It happens that some of the pop culture references I make just don't work, despite my best efforts to keep it as contemporary as possible. Maury and The Bachelorette - effective. Lost - not so much. More generally, I forget that they take certain trends for granted - that, for teenagers, there was never a time before Britney Spears or when slasher and date films weren't, to some degree, self-aware and being actively ironic.
And so, this came out of a discussion of the use of disability in genre films, where I suggested that genre films use physical disability to imply a correlating psychological or moral deformity:
Student 1: That's not true. In Scream, Dewey is disabled but we don't think he's the bad guy.
Neil: Sure, but Scream is an exception. It's poking fun at its genre.
Student 1: No, you're thinking of Scary Movie.
[Other students begin to nod and agree that I must be confusing Scream with Scary Movie.]
Neil: No, I mean Scream.
Student 1: Are we talking about the same movie?
Neil: Scream 1, 2, and 3. With Neve Campbell.
Student 2: With, you know, "Scream". The guy with the white mask.
Neil: With the black robe and the extended face.
Student 3: With Courtney Cox.
Neil: Yeah. It's making fun of horror movies.
[More rumblings that I must still be confusing Scream and Scary Movie.]
Neil: Doesn't anyone remember how all the characters are aware that they're in a horror movie? How they talk about it? How Neve Campbell says that the victims are bimbos who run up the stairs when they should run out the door - and then she runs up the stairs?
Student 1: I don't remember that.
[Looks of confusion and silence from the students]
Neil: Was anyone old enough to see it when it was first released?