Today, it seems that most television shows try to be as dark or even darker than real life. Grittiness is in. But there are also those shows that were light hearted and fun, ones that always left you feeling happier than when you started.
However, some shows did not start out with sunshine and rainbows in mind. Sealion News Investigates has uncovered two shows in particular that started off considerably more dark than you would have thought.
#1) The A-Team
The A-Team was undoubtedly one of the most popular shows of the eighties. Lots of action, no bad language, and no blood or on screen death meant that this was almost the perfect show for a family audience. It made Mr T a god among children, and probably caused a spike in STEM education popularity, or at the very least increased the number of people taking welding classes.
Or so you would think.
While the fourth season became very self-referential, the first four episodes of the main season are particularly dark.
In Children of Jamestown, the A-Team is asked to rescue a woman from an armed religious cult. As would consistently happen throughout the series, the A-Team was then captured by this cult and held prisoner with Amy Allen. While plotting their escape, Amy asks how they can all be so calm about the clear danger they’ll be facing.
The A-Team replies that they can do so because they have already accepted death as a possibility, and come to terms with it.
Holy shit! They’re ready to die!? And let me tell you, their going fee is $10,000, or $2,500 each. I don’t know how much $2,500 of 1983 money would be worth now, but I’d need at least a million to risk dying. I mean, while they may be shooting at the bad guys feet, the bad guys sure aren’t shooting at theirs.
In Pros and Cons, the team is now investigating a corrupt prison where the warden is forcing the convicts to fight to the death. Again, a super cheerful episode.
In A Small and Deadly War, it’s a S.W.A.T team that hires themselves out as assassins.
And in the fifth episode, Black Day at Bad Rock, BA is shot and almost dies.
Then it’s mob activity in Vegas, shaken down stores in NYC, and hillbillies in the Appalachians trying to kill them, presumably for being from out of town. Makes you think of rainbows and puppies.
#2) Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
This is currently available to watch on Netflix. This series started with five made for TV movies, during which Hercules fell in love and had three children.
Herc was finally happy.
All that ended in the first ten minutes of the series. It begins so promisingly, with a cheesy fight in a bar. Hercules and Iolaus, fighting bad guys, hamming a little, and saving a man perched precariously on a stool with a rope around his neck. “Oh,” you think “this show is going to be a lot of fun and they know it.”
Hercules goes home to his wife and children, and from out of nowhere, they are all murdered in a firebombing by his step mother, Hera.
And that’s how it starts, the fun hammy show begins with burning a woman and her three children to death. Holy. Shit.
After all those, you’ll need a palate cleanser. Our suggestion is The Heart of Rock N’ Roll from season four of the A-Team. With Isaac Hayes and Rick James, this is a must see episode. The team is now investigating another corrupt prison, but this time the guards are using the convicts to commit crimes while they’re out on work duty in the community. The team is captured, as usual, but oddly, despite being in a prison, the bad guy has to lock the A-Team, who he recognizes as the A-Team, in the worst possible place. We’ll let you find out where.