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.

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.

The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines

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.

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear

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!

Banana Splitisode: Regular Xena Warrior Show

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.

Love Cells Season 2

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.

Book Reshorts: The Scooby-Doo Dilemma

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.

Book Reshorts: The Thankening

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.