320 Heart of a Champion

Heart of a Champion

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Al's Place Bartender
Staff member
Heart of a Champion
July 23, 1955

Atlanta, Georgia

When he leaps into half of the "Battling Rooskies" tag team wrestling duo, Sam must find a way to keep his brother from wrestling...or it will result in a heart attack. Meanwhile, the wife of a jealous wrestler tries to seduce Sam.

Written by: Tommy Thompson
Directed by: Joe Napolitano

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One word.....tumbleweed :banghead

Think back to the scene in the ep where they were just coming out of commercial and it was a slow pan/zoom into the diner that Sam and "his brother" were in. During that pan, a tumbleweed rolls across the road.

I about had a stroke. I was born and raised in Atlanta, and I know....even in 1955...there were NO tumbleweeds in my city and state :lol. That's a western thing...not the South. Once again, I threw a sock at my TV. LOL!

And the sad thing is that this part is the only thing I remember about this episode, haha.

Samantha Beckett
I don't like this ep for a few reasons. First of all I am a pathaphobic which means fear of disease. I can't watch them on TV or see them in person I just get really creeped out. Also I hate the brother's chractor the way he was putting a stupid wrestling match before his health. That brings me to the third thing, I didn't like the whole wrestling theme as I am not a huge fan of the sport.
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Not exactly a popular episode, but the scene where Sam is confronted by Terry Funk and his wife in the locker room is always hilarious.

Sam just falling backwards into his locker and Terry ripping the door off and slamming it into his head into nothingness. :lol
Not my all time favorite, but some very funny moments...Mostly because of the interaction between Sheri, Carl and Sam/Terry. The scenes when Carl was tearing apart the trailer and at the end when Sam is going to kick Sheri's behind but leaps out are amusing.

There is a good underlying message of not putting things that don't really matter above your health, and then of course it's always refreshing to know that Sam won't take advantage of people and values marriage...And his life of course. :)
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Of course, any episode that features Sam in a tight singlet is going to get at least a "good" rating from me.:)

That said, this seems like one of those episodes where they were sort of grasping at straws for ideas. I don't feel like it makes good use of the premise of the series, since it could almost take place virtually any year. I supposed it's set in 1955 because people still believed pro wrestling was real back then, and can be shown as a more localized thing so they don't have to pay a lot of extras to be the audience, or use stock footage of an actual arena. But it ends up looking cheap. I watched Nuclear Family immediately after this one and it made this one suffer in comparison, because Nuclear Family so perfectly captures a specific era, whereas Heart of a Champion feels more like a throwaway story that could have been done on almost any TV show.

Best part is the two knuckleheads trying to pick a fight at the bar, going "Do we look like idiots?" and Al going "These are the kind of people who keep those fishing shows on the air."
Okay, so it is a pretty funny episode while it tries to mix it up with a little bit of drama, which only works to a certain point in this case, or at least not in an impact like we were used to in QL. So many cliches and stereotypes here and there, like the brother himself and pretty much all the other characters that were presented here, except probably for the brother's wife, who I liked a lot. Even with all that and with some over-the-top kiddie moments (the scene where the big guy is trying to get Sam in his trailer house comes to mind), it's still a very enjoyable episode and there's nothing I really dislike about it. I was doubtful about whether or not to give this episode an Excellent rating or just a Good one, but then I decided in my mind that it was just a pretty common episode for QL: Nothing quite remarkable but nothing bad, either. Just transitional, like many eps. were in this 3rd season.

The thing I loved the most about this chapter was its assessment on those sort of shows, and it's very shameful the way the jerks at the bar were presented, but unfortunately there's people like that, and way, way worse in reality. That little comment by Tommy was very effective and you gotta wonder why are there still shows like these even to this day? Because people don't care if it's false or not, and all they want is to be entertained, even if that means they're going to get their entertainment in the lowest possible way...

As always, masterful direction by Joe Napolitano. He was a QL wizard.

One of the eps. I watch a lot.

My rating: Good.
Following on from the excellent previous episode, we get a below average episode this time. Don't get me wrong, it does have some standout moments, but for the most part I think this episode is lacking.

I think my main gripe with this episode is that I just don't like many of the characters. Ronny is plain annoying for the most part, and his and Terry's mother comes across as caring more for the title than her son's life. The subplot with Sherry and her husband Carl is also rather slapstick for me. They're both just a little too over the top.

I did like some parts of the episode, though. The part with those two dumb guys in the bar is really funny (especially Al's comment about them keeping fishing programmes on air. lol). The end fight is also enjoyable, with Sam's knowledge of the sleeper move coming in handy.

My rating. Fair. One of the poorer offerings of season three.