What I Learned From Quantum Leap

26 Jun

Scott Bakula in skin tight anything, please

As many of my close associates know, my favorite television series of all time is Quantum Leap.  It is by far the best show that came out in the late 80s/90s, and, in my fanboy opinion, THE BEST SHOW EVER.

The show tackled some hard subjects, and I’m going to present some of the things that it taught me.

This is first and foremost the most important thing ever.  I have had dreams of Scott Bakula… We didn’t do anything, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to.  I believe the show had a requirement that, for every 5 episodes, Scott had to take his shirt off at least once.  That means you could see him half naked (occasionally only in boxers!) about 4 times a season.  Each one of these episodes became 30x better for it.

“You see, your life is like a piece of string.  One end represents birth and the other death.  What if you were to crumple the string and the points where it touches each other represent points in your life?  Now, what if you were able to jump from point to point within your own lifetime?”

Easiest explanation of Time Travel/String Theory ever.  Sure, the show dealt with some paradoxes of time travel, but it was HILARIOUS and MIND-BLOWING every time!

Did you know that you can be in someone’s body and your sperm, while having sex, will remain your sperm and not the person you’re inside!?  I didn’t until SAM HAD A DAUGHTER.  Apparently, Samuel Beckett’s sperm are so powerful THEY KO TIME PARADOXES!

Like the requirement for Sam to end up in some situation requiring the REMOVAL of HIS SHIRT, about every 4 episodes in seasons 2-4 Sam would have to look up and either say “thanks!” or “what do you want me to do” or something of the sort to a divine other.  Immediately afterward, something would happen and it would all work out in Sam’s favor.  Why?  Because Sam knows science, and god respects science (excluding evolution).

Sam and Al are BESTIES, alright.  Besties.  Al is a womanizer who has had five marriages and five divorces.  Sam is a boyscout who occasionally gets some but closed his eyes when he had a chance to see Marilyn Monroe NAKED!  They are buddies, but have you ever thought that they are more than that?  IT IS FORBIDDEN LOVE!  They cannot touch each other and Al meekly coaches Sam about sex as he boasts loudly about his exploits because they’re both afraid to admit that THEY ARE IN LOVE.  If either one of them reaches out to the other, their hands go right through.  They secretly want each other, but they just won’t admit it.  Who doesn’t want to see them kiss… seriously?

How many times did Sam’s salvation rely upon Al distracting animals or using little children or crazy people?  Not many but every time it was A CLASSIC every time.

There was a controversial episode which was the Season 5 premiere that was a special two hours long with Sam leaping into LEE HARVEY OSWALD.  Plus, around this time is when the controversial JFK movie by Oliver Stone came out which proved a different consensus but was still just as controversial as the one proving the opposite… What the fuck you might say, and I agree “what the fuck.”  Nevertheless, Sam’s brain and memories started to pick up residuals of Lee Harvey Oswald’s to the point that he started speaking in an accent and KNEW RUSSIAN.  Plus, he had to attempt suicide.  This episode PROVED that the JFK assassination was a lone gunman despite Scott Bakula publicly stating that he didn’t agree with the consensus of the show, and whatever Scott Bakula thinks, YOU SHOULD THINK TOO.

I didn’t believe Vietnam sucked until I watched the 8 or so episodes of Quantum Leap that dealt, in some part, with how sucky it really sucked.  Okay, that’s a lie, but Quantum Leap CONFIRMED IT.  From floating veteran’s with no legs and MIAs to homefront heroes and cheating wife zeroes, watching Quantum Leap was like LIVING IT.  Okay, that’s a lie again, but still!

Sam has seven MASTER DEGREES.  He is a Doctor in a shitload of things.  Naturally, he is a skeptic, but Al gets the “heebie jeebies” with anything supernatural, and believes it willingly.  Sam disagrees and gets angry with how naive Al is being, but, always IN THE LAST 2 MINUTES of the show, SAM IS PROVEN WRONG.  Quantum Leap has taught me that ghosts really are real along with Bigfoot, Vampires, and DEMONS!  What other show can claim that territory (excluding the Travel Channel).

Sam leaped into a woman a lot on the show.  As the seasons went forward, he leaped into a woman more and more frequently.  At first, it was funny to watch him adjust, but then he just got really good at being a woman.  Sure, he had to deal with womanizing bosses and other sorts of evil men (HE PUNCHED THEM!!!), but the strange thing was how natural it became.  I would like to argue that Sam was BETTER AT BEING A WOMAN THAN WOMEN ARE.  The best instance of him leaping into a woman was when Sam BECAME PREGNANT!  Okay, well, he leaped into someone who was already pregnant, but he still got the munchies and pain in his fake uterus and other sorts of things.  Plus, he leaped out when HIS BABY WAS CROWNING.  Sam almost gave birth, dammit!

Over and over, the show was not bogged down in scientific facts or theories because it realized that science (excluding medicine) IS A SHAM.  Human connections were at the heart of the show, and that makes you weep… or at least me.

My Idols

Other things the show taught me:

  • The worst thing to happen in life is death
  • Farming is awesome
  • Sometimes the bad guys are the good guys
  • People in Mental Asylums are full of laughs and fun
  • There are EVIL leapers!
  • The traditional family unit is the only way to find happiness
  • Retroactive cameos are amazing
  • Swiss Cheese is the best metaphor for memory ever
  • Being forceful with women is okay as long as they are wrong and you’re trying to knock some sense in them

5 Responses to “What I Learned From Quantum Leap”

  1. xanpluto June 26, 2010 at 11:25 PM #

    Loved this whole post!

  2. Toby October 9, 2010 at 7:00 AM #

    This is the best thing I have ever read.

  3. Ieyre March 3, 2011 at 10:23 PM #

    I can’t stop laughing at this. It is frankly brilliant. You can’t forget the perennial QL lesson…white people suck. All of them. Except single mothers.


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