Saturday, September 12, 2015

Wild Wednesday

Shelley in an ad for "Caged Angel"
a Charlie's Angels episode aired in 1979

In 1979, Shelley joined the cast of one of the wildest shows on TV, Charlie's Angels, joining incumbent Angels Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd. Charlie's Angels was a breakthrough television series because it featured women in an action-adventure show. Previous TV shows like The Bionic Woman and Wonder Woman were in the same genre but, unlike the Angels, they were both superheroes with super strength and abilities. Police Woman was closer in theme; but Sgt. Pepper Anderson, the lead character, had Lt. Bill Crowley watching her back at all times, rescuing her if needed. The Angels were one their own. They only had each other to rely on, looking after each other's backs and saving each other if needed. This was something no other show had, a sort of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid kind of dynamic between the three female leads. Prior to Angels, women were always portrayed as physically weak, dependent and cat-fighting each other over men. The Angels were strong, independent women who didn't need men to save them from anything, who could do anything men could do, who could be buddies with each other and other women. And that idea influenced a generation of women, changing gender roles forever.