Most people remember the “The A-Team” TV show as a typical post-Vietnam perspective show. Disturbed but awesome war vets make their mark on the private sector, all the while making a fool out of the Bureaucracy of the U.S. government.
Now, the A-Team is back – this time as War on Terror vets, without the post-traumatic stress or other heavy themes that typically accompany a modern-day war flick, but armed to the teeth with clever writing, a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps attitude and a healthy dose of American patriotism.
True, “The A-Team” is far from a gritty, realistic portrayal of troop life in Baghdad. (There are flying tanks, after all.) But what it lacks in realism it makes up for in panache and flamboyance. It's been a while since we saw a film that portrayed our troops as go-getters and healthy, exuberant patriots. These days the norm is to see our fighting men and women as downtrodden, misunderstood and overworked, and “A-Team” reinvigorates the idea that our military are exceptional, and that despite hardship, we will overcome.
It's an over-the-top joyride for sure, far from realistic and not meant for young audiences. But it's the kind of escapism that America was once so good at, the kind of optimistic storytelling that was based in real stories, the stories that bouyed our belief in American exceptionalism. Watching “The A-Team” gives us a couple of hours to remember what it felt like to believe that Americans could do anything we put our minds to, and to trust that, by the grace of God, we may do so again.