By Ken Tucker
Updated September 22, 2011 at 12:00 PM EDT

The new version of Charlie’s Angels worked, if you were attuned to its wavelength, as a goof, a spoof, a silly hour of escapism even less believable than Vampire Diaries. If you were looking for something witty or sly, I think you were out of luck.

Brought to you by the guys who gave you Smallville — writers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar — Charlie’s Angels took much more from the Angels movies (co-produced by Drew Barrymore, who also had a production hand in this TV remake) than it did from the 1970s TV series that enshrined Farrah Fawcett as a star. Minka Kelly, Rachel Taylor, and Annie Ilonzeh have obviously taken their Hollywood-requisite Krav Maga lessons, letting loose with lots of elbow strikes and side-kicks in the fight scenes. And yet they also managed to curl around the speaker-phone like kittens, purring assent to the voice of Charlie. (Wait: a speaker phone? Is this the financially generous Charlie’s one concession to economy?)

The Thursday-night series introduced a Bosley played by Ramon Rodriguez who had, as Kelly’s Eve put it, “mad hacking skills” — actually, it was more like mad iPad skills, as he sent each Angel new intel as they all held their devices while standing mere inches apart.

I’d opt for the old, “let’s not over-analyze this, it’s just a show to watch pretty people for” interpretation, but the dialogue kept getting in the way of even simple ogling. “Abby put the cat in ‘cat burglar'”? “We’re angels, not saints”? Sheesh…

Unless I’ve been misreading the audience, I can’t imagine many of you are going to forsake Community or The Big Bang Theory or Vampire Diaries or even The X Factor to continue watching Charlie’s Angels, are you? I’ll certainly check out Angels‘ next few weeks out of professional duty and report back if anything better happens, but in the meantime, what were your impressions?

Twitter: @kentucker