I'm guilty of working pop culture refs into my comic, too, Jesse --- "Life isn’t divided into genres. It’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography, if you're lucky."- Alan Moore
It's hard trying to brain storm what a series can be about. That being the case, having to reference through a lot of ideas that already haven't been overused throughout modern era could be easy. Here's an example: If there was a show about young foreigners that have to live in the U.S. and make something of themselves based on their parents' last dying wishes, but not to give into stereotypes, would THAT be watchable?
I actually agree with Michelle. I think things like Sonny With A Chance, Hannah Montana and even The Suite Life on Deck could be GOOD only if they were handled correctly with better writing, acting and directing. And please. No gags people, Hannah Barbara gaged us out. *_*
That's exactly how I felt after Family Guy. Now I would rather challenge myself by making a story as original as possible than resorting to pop culture as ideas for stories and jokes. After all, how many cartoons before had done something from Star Wars or Star Trek? A lot, right?