Flipping Charlie's Angels on its head.
The gay spy trio, television yet untried.
The 70s to 80s TV show Charlie's Angels has got to be the ultimate male fantasy. You’re a spy, but you don’t do the dirty work yourself, you have three drop dead gorgeous women do it for you who admire you and would do anything to please you. It’s a bit of a role reversal of course, because we typically think of spies as the James Bond type and women as the ones who sit back and pull the strings, or enjoy life while the other gender takes the life threatening risks to protect that way of life.
There’s also a deeply ingrained cultural assumption built into Charlie’s Angels though that prevented the networks from ever truly trying a role reversal of the show in the preceeding 40 odd years since it first aired. Imagine a show where three pretty boy type men, the “tall, dark, handsome” yet effeminite type, run around solving international cases of intrigue as a team, relying heavily on each other for the completion of tasks, while a woman directs their actions from behind the scenes. This goes against a very Western style form of thinking, that of the man as a “lone warrior” or “knight in shining armor” type, the modern James Bond, who doesn’t need other, suave competition as he completes his mission.
If you had three James Bond uber-men working closely together, people would start to assume they are maybe gay. Do they pick out curtain styles together when they aren’t working, or spend quality time together trimming the hydrangeas? That doesn’t make for quality prime time network television. Or does it? Gay guys can’t be spies, apparently.
Yet, I’m reminded of the character Martin Short played as a wedding planner in the Steve Martin movie Father of the Bride. Get him together with the two gay male characters from Will & Grace and I think they’d make a good gay spy trio. If you put Meryl Streep in charge of them as the Charlie’s Angel’s version of “Charlie”, I think you’d really have a winning show. Maybe not for prime time or on the neurotically conservative Fox network, but certainly for something like the Oxygen channel.