'Chico's Angels' is a Gender-Bending Threeway Romp

By 12/04/2009
'Chico's Angels' is a Gender-Bending Threeway Romp

Chico's AngelsSo there are these three Mexican transvestites, Kay Sedia (Oscar Quintero), Chita Parol (Ray Garcia), and Frieda Laye (Danny Casillas), who work for a private detective agency. They run around in their cha-cha heels solving crimes while taking orders from and reporting to their boss, Chico, who is never seen, only heard. Sounds familiar, right?

The premise of Chico’s Angels is freaking brilliant. Seriously brilliant. I hear about a trio of Latino cross-dressers doing anything and I’m in, be it a train wreck of sexual and cultural ambiguity or a great riff on the magic of Charlie’s Angels. But does Chico’s Angels deliver on the promise of funny and sultry private investigating to a salsa-driven soundtrack? Well, that’s kind of where the rub is for me.

You see Kay, Chita, and Frieda bedazzled in costumes more fitting for South Beach than crime fighting and you think you’re in for an entertainment pinata that’s going to burst with candy coated bits of awesome. But then the jokes are hit and miss, the production value isn’t the greatest, and at most times the pacing is just plain off. The Angels themselves, I like. The characters are solid. The website delves deep into their backgrounds, fleshing out histories and adding clever context. In the videos, the ladies pull off, poke fun at, and celebrate every “Mesican” transvestite stereotype under the Southern California sun.

I’m sure Quintero, Garcia, and Casillas are talented actors in other contexts, but the main reason each of them play Angels so well is because they’ve been doing it since 2003. For the past six years the trio has performed their act in a multitude of venues, developing quite a cult following among the LGBT crowd. Reading a few reviews of their live performances, they really do sound quite entertaining. Unfortunately, that entertainment value hasn’t yet translated itself into the serialized web video format. But I think it will.

Chico’s Angels simply needs a whatever the Spanish name is for Bosley to assist with production. A lot of what’s necessary to pull off a successful web show is here—sweet premise, niche following, great art—it just doesn’t all come together nearly as rico and suave as it could.