The Real Deal

I’m going to see The A-Team tomorrow night. I’m so excited that I’ve been screening season one of the original, which I’m sure I haven’t seen since it aired in 1983…when I was eight-and-a-half-years-old. Back then my favorite characters went in the following order: B. A. Baracus, Face, Hannibal, and Murdoch. I hadn’t seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s yet, much less How The West Was Won. I didn’t know who George Peppard was–or how old he was. And, believe it or not, I wasn’t sophisticated enough back then to get the jokes that went beyond breaking Murdoch out of the asylum and drugging B.A. every other episode so they could fly to their destination. (How did that go over in Vietnam, I wonder.)


Formulaic plotting and cardboard victims and villains aside, I’ve been quite impressed with the genuine article. In the pilot alone George Peppard delivers a high kick to a guy’s jaw and drops twenty feet off a telephone wire in oners that end with his face in focus. He was 55. Also he calls B.A. bubelah. And B.A. gets his ass handed to him in the first fight of the series. Hello, antiheroes! It only gets better once Dirk Benedict is traded in as Templeton Peck, the original metrosexual, and B.A. spends his off hours running the arts and crafts programs at the Compton daycare center. Of course Hannibal would rather play the second lead in a Martian movie than work pro bono for one of the brokenhearted kids. Murdoch does more channeling than a schizophrenic at a seance. I still haven’t figured out why that girl is on the team though.

Had anyone suggested the idea of an updated film version to me, I’d have been skeptical. How do you cast anyone but Mr. T. as B.A.? And if you were to try, how would you find someone who could play the part and not Mr. T.? I was impressed with Mr. Rampage as soon as I saw him in the trailer. Brilliant! And then the theme song played again and the wave of nostalgia hit me like a very pleasant, flour-less chocolate torte fashioned into the shape of a brick. Liam Neeson even died his hair silver in homage to Peppard.

No spoilers please. I really, really hope it’s good. But if it’s not, let me find out on my own.


Hillery eventually learned not to say everything that came to mind. Some were too good not to write down.

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