When the wind-up to The A-Team's theme song starts and the montage of explosions, chase scenes and fighting commences, one might not initally think the show is meant for families.
The A-Team is certainly a far cry from a sitcom, or the sterotypical "family" classic television series, but according to a pair of stars from the show, that doesn't mean families can't enjoy the show together.
Dirk Benedict portrayed the team's con man, Templeton "Faceman" Peck, or simply, "Face." His character scammed and scored whatever the team needed to get their high-paying job done.
During a 2005 interview in the Netherlands, Benedict said the show initially had success partly because the plots were cut and dry. Good guys vs. bad guys. He said he felt that struck a chord with a lot of people.
"It tapped into a sort of fundemental, universal morality, it was kind of a morality show," Benedict said. "There was good and there was bad. It was a non-violent show, it was kind of a cartoon show. It was very entertaining so people could watch it with their families."
Initally, that statement may not seem accurate, as the show does feature plenty of fist fights, battles and explosions.
How these scenes were created and carried out was clearly fantasy, and multiple stars from the show have acknowledged that. Benedict believes all the viewers watching as a family while the show was initially on the air is part of the reason for it's decades-long success.
"You could watch without worrying, it was just silly," he said. "That gave it longevity, and there's all those people that were young children that watched it with their parents, who now have very... fond memories of that experience, and I think that's one of the reasons why it's had the legs that it has had."
Dwight Schultz, who played "Howling Mad" Murdock on The A-Team, said viewers "knew these were cartoon heroes" in the same interview with Benedict. But what about the violence that does occur on any given episode of The A-Team?
"It ended the same way every week," Schultz said. "With the bad guys being tied up and taken to jail. The whole family could watch that together. There were jokes that were strictly written for adults. There was action for kids."
"The show was very goofy or funny or silly," Benedict added. "What Dwight said was absolutely right, about the [violence]."
Plenty of disguises, crazy plots, jokes and the entire character of Howling Mad Murdock is all proof needed that the show was never meant to be taken as seriously as some critics did.
Whatever viewers deem "violent," doesn't change the fact that The A-Team was one of the top action shows of its time. No matter how unrealistic or "silly" some of the plots may have been, Benedict had a good point in a 1985 newspaper article from The Red Deer Advocate.
"If you were getting mugged on the street, wouldn't you like to see the A-Team pull up in a van?"
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