This coming weekend, I’ll participate in the fifty-third staging of The World’s Largest Trivia ContestTM. As per tradition, this week is filled with idle reminiscing about memorable answers in past years.
Although the whole structure of television release schedules as changed, I still tend to the think of the new falls season for broadcast networks as the unofficial — yet clearly delineated — started point for assembling self-generated resources that might be helpful in the April contest. Even in this age of extensive online documentation of different programs’ details, it’s extremely difficult to climb in the standings of 90FM’s Trivia contest without taking some notes of various pop culture offerings. Looking at the lineups of new and returning shows is like staring at smudgy tea leaves, trying to discern the future. Which of these series is worth treating their episodes like college lectures, writing away frantically because something just might be on the test.
A couple years ago, I had an inkling that there was a worthy time investment to be made in Stumptown, the ABC television program based on the comic book series written by Greg Rucka and starring Cobie Smulders as Portland-based private investigator Dex Parios. In some ways, it was a fairly unlikely contender for questions given some of the known preferences and disinclinations of the seasoned writers of the contest. Still, I ground away at it, to be rewarded when the on-air DJ asked, “What is the stage name of the singer introduced to TV audiences while she was on the Whiskey Chaser tour?” I’d never know the answer to that off the top of my head, but my proper preparation meant we quickly got to the correct answer of Fiona X, a character that had a central role in the episode titled “Dex, Drugs and Rock & Roll.” It earned us 125 points at a time when we needed a boost, just enough of a boost to make all the time frittered away typing out fictional factoids seem like an almost noble endeavor.
More info about 90FM’s Trivia can be found at its official website or at the radio station’s online home. There’s also a feature documentary about the contest, but it’s fairly hard to come by these days.