10 Zeitgeistian Pop Culture Items in 2012 With Which I Have Almost No Knowledge

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10 Zeitgeistian Pop Culture Items in 2012 With Which I Have Almost No Knowledge

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | November 26, 2012 | Comments ()


Because even those of us who run pop-culture blogs have blind spots, either intentional or inadvertent:

Act of Valor -- A movie about an elite team of Navy SEALs embark on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent that made $70 million at the box office. I don't even remember it coming out.


Ashley Green -- A popular actress who was in a television series ("Pan Am") and four movies this year (LOL, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II, Apparition and Butter), two of which I saw yet I could not pick her out of a lineup of twenty-something brunettes.


Phillip Philips -- Despite the cruel name, Philips won "American Idol" this year. I have never heard him sing, and have heard his name less than five times all year long.


The X-Factor -- The second most profitable show of 2012, I have never seen a second of this singing competition, although I understand Britney Spears is one of the judges, along with Simon Cowell. I have no idea who the others are.


Duck Dynasty -- Cable's third most popular cable show this fall (behind The Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy) and until last week, I'd never heard of it in my life.


Katie -- The most popular daytime talk show debut since 2009, the show has been number one among new daytime talk shows for nine weeks. I had heard that Katie Couric was doing a daytime talk show, but I hadn't even realized it'd begun.


One Direction -- They sold half a million records in the United States in their first week, and they became the youngest British act to top the album and singles chart simultaneously. Until Courtney mentioned them last week, they'd never entered my radar. In fact, I'm now realizing that they are a band I thought was called Up All Night because I'd seen them frequently on Tumblr while searching for GIFs from the NBC sitcom.


The Weeknd is a very popular R&B singer and not a misspelling of a little seen 2011 independent film. The Weeknd is his actual stage name.


Continuum -- A Canadian TV series about a detective from the year 2077 finds herself trapped in present day Vancouver and searching for ruthless criminals from the future. It stars Rachel Nichols (who I kind of adore) and apparently, it was so popular in Canada, it's already aired in the UK and is set to air in the US on SyFy in January. This I'm actually kind of excited about.


Dragon Baby -- A YouTube video that's been seen 23 million times this month. Today was the first I'd ever heard of it. I've gotta admit, I appreciate the appeal.

5 Shows After Dark 11/26/12 | Heat Rises by Richard Castle

Are you following Pajiba on Facebook or Twitter? Every time you do, Bill Murray crashes a wedding.

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • ,

    Never heard of him so I figured it was pronounced "weakened."

  • DominaNefret

    OH MAN. You missed some quality TV by not being aware of Katie having her own show.
    She tackles such serious subjects as:
    Is Heaven For Real? To Heaven and Back


    Kate Middleton Look-Alike! Single Mom's Life Changed!

    (Disclaimer: I am only aware of these do to previews. And my best friend ranting about the heaven episode.)

  • DominaNefret

    Due! Due to previews!

  • apsutter

    That song "Home" from Philip Phillips made me want to rip my ears off during the Olympics. They seriously played it every 5 minutes. The only thing worse than NBC's shit coverage of the actual events was their insistence on playing that shit song.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Cthulhu take me away!

    Want to see Act of Valor... have watched Katie... and I actually have Phillip Philips' song downloaded from itunes... now off to watch Dragon Baby.

  • AudioSuede

    1) The Weeknd is f***ing amazing.
    2) You guys reviewed Act of Valor. It was even a decent review. It made me interested in seeing the movie.
    3) One Direction was on SNL last season. You did the rundown of the episode as you usually do.

  • zeke_the_pig

    That One Direction album cover is the worst piece of shit I've seen in a very long time. Motherfuckers look like they were grown in a petridish. And why is that dude(?) grabbing that other dude's(?) tit?

  • koko temur

    i didn't know any of those either. i think i share your ignorance of them because i rely on Pajiba to tell me i should care about them in the first place.

  • You know that catchy tune they used in the "Trouble with the Curve" trailer? That's Phillip Phillips.

  • Skyler Durden

    Oh, my, Ashley Greene!

    If you aren't familiar with Ashley Greene, then you probably aren't familiar with the buzztastic shenanigans she performed with Olivia Wilde in Butter.

    Butter the movie, not butter the noun.

    Look it up. You're welcome, internet.

  • TK

    I confess, I liked that sentence better with butter as a noun.

  • So THAT's what shenanigans means. I always wondered.

  • WhyIFuckingHateFuckingDisqus

    Because it is very often very slow, and it slows down sites that use it.

    Thank you for listening.

  • Uriah_Creep

    TK reviewed Act of Valor when it came out, boss.

    Act of Valor Review

    The review received 0 comments.

  • TK

    Well, in my defense there were a bunch of comments, but we lost a great many of the old comments in the Disqus conversion. We're still working on how to get them back up.

  • Uriah_Creep

    I didn't mean to infer anything about the quality of your review, TK. I have no wish to "visit" your basement. And all in all, Disqus sucks balls.

  • I *thought* I had read a review on here. I was just too lazy to go look it up last night.

  • xpenis

    Act of Valor-check
    Ashley Green-check
    Philip Philips-no
    One Direction-check
    Duck Dynasty-check
    The Weekend- no
    Dragon Baby-no

    To expand, haven;t seen Valor, have no plans to but was well aware of the movie, the previews and trailers were all over tv for months before it came out. Green, OI know her name and that she's an actress, she's no Aimee Teegarden, that's for damn sure, X Factor, seriously? You have no idea about it? There was a HUGE thing when Spears was announced as a judge.

    Philips, seriously are any of the X-Factor Idol shows really about 'discovering new talent' anymore? It's all about the various pissing contests between the judges.

  • Amy Bechard

    The Weeknd is Canadian too! Maybe that's why you've never heard of him.
    But Continuum isn't very good. :(

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    I think Continuum is more about potential. It was really rough to start, but I think it started to come into its element a bit in the latter half. It deserves a second season, anyway, to see if it can really take off. Also Rachel Nichols in a catsuit, QED.

  • Idle Primate

    Continuum did well in the ratings. It should get a second season, though you never know with Canadian tv. I liked it riven if it stumbled a little. It wS still pretty meaty for tv sci-fi

  • Catsuit. Yes. And to the rest, Continuum improves over the season. If the writers can make a decent Season 2, there's promise in the mythology.

  • Dammit! I'd gone SO long without knowing who won American Idol. Argh. I was so proud of it!

    I will work very hard on forgetting. Though it'll be hard with such a goddamn stupid name as that.

  • Ash

    I wonder how many pity votes he got?

  • Anna

    Gangnam. style. If that's even how it's spelled. I just don't get it. My 10 yr old bro knew just about everything about it though ..maybe it's the kids making it popular...but wait no all my 30 yr old cousins did too

  • Skyler Durden

    I had never heard of it until it was on SNL a few weeks ago. It was like the joke that everyone else got but me.

  • Melissa D

    I'm Canadian and a scifi fan, and I've never heard of Continuum either. Hope that makes you feel better.

  • God damn Duck Dynasty.

    We had a costume contest at my work for Halloween and the HR department won by dressing up as the cast by wearing camo, bandannas, and ugly beards.

  • Bodhi

    I love Duck Dynasty & am not ashamed of it

  • Really, dude? Act of Valor was pretty cool. Real Navy SEALs doing SEAL stuff. I saw it in theater and enjoyed the heck out of it.

    Yes, the acting is a bit wooden and the plot is, at times, painfully obvious. But as far as coming to a new level of appreciation about the real men who are doing the real work of fighting terrorism, this beats any Sly/Schwarzeneggar wannabe B.S. any day.

  • e jerry powell


  • Pawesl

    If you watched the Olympics at all this year you heard Phillip Philips. He sang that annoying song that came on anytime the girls gymnastic team was featured. How'd it go? "Just no you're not alone cause I'm gonna make this place your home"

  • Holy crap, that's him? That's the most annoying song! And now I hate myself because I know that I've heard something by him. Bleh.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    It also only has, like, one verse. I think it's kind of catchy, but I can't respect an American Idol song that nobody even bothered to expand into an actual full song before releasing it on everyone. You can't just have one verse, repeat the chorus ad nauseum and seriously call it a single.

    Also on my music-I-hear-on-the-radio-because-no-car-CD-player hate list? Whoever sings that thing about loving someone like a love song. They just repeat that for three minutes, instead of being clever and referencing actual love songs or something. Also the autotuning. And I think it's a Disney or Nickelodeon, so also on principle.

  • DominaNefret

    To be fair, it isn't actually any more repetitive than half of what is on Sigh No More, and Home was written in less than a week as his finale single. It is pretty astonishingly good for being one of the songs written for the contestants in the American Idol Finale. Can anyone else even name any other from the many seasons they have been on?

    (I don't watch Idol, but my mother would make me come over every single week and watch his performance. Seriously. She'd already have it queued up for me. Oh, mom.)

  • Empress of All the Russias

    That would be Selena Gomez, the recently ex-Ms. Beiber. Not to be confused with her former BFF from Disney and the cast of Barney, Demi Lovato, who is one of the X Factor judges. You can tell these brunettes apart because Selena is actually kind of cute and funny, while Demi appears just CRAY CRAY.

  • BWeaves

    I quit caring about pop culture when I turned 50. I now "get" my nana.

  • Idle Primate

    No one is supposed to care about pop culture. Something becomes pop culture because sufficient numbers of people care about it.

  • damnitjanet

    Phillip Philips is actually pretty good. Has a definite Mumford and Sons vibe.

    Duck Dynasty is...simply amazing. It has to be seen to be believed. Aren't you a native Southerner? You will SOOO appreciate these people.

  • Empress of All the Russias

    YESS to Duck Dynasties. Of all the Louisiana-based reality shows out there, it is the finest. Uncle Si could give Honey Boo Boo a run for her money in a soundbite competition. I just discovered it and had no idea it was that popular.

  • Steph

    Huge oxymoron in that first line.

  • AudioSuede

    That right there? That's what I needed to read this morning.

  • Even Stevens

    I've heard his song on the radio a bunch and didn't realize it wasn't Mumford and Sons for about a solid month

  • TK

    Same here. I'm actually blown away that it's not Mumford & Sons. I will say this: as far as Idol winners are concerned, he's probably the best of the lot, but that's faint fucking praise.

  • phase10

    Love Dragon Baby!

  • Laurie Lolo Oatsvall Hutson

    I had not heard of 12 (saw DragonBaby few weeks ago) either so move over we sharing a boat.

  • Laurie Lolo Oatsvall Hutson

    have you seen the twin babies dancing http://youtu.be/to7uIG8KYhg

  • Guest

    btw have you seen the twin babies dancing? they have their own tv ad nowhttp://youtu.be/to7uIG8KYhg.

  • Oh Dustin, you don't know you're beautiful.

  • AngelenoEwok

    Shut up! That's what MAKES him beautiful!

  • cthulhu dog

    "You don't know you're beautiful, Oh-oh!
    That's what makes you beautiful!"

    In other words, what I like about you is your low self esteem.

  • No, what One Direction are saying is they like girls who don't own mirrors and are thus unaware of their perfectly symmetrical bone structure. It's the not owning mirrors part, you see. My guess? They're actually vampires and don't want their potential girlfriends to find out.

  • I love a good 1D reference.

  • Dariuss

    Continuum is a really good show. It takes place in Vancouver so they don't have to hide where it was filmed, Rachel Nichols is smoking hot and a good actress, and the story doesn't dick around with too many monster of the week episodes at the expense of plot.

  • Samantha

    See, that sounds interesting and exactly the sort of thing that I won't get to see because I live in Australia and don't have pay tv.

  • ScienceGeek

    I've only seen whatever bits my husband was watching when I wandered in, but it looks good. Although I still think that putting the Cigarette Smoking Man into a show about conspiracies is just asking for loud, repeated assertations of his evil despite all evidence to the contary.
    P.S. Samantha, I'm also in Australia. We justify our illegal activities by buying the box sets when they finally come out on DVD.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Oh my God, her magic future suit? Hottest catsuit of the year.

  • OK - you had me at "catsuit".

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