About Face…


A gentleman is simply a patient wolf.  ~Lana Turner

I lie, I cheat, I steal and I just don’t get any respect. ~Templeton “Faceman” Peck, “The A-Team”

What? I’m not her favorite member of the A-Team?

OK, another confession. I always think it’s impossible for me to have a favorite member of the A-Team, and at the same time, Hannibal and Murdock clearly leave B.A. and Faceman eating their proverbial dust when it comes to my fangirlishness. Face in particular. If my younger readers want to think of it this way, Team Murdock and Team Faceman, in A-Team fandom, are almost like Team Jacob and Team Edward. You like one or the other…but never both.

Just for today, I’m climbing down off the Murdock bandwagon and looking a bit closer at the A-Team’s resident con artist, living Ken doll, scammer supreme and sensitive 80s guy. I have to have something in common with him.

*crickets commence chirping*

Right. Faceman, not Murdock. I can do this.

 

Like, math class is tough!

Face is an orphan, and constantly seeking validation.

I always wondered how an all-American, blond, charming kid could spent his entire under-18 life at a Catholic orphanage and never get adopted. Maybe his grifter’s ways were already at work by the time he was five. Being adopted myself, this part of his story strikes a chord with me. No matter how much I achieve, or how much my family tells me they love me, I still have a deeply buried feeling that I was somehow not good enough for my biological family. That I wasn’t wanted. Faceman has the same problem, seeking love and affection either from his teammates or an endless parade of love interests. At the end of the day, the most important lesson is that we have all the validation we’ll ever need.

 

Hello, Most Interesting Man on the A-Team speaking...

Face uses charm, not muscle, to get what he wants.

Next to the intellectual horsepower of Hannibal and the literal horsepower of B.A. Baracus, it would be easy to call Face weak by comparison. His strength is like that of water: the ability to wear down great chunks of granite over time. In most of Western society, it’s assumed that the loudest, most obnoxious person gets what he or she wants first. Having worked in customer service much of my life, I’ll tell you that I’m much more likely to bend over backwards to the one who is kind, genteel, and unfailingly polite. This is a noble quality Face brings to his Team: a silver tongue and impeccable manners to go with it. (In the end, he also always gets exactly who, or what, he’s after.)

Looking for a blonde in a pink plastic Corvette

Face dresses the part…and then some.

I hate to concede this point, but Americans really do judge based on appearances. That’s not to say ugly people can’t get ahead, it’s just a hell of a lot harder. When was the last time you saw a successful actor or professional athlete with a face only a mother could love? This isn’t to say that we can’t dress for success. Between a guy in a nicely cut suit and one in a torn NASCAR t-shirt and camo pants, guess which one I’ll instinctively trust every single time? Also, to Face’s credit, he’ll change into jungle camos or a firefighter’s uniform as the situation requires…and looks just as handsome doing it.

I'm not really a fire inspector; I just play one on TV

Faceman, apart from the others, is a master of improv.

There’s an old improv game in which the premise is, no matter what ridiculous hogwash you’re fed, you still have to say “Yes, and…?” The word “no” is not allowed. I always think of Faceman when this game comes up. No matter what tight situation he’s in during some outrageous scam, he’s always able to BS his way through it. As one of my improv teachers once told me, “fake it until you make it.” If you can’t be confident, pretend you are a confident person. Face is so great at what he does because he’s convinced he’ll never fail.

Murdock, play Steely Dan again, will you?

Face is the master of Winning Friends and Influencing People, from all walks of life.

It’s always been a chore for me to read all those motivational books. Why, the B.A. in me asks, would I bother getting to know someone when it’s much easier to toss them over the back of a Ford Ranger? Hannibal wants to laugh at them and toss barbed insults, and mercurial Murdock just want to piss them off by being crazy. Face? He can be friends with anyone from an alley wino to a princess of Monaco, depending on the situation. As Hannibal describes him, he’s the kind of guy everyone wants to invite home.

I love you, man!

Face brings out the best in everyone…even the crazy ones.

It’s no accident that Face, and not Hannibal or B.A., is the designated Team member to break Murdock out of a psychiatric ward week after week. Murdock is the wild child of the bunch. Face civilizes and tames him in that wonderful way only he can. In turn, Murdock teaches him to relax, to enjoy life as it comes, and to let his hair get out of place once in a while. These two are the perfect Yin and Yang for one another…literally brothers from another mother.

Yes, I am that good-looking

Face proves once and for all that a smile really is the best weapon.

With a good-looking guy like that, armed with a beautiful smile? I doubt I’d put up much resistance.

OK, now that I’ve lauded Faceman for several paragraphs, do I really want to go back to loving Murdock right away?

I will. Right now I’m enjoying a relaxing Facial (insert groans.)

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on February 26, 2011.

2 Responses to “About Face…”

  1. Thanks for giving some time to Faceman. A way I can relate to him is that I suspect Face is often just acting confident and deep down, I believe he is not really confident. I can relate to that because people may think I’m confident and maybe even think I’m extroverted, but I’m often just playing that role because duty seems to call for it.

  2. You asked me a while back who my favorite member of the A-Team was. Well, when I was younger I really like Murdock. The class clown in me just ate his act up. But I’ve gotta say that as the person I am now I am all about Face. I like the whole “Go ahead, I dare ya to try and hate me” attitude. Hannibal has the leadership aspect that I like, but I’m just not him. It’s Face for me with a heavy side of H.M. Cool post:-)

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