The pop culture references don't bother me. The original Flintstones cartoon was loaded with pop culture references, and it's still considered a classic. How many times did the Warner Bros. characters make references to WWII (which was going on while those cartoons were being made)? Even the Muppets (Sesame included) have parodied everything from Star Wars to Placido Domingo. The problem is not, IMHO, that there were pop culture references. The problem is that most of them just weren't all that funny.