‘She Spies’ is a series that I can’t recall ever being show in the UK and I was curious enough to check it out and it was relatively cheap. What isn’t revealed, even on the back of the box that this is actually a spoof which often breaks the fifth wall and talks to the audience and gives the characters knowledge of certain plot tropes as if they know what to expect and be surprised by.
Cassie McBain (actress Natasha Henstridge), D.D. Cummings (actress Kristen Miller) and Shane Philips (actress Nastashia Williams) are all career criminals. Actually as revealed a few episodes in, D.D. is more a career activist but let’s just say they were all locked up. Federal agent Jack Wilde (actor Carlos Jacott) recruits them for their specialised talents, gets them martial arts and other training and uses them for special missions as the cover and as the series announces, ‘Bad Girls Gone Good’.
What makes this opening season work so well is the banter not only between the girls but also with their immediate boss, whom they frequently put in his place and still get the job done. In many respects, this opening season is a bonding time for all of them, more so for Jack as he learns a bit more about becoming a field agent as much as directing them via a computer relay.
Each girl is just as likely to give you a kiss on the lips and punch out your lights afterwards, often followed by a quip. ‘Charlie’s Angels’ they ain’t but they do have prettier smiles, often important when they go undercover.
The show-runners of this series also ruthlessly borrow plots from all over the place but add their own twist to them. Picking out favourites is tough. The first few episodes have them all settling down in the spoof and it was probably me settling down into it than them. Probably my biggest out-loud laughter came with the penultimate episode ‘Learning To Fly’, which you would have thought would have spoofed all the gag aeroplane films but didn’t. Added to that, they played up the low or running out budget deliberately to have some cheap effects that balanced the plane interiors and did something ‘Mission: Impossible’ never thought of doing with the mask reveals.
I suspect many of you will see it just as three dolly birds chick series but it’s such a wind-up spoof that you’ll just watch the performance. Season two hasn’t been released so I have no idea whether it will the opening season but I’d be surprised if you aren’t uttering the three chord theme music at the end.
(Region 1 DVD: pub: Sony Pictures 1994. 4 DVDs 900 minutes 20 * 45 minute episodes. Price: $ 9.50 (US), £ 9.40 (UK) if you know where to look)
cast: Natasha Henstridge, Kristen Miller, Natashia Willams and Carlos Jacottt
check out website: www.SonyPictures.com