The A-Team

 
(i)

 

'80s action adventures with Mr. T and the gang.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As the title suggests, the men rely on teamwork to help people in need, and everyone is important to the mission at hand. They're always fighting for a good cause, although they often use deception, theft, and firepower to accomplish their missions.

Positive role models

The team comprises men of starkly different backgrounds who still manage to get along and work well together. On the flipside, women tend to be portrayed as either gullible accomplices or absent helpers.

Violence

Every show contains over-the-top cartoonish explosions, gunfire, and other weapon usage, though no one is ever seriously injured or killed (with one or two exceptions). Some rare smacks or punches or other physical violence. In one episode a bad guy smacks a woman on the cheek as punishment for helping the team. Plenty of verbal sparring among team members.

Sex

Vague discussion of sex; Faceman often deceives women by gaining their affections flirtatiously.

Language

Pretty mild, of the "hell" and "damn" variety. Some name-calling/taunting.

Consumerism

The famous A-Team van is a GMC.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Hannibal usually has a cigar in his mouth.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this cult favorite 1980s action series is about a group of mercenaries. Consequently, there are plenty of explosions, guns, and other weaponry -- though almost no one is ever hurt, and it all feels pretty tame by today's standards. The guys fight on the side of good, but they often use deception, theft, and firepower to accomplish their missions. Though each episode includes a segment in which the group is under attack, the tension is never intense, and the team's successful outcome is never in question. Worth noting: Women don't fare very well in this show. They tend to be either gullible accomplices or absent helpers.

What's the story?

Accused of a crime they didn't commit, THE A-TEAM members are former U.S. Army Special Operations soldiers who escaped from a military prison. They use their considerable skills to accomplish missions for hire while avoiding capture by the military police who are always on their tail. Most episodes involve the group being hired for a dangerous-but-sympathetic mission during which they become trapped and use their ingenuity and firepower to escape, finally completing the mission with great success. The core cast includes group leader and disguise expert John "Hannibal" Smith (George Peppard), con artist and handsome ladies' man Templeton "Faceman" Peck (Dirk Benedict), expert mechanic "B.A." Baracus (Mr. T), and mentally unstable pilot H.M. Murdock (Dwight Schultz). Throughout the show's five seasons, different female characters joined or helped the A-Team, most significantly, reporter Amy Amanda "Triple A" Allen (Melinda Culea).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While each episode features massive explosions and tons of shooting, no one's ever killed or even seriously injured (with one or two exceptions). This element, along with the over-the-top characters and constant humorous chatter, makes the show a lighthearted adventure, rather than a graphic crime drama.

That said, while the characters all ultimately mean well -- often giving back their fees to needy clients and only taking on missions for good guys -- some questionable messages do emerge. For example, group members bicker frequently: The relationship between B.A. and Murdock is particularly sour, with insults flying back and forth, many of which are directed at Murdock's apparent mental instability. Faceman, meanwhile, uses a variety of cons and deceptions in his job, frequently flirting shamelessly with gullible women to get her to trust him while he lures her into his plan. It's all got a good gloss of '80s nostalgia on it now -- and compared to the a lot of modern primetime TV offerings, the whole series is really pretty tame.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about TV violence. When a show has lots of violence but no injuries or death, what message does that send? Does it make the show easier to watch? Does it bother you that the show gives the impression that firepower and explosions might be fun to use and not have serious consequences? Can you think of other violent shows that skip the blood and injuries but keep the guns and weapons? What about vice versa? How has typical TV violence changed since the '80s?

TV details

Cast:Dirk Benedict, George Peppard, Mr. T
Networks:Spike, Syndicated, TV Land
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of The A-Team was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byskids215 June 22, 2010
 

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this show is like a chase movie in a t.v. show. i love crashes, and chases, and explosions. so this show is good for me.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written bywondergirl_is_back April 9, 2008
 
Kid, 11 years old October 22, 2010
 

A TEAM

you may be abel to hire the A TEAM. love mr.t he rules. the ateam is a good show from the 80s and is relly prity fake. the guns are odveaosly fake. i think that it wont be sootible for a little 4-5 year old.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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