Café Seoul Season 6 Episode 4: Come With Us if You Want to Live

It’s the big one, the apex: the all-time, stone-cold classic Time Travel Saga that set the bar for all other time travel sagas. Before the MCU became a time travel story, before we even knew the MCU could be a thing, back when conventional wisdom was that most sequels sucked, James Cameron’s two Terminator films Terminator (1984) Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) blew us out of the water. These two films brought us Linda Hamilton as all-time Hollywood badass momma bear Sarah Connor, Michael Biehn as battle-scarred hero (and maybe something more) Kyle Reese, young Edward Furlong as wily, teen-aged, ATM-hacking, voice-cracking John Connor, and of course Arnold Schwarzenegger in the most iconic role of an iconic career, first as a time traveling killer robot from the future, hunting a future war hero’s mom, and then as a time traveling killer robot from the future, protecting a future war hero as a (mostly) innocent kid. Dystopian futures, technopunk visuals, industry-changing special effects, and some of the best staged action scenes ever put to film: these movies have it all! This episode is an analysis of the first two Terminator films, but at the same time, a celebration of just how good time travel stories can be.

While we wish we could go back and watch them again for the first time, that’s impossible, so instead we’ve watched them over and over, and plot out how the timelines might have worked out, charting the ways we could have gotten from the first invention of time travel, to the set of events actually portrayed on screen in these films.

In this episode:

Fan mail! Jim from da Jerz sends in high praise for Rydia Kim’s plastic surgery episode, (listen here), and recommends some interesting Asian-American podcasts.

Outta Time: How did the T-800 find its way back to 1984? How did John Connor become the leader of the human resistance? What are the elements of the first two Terminator films that don’t make sense unless we piece together previous timelines setting those elements in place? This time, Eugene takes the long way around, the better to piece together the Terminator timelines.

Hang on after the timeline forensics for a discussion of logic gaps, best parts, a “Who ya got? T1 or T2?” mini-debate, and a gushing discussion of the awesomeness and impact the Terminator films had on the time travel genre, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s burgeoning icon status, and Hollywood action movies overall.

*Special note: in the discussion of the history of killer robots in stories, Rob at one point says “Robot is actually the Polish word for robot”… in reality, robot is the Czech word for “worker.”

Also, the “Dune” books were written by Frank Herbert, not Frank Dune. Jeez, Rob.

Café Seoul Season 6 Episode 3: Be Excellent to Each Other…


Duuuude! This most triumphant episode is totally excellent!

If you reverse the heights and make the dudes slightly less handsome, this duo would resemble Rob and Eugene in real life!

Ask Rob and Eugene: We take some time to answer a quick question about Groundhog Day.

Outta Time: We totally dissect Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) Starring Alex Winter, Keanu Reeves and George Carlin.  How many timelines do they go through in order to get what we see on screen? Because this is a film with so many trips back in time, it’s best if we take the most direct route, otherwise the whole season would be about this film.

It’s a bit on the longish side, but we’ve come to the realization that those who like us are cool with that, and if you don’t like us you’re probably not going to listen to even 10 minutes. So be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!!!!

Also there was a surprise guest in this episode that Rob was completely not aware of. Here’s a reaction video below.

Café Seoul Season 6, Episode 2: Lay Off the Candy Bars!

It’s Café Seoul’s first ever actual review of a time travel movie!!!

We are pleased as always to have Emma Kalka join us as we review… well.. a time travel movie. So I guess it qualifies (sigh)…



It’s so bad it’s SO not good it flips back over into good again! Ya good?

Timecop (1994) Starring Jean Claude Van Damme’s amazing thighs… and I guess also Jean Claude Van Damme.

Truth be told, we got off to a shaky start with this one, and we didn’t end up doing much reconstructing. Mid-recording we decided that this film was not worth it because of all of the illogical ways it uses time travel and it would be a major chore rather than fun. You’re not watching for kicks. You’re watching it for high kicks performed from the Muscles from Brussels.


This is why you watched the movie. Admit it.

Our next episode will have more fun and excitement. It will be (ahem) most triumphant, my excellent friends.

Café Seoul Season 6, Episode 1: Unless you’ve got power!!! Muahahahahahaha!

Café Seoul is back? What?

Cool glasses, Arnie!

Ladies and gentlemen, Rob and Eugene left season 5 not knowing when they would see each other again, let alone record another episode. But there was then a time that over facebook or kakao chats that Eugene discussed time travel theory with Rob, who thought this ought to be something they document, because Eugene has theories and time travel sensibilities that most movie watchers don’t even think about.

A lot of that comes from Eugene having discovered the webpage of Mark Joseph Young who really was the first to solidify in writing ideas that Eugene had independently been kicking around in his head since watching Back to the Future II in 1990 at the age of twelve. No other person was able to succinctly and clearly explain these complex ideas, and since then Eugene has gone about analyzing the science of time travel films using these ideas. This is why Rob and Eugene reached out to Mark prior to recording the first few episodes of this season to get his blessing. Graciously, he obliged.

So you’re just going to review old movies? 

Not really review… more like analyze. Sure it may be a great film, but DOES IT WORK? What had to have happened in the ORIGINAL timeline and subsequent timelines in order for what we saw onscreen to have happened? What can we know about what will happen (if anything at all) after the movie ends?

This is what this podcast will now be about. Yes, we’ll review the films we analyze to see if they are good films, but the more interesting (and nerdy) discussion is to reconstruct previous timelines.

As this is the first episode of season 6, Rob and Eugene talk a bit about time traveling Captain America in Avengers Endgame,  take a question about Back to the Future 2, then get into explaining the theories that will be the basis of this podcast.


The podcast was recorded in August 2019 because travel wasn’t so easy in 2020, where Eugene came from. Eugene then returned a year into the future before finally finding the time under quarantine to edit and publish this first episode. (Translation… when you’ve got a kid and are always exhausted when he finally gets to sleep, podcast editing takes a backseat if it isn’t your job.)


Diagram 1. These are the three possible outcomes of time travel under the replacement theory. Courtesy

Café Seoul Season 5, Episode 14: The end? (Or is it?)

Hello subscribers and fans. Are there any of you left? This is the most recently recorded episode of Café Seoul Podcast. It was recorded in the summer of 2017. It’s now spring 2019 and there’s a reason why there’s been such a huge delay in getting this epsiode out.

Of course, procrastination is one of them, but after this episode Eugene uprooted his family and left Korea.

Not the actual route Eugene took to return.

I also didn’t want to work on the episode because honestly I am a soft guy and it made me sad that this very well could be the last one. I wanted to make it believable that this thing could still keep going, but things being how they are, raising a kid, getting established and right with all the various agencies, doing a job search, preparing for interviews, then focusing on work have pushed this episode to the back burner.

So why now? Because in the summer of 2017, Game of Thrones season 7 had just ended and we spent a lengthy part of this episode talking about what we hope to see in season 8. Season 8 is now less than two days away, and I have to get it out before that, even though most people listening may be doing that well after the whole series ended.

So you can thank Arya Stark for getting my butt in gear and making me finish this finally.

So without further ado, here are the various segments for this, the final episode of Café Seoul’s 5th season.

  • Review of Game of Thrones –  Most satisfying deaths, predictions, retrospective of the series so far, etc etc. It wouldn’t be Café Seoul without nerding it up.


  • The Best Goodbyes – Rob finds goodbyes from books, movies, songs and other forms of pop culture. Eugene has to guess where they come from.


  • Exit Interview – Rob and Eugene reflect on the past 10 years in Korea. Rob asks Eugene to make top three lists on various expat in Korea related topics while introducing some of his own. Rob also reads a sad sappy (heartfelt) letter to inflate Eugene’s ego (but really really appreciated).

A candid photo, taken in the spring of 2017, when both Eugene and Rob knew the end was near. Note the nervous expressions.

Café Seoul may be finished for the time being, but we do have plans to put out reunion episodes every now and then, so don’t unsubscribe! You may find more material pop up by surprise!

Café Seoul Season 5, Episode 13: Blackface Supplement – The Bigger Picture

I am guessing that subscribers are getting tired of me apologizing for taking so long to edit. There’s been a lot going on since these episodes were recorded. A lot. If you don’t already know, then you can find out about it in the next episode.  At any rate, I won’t be apologizing for the lateness to you subscribers for this episode, but I WILL apologize to our guest, Fatimaah-Joso Menefee. After our blackface episode (episode 3 of this season) aired, she took it upon herself to send us a critical email, where she was very appreciative that we decided to speak on the subject, but pointed out areas we were lacking in knowledge. This led to a back and forth email discussion, and we decided to invite her on the show.

But naturally, because of scheduling issues, it was not to be. She did however record her voice for us and we made a mini-episode about that.

From the program for the Busan International Comedy Festival. Picture Shamelessly Stolen from Brothas&Sistas of South Korea Facebook Group.

Also in this episode at the end, I mentioned that the Facebook group Brothas&Sistas of South Korea protested an event in Busan that was featuring blackface skits, and were successful on having the blackface removed. The exact details were unknown at the time of recording, but here is a link to the post which details exactly what occurred.

Café Seoul Season 5, Episode 12: “Out” in Korea

Wow, this episode is like 6 months late. Apologies to our guest Hyunsoo Kim, who was kind enough to visit with us in August of 2017 to discuss being “Out” in Korea. Out meaning… LGBTQ.

Obiwan seems to be cool with it.

News of the Weird:

On the Pulse: Discussion with Hyunsoo Kim regarding what it is like to be LGBTQ in Korea in comparison to other places she has lived. Many people who have lived in Korea for a long time have heard someone tell them that there are no gays in Korea. This is how dire the situation was… recently, but things are changing. But even though Korea is the bbali bbali country, this change can’t be fast enough, because Korea is still lagging socially on rights for sexual minorities. Outside of Korea it may not be such a big deal these days to be out… but within Korea, Hyunsoo says that very few people are really totally out to everyone.

Coming out isn’t easy, nor is being closeted. Many people need support for whatever situation they may be dealing with. During our podcast recording, Hyunsoo recommended Ddingddong, a Korean youth crisis center as a resource for people who may need someone to talk to.

Café Seoul, Season 5, Episode 11: Cut for the very first time

After a long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long period of being very very very very very busy, Eugene has actually finally found time to edit this episode.  Rydia is back and our subject today is plastic surgery.

This picture has been circulating the net for quite a while. It shows the contestants for Miss Korea 2013. Some people say they all have the same face. What do you think?

But rather than criticize all the people in Korea getting it, we are discussing why Rydia made the decision to get it in the first place.

During the initial banter of this episode we got some letters from Dave and from Kathleen. Dave’s letter sparked a discussion on Western remakes of Asian films. Kathleen’s letter caused us to discuss foreigner privilege in Korean settings.


News of the Weird:


Rydia Kim was once a co-host on Café Seoul, and she’s returned to discuss plastic surgery in Korea. As someone who recently got a procedure or two herself, she’s here to elaborate on her decision to get plastic surgery, and how her initial aversion to the practice was overcome. She also goes in detail about how the procedures have helped her to be confident and how it is important to have a positive body image. Later Rob and Rydia discuss why plastic surgery is such a trend in Korea, and how body alterations work in the context of Korea’s modern culture.

Rydia can be found @Rydia0722 on Instagram

If you’re an expat in Korea, chances are that you are her friend on facebook already, or are at least friends with someone who is her friend. She’s very popular afterall.


Café Seoul Season 5, Episode 10: There’s a HYPHEN!


Well what can we say we couldn’t resist. Yes, we are supposed to be a Korea related podcast but sometimes you just have to live a little and invite your nerdy friends to talk about super heroes. Given the overwhelming praise and high regard of the Wonder Woman Spectacular (by us recording it) in episode 6, we decided, what they hey… while we may in fact have great power due to this podcast, we don’t necessarily have great responsibility to anyone other than our own nerdy whims. So friends, we give you the Spiderman Spider-Man Homecoming Special episode. AND YES! IT’S SPIDER-MAN with a HYPHEN! It annoys Eugene to no end than people keep misspelling it, and this has of course become a running gag in Café Seoul history that Rob likes to tease him incessantly for. But whatever, you’re here to LISTEN to Café-Seoul, not worry about the silly details of behind the scenes running gags.

  • Teen Hero Popularity Contest – Similarly to what we did in the Wonder Woman episode, we talk about some of our favorite teen characters from movies and TV (and books), then make them face off against each other in a 1:1 battle royale to find out which one would hypothetically kick the ass of the others.


  • Spider-Man Orientation – Discussion of the Spider-Man character, and how we came to know him, as well as some of our favorite storylines, and ranking the movies he’s appeared in so far.


  • Spider-Man Homecoming – In depth discussion of the most recent film, Spider-Man Homecoming.

Special thanks to Emma Kalka for stalking us and using the dark side of the force to trick us into inviting her to appear in this episode.
Here’s the link to the film about Rufio as mentioned in the show. 

Café Seoul Season 5, Episode 9: Traditionally Speaking


Café Seoul is back! Korea’s traditional culture is the topic of this episode, and we have one of the most knowledgable academics on hand to discuss the role that traditional culture, specifically performance art plays in modern Korean society.

Special Guest: Dr. CedarBough T. Saeji, Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Korean Studies

Dr. Saeji moved to the Republic of Korea in 1996. Saeji has since spent more than fifteen years in Korea, where she completed an MA in Korean Studies (Yonsei University, 2006). Outside of Korea she has spent time elsewhere in Asia and completed the coursework for her PhD in Culture and Performance (UCLA, 2012). She currently teaches a course called Korea Popular Music in Context at the University of British Columbia.

Image stolen from

News of the Weird:


On the Pulse:

Profile picture from the website of UBC

How relevant to modern Korean society is Korean traditional culture? Many people who observe Korea suggest that Korea’s traditional culture is somewhat removed from its modern one, but is that really the case? In this episode we have the benefit of an academic expert to delve into this topic and find out exactly what role traditional culture, specifically performance art plays in Korea today. In addition to the overlying theme, we discuss some initial access points for Korean traditional culture and how one can go about learning more about and enjoying the rich traditional culture Korea possesses.


Here are some links for websites on Korean cultural performance.

Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Suh from episode 7, who answers a followup question from a listener in this episode.