Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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TV O.D. / It’s All About Me: The World Series of Pop Culture, Round 1

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on July 11, 2007

“They were older, but not wiser…”

Opening Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
DC El Chupacabra
Jammin’ on the 1 4 2 4 33 2 Twisted Misters
Twisted Misters 2 3 2 34 3
Carlton Banks Dance Academy
Westerburg High
3 Men and a Little Lazy 3 1 3 3 3 Men and a Little Lazy
The Lucky Stars 2 3 2 2
IQ Almost Perfect Strangers 2.0
Truffle Shuffles
The White Russians 35 0 32 Remo-Leen-Teen-Teen
Remo-Leen-Teen-Teen 36 3 33
Wocka Wocka
They’re Real and They’re Spectacular
Fat Guys in Little Coats 3 32 35 0 Team Motherboy
Team Motherboy 2 33 36 3

So as you can see in the picture above, if you didn’t already on your TV last night, my WSOPC team, Twisted Misters, has advanced to the tournament’s second round, though unfortunately through no help of my own. We’ll face off against the winner of the Fragilay / El Chupacabra match sometime next week–either Monday or Tuesday, not sure–in what promises to be a match even more suspenseful and exciting than this one. But now that I no longer have to relive the first match over and over in my head, I figure I may as well put my thought process during the whole thing down on paper for posterity. Here goes:

First off, we were just as embarrassed doing that air guitar thing at the beginning of the round when they called our name as you at home probably were watching it. In an attempt to up the theatricality of the competition, VH1 made all the teams do a little team-celebration type thing before matches start (worse, when we were actually there, we had to do it twice, because Pat Kiernan did two different introductions). I’m aware that air guitar is serious business these days, and I don’t mean any disrespect towards the medium with my awkward and amateur-ish performance.

We knew going in that American Idol was going to be one of our death categories, should it come up. None of us watch the show–I watched most of season four, but eventually it just got to be too much and I gave up. We sent Weber up to the mic, even though he had seen the least of the three of us, because he was our default TV Guy and he was willing to take the hit for the team. Given the circumstances, he actually fared pretty well–it’s just a shame that the two of us weren’t paying more attention when Victor was telling us the night before about Brian Dunkleman, whose name both of us instantly forgot. Victor ended up knowing all the category’s answers, somehow–very bad management on our part.

I was pretty confident in Victor going up for comedy quotes, and I was especially thrilled at the questions he got–knew for a fact he’d be on those Austin Powers and Zoolander questions, and the Animal House one was extremely deducable. The Caddyshack question was probably the hardest one of the bunch, just because it has so little to do with the rest of the movie–I knew it, but only because I had just seen the movie the week before. I hoped Victor could reason it out by the year (only so many 1980 comedies would VH1 consider worth asking about) but as it turns out, it didn’t matter.

When he won the category, I was liking my chances going into category #3, since in each of the regional matches, they always put the music cat third, which is definitely my specialty. When they announced that it was going to be “TV Catchphrases” instead, my heart sank–I got railroaded into a similar category in the regionals, and it was by far my worst performance (luckily I squeaked by on the girl from the other team knowing even less than I did). But with Victor having just gone, I had no choice to take it, so I accepted my fate and stepped up to the microphone.

The first four questions were all incredibly easy, but those last two I was totally clueless on. I’m extremely against the “I’m too young to know this!” defense some contestants use on the WSOPC–especially when that girl from White Russians used it to explain how she wasn’t able to identify some of the most enduring hits of the 80s in the first episode–because if you’re on the show, it should be assumed that you either learned about stuff before your time naturally over the course of your life, or at least took the time to research it before the competition. But I do feel like my age excuses me somewhat from not knowing my Hill Street Blues question–the show not really being played on TV reruns, not really enduring in pop culture in any significant way, and not mentioning the “be careful out there” quote on its Wikipedia page more or less means that unless I actually rented the show on DVD (which I actually ended up doing long after I missed the Q), I wouldn’t have much of a reason for knowing that quote. That doesn’t really excuse my not knowing it–a famous quote is a famous quote–but it least lets me feel not too guilty about it.

The roughest thing about being eliminated in that round, though, was that I ended up knowing the answer to every question Victor or his opponent was asked in the three categories that he swept. Luckily for us, Victor knew the great majority as well, and even though his flub of that “Mr. Jones” lyric was potentially unforgivable, his opponent’s super-arrogant “Mr. Nice Guy” choke made up for it. Ultimately, we really just were very lucky that round–had the ordering of the questions been slightly different, or if the guy hadn’t made that Killers gaffe, I could very easily have ended up cursing Hill Street Blues for the rest of my life. Really though, I’m just glad we beat the team we were playing against, Jammin’ on the 1’s. They had been sort of asshole-ish to us from the beginning, and even though we probably mostly deserved it, losing to them would’ve been ridiculously tough to get over. They were a very good team, though so I gotta at least give ’em that.

Now, on to round 2. Will we face returning champions El Chupacabra, or the self-proclaimedly fabulous Fragilay? Be sure to keep watching, and hey–let’s be careful out there.


15 Responses to “TV O.D. / It’s All About Me: The World Series of Pop Culture, Round 1”

  1. Sonja said

    The Mr. Jones thing was pretty unforgivable, but he did really well in everything else so it more than evens out.

    I’m glad that the VH1 Gods heard my (whiny, albeit justifiably so) prayers and put episodes on VCast.

  2. Jeff said

    As much as San Diego pride was lost in seeing Jammin’ lose, I’m totally with Twisted Misters. Rawk.

  3. Al said

    If you’re older than 30, that quote from Hill Street Blues is branded in your brain — I never really watched the show, but it’s the only thing I know about it (other than probably being able to identify the theme song).

  4. jordan said

    this thing where the last person left on a team pretends to confer with invisible team members re: who should do the category has got to stop.

  5. Aimee' said

    You know what, Andrew? I actually enjoyed talking to you guys in the green room so I don’t really appreciate that whole “Asshole-ish” comment. As far as Hill Street Blues goes, I’ve never watched an episode of it in my life. At that moment, I remembered that quote from watching VH-1’s “I Love The 80’s”.

    And considering the attitude of your team throughout the entire competition (i.e. “We’re the team that will be beating all of you”), calling Anthony ‘super arrogant’ is nothing short of laughable.

    In any event, best of luck to you guys in the remaining matches.

  6. billy said


  7. Andrew Unterberger said

    Well, I’m not going to get into specifics here, but you guys did say some things before that I think could be at least somewhat construed as “asshole-ish”. I did enjoy talking to you in the Green Room as well, so I don’t mean to be offensive–like I said, we probably mostly deserved it anyway. But for a variety of reasons, I think it’s safe to say that both of our teams definitely wanted to beat the other. (If you want to discuss this further, feel free to e-mail me at

    And of course we were super-arrogant as well, but considering the comments Durwood made before the match, and the fact that Anthony missed the Killers question even though he clearly knew the right answer, I think it’s safe to say you were close to on par with us. We were probably the two most arrogant teams in the competition, which is probably what made our match such a good one.

    Thanks for the well-wishes. Like I said, you guys were a great team, and I’m well aware things just as easily could’ve gone the other way. And shame on me for missing that episode of I Love the 80s, I guess.

  8. Aimee' said

    Just wanted to speak my peace. It’s all good.

  9. Chris said


    We never got to talk to you guys while we were in NYC, but I just wanted to let you what happened there with Lori and “When Doves Cry”, etc. etc.

    See, she wasn’t originally a member of our team. She was just going out to LA to hang out with us, but our third member backed out at the last minute, and we had to email VH1 to switch her in so that the trip wouldn’t be a complete waste. Luckily, we passed the test and wound up winning the regional. After we got back, she studied her ass off. She was constantly reading Trivial Pursuit cards, watching movies, watching TV, and listening to music on my iPod that I loaned her (which has all three of the songs she was asked about on it). I know she made a special point to listen to the 80’s music more because that was what she was weakest at. But, as I’m sure you know, it’s hard to recall information you really know well under that kind of pressure, let alone stuff you learned for the first time just (relative) moments before.

    She meant “I wasn’t born yet” as a joke. She’s not the type of person to offer that as an excuse. She was trying to be cute – and if you’ll notice, both Rich and Pat seemed to think it was funny. (And, for the record, Stewart wouldn’t have stood a chance, either.)

  10. Andrew Unterberger said

    Hey Chris–

    I wondered if something like that might’ve been the case. Even though I thought her questions were easy (except for the Prince one, which I thought was sort of an obscure lyric for a first Q) my heart definitely went out to her–of course we all know how awful it feels to just not know the answer to a question, and lyric questions can be especially tricky, as evidenced by just about every lyric category shown in the first round.

    About the age thing–I don’t know, maybe I took it a little too personally because throughout the entire competition, our team was getting hounded with interview questions along the lines of “you guys are so young, how can you possibly hope to win?” So it’s started to rub me the wrong way when people mention the age factor in the competition (even though it inevitably plays a part, as with the HSB question or with that Enjoli Q they asked about in the Motherboy round, which I’d never even herad of). Apologies if she didn’t mean it as an excuse, and in any event I’m sorry she had to go out like that.

  11. Matt said

    is aimee woman from san diego that ate her twin? on her 21st birthday?

    i’m glad i found this blog, i feel like wsopc insider now. good luck to twisted misters! your team is good team.

  12. Chris said

    Lyrics categories are a beast. I got one in the regionals and missed two questions where I knew the songs, I just couldn’t come up with the right answer.

    Personally, I would never have given you guys crap for being young. I’d found your blog when I was googling for results from the NYC regional, and I knew you guys were one team that I wouldn’t want to play, since it was very plain that you knew your stuff. Being young is probably a disadvantage, since you have to play catch-up on the stuff other contestants experienced as it was happening, but if you do your homework (as you obviously have done) it mitigates it to some degree.

    I’m almost 10 years your senior, but I’d never heard of Enjoli, either. But I did manage to remember the HSB catchphrase despite never having seen the show, either.

  13. Undercooked Sausage said

    hey guys i’ve been reading this blog before it was cool.

  14. Chelsea said

    Loosk like your blog is causing a little calamity. Mine does that too, sometimes. Only in a creepy, Jerry Springer-esque kind of way. Hah.

  15. Colette said

    u r totally rite! younger is better…i mean u must have had to learn alot about the 80s and stuff like that….

    it takes alot of dedication…i don’t tthink i could ever do that much work!

    lol umm i would love to talk 2 u anytime abt. the world series of pop culture…i find it very interesting …..and i have soo many questions!

    well feel free to email me @

    i heard from world series of pop culture u and ur buds went to NYU..that cool..what did u major in?

    i live in NY but not in NYC but i am like dreamin of goin to NYU!
    i’m 16 and lookin @ many colleges and just can’t decide..well


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