Thursday, 26 March 2009

Thursday 13: Things I Learned From The A-Team

Header from samulli

This week, thirteen things I learned from watching The A-Team:

1. If you look like George Peppard there's no point in trying to disguise yourself, because you'll still end up looking just like George Peppard (albeit George Peppard wearing a bad disguise).

2. Mental illness is fun; you get to be wacky and fly planes.

3. If you've got a friend who's afraid of flying, just give them a drugged glass of milk before their fllight; they'll fall for it every time.

4. The corollary to #3. If you're ever confronted in a dark alley by a big black blinged-up dude, be sure to be carrying a drugged glass of milk; works every time.

5. "War is stupid and people are stupid," sang Boy George, a guest star in one of the episodes, and of course he has a point. There's no point sacrificing soldiers and unleashing your most powerful weapons to win a war, when, as we saw week after week, all you need to defeat the enemy and win any battle, no matter what the size, is a set of tools and the contents of a garden shed (or if McGuyver's on hand, any three random household items will suffice).

6. Statistics say that flying is the safest form of transport, but statistics can be misleading, and you only have to watch a few A-Teams to realise that the safest form of transport is undoubtedly a crashing vehicle. It doesn't matter how it crashes, how many times it rolls over, or the number of ensuing explosions, the occupants will inevitably still walk away from it unharmed.

7. There are all kinds of love, from platonic to puppy, from true to tainted, but surely the greatest love of all, the love that stands the test of time, is the love of a plan coming together.

8. If you're a fugitive from justice, don't worry. You can star in movies like Hannibal, you can wear jewelry like B.A., you can keep driving the same black van all the time, and you'll still be able to blend in and go unnoticed.

9. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. To be fair this lesson came from the military who kept chasing the A-Team, kept failing, but finally managed to capture them in the last series.

10. Fools should be pitied.
11. At the very end, after the credits, the writer Stephen J Cannell was seen pulling a page out of a typewriter and throwing it into the air. This is clearly how all writers work, and ever since then, hoping to be a writer someday, whenever I've finished writing something I throw it up in the air (although when I switched to writing things on my laptop, this definitely caused a few headaches).

12. If you've got a dull name like John Smith, change it to something a bit more Carthaginian like Hannibal. Then again, you might prefer to meet Pocahontas, or shoot a presidential candidate (like Johnny Smith in The Dead Zone), or become an angel (like Jonathan Smith in Highway To Heaven). Hey, you might even decide to call yourself John Smith like The Doctor or the android superhero Red Tornado. Wow, I'm glad my name's not John Smith or I'd be really conflicted.

13. If you want to be cool, wear lots of bling and use your initials (like BA). The whole of rap is built on this premise (Ice-T even stole Mr. T's surname).


Janet said...

Boy George and Mr. T.??? Bwwaahahahahah!

The Bumbles said...

Never knew that that the military finally got them in the end. I pity the fools.

thornesworld said...

Hehe... aww. janet beat me to it!
Happy TT.
I'm up at both EW, with13 Love Spells and Thornesworld with13 Ally Graphics

Rikki said...

I esp. like # 5, 6 and 7. Isn't McGuyver great, he's even better than Hannibal. Boy George was in that series? OMG, he must have stood out a bit. Happy TT!

Tilli said...

I knew I should have watched the A-Team. I love this whole post! All of it!

samulli said...

LOL, this is hilarious! I used to love The A-Team as a kid, but nowadays I can't watch it anymore. It annoys the hell out of me that they always have a big firefight where noone ever gets shot. What's the point?
I like #11 - I should try that, maybe it would help my writing.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I met Ice-T once. I can just imagine how he'd react to hearing he stole Mr. T's surname. (And that is a BRILLIANT observation, btw!)

In fact, this whole posts rocks. Congratulations; you just made a fan out of me!

An Eerie Tapestry said...

Thanks for alls the comments.

Janet - You took the words right out of my mouth.

The Bumbles - Well, just to clarify, the military caught them at the beginning of the last series and, in episodes that amazingly managed to not follow the usual A-Team formula, they went on trial, but then they ended up working for Robert Vaughn's character General Stockwell who promised them a pardon if they'd work for him. If you're really interested, Wikipedia goes into more detail.

thornesworld - Yeah, Janet beat me to it too.

Rikki - Yeah, MacGuyver was great, and Boy George definitely stood out a bit.

Tilli - I think the fact that you're young probably excluded you from watching The A-Team (although I seem to remember it being repeated on FX at one time, since I kept pointing out Face Man to my nephew, since the actor, Dirk Benedict, also played Antharia Jack in Zork: Grand Inquisitor, a computer game of mine that my nephew liked playing over and over and over again). Anyway, if you had have watched it, you might have hated this whole post, since I dare to poke fun at its formulaic greatness.

samulli - But surely it would be a better world if people didn't get shot during big firefights. I think reality's at fault there, rather than The A-Team and its utopian vision of violence. As for #11, I wouldn't recommend it; you spend all of your time picking up the paper and putting it back in order (still, while it might not make you a better writing, you become great at cleaning up). Also, if you get really into the writing zone, that paper can start to build up - I ended up finding myself getting buried in it during the last nanowrimo.

Susan - Wow, friend of the stars. I once knew the drummer of Sad Cafe (a UK band I suspect you've never heard of), but that's hardly in the same league. Glad that the post rocked for you, and glad I've made you a fan (although I'm not totally sure whether you're talking about being made a fan of this blog or of The A-Team).