Monday, July 18, 2016

Quantum Leap -- Episode 33: One Strobe Over the Line

Sam Leaps Into: 
Karl Granson, a fashion photographer.

Prevent a model from overdosing on pills.


New York, New York

Memorable Quote:
I think you'll be happy to know that everything worked out just fine.  ~Al
I already know that.  ~Sam
Yeah?  ~Al
Yeah. She's going home. She's going home.  ~Sam

I was impressed with the filming of the lion scenes, especially at the end when the lion (aka "Snowball") was getting sprayed with water and then went on a mini rampage.  I'm not sure how they filmed all that, but it was ambitious and they pulled it off well.

I'm not sure, though, what the purpose of the lion was in the first place -- I don't think they ever said though I may have missed it.

Given that Sam knows it's his mission to stop Edie from taking pills, how does he not see Helen slip Edie a handful of pills in the loft when it's happening five feet away?  And then again at the end he doesn't bother to pay any attention when Helen goes over and tries to get Edie to take more (and ends up slipping some in her coffee).

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:

Final Analysis:
I didn't forget to fill out the previous section and it wasn't my intention to mail it in -- it's just that I didn't have any substantive thoughts on this one.  The episode wasn't poorly done, but I'm not interested at all in the world of fashion, and I found the episode to be pretty slow.  I did like seeing Sam act as a photographer, and I thought that Edie had a cool voice.  Ranking it 6th from the bottom.


  1. The lion is just part of the photoshoot. There was a period (and sometimes still comes up) when fashion shoots had wild animals in them - usually big cats. Beyond that, the lion doesn't really have much else to do with the plot, aside from being a 'thing that will try to eat you'.

  2. I liked this one better than you. It wasn't as if the story was anything original, but I thought the pacing was better than most (certainly better than the very slow "Leap of Faith"!) and the characters interested me, particularly Sam and Edie's connection over the farms of Indiana...although if they grew up so close together it seems like it would have come out in their conversation before the very end of the episode. Like you I went in with low expectations because of the fashion photographer storyline but I thought the execution was above-average. I knew the lion would come into play but was very impressed with the footage, particularly the scenes where the lion is actually struggling with humans. It had to have been a nervous shoot and I hope they took more precautions than what was evident on camera. I'll rank it in between "So Help Me God.." and "Catch a Falling Star".

    I haven't mentioned it yet but for the first half of season, NBC moved "Quantum Leap" to Fridays at 8/7 central. In the first season, the series lasted all of four weeks on Friday night before NBC moved it to its Wednesday evening at 10/9 central mainstay. Its performance was soft but passable on Wednesday nights so NBC decided the show's small but devoted fan base would make it useful counterprogramming to ABC's TGIF megahits "Full House" and "Family Matters" at the peak of their popularity in the fall of 1990. The show lasted from September until January on Friday nights before it was briefly shelved and then shuttled back home to Wednesday nights at 10/9 in March 1991. The series had pretty mature content for an 8/7 show at the time so the 10/9 slot seemed more appropriate...and certainly better for the series ratings.

    1. Thanks for sharing the broadcast history, that's interesting. In general, how would you describe the philosophy of networks when it comes to Friday night programming? I'm assuming that they put their second tier shows (or shows that appeal to older people) there since a lot of people go out on Friday nights. But I would have thought that Five-0 would have been a popular enough show to have it on at a different time, and same thing with the new MacGyver. Also Numb3rs was another Friday night show that I watched faithfully. Maybe I'm just an old soul or I have have the tv sensibilities of an older person!

    2. There were always fewer TV viewers on Friday generally than on a weeknight but the same rules of counterprogramming generally applied back then in a way that isn't always the case now. "Dallas" was the #1 show for years and always ran on Friday nights. And even "Miami Vice" was in the top-10 in its heyday, a remarkable feat given that the demographic of viewer that show drew was very much the crowd that was out partying rather than watching TV on Friday nights. ABC's Friday night niche was always the "too young to party" crowd that lapped up its TGIF sitcoms. NBC struggled mightily for years on Friday nights, especially after "Miami Vice" began faltering. They set the expectations bar pretty low but felt that a show like "Quantum Leap" would be perfect because it had a loyal audience that they expected would follow it to Friday nights. It wasn't a complete disaster but the show definitely lost enough viewers that it scared the network into moving it back to Friday night.

      In the same vein, the network have longed tried sci-fi type shows on Friday nights, content with modest ratings because they know who typically is home on Friday nights. Ever since the success of "The X-Files" which aired Fridays, that phenomenon has grown and you still see it recent years with shows like "Grimm", "Fringe", and "Firefly" scheduled for Friday nights. I remember one year where the network scheduled three shows of a sci-fi ilk against each other Friday nights at 9/8, which flew in the face of the old rules of counterprogramming, but they all thought there was a niche for acceptable ratings among the "nerd crowd" that stays home on Friday nights and tends to like sci-fi. CBS is the outlier because their schedule skews older. Even though there's definite youth appeal to "MacGyver" and "Hawaii Five-O", they're both retreads of older shows with primary appeal to nostalgic oldsters such as us. Ditto for Tom Selleck's "Blue Bloods" which undoubtedly gets an even older-skewing audience as I'm sure "Numb3rs" did as well with Judd Hirsch in the cast.

    3. What does counterprogramming mean?

    4. Counterprogramming simply means if another network has a hit show that reaches a certain demographic in a time slot, you counter it by scheduling another show that reaches another demographic against it to maximize viewership potential even though you know you're not gonna beat the other guys. Scheduling "Quantum Leap" against "Full House" and "Family Matters" is a perfect example. Another good example was NBC putting older-skewing "Matlock" against younger-skewing "Who's the Boss?" and "Growing Pains" in the 80s.