As I wrote in my previous post, when I mention “Hollywood Angels” you most likely think of Charlie’s Angels immediately. The original series debuted on ABC, September 22nd, 1976, and ran for five years producing 110 episodes. Despite receiving mixed reviews in the beginning, the public loved the show! And in 2000 and 2003, Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz, and Drew Barrymore lit up the big screen as Charlie’s spirited angels… for a new generation of angel watchers!
The original Charlie’s Angels series put on display the common cultural views concerning God and angels. How so? Well, first of all, the angels were attractive females. There’s no religious or historical proof that definitively identifies angels as being feminine. Actually, the Bible always portrays angels as male. However, centuries of classic art have often depicted angels as womanly, leading to the popular viewpoint that angels are very feminine and attractive. Some scholars argue that angels are viewed as feminine because they are often portrayed in nurturing, caregiver roles, commonly associated with women. However, others take offense at this, claiming it’s a sexist viewpoint.
Secondly, the three young women worked for a mysterious man named Charlie, who was rarely seen, but always heard. He contacted them via a fancy speaker phone, providing detective and rescue assignments. Although the women were human, they functioned as guardian angels, aiding, watching over, and protecting people in need. Their boss, Charlie, seemed like God because he had special knowledge for his angels, he only did what was best for everyone involved, and though invisible, he was always vocally engaged.
And lastly, to emphasize the “angel” connection, the women were frequently posed in a praying position with hands clasped together. At other times, this pose was modified, with clasped hands forming the shape of guns to symbolize “angelic” power to fight evil with good. Though subtle, the imagery was effective, and became an iconic pose in pop culture. All in all, Charlie’s Angels successfully profited by combining religion with pop culture and sex appeal.
What do you think? Would you prefer a muscular male guardian angel with a sword and shield in hand? Or, a beautiful female angel who knows karate and carries a 45? America has voted… Charlie’s Angels wins a top spot!