World Series of Pop Culture

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
World Series of Pop Culture TV Poster Image
Pop-culture fun, but not for the whole family.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Most of these pop-culture junkies have clearly done their homework, but they've studied Jan Brady instead of James Joyce. Still, you can't fault them for knowing their strengths. Some of the contestants model less-than-ideal behavior, including extreme overconfidence and poor sportsmanship.


The contestants fight with their minds, not their fists.


Some innuendo and saucy categories (referring obliquely to masturbation, etc.). But most sexual references (like "Pussy Galore" and Sex and the City) are usually legitimate answers to questions.


Strong language is bleeped, whether it's part of a question or a contestant's answer. But some words are hard to mistake ("t--s," for example).


The show is produced by VH1 in partnership with Entertainment Weekly magazine. Another sponsor, Alltel Wireless, ponies up $250,000 for the winning team. Frequent house ads direct viewers to play along at home via

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A few off-the-cuff comments allude to heavy drinking, but none is shown.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this tournament-style game show is addictive for adults who love the movies, television, and music of the late 1970s, '80s, '90s, and 2000s. But kids are bound to think it's kind of lame. One reason is that the answers aren't tailored for teens -- after all, has your 14-year-old ever seen Arthur (the 1981 Dudley Moore film, not the 1996 animated cartoon)? The other is that the contestants are kind of "old" (in kid-terms, that means people in their late 20s and early 30s), so there are few faces they can actually relate to.

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What's the story?

Hosted by NY1 News anchor Pat Kiernan and Inside Edition correspondent Lisa Guerrero, the WORLD SERIES OF POP CULTURE pits three-member teams of trivia hounds against one another in an NCAA tournament-style bracket, testing their knowledge on everything from cryptic movie taglines to old-school rap, anything from the '70s to the present.

Is it any good?

World Series is the ultimate show for junkies who gorge themselves on obscure entertainment tidbits, and it will likely find an audience -- just probably not with kids who don't know (or care about) the answers. Although the show borrows its overly theatrical music and lighting from Millionaire, it keeps things light by letting teams pick out their own descriptive names and matching outfits (which are often pretty ridiculous). But as host, the buttoned-up Kiernan manages to flatten a bit of the fun, looking more like an Ivy League banker instead of someone who might watch Scooby Doo.

Some of the contestants aren't the best sports when they lose, and others are irritatingly overconfident. But if you're a trivia addict and can look past the bum-bum-bumm music and the contestants' generally lame attempts to crack wise, you'll have fun testing your knowledge of the obscure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the differences between what moms and dads know and what their kids know, especially when it comes to pop culture. Parents might have fun explaining the complexities of The Waltons family tree or the significance of Charo, for example, while older teens could offer pointers on Snoop Dogg and The O.C. Would more people do better on a pop-culture test than on a quiz about states and capitals? (Not sure? Your family could try it out.) And why do some people remember the most random bits of trivia while others can't remember what they had for lunch?

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