Danielle Explains

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!

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!

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.

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!

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.

La Pluie – Part 2

This week Danielle brings part two of the 2023 Thai drama La Pluie (ฝนตกครั้งนั้น ฉันรักเธอ). When we last left off, Tai had just seen Phat being kissed by Phat’s ex-girlfriend. Shocking as this is, Tai does the adult thing and talks to Phat to clear up any misunder- Kidding! He throws a tantrum and runs off into the mountain wilderness with no jacket or water. Unsurprisingly, by the end of the day Tai is not doing well and everyone else is very worried. Luckily, it starts to rain so Phat hears Tai’s voice, and Tai somehow guides them to his rescue. In a missive twist, Lomfon also hears Tai (and maybe Phat?) in his head. This weird, three-way soulmate phenomenon will go criminally under-examined in this story and is, frankly, a massive missed opportunity to end the show with a throuple. Anyway, drama ensues as Lomfon thinks Tai might be his soulmate, Tai’s bother Thian is hurt by Lomfon’s lack of interest in himself, and Phat becomes uncharacteristically jealous and codependent on Tai. Luckily, the wild coincidences have come to a middle as the following items are revealed, listed here in no particular order: Lomfon was saved from being hit by a car several years ago by a mysterious stranger he’s been in love with ever since. That mysterious person turns out to be Tai. Phat had a next door neighbor several years ago that was going through a rough time since his parents were getting divorced, so he had his grandmother smuggle notes of support back and forth between them, but they never met in person despite literally sharing a fence. That mysterious person turns out to be Tai. Sam basically gives up at this point. Anyway, the rest of the story is pretty much your typical drama shenanigans playing out until everyone is happily paired off. However, Sam and Danielle do create an amazing alternate story about Phat trading a cured animal to a little girl in the style of a back-alley drug deal, so keep an eye out for their next book: Big Phat: Animal Health Dealer.

La Pluie – Part 1

This week Danielle brings the first part of the 2023 Thai drama La Pluie (ฝนตกครั้งนั้น ฉันรักเธอ). Tai is your normal twenty-something, except he has a not-uncommon condition where when it rains he goes deaf, except for the voice in his head which is his soulmate and they can talk in their heads, but only when it’s raining. Got that? As amazingly bonkers as that premise is, unfortunately, the first half of this series isn’t all that interested in answering the many, many questions Sam and Danielle have about this horrifying universe. To make matters worse for Tai, his parents, who are also voice-in-head-when-it-rains soulmates are getting divorced, and it’s caused him to reject the soulmate voice in his own head and he refuses to meet that mystery man. The concept of time, as usual, is a shambles in this TV show, especially as it’s told primarily through flashbacks, but at some point Tai takes a cat to the vet and discovers the super-hot veterinarian Phat is actually his soulmate, and he starts to regret rejecting him. There are also some shenanigans where Tai hears Phat making-out with someone (what a constant horror-show this world is) and pegs him as a bit of a playboy. At another point, Tai’s ridiculous brother Thian blows up at someone named Lomfon in a bookstore for picking up a book. Tai’s smooths things over but, uh oh, it looks like Lomfon may have a crush on Tai, but double uh-oh becuase Lomfon and Thian are in the same film class and Thian might have a crush on Lomfon. It’s at this point Sam taps-out and all but begs for the high-school relationship drama to end and the crazy rain shenanigans to resume. For better or worse, Danielle leaves him wanting more as she promises that part two ratchets up the insanity. But just before ending, she leaves us with this cliffhanger: Tai, after hooking up with Phat, accidentally walks in on him being kissed by his ex-girlfriend, dun dun dunnnnnnnnn! Join us next time for the thrilling, and truly insane, conclusion.

Next Stop, Christmas

Danielle kicks off our Winter Bizarre/Switcheroo season with the 2021 Hallmark movie Next Stop, Christmas. Angie is your average New York doctor whose life is terrible because her parents are divorced and, despite having good friends, is single. The horror. Luckily, the universe is here to fix Angie not living the life planned for her. More specifically, Christopher Lloyd gives Angie a magic ticket so that when she gets on the train to Yonkers, she falls asleep and wakes upon a much older train ten years in the past with her then boyfriend, soon to be rejected fiancée Tyler. Angie is, understandably, upset but goes with it and decides to use the opportunity to enjoy her last good Christmas (in her mind). However, things are not as rosy as she remembers as her parents are having marriage issues and she’s oblivious about how distant she is from her sister. It’s around this time that they run into Angie’s childhood friend Ben, and here’s where Sam smells a love triangle, but it’s really more of a Ben pining over Angie for far too long, verging on creepy. Angie quickly deduces that her rejection of Tyler’s proposal is why she’s back in time, and she also decides to parent trap her mom and dad into fixing their marriage. She accomplishes this in the most ludicrously infuriating way, but for some reason still isn’t returned to her own time. This tees the movie up for an ending that is so full of dread and psychological horror that Sam and Danielle can only conclude that the powerful time-imp Christopher Lloyd is exacting revenge for a stiffed tip.

The Faculty

Danielle concludes Spook Retorts this week with the cult 1998 movie The Faculty. It seems like a perfectly ordinary day at an average high school in Ohio: The coach (Robert Patrick) is raging at the football team and stomping sprinklers, the teachers are complaining about the lack of funding for everything except the football team, and a new girl (Laura Harris) joins the school which is populated with your typical cliques. While looking for a scoop for the school paper in the teachers’ lounge nerd kid Casey (Elijah Wood) and cheerleader Delilah (Jordana Brewster) seem to witness the murder of the school nurse (Salma Hayek) at the hands of other faculty members. Of course, by the time the police show up everything is back to normal, but the kids are convinced something’s up. One clue is a worm one of them finds outside and which is immediately identified by the science teacher (Jon Stewart) as a strange, aquatic parasite. The students realize the faculty have been drinking tons of water, so clearly something like this parasite is infecting them and trying to take over the world. After jumping to this conclusion, not once do they question the logic of a a creature starting its invasion in Ohio of all places. Anyway, later the students are attacked by the science teacher, but learn that if you stab one of them in the eye with a pen full of drugs made by burnout-genius student Zeke (Josh Hartnett), they die. The students, proving that if jumping to conclusions was an Olympic sport they’d all have gold, surmise that the drugs must be deadly to the parasite, and also there must be, as freaking always, a queen parasite they can kill to immediately save everyone with no repercussions. So our motley crew of unlikely friends immediately put in action a plan to save humanity by…doing some of Zeke’s drugs. Things don’t really go much better for them from there, but what did you expect from Ohio?

Check out Danielle and Sam on Rewatch Recap podcast discussing the Snick show Roundhouse. Find it on Twitter @dustin_holden, Instagram @therewatchrecap, and listen wherever you get your podcasts.

Blood and Chocolate (Movie)

This week Danielle completes a double-feature with the 2007 movie Blood and Chocolate. Hold on to your hats werewolf fans, because we’re back with lycanthropes! If you hoped this movie shares more than a name with the book, prepare to be greatly disappointed. This time, our much more adult werewolf Vivian is in Bucharest, and while breaking into a werewolf church (go with it) she runs into Aiden, a graphic novelist making a new book about werewolves, of course. Aiden is super into Vivian but she doesn’t feel the same at first. That’s the boring stuff, the crazy stuff is that now the city seems to be run by the werewolves now called loups-garoux. They also seem to abduct people, possibly criminals, to hunt for funsies. Vivian is not into the hunts, but her cousin Rafe is, and the pack leader Gabriel really don’t like humans at all. Also, he wants to dump Vivian’s aunt Astrid to hookup with Vivian, but now it’s somehow even creepier than in the book. Anyway, as you might expect, Vivian and Aiden start dating in secret, but that secret doesn’t last long. When Gabriel finds out, he sends Rafe to confront Aiden in the bone cathedral (Sam’s favorite part) and utters possibly the greatest line in cinema history. While the plot seems thin, that’s because the movie is just stuffed full of irrelevant werewolf lore that Danielle loves and Sam is just confused by. So come learn if the movie is as good as the book (spoiler: it’s not). Oh yeah, there’s also a prophecy, but it super doesn’t matter. Enjoy!