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.
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.
This week Sam shares the made for TV sequel, the 2006 movie The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines. After two very hefty media pieces (and even more hefty episodes) Sam thought a short, fluffy, made for TV movie would make a nice, easy episode, but we can all see how well that worked out for him. We catch up with Flynn (Noah Wyle), the titular librarian with 22 higher education degrees, out in Utah recovering a clairvoyant crystal skull from some truly incompetent artifact rustlers. While Flynn succeeds in this supposedly world-saving quest, Judson (magical Bob Newhart) is less than impressed with his recklessness. But there’s no time for skulls, as Flynn is off to a surprise birthday party thrown for him by his mother, who’s still trying to hook him up with random women, in this case a cousin. What happened to Nicole, the love interest from the previous movie? While The Librarian never provides an answer, Danielle and Sam cook up a theory involving her being removed from time by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which unbelievably somehow makes sense in context. On his way home, Flynn discovers his apartment has been ransacked by an evil dude looking for a scroll that was mailed to Flynn from Egypt. The evil guy manages to find the scroll and vamoose after leaving Flynn unconscious. After Judson revives him, he explains to Flynn that what was stolen was a map to King Solon’s Mines which contain his most magical and powerful artifacts. Luckily, to read the map you need a legend that’s safely hidden in Morocco. Instead of leaving it in safety, Flynn is tasked with recovering the legend first and, ideally, the map as well. So having learned nothing from the mistakes of the first film, Flynn jets off to meet up with a sexy archeologist who has even more degrees than he does, somehow. Together, they hope to recover the map, and the legend, and maybe just take a quick peek inside King Solomon’s Mines despite Judson’s clear instructions not to. Meanwhile, Sam hopes to be able to explain how this story has kept Flynn just as brainy, but also made him into way more of a moron somehow. Bottom line: we really miss Nicole.
This week Sam takes Danielle on an adventure through the 2004 made for TV movie The Librarian: Quest for the Spear. If you take Indiana Jones, mash it up with Warehouse 13, add Noah Wyle and a touch of historical mysticism, you’ll get something akin to The Librarian. Flynn is a perpetual student with an unbelievable 22 academic degrees, a fact Sam refuses to accept. When he’s forced out of school by his teacher, for some reason, he struggles to find purpose until a magic letter invites him to a job interview at a library. At the interview, Flynn spouts some nonsense and then a magical Bob Newhart as Judson appears from a wall to tell him he’s hired. Bob shows Flynn around the library, which is really more a heavily guarded museum of mystical artifacts, and also the Mona Lisa for some reason. This “secure” facility is immediately broken into by a librarian splinter group—which must be the least intimidating kind of splinter group—and a piece of a powerful spear artifact is stolen. Instead of actually trying to recover the stolen spear piece, Flynn is instead sent to track down the two other spear pieces which, until now, have been safely hidden in other locations because the spear was too powerfully dangerous to be kept in one piece. Predictably, things don’t go smoothly as Flynn and his sexy bodyguard Nicole go to the Amazon to recover the spear, but Sam is more upset that they even launched this unnecessary quest to begin with. Things only get more ridiculous as stupid evil plans collide with stupid good plans and no one seems to do any actual librarian work. All we can say is: Snake, Snake! Snake, Snake!
For our very special 50th episode celebration, Danielle and Sam have teamed up to bring you a double feature of weird media! This week consists of two 50th episodes from different TV shows being shared completely out of context. First up, Danielle shares the 50th episode of Xena: Warrior Princess. For some reason, an unusually sexy Ares has tasked Xena with destroying an upstart religion’s temple for some reason. Xena ignores Ares because they have history, and immediately joins in on a campaign against Caesar, because they also have history. Spoiler alert: The new religion turns out to be bonkers and Xena’s friend Gabrielle is impregnated by magic fire somehow. If you want this to make more sense, watching some other episodes of Xena may help, but we’re dubious. Next up Sam shares not one, but two episodes of Regular Show, the surreal animated series about a slacker blue jay and his raccoon buddy working at a park. A few highlights: There’s a rap battle with higher than expected stakes, a wise yeti spells out advice in alphabet soup, cars engage in aerial combat somehow, and we meet the lovely Scabitha. So we hope you enjoy this double-dose of weirdness as much as we did, and thank you so much for all your support, we could never have reached 50 episodes without such a lovely and strange audience.
Danielle is super excited to return to the the K-drama well with season two of the series Love Cells (연애세포 시즌2). If you, like Sam, remember anything at all about the first season of Love Cells previously shared by Danielle, that’s a real shame because it will only serve as a source of confusion as season two seems to be completely unrelated to the first series, with the notable exception of the return of the return of Navi, the love cell cat girl thing. If you don’t remember the first season of love cells, that sentence was indecipherable, but don’t worry, as Danielle explains the show it will definitely become no clearer what’s happening. This season includes a love cell bank and a devious scheme by the love-struck co-host of a cooking show stealing the love cell of her chef crush from the bank and then implanting a kill device in it when it’s eaten by a cat and turns into a girl and using that threat of death to force the love cell cat girl to trick the chef into dating her. We promise, there is no clearer way to state that. Sam is, understandably, lost and Danielle does her best to explain all the characters’ machinations, but they both get lost in the weeds of trying to find any semblance of logic in this show. So join us for one heck of a ride, and if you stay to the very end we might even solve the movie Cats for you; you’re welcome.
In the final Book Reshorts of the winter season, and the first of the new year, Sam surprises Danielle by expressing his consternation with a particular aspect of the 2010 Scooby-Doo show Mystery Incorporated: Scooby-Doo’s love life. In the show, Scooby-Doo acquires a romantic partner who is a regular Cocker Spaniel dog, and Sam wrestles with the ethical and logistical questions of this pairing. While the show was filled with ridiculous choices, from Nazi robots to inter-dimensional aliens, listen to Sam breeze past those insanities to remain laser-focused on the aspect of the show that confuses him the most.
With the winter holiday season upon us, Book Retorts is scaling back our release schedule to every other week through the end of the year so that Danielle and Sam can retain some shred of sanity in this busy time. However, we wouldn’t leave you with nothing, so please enjoy some excellent Book Reshorts in the off weeks. First up, Danielle and Sam probe what media elements each other are thankful for, and it quickly gets ridiculous as they determine which rom-com clichés and monologuing villains hold a special place in their hearts. Of course, what they’re most thankful for are all the wonderful listeners and supportive friends, family, and podcast community that help make this show possible.
Be sure to check out I Drink Your Podcast, especially the Southland Tales episode featuring Danielle. You can find them on Twitter @IDYP_Podcast, Instagram @idyp_podcast, and listen wherever you get your podcasts.
Danielle shares the second half of the Korean drama Love Cells (연애세포) and it is pure, concentrated nonsense. If you were confused by how love cells worked, prepare to understand, somehow, even less than before. The (rather perfunctory) love triangle continues while our potential suitors struggle with scandals, kidnapping, and tiger costumes, none of which are as exciting as they sound (except the tiger costume, it’s cute as heck). The fate of the love cell in human (cat?) form hangs in the balance as the show careens towards a conclusion that is as thrilling as it is baffling.
Danielle shares our first TV show with part one of the Korean drama Love Cells (연애세포). This show teaches important life-lessons, mainly that if you don’t date for long enough your love cells will wither and die. In a last-ditch effort to save themselves, these love cells may even take human form to help fix your dating life. “What’s a love cell,” you ask? Great question.