The A-Team is sent to Hell for a crime they didn’t commit. Abandoning all hope, they realize they cannot save mythic heroes, philosophers, writers, and artists because they left their armor-plated GMC Vandura in the forest. Virgil of The Aeneid co-stars.
Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow
Piet Mondrian has broken his thumb and cannot paint. He hires the A-Team to create a memorable image of pure abstraction using red, blue, and white squares, and one itty bitty yellow square, with a bunch of black borders. (In French, with subtitles.)
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot
In this episode, Hannibal ponders the banal ridicule of aging, wandering the beach with his trousers rolled and biting into peach after peach. And a real treat for viewers: see if you can spot Ricardo Montelban in the rooom where women come and go.
Waiting for Godot
The A-Team waits for their mysterious client “Godot” outside their GMC Vandura. To while away the time, they remember exciting clips from previous A-Team episodes.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo
The A-Team is hired to track a mysterious woman who claims to be the reincarnation of someone who died 130 years ago. When she dies, they obsessively fixate on a woman who eerily resembles her. Kim Novak co-stars as “woman.”
The Poetry of Emily Dickinson
In the most uncompromising episode of the A-Team ever made, each member of the A-Team sequesters themselves in a small house in Amherst, wearing only white, writing poetry that is infrequently published in their lifetimes. Readers are encouraged to wait four years after the Team’s death to read their moving and exacting poetry.
Howling Mad Murdock and Hannibal wander around the streets of Dublin in this madcap stream-of-consciousness episode. Regular viewers of the show who lived in Ireland in 1904 will find it more real than being there.
Andy Warhol’s Factory
Hannibal dons a platinum blond wig and sunglasses and invents Pop Art, putting Face, Howling Mad Murdoch, and B.A. Baracas to work in his factory silk- screening icons of the popular culture as well as a certain can of soup. Howling Mad Murdoch, confused by this turn of events and flustered by certain clauses of his recent book deal, shoots Hannibal and is imprisoned until the next episode.
Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew
A croaky Hannibal re-envisions how the A-Team will handle missions, telling them to forget about the end goal of traditional rescue mission structure and focus more on experimentation and reinvention. Complete, total disaster ensues. Recommended.
Girl with a Pearl Earring
In Vermeer’s masterpiece, B.A. Barakas looks at you as if he has just stepped off of a plane, the sunlight glinting off his earring. After not much else happens, Hannibal steps forth and says, “I love it when a Dutch masterpiece comes together.”
Einstein on the Beach
The A-Team is hired by the mysterious Mr. Glass to create a minimalist opera based on sketches of stage sets. The Team insists on five hours of music without intermission, but when armed thugs arrive to insist on two hours, the Team plays them a little chin music “with repetitive structures.”
The A. Team
Hannibal, a Virgil or Leopold Bloom-like mentor who is also a master of disguise, leads a team composed of Face, a charismatic Oddyseus-esque figure, Howling Mad Murdoch, who is best described as the Stephen Daedelus of the airspace, and B.A. Barakas, the girl with the pearl earring. Sent to prison for a crime they did not commit, the quartet escapes the shackles of audience expectation, structure, technique, propriety, form, as well as some literal shackles, to aid those in need, and to further advance the influence and appreciation of art. Winner of three Emmys.
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