Log in

here's all the pop culture references... - THE MIDDLEBLOG [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ website | The Middleman Homepage! ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

here's all the pop culture references... [Aug. 29th, 2008|09:38 pm]
[Current Music |hybrid - "choke"]

...in our season finale, episode #1012, "the palindrome reversal palindrome!"

- all of the mcguffins in this episode are named after mcguffins from other films or television shows, the beryllium sphere was the mcguffin in "the shadow" (and was also the power source of the NSEA protector in "galaxy quest") the oscillation overthruster was the mcguffin in "the adventures of buckaroo banzai across the 8th dimension," "polydichloric euthymol" was the mcguffin in the film "outland" and a phased polaron cannon is the preferred weapon of the dominion in "star trek: deep space nine"
- "castlevania legends" is a reference to the konami video game series
- "quien le disparo a j.r.?" is spanish for "who shot j.r.?" in spanish "dallas" is spelled "dallas"
- the "one umaster per child initiative" - is a parody of the one laptop per child initiative
- "how many dates have you had unfold like the second act of miss saigon?" - the end of the first act of the original staging of the schonberg/boublil musical "miss saigon" featured a reenactment of the evacuation of the american embassy in vietnam, including a full-sized helicopter
- "bubbe" - is both an homage to hans beimler, who uses this yiddish endearment on almost everyone he knows, as well as hart bochner's character "ellis" in the film "die hard," who says the immortal line "hans, BUBBE, i'm your white knight"
- in the "bourne" movies, matt damon plays a heroic spy, in "the good shepherd" he plays a morally compromised spy, hence the reference
- "today, we're grief counselors with the united states police force, you're officer russell, i'm officer van cleef" - homage by name check to the law enforcement army in "escape from new york" and to actors kurt russell and lee van cleef, stars of the film
- "airwolfed off the roof" - homage by namecheck to the 1980's don bellisario super-chopper series starring jan-michael vincent
- "duke of new york toy factory" - homage to the villain of "escape from new york" played by isaac hayes (the use of the expression "A#1" throughout the episode is also an homage to the duke, who is referred to as "the A#1" throughout "escape from new york")
- "i went green before ed begley jr. made it cool - why can't i catch a break? what about me" - namecheck of the green actor-vist, and simultaneous callback to the last line of pip's spoken word epic "hey, mister god"
- "eyes without a face!" - homage to either the 1984 billy idol song or the 1959 french horror film by georges franju, depending on when you were born and whether you went to film school
- "my little pony!" - homage to the well known toy as well as the winner of an abc family poll for the middleman's colorful expression of the week (beating out other candidates such as "easy bake oven!" and "in a gadda da vida!")
- "the carpenter road transformer station" - homage to john carpenter, director of "escape from new york"
- the outer casing of the quantum singularity machine is a modified gnam breadbox, designed by stefano giovanonni for alessi...fans of "jake 2.0" should also recognize this as the outer casing of the hades-13 tactical mininuke seen in the episode "whiskey-tango-foxtrot"
- the insiginia of the alternate-universe fatboy industries is a parody of the insignia used by the parallel universe terran empire in the classic star trek episode "mirror mirror"
- "i'm pretty much trapped now...in alan parker's 1982 theatrical film version of the wall" - homage by namecheck to the bob geldof-starring film of the classic pink floyd concept album
- noser and wendy's dialogue in the opening scene of act 2 echoes their first exchange of dialogue in episode 1001 "the pilot episode sanction"
- every man in the alternate universe sports a goatee in homage to the alternate-universe spock in the classic star trek episode "mirror mirror" - because of this episode, it is understood by all genre fans that a goatee represents a character's alternate universe counterpart, and is a sure signifier of pure ee-ville
- even in the alternate universe, joe 90 remains our homage to the eponymous gerry anderson supermarionation sci-fi series
- "come with me if you want to live" - homage to kyle reese's signature line from "the terminator"
- father pip drives a hruck bugbear - the hruck automobile brand is an homage to les mcclaine's first comic book series "highway 13" in which the main character drove a hruck greywolf, the name "bugbear" comes from one of the more colorful monsters of the classic dungeons and dragons
- the star trek episode "mirror mirror" is referred to in wendy's conversation with father pip
- "who are you, what's with your suit, where's your beard?" - paraphrase of the single most classic line in the classic star trek episode "mirror mirror"
- "they're real and they are spectacular" - famous "seinfeld" quote
- "now dorothy wants to go home" - reference to "the wizard of oz"
- ivan avi's address is 1997 plissken circle, an homage to snake plissken from "escape from new york" and to the year in which the film supposedly took place
- the mention of the pineal gland is both an homage to stuart gordon's film "from beyond" and a middleman running gag about the source of all paranormal phenomena
- niels bohr - homage by namecheck to the danish physicist and nobel prize laureate
- "holy kill bill vol. 2!" - homage to the quentin tarantino film featuring a similar scenario to the one described by the middleman
- "the dread pyramid of itzilichlitlichlitzl" - callback to our third episode, "the sino-mexican revelation"
- the coordinates given by the middleman correspond to the constellation serpens - the snake - a VERY subtle homage to snake plissken of "escape from new york"
- "new jack city" - homage to the 1991 mario van peebles crime epic
- the scene between alternate-universe middleman and ida is a callback to a similar scene in episode 1005, "the flying fish zombification"
- wendy opens the door to manservant neville's control center using the same gizmo employed by guy goddard to open lord jeremiah purcell's vault in episode 1009, "the obsolescent cryogenic meltdown"
- the phased polaron cannon was not intended as an homage to "dr. horrible's sing-along-blog, this was merely a case of two modestly-budgeted productions renting from the same prop house
- "this place is giving me the willy wonka's" - homage to the roald dahl character

Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
[User Picture]From: rigil_kent
2008-08-30 05:42 am (UTC)
Awesome! Can't wait! I'm a relative newbie to MM - I missed the first half of the season - so I'm desperately hoping the show is aired again. Regardless, I'll definitely be buying the DVDs!

The "beryllium sphere" was also in Galaxy Quest, wasn't it?
(Reply) (Thread)
From: themiddleblog
2008-08-30 05:44 am (UTC)

indeed it was - nice catch!

adding to the list...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: goneformofman
2008-08-30 05:48 am (UTC)
Sadly, I'll be up in the sky flying back home to Holland on monday...

Guess I'll just have to read the awesome comic.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: aka_becker
2008-08-30 05:58 am (UTC)
I read this before reading the disclaimer. Oh well. I love Escape From New York though. (Not so much Escape from Los Angles...)

And I was standing in Javi's parking space yesterday waiting for a package from the other show at that building. (I'm a courier, not a stalker) Seeing the empty space and no Star Wagons next to it was sad as it meant, no filming that day. I really hope you get picked up and get put on DVD. (When is Jake 2.0 going to be on DVD? I asked Keegan once a long, long time ago, and she said she heard rumors from an exec-producer, but I've heard nothing since then)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: infinityshark
2008-08-30 07:29 am (UTC)
Holy Crap, you mean I'm not the only dude on the planet who knows who The Shadow is?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: taraljc
2008-08-30 02:59 pm (UTC)
I love that movie. Just watched it, along with The Rocketeer and some olf Flash Gordon serials, at a friends' Pulp Movie Night a while back.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-08-30 07:55 am (UTC)

Escape From New York

I caught part of "Escape From New York" on AMC the other day. I was born in St. Louis a few months before it came out in 1981. It's hard to believe parts of the city were that awful back then. These days, it's not too bad. Many of the locations in the film have since been renovated, restored, and gentrifiied.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kat_rowe
2008-08-30 09:32 pm (UTC)
Looks like fun. I can't wait... (Well, okay, so I guess I don't really have a choice. Guess I'll have to play the game where I see the references first and then try to picture the scene. Miss Saigon, ggl... Tyler's new job interfering with his relationship already?)
(Reply) (Thread)
From: mndrew
2008-08-31 05:28 pm (UTC)

Too much coolness for mere mortals to handle

How ever will our intrepid hero and the Middle-chicka survive? How will we survive the horrendously long wait to find out?
Serously, we need a Middle-marathon to hold us over until DVD release-age.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-08-31 10:20 pm (UTC)

Re: Too much coolness for mere mortals to handle

No, we need a Middle-MIRACLE to hold us over 'til (hopefully) the 2nd season. What will happen tommorow, the season finale!!! Only you know. That sounded weird.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: youngwilliam
2008-09-02 02:39 am (UTC)
RE: Escape from NYC

The Middleman? I heard you were dead!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: spectralbovine
2008-09-02 06:27 am (UTC)
Ha! Well played.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: squbbly_vanilla
2008-09-02 03:02 am (UTC)
This episode? Fanfreakingtastic. Amazing job.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: goingcrazyhere
2008-09-02 03:04 am (UTC)

holy grail.

this episode was awesome
but i'm having a total freakout over the end.

am I the only one who thought that sounded like finale finale material?

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jacquez
2008-09-02 03:11 am (UTC)

Re: holy grail.


Which would make me cry.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: auraesque
2008-09-02 03:05 am (UTC)
Am I hearing things, or was Father Pip's "Come with me if you want to live" a throwback to Terminator?

Great episode. Even my dad chuckled at some of the references.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bassfingers
2008-09-02 04:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, the T2 reference needs to be added to the list.

I'm also curious what the number typed in the keypad was. I was figuring a 1138, but that wouldn't work as a date for Daddy Watson's disappearance. (Personally, I vote for Waldo Watson, but Wendell could work too, in a pinch...)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-09-02 03:17 am (UTC)

Did ABC cut out like 20 minutes or something?

There were two very strange narrative jumps coming back from commercials. In the first, we go to commercial with Wendy talking about looking for a place to hide in the parallel universe, and when we come back she's in the middle of her conversation with Noser.

The bigger one was at the end - Wendy and Lacey are trapped in Fatboy HQ, we go to the break, and when we come back apparently alt-Middleman has rescued them at the cost of his bike?

I assume these weren't intentional, right? This was supposed to be a 90-minute episode and ABC just botched it or something?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: scavgraphics
2008-09-02 03:25 am (UTC)

Re: Did ABC cut out like 20 minutes or something?

i think your cable company had issues...saw all of the stuff you missed here.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-09-02 03:21 am (UTC)

Dr. Horrible /Middleman crossover

I would like to mention that the ray gun that was used in the palindrome reversal palindrome has been seen before. It's the Freeze Ray from Dr. Horrible.

(Reply) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-09-02 03:55 am (UTC)

Re: Season 1 Finale

Awesome finale!!!! Many thanks to all who worked on this series. The best one in a long time. Any word on renewal? I am keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed. Any way we can help? At least get us a DVD set if all hope is dashed!!! Thanks for the references too...it goes so fast I miss some. GREAT show!

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: middlegirl
2008-09-02 04:12 am (UTC)
Love, love, loved this week's episode, although I wish I knew for sure that there were more coming in the future.

If that's all she he you guys wrote, though, it's been one gosh darn heck of a ride, and I loved every second of it.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: komainu
2008-09-02 04:25 am (UTC)
Awesome episode! Even better than last week's. Where do I send M&Ms to ensure more delicious Middleman?!?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bredon
2008-09-02 04:32 am (UTC)


For making one of the best shows on Television. I would rank you guys up there with Buffy, and Angel..and I hope you get to do as many episodes.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: fridaygirlsweek
2008-09-02 04:39 am (UTC)
"My Little Pony!" Im so glad i voted...
(Reply) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-09-02 04:57 am (UTC)
I caught the Escape from New York references... If only because it was late night once with not much else on... So I stuck on the first thing I could find XD

And the rest of my comment was me going into a whole thing of thinking Manservant Neville was evil... (As his Mirror Universe counterpart was apparently good or turning so) but I learned that I should seriously look into more about the series than just watching this show every Monday... (Though it leaves me to wonder... Tyler is good in M.U., So the one from the other universe... O_O My brain is going to explode...)

Though lord knows I missed something on that...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tidmore
2008-09-02 05:27 am (UTC)
Excellent Episode Guys!
Here's to hoping that we see you again next summer. I'll keep my fingers crossed and my mouth squawking about the show to anyone who'll listen, if nothing else I can at least get some people to download it on iTunes!
(Reply) (Thread)
From: ext_68735
2008-09-02 05:36 am (UTC)

The non-palindromic time chyrons?

So what am I not getting with 11:52am in the evil hallway and he other non-palindromic times?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: spectralbovine
2008-09-02 06:25 am (UTC)
the beryllium sphere was the mcguffin in "the shadow"
Yes! I knew that sounded familiar. I love that movie.

homage by name check to the law enforcement army in "escape from new york" and to actors kurt russell and lee van cleef, stars of the film
Waaaait a second, Lee Van Cleef was in that??? Because I watched Escape from New York for the first time a month ago, but I just recently watched For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, so that's the Van Cleef that comes to mind.

niels bohr - homage by namecheck to the danish physicist and nobel prize laureate
That was awesome.

the coordinates given by the middleman correspond to the constellation serpens - the snake - a VERY subtle homage to snake plissken of "escape from new york"
Ha ha ha ha. You're awesome. Also, I sort of wish I liked the movie more. I know it's a cult classic, but I didn't see what was so awesome about it. It had its moments, though. With the beating up and killing.

Oh, and I thought the "88 seconds" was a Back to the Future reference (88 mph). Or, now that I think about it, given the later Kill Bill reference, it could have been a Crazy 88s reference. Or you just like the number 88.

Because it's a palindrome.


Finally, this post is amusing now that I have the Spaced DVDs and have been watching the series with the Homage-O-Meter on. You guys really need to do something similar with your DVDs. But better, with your added color commentary instead of just naming the source of reference like they do.

Edited at 2008-09-02 06:26 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: primitiveskin
2008-09-02 06:26 am (UTC)

Yay! No cliffhangers, well besides that...

What I've always appreciated is the compactness of the show, in that stories don't needlessly get stretched out for a few episodes. If this were any other series, the finale would have ended in a cliffhanger with Wendy still stuck in the Mirror-Verse. I also feel the same way with the Sino-Mexican Revolution. If the show had been in other hands, Wendy wouldn't have flown off to the rescue in the Middlejet until the next episode. Although, there was a missed opportunity in omitting a graphic of a map tracing a red line for Wendy's flight to the temple...sigh. All of which is not to say that I wouldn't appreciate a multi-part Middleman storyline, just as long as the situation really warrants it.

Now for the real cliffhanger, series renewal, which will in part, be based on DVD sales. Will this be DVD only, or will there also be a simultaneous Blu-ray release? I've only just been able to appreciate The Middleman more over the course of the last three episodes since DirecTV went live with its HD feed.

Long may The Middleman wave!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: primitiveskin
2008-09-02 01:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Yay! No cliffhangers, well besides that...

Although, there was a missed opportunity in omitting a graphic of a map tracing a red line for Wendy's flight to the temple...sigh.

Scratch that. I just realized that this gimmick will never be used if Megaurbanopolis is the starting point of the journey. Tracing a path on a map can only happen if Em-Em and Dub-Dub are continuing an adventure from another named location.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: primitiveskin
2008-09-02 07:01 am (UTC)

This joke still hasn't gotten old for me.

And another thing, by my count, there have been five instances of a conversation happening in the foreground, while some sort of other activity, such as a "Jack Bauering", would take place in the background. I still love this joke, and really do hope that ABC Family gives you guys an opportunity to keep on using it.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-09-02 09:50 am (UTC)

In soviet russia like evil universe...

You can add the Manservant Neville serves you poster to the list which is a nod to the russian reversal: http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Russian_reversal_(joke)

So the poster is reversed: In evil mirror universe, Manservant Neville serves you!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jqg
2008-09-02 02:57 pm (UTC)
so the mirror manservant neville is an idealistic humanitarian - sigh.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kat_rowe
2008-09-02 08:48 pm (UTC)
Doesn't bode well for Tyler, does it? :( I knew Fatboy Industries was nothing but trouble
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>