How ‘Atlanta’s’ ambition changed the face of TV forever. The program that set a new standard for the genre, ‘The A Team: Special Edition,’ is now available at every major home video retailer.
Last month, as The A Team was about to go wide on TV, a man named Mike Myers made an announcement from his garage, just outside Atlanta, Georgia. “I’m going to be on The A Team,” he said. “The A Team: Special Edition.” The new program, based on Myers’ hit show about the A-team, had already received a critical reception, but it would go one step further by being broadcast on TV.
“That would just totally blow my mind to be on TV,” Myers later said. “Not because I’m a big TV star or anything, but because I get to do what I really love to do, which is writing. I get to work with a bunch of writers and play a bunch of different kinds of characters and that’s what I love doing to me—it’s work, not acting. I love to write.”
This was not just another TV show written and filmed in a studio. It was a full-on TV movie, with a cast of real actors (including Myers’ real-life friend Jim Carrey). And it was one that had a real shot at being the most ambitious scripted television program ever made.
To help usher in the new era, in 2004 The A Team went into production with a very different approach. It wanted to be a television movie, but not just any television movie. It wanted to be something different. So far, the result was the A-Team: Special Edition, a two-hour movie broadcast on FX that, for all the talk of an ambitious TV movie, actually did leave room for the show’s potential audience to find out whether The A-Team was a work of art or just a silly one-hit wonder.
This is how the tale of The A-Team begins, a familiar enough tale already told in the film. Steve Austin and company are a special tactical unit—and more specifically, a part of the Army’s Task Force Dagger, tasked with hunting Osama bin Laden. The unit is not entirely human. It’s made up of and trained by a handful of genetically engineered soldiers specifically designed to fight in close combat with the enemy.
The unit is also not entirely human