gemified | May 24th, 2011 - 12:00 am

Sitting aloft on the Mastermind Champion’s chair one could forgive Tina ‘The Slayer’ Cesa Ward for becoming complacent. Her dominance in this arena has remained unchallenged, by ABMer and ABM fan alike. However, Tina has welcomed the challenge and has eagerly anticipated someone worthy of the crown she has worn for so long.

In the opposite corner, Maggie Zerger, though perhaps not known to many, her ABM knowledge should not be counted out. If I have learnt anything over the past few months it’s that the knowledge possessed by fans and ABMers alike is nothing if not surprising. ABM has a way of sinking deep into a person’s subconscious and before you realise it ABM quotes are part of your vernacular.

With The Slayer’s brain “fried” after hours of editing, and the challenger not having studied, they will need to rely on their previous knowledge. In the ultimate test, against perhaps her toughest opponent, would the Champion still know her ABM?

1.       What were the first lines of the premiere episode?

Tina: Okay, I hear the horn…
ABMFans: Yup.
Tina: Ah. Wait.  “We went down to Battery Park, sun was setting, she looked amazing, I could barely look at her.  How could I tell her I was leaving…”
ABMFans: See, this is why you’re champion.

Maggie: We went out to Battery Park. The sun was setting. Something close to that, it’s the beginning of all fan videos.

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Correct. Half a point.

2.       How many episodes have Susan Miller and Tina Cesa Ward co-written?

Tina: Okay give me a minute to count. And I’m just doing Seasons 1 and 2.
ABMFans: Yup 1 and 2.
Tina: 11.
ABMFans: I don’t know the answer for Season 3!
Tina: This is true.

Maggie: Five.

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Incorrect.

3.       Which class is Vivian trying to find when she first meets Archibald?

Tina: Something about Moby Dick, so I’m going to say…and she ended up in gym. Okay I’ll take a stab it’s either English or Literature.  I’ll go with Literature.
ABMFans: A particular kind of Literature for full points…
Tina: Oh boy. Well considering Moby Dick, I’ll go with American.

Maggie: I know she finds boys gym. I think World Lit.

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Incorrect.

4.       What state is Aster’s fake driver’s licence from?

Tina: Montana. I think I’m actually right. I hope. I remember it being an odd choice.
ABMFans: Nicole’s gonna be upset.
Tina: Ha! No doubt.
ABMFans: I told her she’d get a prize if she was the only one who got that.
Tina: A ha! Then I must be right. And I’m glad she remembered.
ABMFans: Apparently she has a photographic memory.
Tina: Me too.
ABMFans: Well then no wonder!

Maggie: Montana.
ABMFans: How the heck do you know that?
Maggie: I was trying to figure out how the heck they picked such a middle of nowhere state. It was a prop that stuck out.

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Correct.

5.       What are the directions Vivian gives Archibald to get to The Public Theatre?

Tina: Take the R at 42nd Street downtown, get off at 8th Street. I know that at the least it was the “R” because I was not happy to snub my “N” train.
ABMFans: You know you’re one of the writers, you could’ve changed it.
Tina: True, but it seemed silly.

Maggie: Left. Right. Go all the way down? No idea.
ABMFans: I’m talking subway directions.
Maggie: I know the subway was the Downtown R or something.

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Correct. Half a point.

6.       Sophie lists five artists on her playlist. Name three of them:

Tina: Sarah McLachlan (I can never spell her last name right so be kind). Tom Waits. Lady Gaga.

Maggie: Sh*t! Killing me here.  Alanis Morrisette. Jewel.
ABMFans: Um if you can get Montana I think you can get this…
Maggie: Sarah McLachlan. Total guess there. I knew a girl from Montana, that’s one reason it stuck out.
ABMFans: Whatever works.

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Correct. Half a point.

7.       On what days does Elisabeth listen to Lauryn Hill’s ‘That Thing’?

Tina: What’s with all the Interludes? Come on!
ABMFans: Hey, it’s all ABM.
Tina: When she’s not feeling right or something.

Maggie: Days that she’s down or stressed.

Tina: Incorrect.
Maggie: Incorrect.

8.       What is the name of the teacher whose class Aster does a video essay for?

Tina: Ugh, come on!
ABMFans: It’s a perfectly valid question.
Tina: Lipnicki. Not sure why that popped into my head, and I’m sure it’s wrong. Oh well.  I surrender to getting some wrong answers. Oh wait, Lipnicki is that kid from Jerry Maguire, crazy. Oh well.
ABMFans: Yes that is indeed the kid from Jerry Maguire. And to be fair, you’re close. But no.
Tina: Oh well. At least it was close. That’s something.
ABMFans: Closer than Nicole’s “Mr.”
Tina: Ha! Does she get part of a point for that?
ABMFans: I’m afraid not; I said I wasn’t that mean but I’m not that kind either.
Tina: That would be an easy point.
ABMFans: Too easy.

Maggie: No idea. Want a guess?
ABMFans: Sure.
Maggie: It’s some Wiki. That’s all I can think of. Wonski. Noviki.

Tina: Incorrect.
Maggie: Incorrect.

9.       Who are Vivian and Sophie playing in the run through of ‘The Seagull’ in the Season 2 finale?

Tina: Nina and Trigoran (I know that wasn’t spelled right, sorry Chekhov).

Maggie: You have to bring that episode up?
ABMFans: It happened, I can’t change the past. We just have to accept it and move on…
Maggie: Sophie is Nina. Viv is the dude. Choran or something. Torvran.
ABMFans: I don’t think Chekhov wrote a character called ‘The Dude.’

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Correct. Half a point.

10.    If Vivian is the “fierce lesbian journalist,” what is Archibald?

Tina: Black dude with super drawing powers. Fingers crossed. I know part of that is at least right.

Maggie: Oh come on!
ABMFans: It’s a perfectly valid question.
Maggie: Cool black artist?

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Incorrect.

11.    At which intersection is Aster standing at when she calls Vivian at the start of episode 2 of Season 1?

Tina: Oh how we can never forgot that horrible place to film. I know it’s 125th, hold please.
ABMFans: No pressure, but everyone else has gotten this right.
Tina: I’ll go with 125th and Park. I always forget if it’s Park or Lexington. I’m going with Park. Fingers crossed.

Maggie: Park and 125th.

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Correct.

12.    What poster is on the wall of Aunt Jodie’s office?

Tina: The Smiths baby!

Maggie: You mean the ones she can give Viv? Or are you talking about The Smiths on her wall when she comes out in the letter?
ABMFans: That one.

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Correct.

13.    Which Engine Company was Gabe with when he was a fire fighter?

Tina: Do we actually say in the episode? I think this is a trick. I tend to get the Ladder and Engine numbers mixed up.
ABMFans: Nope, it’s definitely said.
Tina: Really?
ABMFans: Yes? Now you’re making me doubt it!
Tina: Oh boy. And I believe I wrote that scene. I’ll go with Engine 1. Damn I think I got another answer wrong.
ABMFans: If it was Ladder what would you have gone with?
Tina: One.
ABMFans: Okay, well I’ll recheck before I mark yours.
Tina: Very gracious.
ABMFans: Have to be fair and reasonably above board.

Maggie: Number One. It’s the first one in NYC history.

Tina: Incorrect.
Maggie: Correct (See answer to Q15).

14.    Which homeroom are Vivian, Elisabeth, and Sophie in?

Tina: Ms. Lannin.
ABMFans: You’re ridiculous, in the best kind of way.
Tina: Lannin was a teacher I had in grade school.
ABMFans: Ahh, inside knowledge.
Tina: There you go.
ABMFans: Still ridiculous.

Maggie: Sh*t! Landin? Lanins? Landis? It’s an L.
ABMFans: Pick one of your guesses.
Maggie: Lanins.

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Correct.

15.    In which episode does ABM’s intern, Meredith King, make a cameo appearance?

Tina: She’s in a lot of them actually. Do you mean the first time? If it’s the first time, it’s episode 2 season 2, I believe.
ABMFans: Yup, first time? Really, I’ll have to keep a better eye out for her.
Tina: No don’t. It’s sad our lack of extras.
ABMFans: Well you know, if you came to London I could solve that problem.
Tina: For extras, we will come to London!
ABMFans: Deal!

Maggie: The wedding ep?
ABMFans: Is that your answer?
Maggie: That’s not the title of the ep.
ABMFans: I know that.
Maggie: Don’t know it. Just like I remember it was House One but Engine Company 10. I suck at this.

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Incorrect.

16.    What is the name of the taxi company Aunt Jodie uses in her role playing exercise with Gabe to help him in his job applications?

Tina: Hmm. Sunshine. I say with trepidation. I know it was something kind of funny and it wasn’t like Yellow Cab or anything.
ABMFans: Like I said, there’s a reason you’re the champion.

Maggie: Sunshine. I know it’s not yellow.

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Correct.

17.    How old was Vivian when Sophie was “a part of her confusion?”

Tina: 12.

Maggie: Sh*t. She was 11 or 12. 12?
ABMFans: You’re the one answering the questions not me dude.
Maggie: 12.

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Correct.

18.    What song does Rachael Hip-Flores sing in the ‘ABM: By Request’ video for the web-a-thon?

Tina: It’s in Spanish and there is no way I will get this.
ABMFans: I just found out what the translation was the other day.
Tina: Something Flamenco, and that’s all I can give sadly. I think she told me the translation, but that’s escaping me as well.
ABMFans: It’s something about frogs/toads.
Tina: Yeah, I remember it was odd.
ABMFans: I never would’ve guessed that song was about amphibians. But whatever works I guess.
Tina: It sounded lovely.
ABMFans: It did. She’s talented, that Rachael.

Maggie: It’s in Spanish!
ABMFans: Yes it is.
Maggie: Do I have to spell this right?
ABMFans: Nope. As long as it looks vaguely right.
Maggie: Cuando Sapos Balle Flamenco.
ABMFans: See, you know more than you thought you did.

Tina: Incorrect.
Maggie: Correct.

19.    How many episodes do not have the theme song playing over the end credits?

Tina: Okay, give me a sec to count. Oh shoot, I almost gave you how many HAVE it; seven do not.
ABMFans: Now you’re just scary.
Tina: Well, we haven’t used a lot of music, so it’s not too hard to remember who we have used.

Maggie: Three.

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Incorrect.

20.    Pick a number from one to twenty.

Tina: If you could see the expression on my face. Is this a, “leave feeling good about yourself question?”
ABMFans: There’s a follow on part.
Tina: Oh okay. I’ll go with 17.
ABMFans: What was the name of that episode? So Season 3, ep7.
Tina: Nice. So now there’s math involved.
ABMFans: Oops, two. Season 2 would be the one.
Tina: Wait now I’m confused.  So episode 17 of the series.
ABMFans: Yes. Sorry.
Tina: Date Night. Hoping my math is right that it’s episode 7 season 2.
ABMFans: Your math is correct.

Maggie: 11.
ABMFans: What was the name of that episode? So S2, ep1.
Maggie: The Real Thing. That was easy, the rest weren’t.
ABFans: It all depends on what you know.

Tina: Correct.
Maggie: Correct.

As expected, Tina sits high atop the Ultimate Mastermind leader board, and with only two challengers left is it enough to secure the title? Her competition is her fellow ABM goddess, Susan Miller, who put in a less than stellar performance in her previous outing and ABM’s uber-geek extraordinaire, Rachael Hip-Flores. They have a tough mountain to climb, however as Maggie proved, there are holes in Tina’s knowledge that could be exploited. Only time will tell.

2 Responses to “”

  1. willow says:

    just my observation. quite a number of the questions are rachael hip-flores related. I’d be very surprised if she couldnt answer those questions.

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