I'm always teasing my buddy Elliot about his appalling lack of pop culture knowledge. We decided that we would sit down some night and do some word association. I'd tell him the name of something that has been popular in his lifetime and he would tell me what he thought it was about. Below is our (slightly edited) conversation.
me: Here starts the test:
elliotbentsen: Some TV show about a chick. I think she's a TV reporter. Wasn't it on UPN or the WB about 5-6 years ago?
me: Close. TV show about a chick in high school (and later college) who is a private investigator. There's an arc that reaches over the entire season and several standalone mysteries.
2. Harry Potter
elliotbentsen: A bunch of movies about the wizard kid. I actually saw (most of) the first one (for a girl) unfortunately (didn't get me anywhere). He walks through a concrete pillar in a train station & gets in trouble for flying around on a broom the first day of that class or whatever. Any more you wanna know about it? :-P
me: ...You do realize there were books, too, right?
elliotbentsen: well yeah, I knew THAT. I actually bought one of the books for a (different) girl on the day it came out. Don't ask me which book though.
me: Do you know the names of his two best friends?
or the villain throughout the series?
elliotbentsen: Let's see.. Hermomine or something like that was the girl... The boy was something even weirder, and I think he ended up being a bad guy, but I may be thinking of the Spiderman movies (like I said, only saw the first Harry Potter)... Voldemort was somebody.
me: haha...Ron was his best friend.
What you're thinking of is a Spiderman movie
Voldemort was the villain in Harry Potter
elliotbentsen: ok then.
me: 3. I hate to ask because it means admitting this is a valid part of pop culture but: Twilight Saga?
elliotbentsen: A bunch of stupid books/movies about some teenage girl freaking out over her love triangle with a vampire and a werewolf. One guy is Jacob, the other is, uhhh... Andrew? William? The only conversation I ever had about it was memorable, in a less than stellar way.
elliotbentsen: And they have Teams, too. Like Conan O'Brien.
me: Pretty good. The other guy is Edward. He's a stalker douchebag, so naturally he's the one Bella's in love with.
4. Name a Marvel superhero who isn't Spiderman
elliotbentsen: Captain Planet? Wait. The green one. Hulk. Yeah.
me: Good job
5. Who is Kevin Smith and what does he do?
elliotbentsen: He's a director/actor who uses two seats in airplanes. He did Clerks, which I wanna see before I watch Clerks II, which I bought for $3 at FYE one time & never opened. He also did the Clerks TV show which I watched as a kid and have absolutely no recollection of.
me: Aww...so proud
elliotbentsen: Corny 90s saying, slasher movie, and if you add an "e" to the end, the first name of a woman who was part owner of a KC radio station in the 50s.
me: BZZT! TV show starring James Roday as a fake psychic
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
elliotbentsen: Oh! That one hot chick was in this... Jennifer Love Hewitt from (the awesome) Ghost Whisperer. It was on WB forever. Never seen it though. I think that other hot girl was on it too. Allyson Hannigan?
me: Jennifer Love Hewitt was not in Buffy.
Allison Hannigan was in it, however.
Do you know what it was about?
elliotbentsen: Girl who kills vampires. And it led to that Angel spinoff, because the WB had so many shows that sucked they had to put SOMETHING on the air.
the main girl on that show DID have three names, right?
me: Sarah Michelle Gellar
elliotbentsen: Ahhh... Same difference.
me: not exactly
me: 8. Firefly
elliotbentsen: Something my little brother watches apparently, since I've seen him with the DVDs. It's about outer space... and... people... colonizing planets... or other dimensions or something. Sorry I didn't pay better attention when you explained it, and yeah, I never got around to watching any of it, but you never listened to that KY audio I sent you either :-P
me: whine whine
It's about space cowboys and is very funny and well-written
elliotbentsen: So was Sports Night, and look where THAT got it.
look where that got IT. There we go. That's where the emphasis belongs...
elliotbentsen: I hope you're not posting this verbatum...
me: I haven't decided
Star Wars (if you don't know this, I legitimately get to smack you)
elliotbentsen: Oh good grief. My mother would have Star Wars "picnics" (as in, we actually got to eat in the living room) with us as kids. Over and over I had to watch those 3 movies after I was WAAAAAY over them. That said, I still own a 5th of a very large collection of the ORIGINAL action figures she got us kids at garage sales way back then, so even though I'm not a big fan, I still expect my cut.
elliotbentsen: That show you like so much, even though you hate a bunch of the episodes. Old. Black and white.
me: more, I need to hear more
elliotbentsen: It has a doctor in it. And probably some kind of... machine. Yeah, not a computer, but a machine. For time travel. And the doctor goes forward in time 50 years and sees his house after it's fallen in.
me: Wow...you got time machine. Good job!
The Doctor is an alien who has a ship called the TARDIS, which can go anywhere, any time.
elliotbentsen: Yeah, but the rest of that may be The Time Machine...
Well that just sounds fantastic.
me: He travels around in time and space and fixes things. :-)
elliotbentsen: Pride and Predjudice. And Emma, which I bought and carried around, but never read in high school. Let me tell you, not reading a book THAT THICK was a formidable challenge.
me: 12. Heroes
elliotbentsen: That show where normal people are superheros.
You told me to pretend it ends after the first season.
Because there were too many characters.
me: You do pay attention sometimes
elliotbentsen: yeah, as long as I don't have to actually watch any of this junk :-P
me: 13. Big Bang Theory
elliotbentsen: Nerds try to get with the hot girl from 8 Simple Rules (RIP, John). Kaley Cuoco.
me: 14. Bones
elliotbentsen: Some detective on Fox that digs up dead people. I thought you were going to ask me harder questions.
me: How about an FBI detective who is partnered with a forensic anthopologist who solves crimes by looking at bodies
elliotbentsen: I got the key points it looks like...
me: Typically recent murders that have been mutilated
you only mentioned one person and said they dig people up
15. Old Spice
elliotbentsen: A cologne?
me: Why might it be a pop culture item of note?
elliotbentsen: Because they had a YouTube video last week. Some kind of viral marketing thing I figured I'd read about later.
me: Started out with TV commercials and then went online and went viral
elliotbentsen: ahhh, ok
me: In case you have heard people saying random shit like "I'm on a horse", now you know why
elliotbentsen: I did hear that! And I replied "I'm on a boat" (from SNL) once and "I'm riding a big furry tractor" (from Anchorman) the other time.
me: ...and now you know why they probably thought you were a big spaz
elliotbentsen: Eh, they'll make it.
me: 16. What happened this weekend on the west coast?
elliotbentsen: Comic Con
And the Angels traded for the Royals' Alberto Callaspo
me: Good job on both
17. Who is Joss Whedon?
elliotbentsen: Amish person who did the Firefly thing.
Sorry, I had to wait for my head to finish exploding
elliotbentsen: What!? I'm RIGHT!!
me: writer/director who was responsible for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse and Dr Horrible
elliotbentsen: well, maybe not on the Amish part, but that's how I remember it. The name sounds Amish to me. Does she wear a bonnet? Or churn butter? (Radio joke you won't get..)
me: you are so demented
18. Dr Horrible
elliotbentsen: Hold up a second...
elliotbentsen: Do you get MY radio reference? (I only ask since it was recently plastered on the website, both my twitters, etc)
elliotbentsen: Ok, had to ask. Now you know why Joss Whedon reminds me of KC radio.
elliotbentsen: Doctor who goes through time. Written by the Amish chick. :-P
(which I just learned about five seconds ago)
me: Small backtracking for a second: Joss Whedon is a dude
back to Dr Horrible
me: Dr Horrible is a three-part web series that Joss Whedon did during the writer's strike. It's about a guy who wants to join the Evil League of Evil and is having a hard time balancing his career ambitions with his crush on a girl at the laundromat
19. What major TV/movie property was rebooted in 2009?
elliotbentsen: Wow, I'd go on strike if they were putting out junk like that too... :-D
2009? Property? One of the studios had a fire, but I dont think anything had to be, as you say, "rebooted."
me: you may get smacked after all
elliotbentsen: Just doing my job
me: rebooted is a term used to signify that they are restarting something from the beginning with new actors/sets/etc
For example, Spiderman is going to be rebooted
No more Tobey Maguire, we're gonna have some new schmuck
elliotbentsen: Must be something crummy you watched, HAHAHA!!!
Is it Dr. Who?
me: Star Trek
elliotbentsen: I hope they keep the girl...
me: that girl?
elliotbentsen: in Spiderman
me: they won't be keeping Kirsten Dunst
they're going back to high school and she's too old for that
20. Office Space
elliotbentsen: everyone knows office space. I'm kind of insulted by that. Red stapler. Jump to conclusions map. Somebody's got a case of the Monday's. Michael Bolton.
me: Would you like a different #20?
elliotbentsen: uh, yeah...
me: Dead Like Me
elliotbentsen: Some dead kid won't cross over. A poor ripoff of Ghost Whisperer.
Girl dies, becomes a reaper
elliotbentsen: ok, but still not as good as Ghost Whisperer. :-)
me: You have a strange and unreasonable attraction to Ghost Whisperer
elliotbentsen: Have you ever seen Jennifer Love Hewitt?
me: she is hot
I'll grant you that
but that doesn't make the show good
elliotbentsen: I swear it's coincidence, but what few shows I like, all seem to have a hot chick.
me: go figure
what's strange is that a lot of the shows I mentioned have hot chicks in them
elliotbentsen: In fact, I'd assume most shows in general would.
me: tends to happen that way
elliotbentsen: So... I think I passed with flying colors.
me: you been drinking?
elliotbentsen: no, but I knew almost everything you asked.
me: you'd heard of them
you didn't know them
elliotbentsen: did I do a passable job?
me: you did OK
you should watch some of those shows, though
elliotbentsen: maybe :-)
and movies, apparently
elliotbentsen: what about Star Trek?
me: that was the major franchise rebooted in 2009
elliotbentsen: ahhh. I've never seen any star trek
I thought you'd ask about crappy reality shows and stuff too.
me: You WHAT?!
You've never seen Star Trek?
elliotbentsen: none at all. Never seemed that interesting.
me: you are so freaking weird
elliotbentsen: don't act so surprised