Ready, Set, Love – Part 3

It’s finally time for the finale of the Thai drama Ready, Set, Love (เกมชนคนโสด)! When we last left off, our group of contestants had decided it was time to create a revolution by exposing the TV show as rigged. Why the populace would suddenly rise up against the government because a realty show wasn’t entirely real is not explained. Anyway, their first step is to try and make Chanel win the next game. Considering the whole thing is supposed to be rigged for Chanel, the fact that they feel the need to make Chanel win anyway really speaks to how poorly the powers that be are rigging the game. Anyway, Sam has major issues with the next game as a concept, but regardless, Chanel wins and the the conspiracy group manages to get a secret recording of her mother admitting to rigging the games. However, Jenny busts the conspiracy wide open, somehow, and makes them all return to the game except Valentine, who she has arrested. Valentine escapes and magically manages to find her way into the facility where all the mothers who had been unwilling to give up their sons are being imprisoned. As she flees with the footage of the facility she’s shot off a bridge and falls into a river. Meanwhile, Day’s sister May is taken by the government to a hospital and magically cured of her disease. Chanel’s mother explains to Day that this was done, and that she better get in line and play the game right, although since May was already cured, she really has no leverage. Day does not pick up on that fact. As the final game nears, can our group find a way to be with the ones they love? (Hint: Not if they’re Bovy) Will they escape this repressive regime? Will Sam finally a get a game in the show he actually likes? Find out all that and more in this thrilling conclusion!

Inspector Gadget 2

This week Sam brings Danielle the 2003 direct to VHS film Inspector Gadget 2. If you fondly recall the original 1999 film starring Matthew Broderick, or even the Inspector Gadget cartoon, then you’re leagues ahead of Sam and Danielle who only have the vaguest notion of what happened in that first film. Will that stop them from speculating wildly using only the sequel as reference? Absolutely not! So it’s time for a new film and and a new Gadget played by French Stewart. He’s apparently made Riverton so crime free after locking up Claw that he’s bored out of his mind and arresting anyone for the most minor infractions. Things don’t stay tranquil for long as Claw escapes from prison and prepares for a major heist: Steal all the gold from the Federal Reserve Bank which has recently relocated to Riverton for…reasons. But to complete this first heist, he needs to complete three smaller heists to steal materials to make a super-weapon. Sam hates this plan. Meanwhile, Gadget is eager to go after Claw, but is taken off the case by the chief who hates him because he’s constantly glitching and, even though the police made him, they refuse to fix his glitches since he’s just a “prototype”; just amazingly cruel. Anyway, he’s replaced with the fully robotic (and unnecessarily sexy) Gadget 2. While Gadget accepts this, his niece Penny (parents’ status: unknown) pushes him to investigate anyway. Meanwhile, despite Claw stating that he had all his assets seized when he was arrested, he manages to put together some amazingly complex bowling-pin themed gizmos to accomplish his heists. Why is he suddenly a bowling-pin themed villain? That’s an extremely good question! So join us to see if Claw will succeed in his insane plan, if Gadget will redeem himself, and especially if Gadget will find a way to either have sex with the new Gadget or accidentally inspire her to start the robot apocalypse.

Ready, Set, Love – Part 2

Danielle takes us back to the dystopia this week in part two of the Thai drama Ready, Set, Love (เกมชนคนโสด). We rejoin Day and the rest as the games continue on the set of Ready, Set, Love. Well, there’s one game for the show which is far too few for Sam’s liking. However, Day finally realizes she knows Sun from when he was a runaway child and they became friends. At the the same time, Valentine realizes that Almond is her long-lost brother that was stolen from her family just after being born. Also at the same time, Paper is introduced to a radio program by City Ground, a resistance movement against the government, and starts texting the singer on the program somehow. Don’t ask how. Later, Day, Sun, and Paper all sneak out to visit The City, which is surprisingly easy to do, they even have a hilariously impractical car waiting for them in the woods as if by magic. In the city, Paper spends time with his maybe crush, the singer from the radio, who explains that he, and the other members of City Ground, tried to start a revolution, failed, and decided singing the same song on the radio once a day was the next logical course. Valentine is caught sneaking around by (there are so many freaking characters in this) but Valentine reveals to her that the government has been stealing male babies and drugging or imprisoning the parents if they refuse. Jenny, pregnant with a boy, is so distraught she just kinda lets Valentine go. Around this point Sam realizes that, like most dystopian fiction, the government is so freaking dumb at holding power, and that if he and Danielle weren’t so lazy, they’d figure out how to do it right. Regardless, Paper, Day, and Sun meet up with Valentine to start planning the next revolution!

The Secret Kingdom

This week Sam shares with Danielle the 2023 fantasy movie The Secret Kingdom. Peter is your average mopey teen with crippling anxiety and a bubbly younger sister. His family has recently arrived at a new house. We say “arrived” because the real mystery of this movie starts right away as Sam and Danielle try to figure out if the family is moving there, or just there to clean, or what. this mystery is compounded by the fact that when a moving truck arrives the dad drops the bomb that surprise! Their home was foreclosed on, so what does that makes this place? This utterly irrelevant detail completely baffling our hosts really sets the tone for the rest of this movie. Soon Peter’s sister Verity manages to get them both transported to a magic, subterranean kingdom inhabited by large, bipedal pangolins. Verity somehow already speaks their language, and soon Peter is blessed with the pangolin tongue when one of the creatures literally sticks their tongue in his ear. Peter is—surprise, surprise—the chosen one, the prophesied king of the pangolins who must go on an epic quest to defeat a creature of pure evil called the Shroud. How is Peter to do this? Why a fetch-quest of course! He needs to find five pieces of a broken clock hidden around this forgotten world and then fix the clock which will defeat the Shroud. Somehow. No time for questions, they have a quest to do! So off Peter, Verity, and their pangolin companion Pling go through this actually stellar looking world to find the pieces in a quest so utterly simple that it angers Sam and forces Danielle to repeatedly ask “Why couldn’t a pangolin do this?”

Ready, Set, Love – Part 1

This week Danielle returns to the Thai dramas with the 2024 series Ready, Set, Love (เกมชนคนโสด). In an alternate world where a mysterious disease has not only wiped out most men but also made the male birthrate plummet, the only way the to figure out who the precious few men will procreate with is a reality dating show competition. If this makes as little sense to you as it does to Sam, get ready for a wild ride. Day is your average food loving girl with no interest in the impending reality show competition that will pair five lucky women with five of the available men. Why pair each man with only one woman? Don’t ask reasonable questions, this show has no time for your logic. However her spunky, cancer-riddled younger sister May enters her into the lottery to be on the competition since she’s obsessed with the men in the way only a tween can be. Day reluctantly agrees to participate to get her sister the autograph of the main hunk Son (get it? subtlety!). When she learns that if she wins, her and her sister can live in the fancy estate for the men called The Family and her sister will receive the best medical care possible, she goes all in it to win it. Making the baffling choice to abandon and betray an alliance with some of the other girls immediately, Day secures her spot on the show. Son is at first utterly uninterested in her, but when he sees she has a specific necklace Son realizes he’s met her before under mysterious circumstances when they were children. So join us for an episode that has Sam completely hung up on the fact that the future of the human species is seemingly being left up to a reality show competition.

Endymion – Part 6

It’s finally here, the finale of the 1996 Dan Simmons novel Endymion! Where we last left off, Father Captain de Soya had been called back to Pacem to receive new orders and a new crew member. It turns out the pope has been having visions from “God” that have told him the location of Aenea on Sol Draconi Septem. The pope is also declaring a crusade against the ousters, and everyone knows crusades are always a good idea. The new crew member, Rhadamanth Nemes, is a type of super solider being created for this crusade, though de Soya has reservations. Meanwhile, Raul an the others are still with Father Glaucus waiting to make their trek across the wraith infested surface to the next Farcaster portal. The Chichatuk return and they gear up, finally ready to face the wraiths (a name Danielle still has massive issues with). Anyway, they cross the surface and leave through the Farcaster never having even seen a wraith, and Sam is incoherent with frustration. Just after they leave, de Soya and his crew arrive in the system, but while he’s still resurrecting, the obviously non-human Nemes heads down to the surface to try and murder Aenea. She uses the same kind of silver skin-suit that Kassad and Moneta had, and she gets to work, murdering Glaucus and the Chichatuk, and shooting flashlight beams out of her mouth much to the delight of both our hosts. Sam is ecstatic that here, in the last part of the book, the plot has finally shown up in full force, and things only ramp up from there as the story races towards an exciting conclusion, then smashes into a wall with a bizarre coda. Honestly, it’s the best that could have been hoped for.

The Lazarus Plot

This week Danielle brings book four of the Hardy Boys Case Files series by Franklin W. Dixon from 1987: The Lazarus Plot. The Hardy Brothers are back! Joe is still sad about the expoldification of his girlfriend Iola, so he and Frank have taken a camping/fishing trip to unwind. However, it’s there in the woods that Joe sees someone who must be Iola! The Hardy Men follow the girl’s trail and come to a seemingly abandoned house that was actually the location of the Lazarus Clinic, which is occupied by the Lazarus group which has some nebulous connection to the terrorist organization The Assassins. The Hardy Duo are immediately captured and the Lazarus Leader puts on an amazing show for them where he inexplicably introduces each of his evil employees and describes their evil plot instead of, you know, killing their Hardy nemeses. Their plan is to use plastic surgery and brain chip implants to copy the Hardy Sleuths and use these bonus brothers to infiltrate the government anti-terrorist spy organization known as The Network. They revived Iola to kill the Hardy Lads, but then when they failed to kill them in the woods for reasons too dumb to elaborate on here, they decided to capture them instead for yet more reasons that make no sense and only serve to infuriate Sam. So join us for another rip-roaring Hardy adventure that’s as fun as it is stupid!

Endymion – Part 5

This week Sam brings the penultimate episode of his deep dive into the 1996 Dan Simmons novel Endymion. When we last left off, it was implied the our hero Raul was dead, thought this was obviously not the case. This part open with us learning how Raul escaped death, both at the hands of the human Pax soldiers, and the jaws of the rainbow sharks. Although well armed, Raul refuses to shoot any of them (sharks or people) but that’s okay, Aenea and A. Bettik have swum out to where Raul was drifting in the infinite ocean to save him, so no worries. The trio escapes through the Farcaster portal and find themselves on Hebron. There no signs of life, in fact it looks to have been recently abandoned in a hurry. Raul is infected with something he picked up in the ocean, so they spend a few weeks recuperating before moving on. After the next portal, they emerge in a vast, but quite sealed, cave of ice on a planet so cold that the atmosphere is broken. This about breaks the limit of Sam’s ability to suspend disbelief, and is quite angry that everyone isn’t already dead. Meanwhile, Father Captain de Soya conducts a thorough, but inconclusive, investigation on Mare Infinitus. He determines that Raul was there, and has identified him by fingerprint, but not much else. He decides it’s time for him and his crew to venture to an Ouster controlled world to find Aenea, and wouldn’t you know it, he picks Hebron. But psych! They never make it there as their ship is pursued by Ousters and makes run for it before they can be resurrected. De Soya wakes up on Pacem, where he faces a very brief inquisition before being told he’s being sent back out on his search again. Meanwhile, Raul comes up with an incredibly stupid plan to escape the ice cave that, even more incredibly, some how works. This leads to yet more dead-ends until they abandon the raft and explore the tunnels through the ice. It’s here they encounter humans living on this world, but will they be friendly or dangerous? (Friendly, immediately they are extremely friendly, sorry for the not-so-spoiler). So join us for possibly the angriest Sam has ever been at a media piece he’s presented. Fun!

The Klone and I

This week Danielle brings the 1998 Danielle Steel novel The Klone and I: A High Tech Love Story. Stephanie is your average middle-age mother of two whose husband is a complete tool and decides to divorce her for petty reasons. Luckily, Steph is not one to be kept down, and during a brief trip to Europe she bumps into Peter, who works in bionics. That tidbit will become very important later. Anyway, Steph and Peter start to date seriously, ever her kids are generally on board. However, it’s not long before the unthinkable happens: Peter has to go on a business trip for two weeks. During his first night away, Steph is surprised to see a very strangely dressed Peter show up at her apartment. Peter insists he’s actually Peter’s robot clone and prefers to go by Paul Klone, a name that nearly breaks Sam. Steph decides this is some elaborate joke, even after some surprisingly acrobatic sex and a call from an out-of-town Peter explaining he sent his clone over because he couldn’t fathom her being alone for two entire weeks. Our baffled hosts draw two conclusions from this: First, that Peter has a very low opinion of Steph and maybe all women, and Second, Steph does not seem to be all that bright. Eventually, Steph comes around to the idea that she’s also dating Peter’s significantly more outgoing clone, or klone if you will. Sam will not. Steph is mildly torn between her love of Peter and the excitement of Paul, and yet no one seems concerned that this supposed top secret prototype robot clone is running amuck, stealing Peter’s credit card, crashing his car, and flying across the country to surprise Steph whenever Peter’s out of town. Sam finds it difficult to care about the perfunctory love triangle when the facts of the clone gets virtually no attention. So join us this week for a book that is amazingly at once completely goofy and also, somehow, far too serious.

Endymion – Part 4

This week Sam brings us part four of Dan Simmons’ 1996 book Endymion. It’s been a while, but we’re back with more Hyperion! It’s been so long, in fact, that Danielle has completely forgotten everything that happened in the previous episode including the title, though to be fair, there wasn’t really all that much going on. Raul, Aenea and A. Bettik are all trapped on some mysterious jungle world after barely escaping the Pax by fleeing through the hitherto non-functional Farcaster portal. The Shrike makes a brief cameo, but immediately leaves without dropping any sick beats, which is a huge disappointment. Aenea and crew decide to raft down the river to the next Farcaster, which gives Raul time to feel paternal towards Aenea, which is just all kinds of gross given what we know of their future. They get caught in a storm and “Yee-haw!” a bit, as you do, before finally ending up through the other portal and onto Mare Infinitus. Their big plan is to drift aimlessly across the infinite ocean and hope they come across the next Farcaster portal. Infuriatingly, this works. However, Raul needs to make a brief detour to distract some nearby Pax so they can sneak by. Meanwhile, Father-Captain de Soya and his crew spend two months hopping around to eight different planets, and Sam insists on telling Danielle about each one, even if they don’t matter, because he loves sharing the pain. Eventually, de Soya comes to Mare Infinitus where he hears about an attack a few months ago by a single man. This, de Soya correctly concludes, was Raul, and he’s delighted to have his first lead in months. Unfortunately, Raul was killed in the attack, or at least the book tries to make it look that way, but since Raul is the one “writing” the book, it’s not much of a fake-out. So join us as we delve deep into the relationship between Raul and Aenea, and into more Keats poetry and philosophy (finally!), and, most importantly, try to find out just why we’re being told about those fly-cycles!