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View Poll Results: Southern Comforts
Excellent 1 4.55%
Good 11 50.00%
Average 9 40.91%
Fair 0 0%
Poor 1 4.55%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-18-2003, 01:13 PM   #1
alsplacebartender
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Default 316 Southern Comforts

Southern Comforts
August 4, 1961


New Orleans, Louisiana


In a New Orleans brothel as the head honcho, Sam leaps in to keep one of the girls who doesn't seem to belong there from vanishing. Al has the time of his life during this leap.


Written by: Tommy Thompson
Directed by: Chris Ruppenthal


Rate and comment on this episode!
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Old 10-05-2005, 11:59 PM   #2
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This was a good episode. Embarressing for Sam, but fun for Al.
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Old 07-28-2007, 03:15 PM   #3
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A very average episode. Not something to remember or special to say about it. And from the numbers of response this episode got here,i guess i'm not the only one who think that.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:56 PM   #4
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I liked this episode. The beginning was cute, and the contrast between Sam's horror and Al's delight over where they were was funny. Poor Sam.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:08 PM   #5
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Default Funny...

This was a cute episode, although the topic dealt with is a serious one. The contrast between Samís horror at discovering where he was and Alís having a good old time is funny. I like Samís connection with Gina and how the scumbag wife beater is stopped.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:53 PM   #6
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An OK episode, with a funny ending. I noticed there was no mirror image of Sam in this episode - we only see a portrait of the man whose life he has leaped into. Al's begging Sam not to leap at the end was funny, but underscores why I had such trouble warming up to Al through most of the series. He's such a lecherous, dirty old man, he wants to take advantage of his holographic status to go watch some hot chick take a bath. Not exactly an endearing quality. I only eventually got used to Al, then started to appreciate him more in some of his more serious episodes, like MIA, Jimmy and The Leap Home.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:11 AM   #7
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OK, let's continue before this year ends, haha!

Very good episode by Paul Brown... Oh, except it was written by Tommy Thompson. You know, this guy had the talent to give us great episodes like "Future Boy", "Miss Deep South" or "Leaping in Without a Net", and little clunkers like this one or "Moments to Live" (I think I've mentioned his only 2 bad episodes, in my opinion). You'd think that with a writer of his caliber and with Chris Ruppenthal sitting in the director's chair this time, the result would be magnificent, but what they managed to get was only an average Paul Brown-esque attempt.

Two-dimensional characters at best, especially the aunt, the policeman and the bad guy. They all become funny after a little while, when they're not able to bring you the emotions they were originally intended to (but not quite funny, either).

Another thing I didn't like was that the ending was quite predictable, and the solution was just hmmm... too simple. You end up wondering why they took so long to figure it out that way. And then the little "let's-keep-it-light" follow up: "He ended up in the loony bin. Never bothered anyone." Said by Al after the little trick they pulled on the bad guy so he could leave the girl alone. That little resolution was like something written by a newbie or something; like for a fanfic, even , I don't know. Didn't care much for the girl, either. She just kept making bad mistakes and never took real responsability for any of them. I was supposed to feel bad for her and for the aunt, too, but they never accomplished more than an "oh yeah, well..." from me. The classic Paul Brown cliche, that everyone in the 60's, especially girls like those, were all dumb and defenseless. And this is exclusively the characters, because the actors were all very good at following the script by TT.

Things I liked: The settings were all outstanding, even the hotel and all the rooms, and the house was beautiful. Another thing: Even if it's not the greatest QL story, the direction by Chris is remarkable and classic in some way, and that's what makes the episode entertaining or even bearable. And the last one: The very end, when Paula (?) goes upstairs and Al wants to follow her and even "invites" Sam, trying to make fun, but Sam suddenly remembers that he has no more business there and he tells him "Not this time." and smiles. Priceless reaction from Al: "No, Sam, don't leap yet, no, noooo...", and Sam leaps out with a smile on his face. Love it.

Other than that, a bit of a forgetable installment. The worst script by Tommy, in my opinion, but not the worst QL episode ever, either.

My rating: Average.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:26 PM   #8
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I've really been enjoying reading your reviews of the episodes, Donofrio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donofrio_QLTD View Post
Two-dimensional characters at best, especially the aunt, the policeman and the bad guy. They all become funny after a little while, when they're not able to bring you the emotions they were originally intended to (but not quite funny, either).
Word on the two-dimensionality of the characters. The leap-in moment is amusing, with Sam realizing where he is, but that's the only positive thing I can say about this episode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donofrio_QLTD View Post
Another thing I didn't like was that the ending was quite predictable, and the solution was just hmmm... too simple. You end up wondering why they took so long to figure it out that way. And then the little "let's-keep-it-light" follow up: "He ended up in the loony bin. Never bothered anyone." Said by Al after the little trick they pulled on the bad guy so he could leave the girl alone. That little resolution was like something written by a newbie or something; like for a fanfic, even , I don't know.

Didn't care much for the girl, either. She just kept making bad mistakes and never took real responsability for any of them. I was supposed to feel bad for her and for the aunt, too, but they never accomplished more than an "oh yeah, well..." from me. The classic Paul Brown cliche, that everyone in the 60's, especially girls like those, were all dumb and defenseless.
Unfortunately this is part of the problem of trying to deal with the subject of domestic abuse in a 45-minute television episode. In any fictional setting really, but TV is the most difficult due to the stringent amount of time (unless it's done in multiple parts). There are a lot of specific reasons why women in this situation -- and men too, men can be victims of domestic violence -- do things that may seem stupid or like bad decisions from the outside. It's very complex and unless the writer is really really good and knows the subject it's pretty much impossible to do this justice, particularly in a TV episode that's less than an hour. The fact that they were also trying to mix up the mood too much didn't help and I'm in the minority I guess but I hated the leap out part, especially when juxtaposed with the rest of what was going on in the episode.
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:38 PM   #9
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Once again a story that can not be properly told in 45 minutes but perhaps I am in the minority as I enjoyed this episode including the humor that came with the setting and found the issue pretty decently portrayed for the time limit.
Unlike the proceedings in Raped, this issue was given a sense of going on for a prolonged period of time without having to go into much detail and I am going to have to disagree with Donofrio regarding Gina's character. Though her silence was not ideal it was typical for one in her situation, in fact somewhat milder as it lacked the self blame and defense of the abuser that most of these cases also display. One thing that shouldn't have been left I'll give is the lack of bruises being hidden.
Lets also remember that although as viewers we are unaware for half the episode, she had an unborn child to fear for. Once it's revealed they lean greatly towards her choices being mostly based on her need to protect the fetus, though why she kept the pregnancy from the cousin/leapee's love interest I will say isn't clear.

There are aspects of the episode I do happen to disagree with. One being that they did not give the leapee any sense of character let alone enough to merit believability in the fact that Gina needed to be disguised as one of the facility's performers. What I mean is that we don't get any sense of his not allowing the love interest to put up a relative for while, a character by the way that while generally well meaning came off quite a bit like from a soap opera and was somewhat ridiculously clingy (something which is a turn off by pretty much any man's standards). Honestly I am not surprised that the leapee ended up going for the other woman.

The ending I will as my proceeding posters say is distasteful. The tactic used against the abuser was made out to be more effective and solid than it felt like it should have been as well as containing quite a few aspects that lack believability. The fact that he was so frightened and ended up in an institution over some phony photograph makes little sense to me. Then the suggestion that the sheriff seemed willing to use that photo with false ignorance not only seems illegal but unethical.

Again perhaps I am in the minority but I enjoyed the leap out. Being among quite a few that suggest Sam's control over his leaps early on and in addition under that assumption he had for once used it to pull Al away from a peep show it was both unique and humorous.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue enigma View Post
Unfortunately this is part of the problem of trying to deal with the subject of domestic abuse in a 45-minute television episode. In any fictional setting really, but TV is the most difficult due to the stringent amount of time (unless it's done in multiple parts). There are a lot of specific reasons why women in this situation -- and men too, men can be victims of domestic violence -- do things that may seem stupid or like bad decisions from the outside. It's very complex and unless the writer is really really good and knows the subject it's pretty much impossible to do this justice, particularly in a TV episode that's less than an hour. The fact that they were also trying to mix up the mood too much didn't help and I'm in the minority I guess but I hated the leap out part, especially when juxtaposed with the rest of what was going on in the episode.
I think you hit the nail on the head there. I kinda disagree about the complex subjects not being able to get justice because of the limited 45-minute slot. We've seen many other episodes on TV, including episodes from Quantum Leap, that dealt with more complex topics than the one presented in "Southern Comforts", and, when the writers were up to it (because they were all superb at writing something; it seemed like sometimes it was just a matter of their decisions), they managed to get a great result. What's the problem or the difference? The sugar-coating, I believe. As you said: "The fact that they were also trying to mix up the mood too much didn't help." Exactly! Tommy Thompson brought up a great subject matter, but it seemed like sometimes he chose to forget about it to try to focus more on the funny moments, to the point that they became like "meh...!" Kind of what happened to Deborah Pratt with "8 1/2 Months". You mix up the topics, the complex characters, but you sugar-coat them all with the incorrect amount of "humor", then you're not to going to be taken seriously. That's why most of the time I'm so against the light-intended mode, not just on this show, but on any. On QL it helped on a VERY FEW moments throughout the whole show, but most of the time, when it was presented, it just helped the development to fall flat, and that was always a bad point for it. It's kinda like when a prog rock band releases a song or an album full of pop rock melodies, haha!! They're obviously gonna get mixed feelings from their listeners.

By the way, thank you for enjoying my reviews, blue!! That's very encouraging!

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The fact that he was so frightened and ended up in an institution over some phony photograph makes little sense to me.
That's why I thought that this Al line: "Ended up in the loony bin. Never bothered anyone..." was like something written by a newbie. It was like "oh, Tommy, REALLY?!" "Yay! How cute! The bad guy got his just desserts!!!" Haha!! Come on! I know that kids used to see this show, too, but that was so "innocent" (just to say something) it was funny. Maybe we're led to believe that he also ended up in the loony bin because of the implications from it (i. e. him not getting what he wanted in the end, and he just got so stressed out and frustrated about it that he couldn't bear it anymore), but it still has a very naive and light-hearted outcome.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donofrio_QLTD
Maybe we're led to believe that he also ended up in the loony bin because of the implications from it (i. e. him not getting what he wanted in the end, and he just got so stressed out and frustrated about it that he couldn't bear it anymore), but it still has a very naive and light-hearted outcome.
True, the institution could have been a more indirect effect such as Al's extended time in Vietnam after Sam sent Maggie out onto the field to take the pulitzer photo. The novel Pulitzer beautifully fills in the gaps of that chain and shows fans an example of the domino effect of Sam's actions. The action which initiates the chain doesn't even need to be significant. Such as in Return of The Evil Leaper, when just Sam's leap in made a significant change(saved two lives).

An abuser's actions tend to be driven by their own childhood experiences such as having been abused themselves. Perhaps the threat of the photo sent him back to some former trauma that lead him down a road of depression or even PTSD.

I as well enjoy your reviews Donofrio, gives me a reason to visit a thread and re-write mine. I hope I don't overthink anything in a way that is distasteful for anyone. It's simply a habit of enjoyment as a fan.
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:03 AM   #12
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I as well enjoy your reviews Donofrio, gives me a reason to visit a thread and re-write mine. I hope I don't overthink anything in a way that is distasteful for anyone. It's simply a habit of enjoyment as a fan.
Oh, thank you so much! And of course not!! Never distasteful at all!! Most of your observations are actually quite interesting. Never ever hold them back, and never believe that you overthink anything or that what you say is distasteful in some way. That's what this site and these forums are for, after all. We're all fans and we all belong to the same Universe when we're all reunited here.
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:34 PM   #13
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That's good to hear.
Keep your reviews going, they draw me to the discussion and since my opinions of most episodes are changing since I was last active on this forum I enjoy re-writing my reviews. Honestly I don't at all like how I sound in some of my older posts.
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