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here are all the pop culture references... [Aug. 24th, 2008|10:59 pm]
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[Current Music |michael boddicker - "buckaroo banzai theme"]

...for episode 1011 "the clotharian contamination protocol."

- "that 'saved by the bell' episode where no one would tell jessie how bad her music really was and she had a caffeine pill freakout" - there is indeed an episode of 'saved by the bell' where jessie's music career becomes so hectic that she develops an addiction to caffeine pills...but there never really was a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the quality of her music and the caffeine pill freakout...we took a bit of poetic license there because, hey, her music really did suck. consider it our version of fanwanking
- "live at budokan" - homage by namecheck to the classic cheap trick live album
- manservant neville - in the middleman graphic novels, manservant neville is chief henchman to kanimang kang, the blofeld-like leader of F.A.T.B.O.Y. (the federated agents of tyranny, betrayal and oppression's yoke). in the series continuity, manservant neville is the steve jobs-like president and CEO of Fatboy Industries - a corporation not unlike acme in the warner brothers cartoons
- in the middleman graphic novels, manservant neville's appearance was based on actor mark sheppard, who is cast in the role in the series. none of this is surprising since he is a supremely gifted actor and a friend of javi's (he's appeared on javi-scripted episodes of "the chronicle" and "jake 2.0" and has a recurring role on the "medium")
- "pan galactic gargle blaster" - homage by namecheck to "the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy"
- "the return of bruno" - homage by namecheck to bruce willis's album of the same name
- the "uMaster" first appeared in javier grillo-marxuach's play "scum of the earth" (which received its only performance in 1989), there, as here, the uMaster was a plain white cube
- "it seems to have an invisible touch, yeah" - homage by quote to the genesis single and album of the same name
- "forget it, lacey, it's chinatown" - homage by quote to the roman polanski film
- "commander benton and specialist heriot" - homage by namecheck to sgt. benton of UNIT, companion to the second and third regenerations of doctor who and to zoe herriott, companion to the second doctor
- "apple dumpling gang" - homage by namecheck to the don knotts disney film of the same name
- the reference to the space probe developing intelligence and returning to earth to judge its makers is a reference to the plot of the star trek episode "the changeling" and to the storyline of "star trek: the motion picture," both of which featured terran probes returning to judge their masters and finding them wanting - with the probe in "the motion picture" being the fictional "voyager 6"
- "mister lethbridge-stuart, if that is your name!" - homage by namecheck to brigadier lethbridge stuart, companion to the third and fourth doctor who
- "bono, buddha and the wizard of oz" - paraphrase of a line from the xtc song "merely a man" from the album "oranges and lemons"
- "gucci gulch" - refers to the book "showdown at gucci gulch," the scintillating tale of the 1986 tax reform bill, which was required reading for "decision making in american political institutions," one of the freshman core courses taken by javi during his tenure at carnegie-mellon university
- "zygon-rated quarantine facility" - homage by namecheck to the alien race first encountered by the fourth doctor who
- clothar - the alien race first seen in episode 1006 "the boyband superfan interrogation" is a sly homage to comics columnist and longtime middleman supporter greg burgas, whose email address includes the word "clothar"
- the text seen in the clotharian pod is a public-domain variant of the aurebesh alphabet, best known as the graphic representation of the galactic basic language in the star wars universe
- "it's what you get for being made out of meat" - shout-out to the terry bisson story "they're made out of meat"
- "rid of that not-so-fresh-feeling?" - homage to the tagline from the massengil douche commercials of the eighties
- "silkwood shower" - reference to the harrowing radiation cleanup seen in the meryl streep film "silkwood"
- "we've been jack travened!" - reference to a plot point in the film "speed" in which hero cop jack traven fools the bad guy's surveillance with a clever video loop
- "the nakatomi protocol" - the first of MANY homages to "die hard" in this episode - in a further driving home of the theme, the keypad chimes with beethoven's ode to joy, the central musical conceit of "die hard"...the reason for the constant name-checking of "die hard" in this episode is that, eventually, in the course of every tv series, the producers are forced to do an episode that takes place primarily in the standing sets in order to save money: as a result, almost every series, especially sci-fi shows, have resorted to doing some variation of "die hard" in which a hostile force of some kind causes the standing sets to be taken over and locked down, forcing the heroes to do battle on their own turf, rather than be coy about it, we figured we'd point out the similarity at every turn
- "come out to the coast, we'll have a few laughs" - homage by quote (and lucky lighter use) to john mcclaine in "die hard"
- "great, hans grubered with our own robot" - homage to the villain from "die hard," which, by the way, was an homage to the villain from "our man flint," also named "hans gruber"
- the strangulation by clothes hanger is an homage to the scene in "the godfather part two" in which michael corleone's bodyguard strangles johnny ola with a clotheshanger
- "great, it's "die hard" in a building" - something that was actually said to javi in a story meeting for another show during the breaking of the obligatory bottle show (by an executive producer who should have known better)
- "now i have a machine gun - ho-ho-ho" - quote from "die hard"
- "mccrimmon college" - homage by namecheck to another one of the second doctor who's companions
- "high aldwin" - originally seen in episode 1006 "the boyband superfan interrogation," high aldwin's name is an homage to the character played by billy barty in the film "willow"..."maximum aldwin" is not an homage, we just thought it was funny
- "you sound like graham chapman..." - homage by namecheck to the late, lamented member of monty python
- "the treaty of periperpegilliam" - homage by namecheck to another doctor who character, this one a companion to the fifth and sixth doctor
- "yippi-kay-yay [BLEEP!]" - another homage to "die hard" if you watch closely, you will also notice that the black box covering high aldwin's mouth is part of the holographic projection...either the middleman's or the clotharian holo-system has a built-in censor
- "now i know what a tv dinner feels like" - quote from "die hard"
- "fantastic voyage" - namecheck of the 1960's microsurery movie
- "die hard inside an android" - is a screenwriter's joke referring to the glut of films that followed "die hard," all of which were pitched as "die hard in a -"...like "under siege" (die hard in a battleship) or "air force one" (die hard in air force one) or "toy soldiers" (die hard in a military school) or "executive decision" (die hard in a passenger plane) or "sudden death" (die hard in an arena) or "speed" (die hard in a bus) or "speed 2" (die hard in a cruise ship)
- "like oompa-loompas with power tools!" - homage to the characters in "willy wonka"
- "kiss my asimov" - shout out to the science fiction writer who developed the laws of robotics quoted by the middleman earlier in this scene
- "welcome to the party, ida" - paraphrase of a quote from "die hard"
- "nanobot apocalypse now" - shout out to the francis ford coppola film
- "today john wayne doesn't get to ride off into the sunset with grace kelly" - yet another quote from "die hard"
- the "ode to joy" is reprised again briefly when the pneumatic tube chamber opens, echoing the opening of the nakatomi corporation vault in...wait for it..."die hard!"
- "tyler beat" - shout out to the teen magazine "tiger beat"
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: wyldemusick
2008-08-25 08:05 am (UTC)

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Makes you wonder how ever we did bottle stories before Die Hard doesn't it?
[User Picture]From: middlegirl
2008-08-25 09:10 am (UTC)

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Okay, seems like a good time to ask: what exactly is a bottle show?
[User Picture]From: haitchem
2008-08-25 11:14 am (UTC)

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Slightly of topic I know, but it's driving me nuts...what is that song that MM plays in the first episode in the car on the way to the wide guy hangout? it's also played after he arrives in the nick of time in the flying saucer in 'Mancoid Teleportation'. Something about ..."and justice is his ride"??? Help me! I have an ear worm!
[User Picture]From: speakerwiggin
2008-08-25 12:13 pm (UTC)

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It was performed and composed by Tree Adams, the show's composer - I believe it's called, "Palomino" or something similar.

It doesn't exist for purchase... YET.
[User Picture]From: caericarclight
2008-08-25 05:02 pm (UTC)

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I'm not reading the spoilers but just by putting the Buckaroo Banzai theme up there as Current Music you've raised your insanely high coolness factor to even greater levels.

Kudos.
[User Picture]From: jacquez
2008-08-27 01:17 am (UTC)

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I bet this place is FULL of Blue Blaze Irregulars.
[User Picture]From: merlina_thalia
2008-08-25 08:28 pm (UTC)

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Ooh finally a quasi Alan Rickman reference (he played Hans Gruber in Die Hard). Lol makes me happy anyway. Finally an episode where I know some of the references lol.

Jamie/Middlecast
[User Picture]From: hindustar
2008-08-26 03:11 am (UTC)

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"kiss my asimov"

Absolutely my favorite line!
From: (Anonymous)
2008-08-26 03:20 am (UTC)

Nothing Lasts Forever

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Don't forget, "Die Hard" is based on the Roderick Thorp novel "Nothing Lasts Forever." I've read his novel "Rainbow Drive," and seen the movie version of "The Detective."

I've always had a soft spot for ST: TNG's "Starship Mine." It was sort of like "Die Hard" on the Enterprise.

It's also great to see Mark Sheppard. I also enjoyed his recent run on BSG.
[User Picture]From: bassfingers
2008-08-26 03:28 am (UTC)

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"the nakatomi protocol" is a good one. Shortly after 9/11 the following exchange took place:

Me:
September 30, 2001
at 12:45am

So a couple of weeks ago some wacky folks with an unspoken message brought down a couple of tall buildings. As a result, security has gotten tighter. Sometimes for reasons I can't quite put my finger on...

You see, my company does web sites for a lot of the studios... Artisan, Dream Works, Disney, Fox, Sony, etc. As a result we occasionally have to visit our clients at their location. Well, it seems they've tightened security at the Fox tower.

For those of you not in LA, the ~35 story building that is a central part of Twentieth Century Fox was noneother than the "Nakatomi Plaza" whose roof was blown off in Die Hard.

You can understand why I might find heightend security at such a building humorous. Of course, then you also have to ask, WHY would they raise security at the executive offices of a film studio? Would it REALLY be a religious or political target? I guess a lot of film execs are self-important. But you probably could have figured that one out on your own.

A Famous Actor Whose Name Doesn't Make This Exchange Any More Funny:
at 4:20am

What are the two biggest exports of the US?

Weapons and Films.

Some cultures feel that American Imperialism is represented in the modern age by lousy films/tv exalting a corrupt culture infecting every country on earth- witness poor countries gathering around a tv set to watch Dallas, dirt poor people wanting Levis and MTV etc.

And I'm sure the mideast wasn't really tickled by world-wide blockbusters such as ALADDIN, however catchy the songs might have been.

Destroying the movie studios (as a symbol) will come as no surprise, self-important or not.

Me:
at 11:35am

Yeah, but this is Fox we're talking about. If they'd blown up Fox Plaza within a week of the attack, we might have been spared Mariah Carey's Glitter. Comeon people, it's all about timing.
[User Picture]From: wyldemusick
2008-08-27 11:24 pm (UTC)

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During WWII some wag put up a sign at Warner Bros that read, "In case of air raid, go directly to RKO -- they haven't had a hit in years."
[User Picture]From: brista
2008-08-26 04:04 am (UTC)

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I think all of us would be smart to check out Jessie Spano's pill popping scene and remind ourselves to say nope to dope!
[User Picture]From: loopychew
2008-08-26 03:51 pm (UTC)

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I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so...scared!
[User Picture]From: sinspired
2008-08-26 05:40 am (UTC)

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I caught Ode to joy and most of the other bits, but I'm severely Die Hard deficient. I got only a few.

And my favorite bottle show ever was the ST:TNG where they kept going through the time loop.
[User Picture]From: spectralbovine
2008-08-26 06:53 am (UTC)

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Now I have the urge to watch Die Hard. I knew I had it saved on my DVR all this time for a reason!

Edited at 2008-08-26 06:53 am (UTC)
[User Picture]From: benmech
2008-08-26 12:18 pm (UTC)

about ABC Family?

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Great series, great episode.

But what's the purpose of starting this extending storyline with Tyler and Fatboy unless the show will continue past the upcoming season finale??

Has ABC FC given a thumb's up, or do they still love their little piece o' crap anti-Gilmore Pregnant teenqueen refuse?

I'd be okay if the Middleman changed networks, but I can't figure out where else it would thrive
[User Picture]From: nobleplatypus
2008-08-26 03:39 pm (UTC)

Re: about ABC Family?

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SciFi, maybe? :\
[User Picture]From: nobleplatypus
2008-08-26 03:37 pm (UTC)

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Old-school Doctor Who references for the win! They made me writhe with joy!
From: (Anonymous)
2008-08-26 04:11 pm (UTC)

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This Tyler/Fatboy thing has me worried. I don't think any good can come of it. Tyler in a suit? No way.

On a less suspicious note, I loved it when MM showed up at Wendy's loft in a biohazard suit. Then soon after, MM said something about he'll be godfather to an aardvark before *insert deadly situation* occurs on his watch, then Wendy asked, "what's with the salty language?" LOVED that. And the shower scene! "You might find the next phase a bit awkward..."

Then it was so sweet at the end with the Code 47 (hope I got the number right). If that didn't put all the Wendy/MM shippers to rest, I don't know what will.

I just hope next week, we'll find out not only what comes of the Tyler/Fatboy thing, but also about the other woman MM loves. Another great episode, can't wait for 12!
From: (Anonymous)
2008-08-26 09:00 pm (UTC)

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Then it was so sweet at the end with the Code 47 (hope I got the number right). If that didn't put all the Wendy/MM shippers to rest, I don't know what will.

i don't think anything will. and it's so gross! they are clearly bro/sis, not luh-vuhs.
[User Picture]From: taraljc
2008-08-26 08:09 pm (UTC)

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Now that I am no longer covering my eyes to avoid spoilers, I am now going through post and yay context!

(also finally got my Middleman collection trade, and have been peeking at it at work sneakily and omg.)
From: trulyhorrid
2008-08-26 11:37 pm (UTC)

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I feel extremely ungeeky for never getting the references.

Also, I was expecting a gorilla suit.
[User Picture]From: calhoun24
2008-08-27 03:06 am (UTC)

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The Fatboy thing has gotten me a little worried.

The entire thing has SPECTRE written all over it.

The moment I saw the interview scene, I had a feeling that Fatboy will be an opposing force to O2STK, with Ben becoming an opposite number to Wendy.

I guess we'll have to see what happens next week, and God willing, next season.

In the bleeped words of an immortal text: "Yip-pe-ki-yay, ************."
[User Picture]From: calhoun24
2008-08-27 08:28 pm (UTC)

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Whoops. I meant Tyler, not Ben. (It was late, and I was fighting off insomnia.)

We should really update the Wikipedia page...
[User Picture]From: raelee
2008-08-27 03:09 am (UTC)

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Any chance we can get the full on-screen text from the "die hard inside an android" joke? There was an ABC Family graphic on the screen at the time that covered up about half of it on my TV.
[User Picture]From: saritajuanita
2008-08-27 04:01 am (UTC)

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That bugged the heck out of me too - shows just how much they care about the show - they cover up half the text-based jokes with chyrons that take up 1/3 of the screen!
[User Picture]From: tysolna
2008-08-27 09:39 am (UTC)

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Old School Doctor Who.
If I didn't love this already, I would now.

(Oh, and I loved MatrixIda.)
From: monte_noiq
2008-08-27 03:49 pm (UTC)

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"today john wayne doesn't get to ride off into the sunset with grace kelly" - yet another quote from "die hard"

I'm sure you know this already, but that line from "Die Hard" was itself an inside joke. There actually is no movie in which John Wayne rides off into the sunset with Grace Kelly. The reference appears to be to "High Noon", in which Grace rides off into the Sunset with GARY COOPER at the end.

Meanwhile, I note your list above does not reference one "other" apparent amusing nod to pop culture -- the tie on the stairs/door used by Wendy and Tyler. It's been used famously in such diverse sources as Elizabeth George's Detective Lynley novels and The Simpsons:

Kirk Van Houten: If you see a tie on the door knob, that means I'm with a lady.
Homer: But you don't have a door knob.
Kirk Van Houten: I don't have a tie either!
[User Picture]From: wiliqueen
2008-08-27 05:58 pm (UTC)

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The reference appears to be to "High Noon", in which Grace rides off into the Sunset with GARY COOPER at the end.

Which would be why MM felt the need to point out that very fact in mid-crisis...

Edited at 2008-08-27 05:58 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: wiliqueen
2008-08-27 05:57 pm (UTC)

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"commander benton and specialist heriot"

Which the hubby and I both heard as "Specialist Harriet." As in :: flash ID :: "Harriet Jones, [insert current job description here]." And here we thought it was ever-so-clever to do that while flashing IDs, and mix in a classic Who reference while you were at it... ;->
[User Picture]From: plattcave
2008-08-27 06:50 pm (UTC)

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How long until I get to buy this show on DVD and watch it over and over and over and over again?
[User Picture]From: bredon
2008-08-28 03:06 am (UTC)

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However long it is, its too long.
From: (Anonymous)
2008-08-28 04:28 am (UTC)

Damn...

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Best show on TV Javier. Best show on TV. (Take that to the suits!)

I'll miss you guys.

LL
[User Picture]From: kat_rowe
2008-08-28 05:28 pm (UTC)

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Is it just me or was there also a subtle Star Trek (Original Series) nod with "Maybe the probe's developed artificial intelligence and returned to judge its makers."?
From: (Anonymous)
2008-08-28 07:35 pm (UTC)

Star Trek Reference

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Yes, definitely a reference to the original series episode that Star Trek 1 was later a rehash of with VGER. The probe wanted to destroy humans because they had become so illogical, or something like that!

[User Picture]From: primitiveskin
2008-08-29 02:14 am (UTC)

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At least now I know why Hans and Javi were giving each other knowing looks on Javi-Cast #7 when they were answering my question about where the pneumatic tube system was in The Middleman HQ.

I'm embarrassed to admit, but I was looking at Wendy all pervy-like, when I should have been concerned for her and Em-Em's safety during the Silkwood Shower Sequence...mmm...alliteration.

If you remember way back when, the Journey to the Center of the Ida also recalls that issue of The Avengers where Ant-Man was poking around in the innards of the synthezoid, The Vision.
[User Picture]From: kat_rowe
2008-08-29 06:37 pm (UTC)

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"I'm embarrassed to admit, but I was looking at Wendy all pervy-like, when I should have been concerned for her and Em-Em's safety during the Silkwood Shower Sequence"

I think we were all looking at one or the other of them pervy. Heck, I was looking at BOTH of them pervy. Eye-candy for every demographic. What's not to love in a scene like that?
[User Picture]From: bonniegrrl
2008-09-02 10:24 pm (UTC)

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i can't believe how many references I missed! Cheap Trick FTW!