Saturday, August 31, 2013

Characters I Love: Tiffany Welles

Oh hi. This should have been done a few days ago. Sadly I had chicanery around the offices and I've been sabotaged by my own staff! Anyway, I only like a few characters from episodic television. Here's one....

 At her best, the Tiffany Welles character was probably the most interesting one since Jill Munroe. The narrative, Welles, played by Shelley Hack, was from the East Coast, from Boston and had a father who was a police chief. As an oddity, the police chief knew Charlie, Tiffany did not. Welles character first appeared on the Season 3 two hour opening episode "Love Boat Angels." That was the episode where Bert Convy played the most altruistic jewel thief in the world. In that episode, Welles got a lot of cool scenes, especially the last one in the episode, the character of Tiffany Welles was basically all set in a matter of minutes.

Early on, the problems presented themselves. Reportedly, the folks at Charlie's Angels couldn't get off their duffs and write new episodes, they merely placed "Tiffany" in them without thoughts of her character and identity. Not surprisingly, when they did give it some thought, it did work. The Tiffany Welles character proved to be interesting due in part to Hack's likeability and wry, cerebral charm and great voice.  During the middle of the season, Hack seemed to strike a nice balance with Welles being very odd and different yet not off putting. Episodes like "Angels on Campus," "Of Ghosts and Angels" and "Angels on the Street" were indications of where it could have gone, but didn't.

The problems were multiple and multi-layered. Charlie's Angels for the most part was a show in steep decline. To be honest, the show was never as good as it was on the magical first season.
The writing became more formulaic and by the end of the third season, it was uncomfortable to watch. Reportedly it was the double whammy of not receiving time off to do a movie (Kramer vs. Kramer) and the pain endured filming the craptastic, "Marathon Angels" is what set Kate Jackson over the edge. In this thinking, Charlie's Angels actually  caught a second wind with Hack and by the end of the season, that was gone too. According to reports, the cast of Charlie's Angels were given valentine's to say that their services would be needed again for the next season. Shelley Hack didn't receive one. Frankly, that was awful.

Sadly, Hack seemed a bit deflated in the episodes that were filmed after the news hit. To make matters worse, Charlie's Angels seemed to take an odd Dynasty-esque turn during the last few episodes of Season 4 and it all ended on a blah note. The horrifying "One Love, Two Angels" did have Hack looking great and doing nice work--but it was never enough for some. When Charlie's Angels came back for Season 5, Hack was replaced by Tanya Roberts and the show seemed to retreat into a time that barely existed anymore. The one future-forward character, Tiffany Welles was jettisoned. As a consequence, I will never watch an episode from the last season because I'm so mature!

Another pic from my special folder!


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