Too Much Wokeness in the New Quantum Leap?

Listen here, or stream on your favorite pod catcher

We’re setting aside the start of our promised capsule reviews of the series (*ahem* classic series) to take a moment to talk about diversity.

Diversity.

We’ve heard that word come a lot on Quantum Leap forums the last few weeks as the casting call for the series was released, and that release was confirmed to be genuine. Some fans of the classic series are already saying what’s to come is “too woke”. This past week, our co-host, Sam, got into a civil debate with a fellow fan on Twitter after posting an essay on the matter.

Have a listen, and we’ll be back with our promised capsule reviews next week.


Sam’s Essay:

I’m often curious when I read comments such as these. I wonder where it’s coming from. Why is there an issue with a notion of diversity and representation? Why do those that make these comments tend to fall back on the rhetoric of “as long as it’s good, I won’t care”? If that were truly the case, would the view be held to begin with? Wouldn’t they simply wait until the show premieres and then rail against the perceived quality of the program? Or is there something deeper at play?

Is there some sort of inherent threat in the diversity of a casting notice? Could it be that a creator’s intent to share a non-normative roster of characters impedes on some deeply rooted belief that the world must look like the beholder? And if so, where does that leave the youngster of Middle Eastern descent that’s only seen people that look like them portray terrorists or racially insensitive caricatures? What a privilege people that look like me have had to see their heroes share the outward – and in most cases inward – characteristics of myself. But wouldn’t be better for all of us if we saw a broader tapestry of stories and characters out there? Wouldn’t we all find something special in that diversity? Wouldn’t the privileged be able to do away with prejudices influenced by decades of stereotyping? Wouldn’t the marginalized be able to sit up a little straighter in seeing their heroes look like them? Wouldn’t their confidence grow knowing that society doesn’t only see them as the bad guy or the third person from the left? And wouldn’t the privileged be more accepting of those that were different from them knowing that they had much more to offer than being a bad guy or background noise? Wouldn’t we find a more harmonious balance of cultures and viewpoints in knowing that a world such as the one envisioned by this simple casting notice implies?

I’d like to think so.

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We Frequently Use These Resources:

Beyond the Mirror Image: The Observer’s Guide to Quantum Leap, by Matt Dale

Quantum Leap Info, by Matt Dale (a collection of all new info about the pilot Matt can gather)

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