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100 TV Shows #77 The A-Team #78-Banacek

Unfortunately I can't use 77 Sunset Strip in this spot, because like Route 66, it was before my time and I know it only through zeitgeist and osmosis.

So instead...a show that I only watched for one man, and a post that will be more or less a love letter to him and my favorite of his movies.

The A-Team


So there it was, 1983. I'm still living at home after graduating high-school and (kind of) going to college at Bergen comedy Community College, and there's a new TV show and it stars....OMG....GEORGE PEPPARD!

Me and George go way back. One of my major, major movie star crushes from my pre-adolescent, staying up all night to watch movies on TV phase.

I mean come on people:

I mean, you wanna talk GUH and FEELS and CRAY CRAY and exploding ovaries?

Most especially in Breakfast at Tifanny's, but also The Carpet Baggers, The Blue Max, The Strange One.

Digression: The Strange One-Hey, slash girls-Check this one out. It takes place in a military academy, so it's pretty much already a slash-trope in the making and it stars very young and massively gorgeous George Peppard AND ZOMG Ben Gazzara, and it's totally subtexty, slashy, creepy etc. MRRRROOOWWW. If this movie came out now, it would have a slash fandom before the first trailer was released.

Then came Banacek, under the NBC Mystery Move Banner.
1972---I was nine. I wanted him BAD! I shipped him and Christine Belford as Carlie Kirkland so effin hard. I remember having those fantasies. Except the whole premise of the show and the relationship was that he was the genius insurance investigator and he had to beat her at finding the baddie AND generally humiliate her in the process every time, although I remember one episode where they did get together and he threw over some other girl for her and it was awesome. But it was probably horrible. I'd be really terrified to watch those shows now. Even then I knew he was a Male Chauvinist and I suspect for all his sexual attractiveness, it would be super cringeworthy now.

So, it's 1983, the salt and pepper is now pure white and he's in this show with a fairly ludicrous premise but OMG-IT'S GEORGE PEPPARD.

I think I made it through the first two seasons, before they did the obligatory changes to try and boost ratings. I told myself I liked the repeated schtick of having to bust Murdoch out of various mental hospitals. And it was true, right up until it wasn't. I mean it was a cute show, but it was the kind of cute that wears thin verrrrry quickly.

Another thing that sort of bothers me in retrospect is the "cutifying" of Mr. T. I remember when Rocky 3 came out and Clubber Lang was supposed to be (and to some extent was) terrifying. But then they made BA Barracus....cuddly. Oh he comes off like such a tough guy, but then he's always saving widows and orphans or whatever.

I don't think I picked up any slashy vibes there and I kind of had residual Dirk Benedict (if Benedict Cumberbatch married Dirk Benedict, his name would be....) hatred going back to the REAL Battlestar Galactica. (A show I hated, but am still defensive of since the new one.) It really just comes back to show that was cute for awhile, which I watched because I'd wanted to shtup George Peppard since I was 8 or 9.

Let's talk about Breakfast at Tifanny's:

I remember when Kevin Costner had his really good two or so years there: No Way Out/Untouchables/Bull Durham, I kept telling people he was as good-looking as George Peppard in Breakfast at Tifanny's because to me that is/was the pinnacle of male beauty.

30 Days of Movies Meme-Day 4
30 Days of Movies Meme-Day 5
30 Days of Movies Meme-Day 16
30 Days of Movies Meme-Day 30

Now I'm glad that Mr. Peppard had one last good run before he passed in 1994. He seems to have had a rough time of it towards the end, and Elizabeth Ashley writing nasty stuff about him in her memoir didn't help. (Although I only read it for the parts about him and somehow ended up still loving him like crazy.)


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 4th, 2014 04:56 am (UTC)
That photo of George is mesemerising. More on the rest later (though I have to mention that I know Ben Gazzarra through his Audrey association best, ironically enough, and the mention of him and George gives me OT3 thoughts now). Also Ben's character in the movie Bloodline (where he met Audrey) was Rhys Williams, much to my amusement on re-reading the book a year or so back. Yes, he was Welsh too.
Jun. 4th, 2014 05:41 am (UTC)
Elaine Stritch's Ben Gazzarra story is awesome and hilarious too. Gotta love Hollywood casting, get a New York Italian to play a Welshman.

Jun. 4th, 2014 11:16 am (UTC)
Well, Audrey's character in the book was supposed to be in her twenties, and she was a little out from that by that point, so I'm not sure if accuracy was very much in the minds of the casting people (but then again, James Mason and Michelle Phillips were pretty much just right for their characters, so I'm going to figure star power for Audrey and probably chemistry for Ben).

I never saw Banacek but I do like what I've seen of Christine/a Belford in other things.

I watched a lot of The A-Team (it was Approved TV and my mum had a crush on George too - me? I was all about Dirk back in the day but I still have trouble forgiving him for his hissy over the casting of a woman in his role in the new BSG even though I wasn't a fan of that - I'm sorry, but it was still sexist of him to say it in public, no matter one's feeling on remakes, reboots, etc).

I don't think Kevin Costner was ever as attractive as George was even in The A-Team (and I thought he was pretty hot then).

I think the nearest I got to shipping back then was Dirk's and Melinda Culea's characters (I think they had one of those obligatory kisses between the young attractive characters that I would've so ficced if I had any idea what fic was), but nowadays I'd totally be about Hannibal/Face (in fact, I've read some but it was movie fic and I'm afraid it was more to do with my shipping of Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper and lack of RPF about them, so I don't think it counts and I was reading it more as an RPF AU without changing the names).

Strangely enough, I had the same experience (reading an ex's - I presume in George's case) memoir for the not so nice parts about an actor and being even more in love with him with Ian McShane, it was Sylvia Kristel's memoir. Incidentally she was a very interesting lady even without the Ian connection. Though I tended to get that Sylvia knew they were both bad for each other, at least at the time of writing, but that could be my own reading of it, too.
Jun. 4th, 2014 06:42 pm (UTC)
Bloodline may be the only Sidney Sheldon book I ever read...I don't retain much, but even then I may have been looking for the "Ben/Audrey" scenes, following my weird obsession with "They All Laughed."

I also have a bit of a James Mason thing, but that mostly has to do with is younger self, his voice, and OMG LOLITA!

I wonder if Ms. Kristel's memoir is still in print or available on Kindle? She lived through some very interesting times and presumably knew (in all senses of the word) some of the sexier men. I'd love to hear Ian McShane dirt.
Jun. 16th, 2014 10:49 am (UTC)
Sidney Sheldon is one of my favourite writers. I have re-read his books so many times and I always find something new and interesting. In fact, long before White Collar, he wrote my very favourite con man turned semi-good (but not like Neal did). Bloodline is about my fourth favourite I think. I started reading his books after seeing the mini-series of Master Of The Game with Dyan Cannon, Ian Charleson and Harry Hamlin. I can see that, and I really want to see They All Laughed someday (Bloodline the movie was not very good - I think Sheldon's books work better as mini-series).

Oh god, yes to James Mason. Have you ever seen The Wicked Lady? He's so delicious in that and in other things. I have never actually seen/read Lolita but I want to very much. It interests me, just so much to watch, so little time.

Ms Kristel's memoir was out of print - I got it through interlibrary loan - but Kindle may be possible. It was actually really interesting to read about her life in and of itself and the Ian stuff was great.
Jun. 16th, 2014 08:06 pm (UTC)
Kubrick's Lolita isn't perfect, but it's about a zillion times better than the more recent version. The perfect thing would have been if Kubrick could have done his in an era that would let him be more explicit...but still with James Mason, because as much as I love Jeremy Irons, James Mason IS my Humbert Humbert.

Edited at 2014-06-16 08:07 pm (UTC)
Jun. 17th, 2014 04:13 am (UTC)
I wonder sometimes if the older versions can work better even without the explicit nature, if they are more of the time the book was written/took place. But sometimes it doesn't work at all, too.
Jun. 4th, 2014 06:12 am (UTC)
Unrelated: Did you know that Peppard was was offered and accepted the role of Blake Carrington in the TV series Dynasty? Apparently during the filming of the pilot episode, he repeatedly clashed with the show's producers and he felt that his role was too similar to J. R. Ewing of Dallas. He was fired a few weeks later and the part was offered to John Forsythe and they re-shot Peppard's scenes.
Jun. 4th, 2014 06:38 pm (UTC)
I saw that on the Wiki page...FWIW, much as I love Mr. Peppard, John Forsythe was utter perfection as Blake Carrington...and I may have had a residual crush going back to Bachelor Father reruns.
Jun. 4th, 2014 06:52 pm (UTC)
I agree! I can't see anyone else as Blake! This made me happy. :)
Jun. 4th, 2014 09:40 pm (UTC)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )



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