Episode #49: Earth Angel
Listen to Episode 49 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
SUMMARY - Earth Angel starts in 1962. Angela (played by Cathy Podewell) is the most popular girl in High School. After telling her jock boyfriend that she’s falling for her nerdy tutor, they get into an argument while driving that crashes the car and kills Angela right before prom. Flashforward 28 years later and Angela finds herself back in the real world as a ghost who is only visible to her best friend’s daughter. To get to heaven she needs to accomplish her mission. If only she could figure out what that mission is.
Screenplay by Nina Shengold; Directed by Joe Napolitano, and premiered on ABC on March 4, 1991.
This TV movie does not start out very strong since the early days are filled with scenes of 30-40 year-old teenagers.
There's a very quick love story between cheerleader Angela and nerdy tutor Wayne that sets up the conflict that leads to the car crash and sets up the parallel story for the present day scenes.
The film does a pretty good job of setting up all the pieces of the story, and the progression makes sense even if the execution isn't the most smooth.
If there's one lesson to learn, it's to do your best to not let your angry boyfriend drive your car at night in the rain.
There are limited scenes in the afterlife, and they all take place in the school office which acts as Angela's personal purgatory hosted by her old teacher, played by Roddy McDowall. A nice, low-budget way to skirt expectations.
The cast is full of 70s TV and movie stars to add to the nostalgic feel. Garrett Morris is only in one scene, but he is fantastic in it.
Poof! Into present day and Angela's restored car makes her appear to finish her business. Only Lydia...er....Cindy (played by Rainbow Harvest) can see the ghost.
There are very few special effects shots in the movie. This blue screen shot where Angela passes through her friend is a rare case.
Most of the time, we physically see her manipulate items and the cast pretends she's not there.
Some of the acting is really, really bad, but Cindy Williams and Rainbow are exceptions
We feel like the movie was trying to make a comment on history repeating itself, but didn't have enough time to flesh out those ideas fully.
At least Peter the present-day nerd (Dustin Nguyen) gets his fair share of screen time, even if the start of his interactions with Cindy was a bit weird.
We debated this scene quite a bit in the episode and it is confirmed the food spilling happened on the bridge and not in the house. Where he went to "clean up" is unsolved as it shortly cuts to the next scene at the video store.
Seriously, do your best to drive your own car whenever possible and don't let the angry boyfriend do it.
Awards Talk: None to speak of, which isn't unusual for a TV movie.
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
This week we don't have any true crime segment to talk about so we jump right into music.
Here are your Billboard Top 5 Songs for the week of March 9, 1991
1) Someday - Mariah Carey
2) One More Try - Timmy T.
3) All The Man That I Need - Whitney Houston
4) Where Does My Heart Beat Now - Celine Dion
5) Show Me The Way - Styx
Aside from taking the #3 spot as seen above, Whitney Houston’s Star Spangled Banner debuts on the charts this week at a strong #32 position
TV Guide had a full-page ad for this and we think the marketing is misleading. If you weren't watching this on ABC, here's what you might have been watching Listings for Monday, March 4, 1991, which you could read about if you picked up this issue:
Another forgotten show makes an appearance and this issue had two ads.
WIOU claims to be a hit series. If you also had no idea, here's a link with more info - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098944/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
Maybe this is better known in other regions, but we never heard of chicken marengo, so we looked it up. If you want to try it, we found this recipe for Napoleon’s Chicken Marengo. Sorry about the screenshot, they didn't show it in the movie until it wasn't on fire.
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 2 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 3 out of 4
Would you watch it again? - We both liked this cute romantic comedy, but there are so many time travel or Ghost-like movies out there that it would be difficult to select this over known better options in the same sub-genre.
If you want to watch Earth Angel, as of this recording in January 2022, it’s available on Tubi, Pluto TV, IMDB TV, Roku Channel, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.
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