'Charlie's Angels' reboot isn't heavenly

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ABC's ABC's "Charlie's Angels" stars Minka Kelly as Eve French, Annie Ilonzeh as Kate Prince and Rachael Taylor as Abby Sampson. Photo Credit: ABC

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REVIEW

THE SHOW "Charlie's Angels"

WHEN | WHERE Thursday at 8 p.m. on ABC/7

REASON TO WATCH Minka Kelly -- Derek Jeter's ex -- busts out some moves.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT The mysterious Charlie Townsend -- never seen, only heard via speakerphone -- remotely runs his own law-enforcement agency comprising three babelicious "angels," and Bosley (Ramon Rodriguez), the tech guru who gets them out of scrapes. Tonight, one of the three, Gloria, is killed in a car explosion, and the other two, Kate Prince (Annie Ilonzeh) and Abby Sampson (Rachael Taylor), set out to find her murderer. They quickly hook up with Eve (Minka Kelly), who has a wild past, but has reasons to find the scum who offed her childhood pal, Gloria. Charlie's suddenly got himself a new "angel."

MY SAY As TV popcorn of the first order, the original "Angels" altered TV, fashion, hairstyles, careers and the bedroom walls of teen boys from coast to coast. Prince Charles even visited the set, wondering how he might secure an audience with one Farrah Fawcett-Majors. Why "Charlie's Angels" was such a spectacular success is sort of like asking why leisure suits once were. It was. They were. There's no point in arguing with pop-culture history.

But there's no point in trying to replicate it either. Reboots can work ("Hawaii Five-0"), but they haven't got a prayer if they lavishly, ludicrously, embrace all the hooey and hokum of the original. Welcome to the new "Angels." This isn't the biggest failure of the new retro fall season -- that distinction so far probably belongs to "The Playboy Club" -- but it's the most comical one. When the "angels" get in a little tiff, Bosley says, "ding ding, ladies, back to your corners." When angered by the death of Gloria, Charlie soberly cautions, "just remember, you're angels of justice, not angels of vengeance." Book 'em, Danno -- please.

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BOTTOM LINE Eye candy meets ham-fisted camp.

GRADE C-

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