Transcript: Not Now, I’m Reading Not Your Villain

Chelsea: Welcome back to episode 18 of Not Now, I’m reading, your one-stop shop for all things fandom. My name is Chelsea.

KAY: And I’m Kay.

CHELSEA: And today we are talking about Not Your Villain by CB Lee, which is the sequel to Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee, but before we do that we are gonna talk about what we’ve just currently finished or are just having on the go. I’ll go first this time. I still don’t have —

[Kay laughs]

CHELSEA: — any actual traditionally published fiction to recommend to you guys. Here’s the thing, friends. I have recently started a new job because of reasons I left the library and am now working at a daycare, which is great, cause I love kids. But kids are tiny little humans that just run around all day and do things, so my reading time has significantly decreased and I’m finding I’m having a hard time getting a lot of fiction to stick. So.

KAY: That’s fair.

CHELSEA: I do what I always do and I run and bury my head in the sands of fanfiction. And it’s great. So I have two things to recommend. The first one is, the title of it is, is The One with All the Sex by Jerakeen. It’s a Teen Wolf fic.

KAY: I definitely linked this to you the other day.

[Laughter]

CHELSEA: You definitely did. You very much so did. But it is perfect. Because it is only like 1100 words. And it is literally just porn. Just, just having some sex. And it’s super great. And it’s wonderful. It’s Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski. Because I love them both very much.

[Kay laughs]

CHELSEA: And I just want all of the good things for sweet baby Stiles.

KAY: And that show is finally fucking over.

CHELSEA: I’ve literally only seen two seasons of that show.

KAY: It’s all you need to see of that show.

CHELSEA: Kay told me that all I needed to do was watch the first two seasons of that show and I could read all the fic. So. That’s what I did. So if there is something that happens or things I need to know about that show happening later on? I’m probably never gonna watch beyond more than I have.

KAY: That gets you at least 75% of most fic in that fandom. To be fair.

CHELSEA: And then the second one that I’m gonna recommend is a little bit longer. It’s called And All the World Beneath by seperis. It’s 67k and this is a Supernatural/SGA crossover where Dean Winchester basically goes to Atlantis and helps the Stargate crew fight, basically Cthulhu? Um. Fight some, the old ones. Some deep sea monster shit that is real creepy and real scary. It’s both Dean/John and McShep, so there’s a couple of different pairings that happen during the course of the fic, which of course causes some drama and some tension, but it’s really good. Y’all know that Supernatural is not really my jam. It is never been a fandom I’ve found myself hanging out in.

KAY: No.

CHELSEA: For any reason. But. It worked for this one. Even with that caveat I am willing to go ahead and recommend it. That is all that I have for you guys. Kay, what are you reading?

KAY: All the things. I’m reading all the things. Also, just like, seperis you can basically follow anywhere, so I’m not surprised that of all the Supernatural fics you ended up reading it was a crossover one by them. So I have a couple of things to recommend. I have two things on the go. I am working my way through Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View which is by literally everyone ever.

[Laughter]

KAY: Just, literally everyone ever. I had pre-ordered the audiobook a million years ago and then I also requested that my library get the ebook, so I was the first person on the hold list for that. So I’m kind of working my way back and forth between the two and that’s working out quite well. Some of them are quite short and I don’t know how well that works as much in an audio anthology. I think if I, those ones I should probably just be reading. But I feel like I just should read all of these author names. There’s, like, five million.

CHELSEA: There’s so many.

KAY: We’ve got Ben Acker, Renée Ahdieh, Tom Angleberger, Ben Blacker, Jeffrey Brown, Jason Fry, Christie Golden, Pierce Brown, Ashley Eckstein, Mur Lafferty, Ken Liu, Griffin McElroy, John Jackson Miller, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Nnedi Okorafor, Daniel José Older, Ian Doescher, Mallory Ortberg, Madeleine Roux, Gary D. Schmidt, Cavan Scott, Sabaa Tahir, Kieron Gillen, Glen Weldon, Chuck Wendig, Gary Whitta, Meg Cabot, Pablo Hidalgo, EK Johnston, Rae Carson, Adam Christopher, Zoraida Córdova, Delilah S. Dawson, Paul Dini, Alexander Freed, Claudia Gray, Paul S. Kemp, Elizabeth Wein, Beth Revis, Greg Rucka, Charles Soule, and Wil Wheaton. Like I said, literally everyone wrote a story.

CHELSEA: Literally everyone.

[Laughter]

CHELSEA: Also, because you mentioned it, I’m gonna use this as a chance to plug, anything to plug My Brother, My Brother and Me. I have just recently found this show. I know. I’m late to everything. Don’t even talk to me. But. I have listened to the last, like, four years of their podcast in about three and a half months. They crack my shit up. If you need a little bit of humor. I highly recommend so. Griffin McElroy was one of the names mentioned on that huge list of names.

KAY: It’s the McElroy’s, right? I don’t listen to that. I only recently learned who they were and people were really shocked I didn’t know who they were. But also. Why would I?

CHELSEA: I mean yeah. But yes. That’s why I say. I know. I know. I should probably have, but I didn’t. But I recently discovered them and I’m delightful.

KAY: Also we have like no details, but apparently Daniel José Older is writing a Star Wars novel. That’s literally all we know is it’s hyper hush hush, but he is writing a Star Wars novel. So that’s exciting. Okay, so there’s that. If you could not tell, it’s just an anthology from the points of view of various random background characters. From Star Wars. So that’s fun.

CHELSEA: Which is fun.

KAY: And then I’m just starting The Wicked Deep by, I think it’s, Shea Earnshaw. And it’s pitched as Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials in a haunting story about three sisters on a quest for revenge. So fuck yeah.

CHELSEA: Dude.

KAY: I’m in.

CHELSEA: That elevator pitch.

KAY: That’s literally all I need to know. This does not come out for quite a while.

CHELSEA: You had me with Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic, man.

KAY: This does not come out for quite a while. It doesn’t come out till March of next year, so I have a hundred things I should probably be reading first, but also that elevator pitch.

CHELSEA: Dude, that pitch. That’s a good pitch, y’all. That’s a good comp.

KAY: It’s a yeah. So really looking forward to that one. Really looking forward to it. I don’t know if this is a debut? It is. It is a debut. So that’s fun. Hopefully it is good. If not, I’ll just bounce off of it and read one of the 500 things I should already be reading, so. [Laughs] And then I’ve got a couple of fic recs. First up I’ve got another Stranger Things fic rec, as we did last week. New season should be up and running by the time this episode goes live. This is a, okay, check out the pairings on this. So we’ve got the OT3, Jonathan/Steve/Nancy, but we’ve also got Mike/Lucas and Eleven/Dustin.

[Chelsea gasps]

KAY: And it’s every night my mind is running around her by magneticwave. Who I just blanket recommend.

CHELSEA: How long is this?

KAY: It’s like 13,000 words. It’s not super long.

CHELSEA: No, that’s alright.

KAY: And the summary is “In which Nancy gets married, Lucas gets hot, and Dustin gets to give lots of people advice that he’s only moderately qualified to dispense.” And like.

CHELSEA: I am melting into my chair.

KAY: It’s just a delight.

CHELSEA: I’m almost mad you haven’t already linked this to me, but I’m very excited to read this.

[Laughter]

KAY: It’s definitely gonna have been thoroughly jossed by the time this airs and the new season is live. But that’s fine.

CHELSEA: That’s fine. Sh.

KAY: No one cares.

CHELSEA: We don’t care.

KAY: And then the other fic I have to recommend is a Teen Wolf fic. Called Proposing To Strangers by moonstalker24. I don’t think I’ve recced this one to you, either, Chelsea. It’s totally alternate universe. All-human, everybody lives except Claudia Stilinski, cause Claudia Stilinski is dead in every universe. And it’s a Peter/Stiles fic where Stiles writes crime thrillers with a hero that’s kind of based on his sheriff dad and he walks out of a bad relationship with Jackson and into Peter Hale’s biker bar and immediately proposes.

[Chelsea laughs]

KAY: And uh [laughs] now Chelsea has to go read this immediately. I am super, super anti-Peter/Stiles in-canon universe, but in this universe he’s not a terrifying pedophile, so. [Laughs]

CHELSEA: Listen, two weeks ago it was Superbat. Now you’re giving me feelings about Peter Hale.

[Kay laughs]

CHELSEA: I just don’t know how I feel about the way all these things are progressing.

KAY: Here’s my thing. I know all of Chelsea’s weak spots.

[Chelsea laughs]

KAY: And I’m just gonna press on them. [Laughs]

CHELSEA: I know! It’s almost! You’re such a fucking Slytherin. I love you.

KAY: I can go put on my scarf if you want.

CHELSEA: Basically. But also it’s so good. And I’ll just be over here being my Hufflepuffy self feeling all my feelings.

KAY: I’m gonna take an aside to say that the best friends you can have on your side are Hufflepuffs and Slytherins. Cause both of them —

CHELSEA: Will go to the mattresses for you.

KAY: — will stick with you to the bitter fucking end.

CHELSEA: In very different ways, yeah. We’ll go to the fucking mattresses for friends, man. That’s how it works.

KAY: A Hufflepuff is gonna be someone you can’t call for bail money cause they’re in the cell beside you.

CHELSEA: Next to you, mmhmm.

KAY: Your Slytherin friend is who you’re calling for bail money and they’ve already killed whoever wronged you before they came to pick you up.

CHELSEA: They’ve bribed the judge.

KAY: Everything is taken care of by the time they come to get you.

CHELSEA: So okay, in that case, we’re gonna go ahead and talk about the book of the week, which is Not Your Villain by CB Lee. It is the second book in the Sidekick Squad series. The first book was Not Your Sidekick, which Kay and I read last year and really, really loved.

KAY: Loved.

CHELSEA: Loved, loved it. This book is the basically kind of follow-up slash continuation of the story. It spends about the first third of the book telling us the plot of the first book but from the perspective of Bells Broussard, who is the best friend, one of the best friends of the main character of the first book, Jess. Bells is a very, very powerful superhero who has actually been cast as a supervillain so he’s kind of reconciling that. He’s also dealing with is crush on his other friend, Emma, and being in high school and figuring out what’s gonna happen. Bells is also a trans character, which comes up at small moments throughout the books in ways I think are impactful but aren’t necessarily plot-important, which I think is really nice and interesting. So basically we are continuing to find out what is going on in the world of these superheroes and supervillains and an underground corrupt government plot to distract the general populace. What are your thoughts, m’dear?

KAY: [sighs heavily] Guys. Like, I just really need to take another minute to tell you how much I loved Not Your Sidekick, because I loved it. I loved it so much. It is so wonderful. It is just about a perfect first book in a YA series.

CHELSEA: It was so good.

KAY: This book. I still really enjoyed. This book has some very profound structural problems, for me. So I still really liked it. But I also am like what is, this was a very strange choice. I don’t know why your editor let you do this. Or if your editor told you you had to do this, what were they thinking? Literally. So I was reading the ebook. Literally the first 37% of this is recap of the first book. But! It is not enough of a recap that you could read this as a standalone. Or read it without reading the first one. It is vague enough of a recap that you really needed to have read the first book for it to make sense.

CHELSEA: And it has been long enough that I’ve read the first one that I didn’t entirely remember some of the things they were mentioning.

KAY: Very brief references.

CHELSEA: I could not remember where in the timeline they were in the first book. You were now in the second book? Which, my thing is, either do the recap kinda Harry Potter style, those first couple Harry Potter books where they literally recapped, do your recap and make it short and do it, or preferably don’t? And just maybe a little bit of overlap, but pick up where the first one left off.

KAY: So I start the first chapter of this book, right? And I’m like oh. It’s a parallel novel. I wasn’t expecting that. I can work with that. Then you get into it and it’s like oh this is. This is going too quickly. This is not a parallel novel. Why is this happening so fast? What is going on? And then you get a little more than a third of the way into this and you’re like oh. Now we’re in a new book. Like, this is just, this is just a new book now. This, the last two thirds are a different book. And that just should’ve been where it started, frankly. I don’t think there was any material in the first third that could not have been put into that last two thirds of the book in a different way.

CHELSEA: yeah. And I’m always okay if you wanna do a little bit of overlap at the beginning to kind of refresh the readers mind. Like a previously on and do a quick recap of here’s the last fifteen minutes of where we’re at. But the first third of your book is a lot of page commitment for your readers when it’s not even enough of a recap that, like you said, you could skip the first one.

KAY: If your question is, well, if the first third is a recap, do I need to have read the first one? Yeah. Yeah you do. You do need to have read the first one.

CHELSEA: Which is frustrating. What’s even the point of it in the second one?

KAY: So that’s a very strange structural problem that I do not understand.

CHELSEA: According to Amazon it’s 286 pages in the Kindle edition. So what is a third of? That’s basically 100 pages. If you round up to 300 pages, it’s 100 pages of your book you’re spending recapping before we get into new things that are happening.

KAY: So that’s honestly the big problem with this book. Because the worldbuilding is still great. The characters are still great. I just don’t, I don’t understand why that first third of the book happened to us.

CHELSEA: Somebody along the process should’ve picked up on the fact that it either needed to be written differently or left out entirely. Because the second two thirds of the book I enjoyed.

KAY: Yeah!

CHELSEA: It wasn’t perfect, but I still really enjoyed it.

KAY: I really liked the last two thirds of this book.

CHELSEA: I really like our plot. I like the world. All that stands up, so I just feel like we didn’t need it.

KAY: I’m just honestly, I’m just baffled. I wish you could see my face. I’m just baffled. Because the first third of this book I’d give two stars and the last two thirds I’d give four stars. I just. It just should’ve. It should’ve started where the first book left off. That’s just what should’ve happened.

CHELSEA: Agreed.

KAY: And honestly? I love these characters. And I love where this plot is going. I’m definitely gonna read the next book. Which is called Not Your Backup and it’s about Emma.

CHELSEA: Which I’m really looking forward to. Hopefully.

KAY: Which I’m looking forward to, but if this recap thing happens again?
CHELSEA: I can’t.

KAY: I don’t know, man.

CHELSEA: The third one? I feel like at a certain point, and maybe it’s unfair, but by the third book as a reader the onus is on you, like, as a reader I would never go into a third book in a series expecting to be recapped or caught up. That’s on me to either google or read the first ones.

KAY: Yeah.

CHELSEA: The author doesn’t need to keep…there’s a reason JK Rowling didn’t keep recapping every book. At a certain point, you have to just either put the expectation out there that you’re readers going to have done the work.

KAY: It’s like when you’re watching a TV show and it’s the fifth season. I don’t expect there to be a six minute intro of previously on material. You know? For your twenty minute episode. I don’t expect that. That’s not a thing that needs to happen. And I just. I’m really, I’m really bummed that this was a thing that happened and it’s honestly an editorial issue. Because either an editor told her she needed to do this, or an editor did not tell her not to do this and either way this was, not really on CB Lee. It’s honestly an editorial issue.

CHELSEA: It’s on the editing and on the production team for not recognizing this and working to make it better. But! Moving on. To talk about the second two thirds of the book.

KAY: We love Bells.

CHELSEA: I love him. I love Bells. I love Bells Broussard. I’m just gonna say right at the beginning, I love the relationship between Bells and his dad.

KAY: I love all the familial relationships in this.

CHELSEA: Yes.

KAY: All of the familial relationships are great.

CHELSEA: In the first book you get a lot of really great stuff between Jess and her parents, too. And in this book the relationship between Bells and his dad is just super great and I mean you get a little bit of, I’m excited for Emma’s book because we’re gonna see the relationship between Emma and her moms. You guys know me, you know how super excited I am for good familial, parental relationship. They’re a thing. A nice thing. And should be out there as a thing so I really enjoyed that part.

KAY: You know what I really want? Is I either want a book or a novella bout Brendan, who is my perpetual fave. Who is Jess’s genius little brother who has a crush on Bells and I love him so much. He’s adorable. Wait. Hold on. One of my favorite quotes in this whole book is his.

CHELSEA: His code name is Shortstack!

KAY: Shortstack!

CHELSEA: It’s so good.

KAY: He’s so precious. “Gah,” Brendan says, struggling to keep up. His pack is almost bigger than he is. “The outside world is the worst,” he grumbles. Cause he’s like a fucking computer hermit and I love him. I love him.

CHELSEA: You could write the most adorable unrequited, pining little novella about that and I would just love it a lot.

KAY: I just. [Laughs]

CHELSEA: Just clutching her face like supersonic noises and clutching her face.

KAY: I’m gonna have to request Brendan fic for Yuletide next year. I’m really upset with myself that I didn’t think to nominate Not Your Sidekick.

CHELSEA: Kinda sad that Yuletide for this year’s passed cause I kinda want that real bad, but it’ll come eventually and it’ll be real good.

KAY: Oh, as an aside, if you don’t know what Yuletide is, it’s just an annual fandom fic exchange that goes live Christmas day. And it’s all small fandoms and it’s wonderful.

CHELSEA: It’s gonna be awesome. I’m really excited for my prompt this year, it’s gonna be a good one.

KAY: We’re both hyped. We’re not gonna link to our stories when they go live.

CHELSEA: Oh, no thank you.

KAY: You just have to read all of them. You just have to read all of the Yuletide stories.

CHELSEA: You’ll just have to just no. It’s just not gonna happen. I was gonna say you’ll have to figure it out, but don’t. Just don’t.

KAY: Just go read them all. They’re gonna be great. All of ’em.

CHELSEA: Plus they’re all small fandom fics, so find something new and you’ll have a new little pool to dive into.

KAY: Great. Love it.

CHELSEA: Did you have any favorite quotes or any particular scenes that really stick out?

KAY: There are lots of really lovely scenes. I really love the conversation that Emma and Bells have where she’s talking about how she thinks she may be either asexual or aromantic or both or somewhere on the spectrum of those things and how sensitively that is handled. Bells is so mature. I love him. And he has feelings for her, but he never wants to put that on her. There’s two different moments were he talks about that. There’s earlier when she’s dating someone else. He says, “Look, as long as she’s happy,” Bells says. “But you’re not,” she says quietly. “I will be. Look, it’ll take me some time to get over. My feelings aren’t her problem. And I’m not going to make them her problem.” Which, Bells you are the best and so mature and I love you. And then later on when they’re having this conversation where she’s talking about where she thinks she might be ace or aro or both or somewhere on the spectrum there. “It’s not the way he pictured telling her that he loves her, but this moment isn’t about Bells. He can offer her friendship and if that’s all he ever gives her, it’ll be more than enough>” And I’m just like yes.

CHELSEA: Doin’ it right, Bells. Respecting her feelings and her space.

KAY: Unproblematic fave.

CHELSEA: Unproblematic fave to the max.  And I also love the discussion that they have about the fact that things lie on a spectrum and it’s okay if Emma is still figuring things out. Everybody is still figuring things out and she can, whatever label does or doesn’t work for her is her decision and is fine for her and it’s just. Man. Good job Bells. I love Bells a whole lot. And Emma too.

KAY: How beautiful is it that a black trans teenager is the most with it person in this entire series? Has his shit together.

CHELSEA: Right? And this is just an example of the fact that you can write a novel or a series of novels in which you feature characters that are straight, bisexual, trans, possibly ace or aro, white, Chinese, of all different diversities and it doesn’t have to be an issue, it doesn’t have to be a thing that you force-feed to your readers, it doesn’t have to be anything other than a well drafted and well created multidimensional character. I love these books a lot. As a series and as a chunk. These books are. I love them a whole lot.

KAY: We didn’t talk about, conceptually, what these are about much. If you’re listening to this, you’ve hopefully read the first book because we’ve spoiled you for various things unintentionally. Sorry. Spoiler warning way too late. It’s kind of like vaguely post-an apocalypse X-Men-ish YA series. It’s just —

CHELSEA: There’s like a solar flare and now people, some of them have become superheroes.

KAY: They’re mutants, basically. Which I love. WE love mutants.

CHELSEA: And the first one starts this plot of a government kind of cover-up using this superhero dynamic to distract from some other sketchy things that are going on. This book advances on that plot. If those kind of more comic booky X-Men plotlines interest you this is definitely something I think that’s gonna work.

KAY: One of the things I really love in this is, we hardly ever get to see her, but every time we get to see Claudia, Jess’s sister in this series, I’ super fascinated by her. Because she’s got flashier power like their parents. Jess’s power is very cool, but it’s not particularly flashy and obvious, because hers is basically a super powered sense of direction. She can find anything.

CHELSEA: Her codename is Compass. She finds things.

KAY: But her sister is more typical strong —

CHELSEA: Is it lightning? Or is it super strength?

KAY: She’s got super strength. I don’t think she can fly. Maybe she can fly cause one of her parents can, right?

CHELSEA: She’s got more typical powers.

KAY: She’s got more typical strongass superhero lady powers and she’s deeply fascinating to me. Cause she clearly just wanted to be a mainstream hero. And that was her goal. And to get ahead she clearly teamed up with someone who was doing sketchy shit instead of waiting for her, you know, train to come in, for it to be her turn to be on top. And that’s not turned out well for her. And you see how not-well that has turned out for her in this book. Cause she’s kind of on the lam with this awful, awful superhero lady who is still experimenting on people, but you see she’s quietly rebelling and she does help Bells and that was a really fascinating scene.

CHELSEA: I mean, and I was gonna say, she’s still so dedicated to her own selfish desire to be this figure. She helps Bells out, but also at the same time gives him this speech about how that is what she is doing. She is here to still look out for herself and she doesn’t necessarily give a shit about anything else as long as she comes out as the famous superhero she always wanted to be. I hope we get a novella about her or something, because I just feel like that would be fascinating.

KAY: She’s super interesting. But there’s all these really great side characters who we don’t get a lot of — we discussed that screentime is a weird word to use with books, recently. But screentime, there’s a lot of characters who don’t get a lot of it in these books, who we’d love to have more of..

CHELSEA: There’s one quote that I really liked. “So what, you read my file you think you know me? I’ve had a lifetime of figuring myself out and I’m still doing that. I knew I was trans before I had my abilities. My body’s just one aspect of who I am, and if you take my powers away I’m still me.” Bells heart is racing like a hover train. He’s afraid but he pulls himself together and faces that fear head on. “You think I would betray my friends and everything I believe in for this? My body isn’t me. I’m everything in my mind and heart and what I believe in”

KAY: I also had that highlighted.

CHELSEA: To me is it not only a good way that you can interpret identity into dialogue and not have it be afterschool special-y.

KAY: Clunky, preachy? Yeah.

CHELSEA: It’s a nice twist on a classic superhero-y kind of speech, like how dare you think I’ll betray everything I believe in. Fuck you. But Bells is a villain, technically, in this world, and I just think it’s working on a lot of levels and it’s really interesting.

KAY: There were a lot of things we loved about this book, we’re really sad it was structurally kind of messy.

CHELSEA: And that’s the thing.

[Kay sighs]

CHELSEA: That’s the reason I’m still totally on board for number three. And I don’t necessarily think it has much to do with CB Lee and once I got past the structural thing, the rest worked really well. I think that’s about it?

KAY: I just, I feel, I’m very hesitant to say we recommend that you read this book. But we do. Caveats! But we do.

CHELSEA: I think that if you’ve read the first one–

KAY: Definitely read it if you’ve read the first one.

CHELSEA: And if you go into it knowing the first third is gonna be a little rough, but that it will get better. And you can deal kind of with that hundred pages. That this is a good follow-up.

KAY: Frankly, I would’ve. I might have DNFed it if we weren’t reading it for the podcast, though. With how long that recap was. You know?

CHELSEA: Okay. That’s fair. I mean, I did not think about DNFing it, but I also don’t do that.

KAY: You don’t do that.

CHELSEA: I don’t do that, so.

KAY: I don’t know if we’ve had this discussion that often on the podcast. I will drop a book at the drop of a hat if I’m just not into it.

CHELSEA: I won’t. I won’t do that.

KAY: Chelsea will strong like ox and finish anything.

CHELSEA: I’ll finish anything.

KAY: There are just too many books for me to enjoy, I’m not doing this right now, is my attitude. And Chelsea’s like I fucking love to hate-read things. [Laughs]

CHELSEA: that’s my thing! I can find enjoyment in the not enjoying it.

KAY: [distressed] No. No.

CHELSEA: I know. I know.

KAY: I literally don’t understand how Chelsea and I are friends at all, cause we have tastes in literally everything.

CHELSEA: If you made a Venn diagram you’d be like nope.

KAY: Those are just two circles.

CHELSEA: Just two circles.

[Laughter]

CHELSEA: Alright, friends, well, in that case we will go ahead and wrap it up. Come back in a week to join us. We will be doing our much anticipated, for me, retro fandom episode. It’s gonna be so good. These are retro fandoms in the case of foundational retro old-school for us fandoms. Fandoms we’ve been in for a while. We are gonna be talking about The West Wing and Stargate Atlantis. Talking about some key episodes and also recommending a ton of fic. Come back for that. It’s gonna be super, super great. And then after that we’ll be coming together for another non-book episode. We are going to be watching and talking about Thor: Ragnarok.

KAY: Yes. Y’all.

[Chelsea laughs]

KAY: Y’all!

CHELSEA: Kay and I have very different Thor feelings. [Laughs]

KAY: I love the first Thor movie. It is right up there with the first two Cap movies for me and I know —

CHELSEA: No. No!

KAY: They’re both better than Thor. But I love Thor. And also I think it has the best cast and also Taika Waititi is directing this one. And I just.

CHELSEA: Okay. Comparatively I would put both Cap and both Iron Man movies and possibly also Deadpool and Ant-Man above the first Thor movie.

KAY: Ew. Ew to a lot of those.

CHELSEA: This is gonna be super fun to talk about.

KAY: It’s gonna be exciting.

CHELSEA: I’m still excited to see Thor.

KAY: This cast, though. This cast. We got Tessa Thompson. We got Jeff Goldblum. We’ve got as our baddies Cate Blanchett and Karl Urban. What? What?! Along with our normal Thor crew people. Plus that great director. And it sounds like they were basically like ‘fuck the Thor movies, let him do whatever he wants’ which I’m so here for.

CHELSEA: Um. I’m glad that Chris Hemsworth cut his hair?

KAY: Yes.

CHELSEA: That’s how I feel about this movie.

[Laughter]

CHELSEA: That is my level of preparedness and emotional investment going into Thor: Ragnarok. I’m glad he cut that hair.

KAY: I just think it’s very funny I like these so much more than you. Because you’re normally someone who’s going to sit there for a hot giant buff blond dude with some scruff. You’re generally way more willing to do that than me. And also Tom Hiddleston does nothing for me. So. [Laughs]

CHELSEA: I hate Tom Hiddleston with a passion I did not know I possessed.

KAY: That’s normally the thing people love about the Thor movies is that you get to have a lot of Tom Hiddleston and I’m just deeply ambivalent about him as an actor.

CHELSEA: You’re ambivalent and I actively just, I could not give two shits about Tom Hiddleston.

KAY: He has stepped his foot in it a lot. Like. A lot.

CHELSEA: Plus I just think he looks like a drowned mouse. I’m just not into it.

[Kay laughs hysterically]

KAY: The only movie I have ever seen him in where he was even vaguely ‘oh I kinda get this’ was the new King Kong movie he was in.

CHELSEA: yeah, I didn’t see that.

KAY: He was in khaki trousers and a teeny tiny t-shirt with, they progressively gave it smaller sleeves throughout the movie. And at one point he’s slicing up dinosaurs with a sword and I’m like okay. I kinda get it. I kinda get what you guys are into, here. But still.

CHELSEA: Well, that was a fun digression and preview of all of our Thor thoughts. Come back in a couple of weeks for even more insight into how meh we all feel about Tom Hiddleston.

[Laughter]

CHELSEA: Until then, you guys know where to find us on the internet. Come chat with us about all your bookish thoughts. Take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. Bye, guys!

KAY: Bye!

Outtakes

CHELSEA: You literally are just like, hi, I’m Kay. I’m Slytherin. I feel like you should know that foundational piece about me as we meet for the first time. Also this is a great motion, I really wish that they could see this particular. I’m sure y’all can probably imagine what that just looked like just then, but two just big old separate circles and yet best friends we remain.

 

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