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4.6 out of 5 stars
Charlie's Angels (1976), Season 4
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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
The fourth season of CHARLIE'S ANGELS, which aired on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC from September 1979 through May 1980, is possibly the season that yields the most dramatic changes in the series, namely Shelley Hack becomes the newest angel, "Tiffany Welles", filling the slot vacated by original actress Kate Jackson. Returning for another tour of duty this season are "Kelly Garret" and "Kris Munroe", played by Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd respectively, along with faithful sidekick "Bosley", played by David Doyle. Farrah Fawcett's "Jill Munroe" also makes her final three appearances of the series.

With the new angel, also comes a new overall look to the series. With Hack, a former fashion model, on board, all three actresses don dresses, gowns, and tailored suits more often than casual wear. And while attention is taken away from the flesh (the Angels wear fewer bathing suits this season than ever before), the Angels never looked classier and more stunning in their wardrobe. The result is mature, professional-looking Angels that seem to have come a long way from the earlier days of the show when they rarely wore bras.

Aside from a new angel and a new look, the significant change that takes place this season that differentiates it from its predecessors is the writing style. Unlike the writing from season three which, at times, is dull and underwhelming, season four's writing includes several intriguing storylines that are largely the contribution of guest writers. ANGELS ON CAMPUS, ANGEL HUNT, FALLEN ANGEL, and THREE FOR THE MONEY are guest writer-contributed scripts and consequently, they are among the season's highlights as they are solid episodes that demonstrate the series' potency and vitality, even in its fourth season. The writing style also differs with certain episodes straying from the usual team formula, instead showcasing a single Angel while the other two Angels and Bosley are relegated to the background. A final aspect of the writing that changes is the overall tone, with some episodes (AVENGING ANGEL, CATCH A FALLING ANGEL, ANGEL'S CHILD, ANGELS ON THE STREET) tackling social issues such as drug abuse, pornography, child abuse, and prostitution with greater urgency than had been seen before in the series.

However, an aspect of the writing this season that backfired is intentionally minimizing the role of new angel "Tiffany" in the first several episodes. Two episodes in particular, ANGELS ON CAMPUS and ANGEL HUNT, are pivotal because the former establishes the back story and character of "Tiffany" and the latter validates the newest angel's position in the group and fleshes out all three angels' profound concern for each other. It's safe to assume these two episodes were among the first ones filmed because clips from them appear in the opening credits, yet unfortunately they did not air until almost halfway through the season. This was a poor decision on behalf of the producers/creators that damaged the series because it prevented the new angel (and actress) from instantly impressing and clicking with audiences. For this reason, Hack often, and rather unfairly, earns the odium from some fans as the death knell to the series. To remedy this, a simple rearranging of the initial episodes of the season would suffice: LOVE BOAT ANGELS, ANGELS GO TRUCKIN', ANGELS ON CAMPUS, ANGEL HUNT, FALLEN ANGEL, followed by OF GHOSTS AND ANGELS. Had these episodes aired in a similar sequence, perhaps the course of the series would have been quite different, with "Tiffany" continuing to work for Charles Townsend and Associates into the fifth season.

The only genuine flaw in the DVD set is the inclusion of the syndicated 2-part version of the season premier, LOVE BOAT ANGELS, instead of the original unedited print. The set is presented in a similar format to that of the third season set, with an outer box that houses 3 slim plastic DVD cases. Each case holds 2 discs and features a different group photo of the Angels on the cover, with episode titles, synopses, and original air dates on the back, and several photos of the Angels, Bosley, and the season's numerous guest stars (Patrick Duffy, Kim Cattrall, Timothy Dalton, Robert Reed, Barbara Stanwyck, etc.) throughout. Aesthetically, this is easily the best presentation of all CHARLIE'S ANGELS season sets. Mike Pingel of the Charlie's Angels website and SONY have put together a beautiful product, which is only fitting as it reflects such beautiful Angels.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I am a huge Charlie's Angels fan and I am glad that they are finally releasing season 4 on dvd and look forward to season 5.
I really liked many of the episodes with Shelley Hack, some of my favorites in fact. I went and looked at an episode guide for the season and I realized that I forgot about some of the episodes in this season and can't wait to re-watch them all.
I think my favorites from this season are the roller disco episode, the wedding episode with a young Kim Cattral and the college sorority episode.

Update.....I came home every night for a week from work and watched this season until the very end. I am now re-watching some of the episodes. I still think that Shelley Hack got a raw deal in the whole thing because as I said before, some of this season's episodes are my all-time favorites of a show that I loved as a kid and still enjoy as an adult. I hope that we don't have to wait several more years for the final season to be released on dvd. Although that season was very short there were a few good episode, my favorite being the phone dating episode, it was excellent and way before it's time.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2009
Format: DVD
Season 4 of Charlie's Angels is sometimes seen as the beginning of the end of the show but for me it has always been a season filled with intriguing stories, class and a blossoming friendship with the new angel, Tiffany Welles. Shelley Hack has been unfairly criticized in many circles as the person most responsible for the downfall of the once mighty ratings giant, but facts prove that wrong. Shelley's first episode, Love Boat Angels was a top 10 show and CA was in the top 20 for the season overall which wasn't too shabby. No the mistake was made by the producers who pulled the plug on the classy angel far too soon. Speaking of Love Boat Angels, the series introduces us to a Boston police academy graduate who graduated at top of her class, not exactly modeling school but Kelly and Kris seem content with her. Love Boat Angels is a fine showcase for popular angel, Kris Munroe, played by Cheryl Ladd and it tells a very clever story.
Although season 1 of the show is my favorite, my favorie episode of all time is in season 4 and that is Angel Hunt. This is a terrific episode where the angels must rely solely on their own wits and each other to survive against a man hunting them down. This is also a great episode because one can see the close bond forming between Tiffany and her fellow angels. They come to depend on each other and show courage in the face of nearly impossible odds.
Season 4 also delves into more serious topics such as child abuse, drug addiction and corruption within prison. These episodes are adeptly handled and showcase a more mature sensibility in the show.
Three for the Money is an outstanding con game put on by the Angels in order to regain a client's money and Homes $weet Homes has a nice mix of comedy with a thrilling conclusion.
Other notable episodes include Toni's Boys which was a potential CA spinoff that also did a riff on the Cask of Amontillado by Poe, Angels on Campus which was the perfect setting for the well bred Tiffany Welles and gives Shelley Hack a chance to shine, and One Love, Two Angels perhaps the most controversial CA episode ever as it pits two angels against one another.
The set also includes the final guest appearances of Farrah Fawcett. These episodes run the gambit from excellent, Fallen Angel to awful, The Prince and the Angel but still it is fun to see Farrah's final bows as an angel.
I certainly recommend this set and think that it will only enhance your fondness for the angels.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2009
Format: DVD
FINALLY! All of us "Angel Enthusiasts" can finally sit back, relax and enjoy the fourth season (and one of the best) of this iconic series!

I was an impressionable seven year old when "Charlie's Angels" debuted in 1976. I grew up idolizing these beautiful ladies! I had both of the board games (one with Farrah, the other with Cheryl), all of the paperback books that were released and I even had all four of the dolls (where they ended up, I will NEVER know!). I had the Farrah poster, and an oversized poster of "Sabrina, Kelly & Kris" from "Circus of Terror". TRUE FAN in every sense of the word.

I purchased the first three seasons on the day of their release. I was looking at the issue of Entertainment Weekly that I received today and read about the 7/21/09 release! YIPPEE!!

Shelley Hack was a great addition to the series and was definitely given a raw deal! They certainly should have incorporated her more into the storylines early on. I found out that the episodes aired out of sequence and that could have been a HUGE reason America never warmed up to "Tiffany Welles". Had they shown "Angels On Campus" and another few episodes earlier on, ratings WOULD have been significantly different! So, all of you naysayers give Ms. Hack a break! She was a dynamic addition and did some great work (with what she was given).

It is a nice way to remenber Farrah Fawcett as well. She will be missed, and I am so glad that her pain is now gone. We will all be thinking of you as an "Angel" watching over us! Great timing on the release of this season! Here's to a speedy release of season five!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2009
Format: DVD
This is a highly enjoyable season of 'Charle's Angels'. It's pure camp, right down to the discofied arrangement of the theme. People tend to write this season off because Kate Jackson left, but it's a load of fun to watch. People always want to blame Shelley Hack for the show's downfall but I don't mind her. Her glamour and cool demeanor brought something different to the show. Was she a great actor? Not really ... But was this show ever about the acting? Um no! LOL! It's fun, it's exciting, and it's entertaining ... and that didn't change for 79-80. It was still a top twenty show, and it contains two of my favorite episdoes: 'Toni's Boys' and 'Angels on Campus.' Shelley gives a really good performance in the latter, the only episode that really gave her a chance to shine. Farrah makes her last appearances in this season as well. Guest stars like Timothy Dalton, Barbara Stanwyck and Patrick Duffy stop by for some fun too. It's hardly high art, but that was never the point. It's pure escape and pure fun. Don't let critics and cynics taint your view!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2009
Format: DVD
I'm glad this fourth season of "Charlie's Angels" is coming out on DVD.
Kate Jackson is greatly missed as Sabrina Duncan,new Angel,Tiffany Welles,Shelley Hack,is brought in,rather quietly without any real strong back story.
Kris Munroe(Cheryl Ladd)was Jill's(Farrah Fawcett)kid sister,future Angel Julie Rogers(Tayna Roberts)was a tough street kid turned model.
I think Shelley Hack got a pretty raw deal, liked her,then she was gone after a season.
Look out for Farrah's last three appearances on the show,her first one is a very good story,has Jill gone bad?
She seems to be in league with a crook.(James Bond actor Timothy Dalton)...
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2009
Format: DVD
Well, it's what all us Charlie's Angels fans have been
waiting for, the release of Season 4 after almost a
3 year wait since season 3 came out.

As a big fan of the show, I do own the other three sets
but have never had the opportunity to see any episodes
from Seasons 4 or 5, so I'm EXCITED for this release.

We'll get to see the last episodes with Farrah (God Bless
Her, i sure hope she can beat the cancer, she's TOO young!)
We will also see the only season with Shelley Hack.
I'm also anxious to see the season premiere 2-hour episode,
"Love Boat Angels"

Since Sony pictures released the other sets, I think we can be
confident that the episodes will be complete with NO EDITING.

Hopefully after season 4 comes out we won't have to wait
long for the Fifth and Final season with Tanya Roberts as
the new angel. Hurry up July 21st, it's not coming fast
enough!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Sony has finally released Season 4 and I have to say it was worth the wait. The stories were much better than remembered and the edition of Shelley Hack added a new dimension to the series. It is just too bad that Spelling/Goldberg couldn't leave well enough alone and allow Shelley and the writers to grow into the show.

This season gave room to each angel to have more room to grow and to have the focus on them.

This also marked Farrah Fawcett's last season in guest roles and in lieu of her recent passing - very bitter sweet.

Also this is far and away the BEST packaging of the series. The artwork is fantastic and each disc features mulitple shots of each Angel - including Farrah.

This is how all seasons should have been done.

Now.......where is Season 5??
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I am so glad season 4 of CHARLIE'S ANGELS was finally released. I can't wait to watch this season. Unlike the previous 3 seasons, I probably haven't seen a lot of these episodes. I do remember when Farrah Fawcett returned as Jill Munroe. Most of the scenes with Jill were just with her sister Kris (Cheryl Ladd.) We were deprived a Kelly, Kris, Tiffany- and Jill scene. By this time, ABC and Farrah may have just wanted done with these obligitory appearances. Regardless, the viewers lost out.
I find it rather revealing that CHARLIE'S ANGELS suffered the loss of Kate Jackson (as Sabrina Duncan) more than that of Farrah Fawcett. I think there were many factors at play here. Firstly, Cheryl Ladd was perfect casting as Jill's SISTER Kris Munroe. It certainly didn't hurt that Kris was introduced as Jill's little sister who went to the police academy in San Francisco. It was easier to accept. Also- CHARLIE'S ANGELS was on the upswing in the late 70's. Shelley Hack's replacement of Kate Jackson was not nearly as effortless. Hack was basically hired because she was "the Charlie girl" from those perfume ads. Some said her acting skills weren't exactly top notch. However, Hack's Tiffany Wells wasn't exactly given a fair shake either. Tiffany was introduced into the show (she was from Boston) and kind of languished in the background as things like the Love Boat took center stage. It wasn't until later in the season that Tiffany started to blossom. But it was too late. Up next was Tanya Roberts. At least Tiffany was a cop, next Angel Julie Rogers was a model(?)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Season four begins with the departure of Kate Jackson, which was probably a greater loss than anyone could have predicted. After all, Farrah Fawcett left at the end of season one, was replaced by Cheryl Ladd in season two, and the chemistry and ratings remained strong through season three. Altough Farrah had the largest off-screen profile, Kate's was the greatest on screen within the context of the series. Her portrayal of Sabrina Duncan provided the anchor for Farrah/Jaclyn and later Jaclyn/Cheryl. There's a gaping void now that would be difficult to fill.

However, enter Shelley Hack. Beautiful, classy, and intelligent, her persona seems an attempt to straddle the best qualities of Kate and Farrah. The problem was with the specifics of her character. Kate's Sabrina was smart in a "common sense" kind of way. Very relatable. Shelley's character, Tiffany, was "intellectual." More difficult to demonstrate without seeming aloof, especially given some of the dialogue Shelley had to say. Other problem was that Shelley's character was not featured very often in the first ten or so episodes. The season was nearly half-way over with before she was given a featured storyline. This season marks the only one where many episodes were effectively solo efforts by each angel. If Cheryl was featured in one episode, Jaclyn and Shelley were limited to only a couple of scenes for that entire show. The next episode might feature Shelley, with Jaclyn and Cheryl in the background. It just didn't work as well in my opinion.

That being said, I still enjoyed this season and loved Shelley Hack. If you stick around until the last half of the season you'll notice that Shelley, Jaclyn, and Cheryl begin to develop an on-screen chemistry that was present during CA's first three seasons. It's also fun to watch Jaclyn and Cheryl, as Kelly and Kris, try to navigate with a new "angel" on board. (Similiar to Kate and Jaclyn when Cheryl joined two years earlier.)

For me, the best episodes this season are:
Angels Go Truckin' (Shelley's character is given equal screen time)
Fallen Angel (Farrah returns for her 4th appearance since leaving after season one)
Angels On The Street (the ending may be a surprise for some)
Angel Hunt (not necessarily an original story, but quite possibly one of the best episodes of the entire series)
Cruisin Angels (team-oriented story that has some funny moments)
Three For The Money (great team episode and Shelley shines in her portrayal of a political aide)
Toni's Boys (fun idea for a possible spin-off series that never sold)

If Shelley had been brought back for Season Five, it would have been fun to watch her continue to develop her character. Still, Season Four gets Five stars from me!
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