1023: Late-Night PBS
PBS stands for Public Broadcasting Service and is an American TV broadcaster that is predominantly supported by the viewers themselves through pledge drives. It often runs (and sometimes co-produces) acclaimed British costume dramas, including the mentioned "Downton Abbey".
"Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego" was a computer game series in the mid-80s. The series moved to a game-show TV series in the early from around 1990 to 1995. The point of the series was to learn about geography and the world while playing a game or watching a game show. Carmen Sandiego was a mysterious character that you tracked around the globe, attempting to find clues to find out where she was headed to next.
The Killing Fields are a number of sites in Cambodia where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge regime, during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979, immediately after the end of the Cambodian Civil War (1970-1975).
The reference to "A Bookshelf in a Dutch Apartment" is a reference to Anne Frank, who was a Jewish girl who hid from the Nazis in a Secret Annex hidden behind a bookshelf in an apartment in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She wrote the famous diary, Diary of Anne Frank.
Rockapella was the 'A cappella' group (keeping up the tradition of punny names for a cappella groups) which sang the theme song to "Where in The World Is Carmen Sandiego." 'A cappella' is a loan word from Italian meaning "in the manner of the Church" hearkening back to Gregorian chant; in the 19th century the term evolved to mean any vocalization without accompaniment.
The last frame also makes mention of how some programs intended for children often have subtle themes for adults who may be watching the show with their children.
Ambien, also known as Zolpidem, is a prescription medication used for the treatment of insomnia, as well as some brain disorders. Known side effects are vivid dreams and hallucinations if you wake up (or haven’t yet fallen asleep) while it is still active.
- [Megan is rubbing sleep out of her eyes and talking to Cueball.]
- Megan: Have you ever watched PBS late at night?
- Megan: I fell asleep after Downton and woke up at like 3 AM.
- [The upper portion of the panel continues dialogue, while the lower shows a drunk gameshow host and several contestants. The monitor shows a field of crosses, presumably graves.]
- Megan: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego was back on, except the host hadn't aged well and he'd clearly been drinking.
- Megan: Every question took them to some horrible place like Mogadishu or the Cambodian killing fields.
- [Now it shows a bookshelf revealing a hidden room.]
- Megan: The kids were freaked out, but they kept playing. Eventually they were told they'd found Carmen Sandiego hiding behind a bookshelf in a Dutch apartment.
- Megan: The Chief appeared and asked "Are you proud of what you've become?"
- Megan: Then Rockapella walked out and just glared at the kids until they started crying.
- Cueball: I, uh, don't remember the old show being that dark.
- Megan: Maybe we were too young to pick up on it.