Monday Match-Ups: Sauron vs. Darth Sidious

Lawn Bowling

The Setup:

We’ve all had the lunchtime conversations about despotism in fantasy lands. Who would win the fight, Sauron or Darth Sidious? We at Pop-Modern are the trendsetting few who think further ahead. Sure, it would be fun to see the devastation of the planet known as Middle Earth by a re-rebuilt Death Star (note: Abrams- you can take this idea to the bank, just put as in the credits), but wouldn’t it be more exciting to watch these despots battle for title of lawn bowling? That’s what we explore here today in the never before explored lawn bowling duel between Sauron, Dark Lord, and Darth Sidious, Lord of the Sith.


The Contenders:


Darth Sidious:


The Verdicts:

Allen: It doesn’t get more Anglican than lawn bowling. Similar to shuffleboard, it’s all about getting as close as possible to your target using a thrown, weighted ball. Now let’s take a look at our challengers. Sauron, the titular Lord of the Rings, has identity issues. Once a human for many years, he eventually abandoned his human form and took up the infamous Eye of Sauron form that he presents himself as in Tolkien’s epic novels. He can possess people probably, he can most likely, I dunno, squint really hard and move mountains, and, most importantly, he can roll a mean seven-ten split. His bowling skills were only elucidated in specific editions of The Silmarillion, but hitting pins does not a good lawn bowler make. Sidious also changed forms throughout his time as the Skywalker’s “creepy uncle who also wants to make us commit genocide” role, cliche as it is. His power is influence over anything else, despite what those damn video games will tell you about “Force Lightning” and “Force Choke” and “Improved Bonus to Lightsaber Crits”. With lawn bowling being a team sport, Sidious has got the motivation and pep to get his fellow bowlers on point. If we’re assuming this is human Sauron, all he can do is raise an undead army and command them to take over some land or something. Oh, and did I mention that Sidious can just use the damn Force to weigh the ball down right next to the jack? Oh, I didn’t? Oh, I’m sorry. I couldn’t you over the sound of Midichlorians not existing.\

Magellan: For this puzzler of a Monday Match-Up (would we have it any other way?) I’m going to make three key assumptions: First, I’m going to go ahead and say that “lawn bowling” is synonymous with “bocce,” if only because “bocce” is much more fun to say and sounds like the kind of game that two diabolical, older entities would play together. Second, I’m assuming that, however much it goes against character logic and the general rules of war (or lack thereof) that govern the Dark Side, Sidious has agreed not to employ the Force to give himself an advantage. That’s the only way we can make this contest fair, since any game that relies solely on physics would be irreparably broken by so much as a well-timed wrist-flick from the chubbiest Youngling, even with one of those glorified colanders they call training helmets on their head. Third, I’m taking it as given that Sauron isn’t manifesting as a fifty-foot fiery cat eye, but rather as the armored dude from the beginning of Fellowship. And therein lies the crux of my argument. Sure, Sauron has the strength and the precision to make some great shots at the pallino (another fun “bocce”-related word), but he just doesn’t have the maneuverability necessary to make some of the tricky finesse shots that will send Sidious over the top. You’ve got to admit, even with the pounds of skin that constituted Sidious’s eye brow region, he always looked nothing if not comfortable. He probably wasn’t even wearing anything under that robe.

Jim: The interesting thing about this scenario seems to be the issue of whether Sauron is a fiery eye, or a somewhat less immolated death king. I for one choose to believe that Sauron couldn’t bowl as such, as one eye would severely lack any kind of depth perception. Instead, I think that the contenders are an old politician, and a healthy, immortal death angel. Let’s face the facts. Politicians don’t make the best sportsmen. We’ve all seen Barack Obama playing basketball, and it is rumored that he only ran for president after the WNBA kicked him out due to his “uninteresting ball –play”. Could Sidious really do all that much better in bowling? Sure the death star probably has a bowling arena, but judging from the hunch in his step, Sidious wouldn’t even be able to pick up a 10 pound ball without seeing his local Twilek chiropractor. Besides, what with ruling over a galactic empire, Sidious hasn’t had much down time since he looked slightly less wrinkly. Sauron on the other hand looks stronger than Sidious’s brow furrows. Sure, his precision might have been dulled by using a gigantic mace for years, but what with lugging around a set of armor for millennia, and bench-pressing Oliphants, he could just throw boulders down the lane and crush people. Magic ring or not, this fallen angel looks like he’s fallen into the history books. Sauron wins lawn bowling, no contest.


The Results:


Darth Sidious wins 2-1


In a radical turn of events, the wrinkly old politician wins again. Nobody could have seen that coming since the 2000 presidential election. Political Comedy. Join us next time for some more cutting edge fan fiction.



Monday Match-Ups: Gandalf vs. Magneto


The Setup

Ian McKellen is a wonderfully diverse actor. His most famous roles include Gandalf, and Magneto, radically different characters. One is a grey haired wizard with mystical powers, while the other is a grey haired mutant with mystical powers. But what if these two characters were to battle each other in the field of battle? And by field of battle of course we mean chess.

The Contenders


The Verdicts

Allen: There’s something inherently cerebral about a good game of chess. When both players are at the top of their game, and are able to predict each other’s moves several steps ahead, chess is incredible to watch. With two intellectual giants like Gandfalf (we’re assuming this is Gandalf the White right now) and The Brotherhood of Mutants’ leader Magneto, we need to decide how much their powers are allowed to interfere in the game. If it’s just a pure mental battle, Magneto has to take the win. I mean, the guy had to wear a metal helmet just to keep his thoughts from being psychically probed for info. You know there’s something special up there if that’s the case. Gandalf has the heart and soul, and he’s clearly a clever wizard, but chess isn’t about keeping your little hobbit friends alive in danger and defeating monsters. It’s a mental game, and nobody has the fortitude and mental alacrity that it takes to crush their opponent in chess like Max Eisenhart. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Wizard Dude! BROTHERHOOD FOR LIFE!

Magellan: You’d think that a match-up which takes two incredibly powerful beings (a wizard and a super-powered mutant) and puts them in a situation where their awesome abilities mean absolute jack would be boring. But, such is not the case when talking about a Monday Match-Up. After all, while both of these men have stunning powers that could destroy a mere man in seconds, they also are both extremely mentally capable, with Gandalf nicely falling into the role of the wizened wizard sage, and Magneto as a charismatic intellectual and crusader for minority rights. This is not a simple decision to make, as both men have their advantages and strategic know-how. Magneto, for sure, is a leader of men (or mutants, I suppose), and we’ve seen him play chess numerous times onscreen before, so we know that he’s skilled at the game itself. However, and this goes against all my mutant-loving, X-Men fanboy instincts, Gandalf’s encounter with Balrog shows that he knows how to make a well-timed sacrifice and come back much stronger. So, despite Magneto’s superior experience with the game, I think Gandalf is enough of a wildcard strategy-wise to tip the scales.

James: When it comes down to it, chess is a game about taking definitive actions. Every move must be carefully plan, and all options measured and weighed. Gandalf just doesn’t have the edge in this. Sure, he is a wise wizard, but while he is manipulative, he doesn’t plan very well. Magneto is a mutant who is well versed in manipulation, and his plans are only foiled by an entire team of mutants getting lucky. The man is a master tactician who clearly enjoys playing chess against one of the greatest telepaths on earth. So why does he still win? Simple.  Magneto is a super mutant who plays chess like a master.  And in any case, if he uses the metal chessboard that he did in X-Men : The Last Stand, he can just swap the pieces while Gandalf isn’t looking. He isn’t above that.  Dirty rotten mutants.

The Results

Magneto wins 2-1

In the epic game of the century, two fictional characters drew the crowd of the century. The stakes were high, but in the end only one wizened character remained. Now Ian McKellen can go back to doing what he does best: hanging out with Patrick Stewart.

Monday Match-Ups: Abraham Lincoln vs. Frank Underwood

House of Cards The Setup

 There are two types of politicians in the world. Those that are honest, trustworthy and smart, and those who are tricky, manipulative and arrogant. There are also the politicians who don’t seem to do anything, but that wouldn’t make for an interesting matchup. With that in mind, this week we take the historical goody-two shoes Abraham Lincoln, and match him against the fictional master scoundrel Frank Underwood from the television show House of Cards to see who would win the prestigious title of high school president.

The Contenders

Abraham Lincoln:
Frank Underwood:

The Verdicts

Allen: I’ve always been a fan of high school election episodes of sitcoms, mostly due to how they play with the characters’s motivations in interesting ways. The nerdy kid runs for president, the popular one seems to be the winner by a landslide due to bribery or other populist tactics, and then the underdog wins in the end because people like a president who will actually help them in the long run.

Since this is a high school election though, and it’s between two political masters, the situation is a little bit more complicated. While Frank Underwood has the tact and ruthlessness of a perfect Shakespearean villain, I can only imagine him being the awkward kid in the election who wears suits all the time. In the other corner, you’ve got Abe Lincoln, who was known to be quite the likable, if not grossly unattractive young man. Let me set one thing straight before I declare my choice; Underwood is a better politician. He’s heartless, clever, and he has this incredible ability to make one think that they are in control of their own words and actions, even as he pulls the strings from behind a velvet curtain. But Abe is just plain honest, like his nickname says. In a fictional, “Clone High meets Community” episode (which sounds amazing if you think about it), Frank has this election in the bag. But in real life, or in the real life that is Monday Match-Up, Mr. Lincoln just knows his audience perfectly. He could list out ten ideas for a new and improved water fountain maintenance system, and students would just eat it up. Underwood would sell you on some lofty goal of no homework and mandatory nap time, but it’s all dust in the wind at the end of the day. If we’re being completely honest, Abe takes the win.

Magellan: As both a history major and a lover of television, this Match-Up is particularly troubling for me. On the one hand, I feel the urge to champion a man who has been regarded for over a century as one of the most important presidents in American history. On the other, I can’t help but shake my timid appreciation for Frank Underwood’s unyielding political cunning. In any regular election, Underwood may have his work cut out for him, having to compete against such a towering figure and brilliant orator. However, since this is a high school election, I think things end up being a little simpler. Sure, Lincoln was an influential man, but by all accounts he had a funny voice and he was given to rambling anecdotes. Couple that with his lankiness and you have the recipe for a real nerd, for the kind of class election candidate who, while people may nod for after hearing a speech, would not be taken seriously by the student body. Underwood has the clear advantage, with his flashy, modern political edge and his valuing power over integrity. Plus, if push comes to shove, he has television-star good looks to fall back on, whereas Abe just has that weird cheek bump thing. Although, in his defense he has a rad beard and a cool hat, which the kids may find pretty “gnarly.” It’s just so hard to keep track of the fashions these days.

James: To look at the contestants, first we need to look at their standing in the school. Neither of the two contestants is particularly handsome or popular. Abe, though on the wrestling team would be far too tall and gawky to be accepted, whereas Underwood would probably have been captain of the debate team. In order for either of them to win, they would have to be at the top of their game. Abe would probably opt for honesty and good political leadership. This approach, while effective for the United States Presidency, would pale in the face of a shallow high school position. Underwood would opt for something much more underhanded. Perhaps he would strike a deal with the teachers of the school, or cash in favors for the different clubs. Somehow, some way, Underwood would manage to force Lincoln out of the running, possibly besmirching his honest title in a debate that leaves poor old Abe looking like a loser. Either way, Underwood would ensure a victory for himself.

The Results

Frank Underwood wins 2-1

Well, now it looks like the school is in trouble. With Underwood in office, the school will certainly be a much more interesting place. Expect to see major lobbying firms ruling the high school, while Frank mysteriously earns piles of cash. Looks like math class in not the only place we’re going to see some graft. (Do you get it? Because it sounds like graph? I don’t know why I even try.) Anyways, let’s save the politics till next November.

Monday Match-Ups: Einstein vs. Newton

Einstein vs. NewtonThe Setup

As you all know, most of the Match-Ups here at Pop Modern are pretty high-minded fare, the kinds of pressing questions that plague men’s minds and keep us all up at night. We tackle the hard questions, the “Kirk vs. Picard”s and the “Justice League vs. Avengers”s of the world. Of course, not every question is infused with such gravitas. Sometimes a question pops into our minds, demanding to be answered. That’s why this week we’re exceeding the speed of light to take a trip through time, pulling two scientific greats into our wormhole of banality to ask…Who would win a weightlifiting competition, Einstein or Newton?

The Contenders

Albert Einstein:
Sir Isaac Newton:

The Verdicts

Allen: It’s the Thriller From Wurttemberg versus the Pride of Lincolnshire! Newton’s mastery of concrete physics gives him a distinct edge in this battle of intellectual titans. By measuring the circumference of the barbell and multiplying it by the area of his muscle mass…I dunno, he could probably make the weights float or something. In his home back in merry England, manual labor was a necessity for survival. Strong muscle mass, heavy repetitions, and that classic British cynicism all contribute to Newton’s fantastic workout plan. Unfortunately, my only real glimpses into Mr. Einstein’s life are a picture of him with his tongue out, and the fictionalized version of him in Jonathan Hickman’s Manhattan Projects. Newton would actually fit quite well in that world, but he’d probably be killed at birth or switched with an evil clone within two issues of his introduction. Einstein’s distinct grasp of quantum physics would help with training and preparing for the match, but up there, in front of millions of people, he’d collapse under pressure. I mean, the man had to tell people he wasn’t Einstein because he was so sick of “explaining that formula he did”. It’s hard to be such an iconic scientist, and that kind of anxiety can mess with anyone in a public competition. Even though he lived around 200 years after Newton, I feel like Sir Isaac could lift the pants off of that wiry German savant based merely on confidence, preparation, and low expectations.

James: Let’s get down to the most epic weightlifting competition of the century. Well, the 20th and 17th centuries, but let’s not pull hairs. I’m going to switch things up and focus not on their physical prowess but their ideas. Newton at first seems like he would be an easy choice. The master of calculus is an expert of force, and would use his advantage to push down Einstein’s bar. Cold, but the master alchemist would do anything for his victory. Einstein seems fragile, but he has a few things going for him. Lifting the bar in an accelerating field, Einstein would reduce the apparent force of gravity. For his next trick he would set Newton on a spaceship going near the velocity of light. The mass of the bar would increase in proportion to the velocity, therefore, the bar would fall so far. Einstein wins. E=mc2. Science, bitches.

Magellan: The thing I love about this ridiculous Match-Up is how utterly it takes these contestants out of their respective elements. After all, in one corner you have a posh-looking Englishman, and in the other a man whose major form of youthful exercise was pencil-pushing at the patent office. Cracking this nut is going to take some extra force. Now, this is the part of the verdict where I’d take a moment to describe what it takes to be good at weight-lifting, but I hardly think I’m qualified to comment on such a matter. Let’s just assume that success in such a competition requires both strength and form. Let’s also assume that both of these well-respected, world-changing physicists didn’t get into that business because of their abundance of muscles. So really, it’s a question of posture, and although I have a lot of respect for Einstein and his untamed head-party, I think Newton has the market cornered on the whole posture and form thing. 

The Results

Sir Isaac Newton wins 2-1

Boy, good thing we got that one out of our system. Now we can stop speculating on scientists and monumental historical figures and go back to studying what really matters: cartoon characters and superheroes, that sort of thing. Really, we wouldn’t be able to occupy ourselves with such complex, important subject matter if it weren’t for men like Einstein and Newton. Truly, we stand on the shoulders of giants.

Monday Match-Ups: HIMYM vs. Friends

HIMYM vs. FriendsThe Setup

Tonight is a big night for us television fans here at Pop Modern, as it marks the premiere of How I Met Your Mother‘s ninth and final season. This has been one of favorite sitcoms for years now, and we thought it only fitting to ring in the new season with a little friendly competition. And, speaking of “friendly,” who better to match up against Mosby & Co. than the titular Friends? After all, the two groups are strikingly similar in their chemistry and their roles (a fact which has been pointed out time and time again). So, we knew we wanted to pit HIMYM against the show that paved the way, but we weren’t quite sure what would be the best competition to test the mettle of two groups of friends. And then it hit us, and we decided to ask…Who would win in a game of charades, the characters from How I Met Your Mother or from Friends?

The Contenders

How I Met Your Mother

The Verdicts

Allen: I never really got into Friends, but it was always a nearby beacon of pop culture during my childhood. On the other hand, I only discovered How I Met Your Mother back in 2011 when my two collaborators here wouldn’t stop recommending it to me. In a game of charades, the HIMYM team takes the prize. Even though they’re both groups of affluent white people living in New York apartments, I feel like Shmoseby and the gang know each other more intimately. From my brief experience with charades, the best players seem to be the ones who know each other so well, and have consumed so much of the same media, that they can predict each other’s thoughts without words. For example, Ted could point to his feet and marvel at some imaginary piece of footwear, and Marshall would be able to guess “red cowboy boots”. I’m sure there are plenty of similar gags in Friends, but I can’t exactly imagine Ross understanding that Chandler gesturing like a madman to his head would mean “turkey”. Still, it’d be a close game, and I like to imagine that they’d all get a drink at MacLaren’s afterward and laugh about the whole thing with the live studio audience.

James: Let’s get down to the facts. The crew of friends within Friends is good, but they are no How I Met Your Mother. While the friends within Friends are close, they are not as close as the friends within How I Met Your Mother. Let’s examine the telepathy within How I Met Your Mother: The characters Ted and Marshall are telepathic, and Marshall and Lily are also telepathic. While Robin and Lily are known to have misunderstandings, the fact is, the populace of How I Met Your Mother has the distinct advantage. Also, the actors themselves are unequally matched. While Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segal sing the soundtrack to Les Misérables,the cast of Friends isn’t seen together in real life much anymore. Therefore, it seems likely that Friends will not win the competition, and How I Met Your Mother would win charades.

Magellan: While I respect my fellow writers here a great deal, I think both of them are being swayed by two egregious biases: one, that they’ve seen more of How I Met Your Mother, and thus feel more connected to its characters; and two, that How I Met Your Mother is at present a more active force in popular culture, clouding the public memory of Friends. And that’s understandable, considering the similarities between both shows. However, I think that the Friends crew is much more tight-knit. After all, unlike the HIMYM cast, many of the Friends characters have known each other for quite a while. Monica and Ross are siblings for Pete’s sake, and given their childhood lameness probably played their fair share of charades. Also, both of them have known Rachel since high school, and Ross and Chandler have been best friends since college. Sure, the same can be said of Ted and Marshall, but none of the HIMYM cast have been friends since childhood. The HIMYM bunch also has more rogue elements (Barney and The Mother) who we either don’t know much about or who would be hard to understand in a game of charades given their specific view of life. The only Friends friend that can be framed that way is Phoebe, since everyone else has either been a roommate, sibling, or true love of at least one other person in the group. All I’m saying is that Friends didn’t get it’s name for being about a bunch of strangers who never got to know each other at all.

The Results

How I Met Your Mother wins 2-1

Well, there you have it, a close-knit, real group of friends splintering over who is the closest-knit, fictional group of friends. If you’d like to partake in this sort of tension-centric celebration of the HIMYM premiere, feel free to vote in our poll or voice your opinion in the comments below. And after that, maybe circulate this article to your own friends over an affluent, urban game of charades in lieu of going to work or dealing with any sort of financial hardship. Sure sounds fun to us.

Monday Match-Ups: Daffy Duck vs. Bugs Bunny

Daffy Duck vs. Bugs BunnyThe Setup

What’s up, docs? All right, we know, we’re sorry, that was a hackneyed intro. But, sometimes it feels good to go with the easy path. Besides, we here at Pop Modern have been feeling a bit stale lately, so we’ve decided to dig deeper into our pop culture roots to find a worthy Match-Up. This week, we’re going to let our hair out, and we’re going to get loony, since we’re taking two television legends out of their underground holding pens and into our gladiatorial arena: Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny. Of course you know, this means war. Our burning question this week…Who would win a game of chess, Daffy Duck or Bugs Bunny?

The Contenders

Daffy Duck:
Bugs Bunny:

The Verdicts

Allen: The key to being a successful chess player is not only an intimate knowledge of both the game and your opponent, but also a feel for the game’s overall trajectory. At what point is Bugs going to cackle as he sacrifices his second pawn? Is Daffy going to respond with a defensive maneuver of some sort? It’s this intimate understanding of the game that leads to some of its most famous matches. Bugs and Daffy are both smart gentleman. With decades of outsmarting each other and various other people, they clearly understand the calculating nature of a game like chess. Only a true savant would use dynamite to blow up his friend’s duck bill so severely that it spun to the back of his head. But there’s something devious behind that wide orange bill and those devious black feathers. Daffy was often portrayed as the tragically foolish imbecile in his most famous public outings. When he wasn’t having his plans foiled by simple intuition or deadly weapons, he was always planning his next move. That’s why I think Mr. Duck would win in this duel of champions; he’s the underduck. Just when it seems like Bugs Bunny has him surrounded, and all the pieces are in place for a checkmate, Daffy would find the one flaw in Bugs’ plan. Like the tortoise and the hare, his advantage in the game would be consistency. With no history of success or hubris, Daffy can put everything on the line and win from behind in this mental duel of anthropomorphic adepts.

James: Bugs wins, but not for the reason you would expect. Settling down for their bout, Bugs and Daffy are already unmatched. The bout begins with the decision of who gets white. The argument goes as expected, with Bugs using his tricky switch. I get white! You get black! I get white! You get black! I get black! No, You get white! Bugs thus starts out with white. Bugs is not really a smart character as much as he is clever. As he is not an academic, his tricks would all be mind games, rather than classical chess moves. Instead of the Rasputin defense, Bugs would switch the pieces on the board while Daffy is not looking. But the one move that Daffy could not counter would be the classic Bugs trick. Bugs is not averse to using the wiles of a feminine influence on his opponents, choosing to trick the nimrods with a well-placed dress and some mascara. The piece de resistance would come when Bugs turned his King into a Queen, thus doubling the power of his royals on the board. With this coup de grace Bugs would turn the table and win the Jeux Nationale d’Échecs. Because it would be in France.

Magellan: This is a tricky Match-Up to approach for two reasons: one, these are cartoon characters, so they can pull any kind of shenanigans they want to mess with the established rules of chess; and two, Bugs Bunny pretty much never loses at anything. Now, that second one isn’t a hard and fast rule, but the Vegas odds are on Bugs no matter the contest. For the purposes of this argument, though, let’s assume that both of these despicable fellows are laying down arms (and bombs) and playing by the rules. No funny business. Or at least, not an unfair amount of funny business. So, we have Bugs and Daffy sitting in a park somewhere, peacefully starting a game of chess. I enjoyed the way James above me explained how the order of play would be determined, so let’s roll with that and say Bugs tricked Daffy and he now has first move. Now, knowing Bugs, he can easily play mind games and lull Daffy into a false sense of security, culminating in him pulling off some complicated gambit to clinch the win. But doesn’t that sound anticlimactic? Bugs just…winning a friendly game of chess? I don’t know about you, but if I was Bugs I wouldn’t care about some dumb board game. Daffy obviously would, though, since he constantly feels the need to prove himself. The way I see it, Bugs throws the game, letting his pitiable pal feel good about himself, and then hands over his beloved carrot as a trophy. Daffy is giddy with pride, so he takes a bit of the carrot without noticing the fuse trailing back to Bugs. The thing blows and Daffy is sporting a back-bill for weeks. He won the game, but he lost the war.

The Results

Daffy Duck wins 2-1

Well talk about not being hackneyed! Looks like we’ve not only gotten ourselves out our funk, we’ve gotten Daffy out of his too, finally finding him a contest he can win. Of course, knowing Daffy, he probably won’t give us a lick of credit. He’s despicable. It’s times like this that we all wonder what the venerable Porky Pig would have to say. We think it would go a little something like this: “W-w-w-w-w-w-w-well that was bullsh*t!” Gosh. The mouth on that guy.

Monday Match-Ups: The Flintstones vs. The Jetsons

The Flintstones vs. The JetsonsThe Setup

If the last half hour of Meet the Parents and the same five Malcolm in the Middle reruns we see on cable have taught us anything, it’s that family is the most important thing in this world. Family members will stick by you through thick and thin, and will always be there to pick you up when you’re down, to support you when times are tough, and to take you to that one drive-through that inexplicably serves car-teetering dinosaur ribs. And, it’s comforting to know that family has been and always will be there, from the Stone Age to the Space Age. Of course, what’s a good family gathering without a little conflict? That’s why this week we’re throwing a wrench in floating treadmill system by asking…Which family would win Family Feud, The Flintstones or The Jetsons?

The Contenders

The Flintstones: Fred Flintstone, Wilma Flinstone, Pebbles Flintstone, Barney Rubble, Betty Rubble
The Jetsons: George Jetson, Jane Jetson, Judy Jetson, Elroy Jetson, Rosie

The Verdicts

Allen: As the stage lights turn to focus on our contestants, the crowd gets a look at the two families competing today. Fred’s in one corner picking his teeth with a prehistoric fish bone, ready to win some money. The Jetsons have been preparing all week, and they have the benefit of a robot maid to potentially give them answers. But what does it take to truly be “good” at a game show? Besides luck, it requires reflexes, know-how, and teamwork. As a family unit, the Flintstones have this game in the bag. Without the distractions of the Jetsons’ floating utopia to keep them busy, the Flintstones had time to sit around the stone dinner table and just practice some Family Feud. Even with the benefit of years and years of research, the Jetsons couldn’t find time to learn any of the tricks or even the rules of the game. Rosie manages to stumble upon a good answer at the toss-up, but nobody expected little baby Pebbles to score the top answer on the board. Betty and Wilma also did quite a bit of people-watching at the hair salon just a day before this match, and the family wins the game in a legendary sweep.

James: From the first look at the nuclear families, it would seem that they’re both lacking something: the right number of contestants. Sure, Wilma, Fred and Pebbles are capable, but they still need 2 members, and those members really make or break the team. So who do they choose? Bamm-Bamm could work, or even Dino, but it’s fairly obvious to me that the Flintstones would have to bring in Barney and Betty, who are technically not family members, but close enough for television. I would like to submit that the fan theory is true, and that the Flintstones actually came after the Jetsons, due to their technology which revived the dinosaurs. I would also like to submit that the Flintstones are still a Stone Age family, and as such, they lack any sort of contact with social media. The Jetsons on the other hand clearly have the advantage when it comes to knowledge of pop culture. Plus, for their fifth member, they can just reprogram Rosie their robotic maid. Hey, that’s not against the rules yet. It seems pretty obvious to me that the Jetsons have the competitive advantage.

Magellan: In my opinion, the best Monday Match-Ups are the one’s that seem like no-brainers at first glance, but are actually much more complex the deeper you dig. After all, if you boil this one down to “Who would do better in a game show, a caveman or a spaceman?” the overwhelming majority will favor the spaceman (especially those of us who lost a half an hour of our lives to the first episode of ABC’s Cavemen). Factor in with that the fact that the spacemen have a walking, talking computer-for-brains maid on their team and it all spells Earth-shattering, meteor-sized annihilation for the Flintstone family. However, and I hate to say this on account of my not-so-shameful crush on Jane Jetson (I feel she is unfairly marginalized in the theme song, but that’s a conversation for another mindless ramble), I think the Flintstones still have the edge here. See, if this were any game other than Family Feud, I might see the Jetsons walking away with a victory. As it stands, though, Family Feud isn’t about smarts, it’s about common sense, it’s about really knowing your fellow man. Sure, the Jetsons have flying cars and a fancy robot, but they’re isolated in their future bubbles. The Flintstones have worked shoulder-to-shoulder with their fellow Bedrockians to rebuild their post-nuclear, post-mutation, post-apocalyptic wasteland of a home (once again, another mindless ramble). Not only are the Flintstones better-equipped to play a game all about knowing the thoughts of the common man, they also have so much more to gain by winning.

The Results

The Flintstones win 2-1

It gets tiring sometimes, to be split on the Match-Up verdicts every week. But hey, it’s a living. Not really, though, since none of us here at Pop Modern are going to be spending our mounds of blog cash on a sassy robot maid and a hoop-skirt-clad trophy wife anytime soon. For now, we’re content to pass the time with our families, and to picture Bamm-Bamm furiously whacking Richard Dawson on the head after he tries to lay some of that sweaty charm on Betty Rubble, with Barney belly laughing in the background. Those are the kinds of thoughts that make years of pop culture obsession worthwhile.