DETECTIVE" ID card in your purse. I thought we learned that after the Cesar Romero incident.
I think we're down to the point where I'm imagining the alternate universe where Charlie's Angels never got renewed for a 5th season and today I'd be going "Oh, favorite show, you ended too soon! How I wish there were more episodes, even if they were bad!" NO, alternate universe Anna. You are wrong. Beautiful and slightly taller, but wrong.
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