When I watched VH1's World Series of Pop Culture's last episode last week, there was a moment when all one contestant needed to do to win the tie-breaker and send her team to the finals was to name one U2 album other than Pop and Zooropa.
Yes, the tie-breaker question was to name U2 studio albums, to see which contestant could name more. And those were the two albums that got mentioned first. As any even semi-U2 fan could tell you, those are not exactly their more popular albums, so you'd think the two contestants were going obscure to one-up the other.
But those were all they could identify. I was practically yelling "Boy! October! War! Unforgettable Fire!" at the screen. Even those aren't as big as Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby, which couldn't be escaped on the radio or MTV back in the late 80's and early 90's. I get it that to know such things now makes one old, but still, they just came out with How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb two years ago with that damn iPod commercial on it.
When neither contestant could come up with another album (not one), they got another tie-breaker question: that one asked them to name the country music performers of the year for the past decade. The winner could name one; the loser couldn't name any. (Neither said Garth Brooks.) Yes, their teams were one game away from the finals, but apparently not because of them specifically.
There were a few other questions throughout the series where neither contestant got it but I could answer without much thought (such as identifying what 80's song contains this lyric:
"I'm not expecting to grow flowers in the desert/But I can live and breathe and see the sun in winter time"), and one might think that I should have been on the show instead of those who were there.
But for every such question I knew, there was one where I should have known. Case in point: When the question required identifying what model of automobile was transformed into the time machine in Back to the Future, I blithely blurted "Lamborghini"--even though (as the contestant correctly answered) it was, of course, a Delorean. Duh.
Which is why I was watching from my living room, rather than vying for $250,000.