Spoiler-Free Review of “The Secrets She Keeps” on AMC: Things are not as they seem…

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

“I just can’t get you out of my head…”

The Secrets She Keeps originally premiered on Network 10 in April of 2020 and later was available to stream on Sundance Now. AMC is now airing the series with weekly episodes as of April 19th 2021. The Australian thriller series is set to air six weekly episodes. It stars Laura Carmichael, Jessica De Gouw, Michael Dorman, and Cariba Heine. Each episode runs for approximately 50-55 minutes.

Based on the novel of the same name, the show centers around two pregnant women who meet in a supermarket. After discovering their similarities, we start to piece together the secrets they are both holding as they become entangled in a web of deception.

Here is the trailer:

The Secrets She Keeps is a mystery thriller series that promises to keep you guessing at every turn. As pieces of the puzzle are revealed, we soon discover that nothing is as it seems. The plot is intriguing enough, but does this series do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Secrets She Keeps 1

Images courtesy of AMC

A mystery that draws you in.

The show immediately gave me a Single White Female kind of vibe and I loved that. Both women have past scars and secrets, but they also seem to be hiding a lot. Agatha clearly has some sort of obsession with Meghan and envies her life, but as we start to learn more about Agatha’s own past, things aren’t so clear cut, which makes this mystery that much more layered and intriguing to me.

Great acting.

Both of the female leads are fantastic and I actually really like both of their characters. They are believable and really embodied the real life fears and doubts of women everywhere. Pregnancy can be scary enough and they are also tackling so many other things, which makes this chance encounter between the two of them that much more important. I can’t wait to find out more!

The Cons:

The Secrets She Keeps 2

Images courtesy of AMC

Somewhat predictable.

I predicted some of the initial reveals, but I think that as the series progresses, it will keep me guessing. It’s hard to keep that suspense going and I think the series is doing a good job of bringing us back for more, but I hope it doesn’t lean too heavily on obvious reveals.

I’m keeping an open mind!

So am I in or out?

The Secrets She Keeps 3

Images courtesy of AMC

I’m in!

The Secrets She Keeps is exactly the kind of thriller I enjoy. It may be borderline Lifetime-esque, but it has enough going on to keep me coming back for more. I’m confident that the reveals will become harder to guess as the episodes progress and I’m excited to watch the remaining episodes to see this plot unfold!

If you enjoy shows like Who Killed Sara? and The Stranger, you will feel right at home with this series and I’m really excited it is finally airing in the United States!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Secrets She Keeps in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Spoiler-Free Review of “Shadow and Bone” on Netflix: Entertaining but Jam-Packed Fantasy

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

“The dark is a place that is full of monsters…”

Shadow and Bone premiered on Netflix on April 23rd 2021. The series features eight episodes available to stream now. It stars Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux, Ben Barnes, Freddy Carter, and Amita Suman. Each episode runs for approximately 55 minutes.

Based on the popular Grisha book series, Shadow and Bone follows a mapmaker orphan named Alina Starkov who discovers a power within her that could change the world.

Here is the trailer:

Shadow and Bone is jam-packed with quite a lot, but it’s easy to get lost without proper context. While this show channels a familiar plot, it does have a lot going on to keep us invested. Does it do enough to stand out as a proper fantasy series? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Shadow and Bone Spoiler Free Review 1

Images courtesy of Netflix

Entertaining at its core.

The show is clever about the placement of events during each episode. While there is a lot going on, it does enough to keep you coming back for more, which makes this series binge-watch worthy. I thought the very end of the pilot episode was so well done and I was immediately hooked.

Much like Game of Thrones and The Witcher, the audience sits around waiting for a pay off, but when these scenes arrive, they are brilliantly done and you remember why you are watching the show in the first place.

Immersive world.

I thought that this realm or world was so intriguing. I’ve watched and read a lot of teen dystopian-esque fantasy series and it was really extraordinary to see this particular world come to life. I think it really worked in the show’s favor not having it take place in the “real world,” adding to the fantasy elements.

The Cons:

Shadow and Bone Spoiler Free Review 2

Images courtesy of Netflix

Wishy-Washy Chosen One.

I’m all for a story about a female chosen one and I had very high expectations for Alina Starkov. She has these really cool abilities and a great story to work with, but there was something lacking here. I thought that Jessica Mei Li gave a solid performance, but I had trouble connecting with her.

I want to be rooting for my female lead from the start and that didn’t really happen here even though there were some glimmers throughout the series of strength and potential. I think that the supporting characters captured more of my attention, which shows that there was a great cast, but I wanted more from our lead.

Fantasy by the numbers with awkward wide eyed stares…

You can check off each of your fantasy tropes with this particular series. I didn’t really mind them, but it didn’t help this series stand out from The Hunger Games and Divergent, which have similar plots.

I also could not take the constant wide eyed stares between the characters that seemed to last for over five minutes at a time. We can do a better job of creating moments without this…

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in…

This series is packed with a lot. I think that fans of the book series will enjoy it for the most part. The series made a valiant effort to bring this world to life while introducing it to a new audience. You really have to pay attention to this show and probably need a guide to keep track of everything, but if you are looking for an entertaining fantasy binge-watch, you’re in the right place.

Overall, this series does enough to bring us into this world and I was invested and entertained throughout my watch.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Shadow and Bone in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

Main promo smaller

A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now!

Play if you dare…

Dash and Seek is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

 

Spoiler-Free Review of “Cruel Summer” on Freeform: Mean Girls with Bite

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

“Who do you believe?”

Cruel Summer premiered on Freeform on April 20th 2021. The series is set to air ten weekly episodes. It stars Olivia Holt, Chiara Aurelia, Harley Quinn Smith, Michael Landes, and Froy Gutierrez. Each episode runs for approximately 50 minutes.

The events we witness take place over three summers in the 1990’s as a teen goes missing and another girl mysteriously takes her place.

Here is the trailer:

Cruel Summer adapts a typical teen thriller formula into something different by presenting us with three timelines that jump back and forth. It’s something bold and unique, but does it get in the way of this already entertaining plot? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Cruel Summer Spoiler Free Review 1

Images courtesy of Freeform

Mean Girls meets Single White Female.

Sure, it’s been done before, but this is a formula for success. I really loved this vibe and I was drawn into the plot and mystery completely. I can’t predict what is going on and I am actually really excited to see what happens next.

I also really like that I’m not sure who to root for just yet. The opening two episodes present us with different perspectives and of course things are not as they seem.

The performances are actually pretty on point and I thought that Kevin Smith’s daughter, Harley Quinn Smith was really great and I’m excited to see her in this role.

Cruel Summer Spoiler Free Review 2

Images courtesy of Freeform

90’s nostalgia.

Much like Little Fires Everywhere, this show is also bringing us some 90’s nostalgia with the fashion and music soundtrack. I’m not sure it was truly necessary for this show, but it’s an added bonus and I am enjoying the throwback so far.

The Cons:

Cruel Summer Spoiler Free Review 3

Images courtesy of Freeform

Trippy time jumps.

While I appreciate that this show is trying to do something different, the trippy time jumps become really confusing and distracting. I actually think that the show is really good without these flashes every few minutes and while the actresses do a great job of reminding us which Jeanette and Kate we are dealing with, my head started to hurt after a while.

So am I in or out?

Cruel Summer Spoiler Free Review 4

Images courtesy of Freeform

I’m in!

Even with the trippy time jumps, this show is really addicting. I think that it might quickly become one of my favorite shows and I am really excited to see the mystery unfold over the next several weeks.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Cruel Summer in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

Main promo smaller

A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now!

Play if you dare…

Dash and Seek is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Spoiler-Free Review of “Mare of Easttown” on HBO Max: Compelling new Mystery

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

Kate Winslet returns to the small screen!

Mare of Easttown premiered on HBO and HBO Max on April 18th 2021. The series is set to air seven weekly episodes. It stars Kate Winslet, Julianne Nicholson, Angourie Rice, Guy Pearce, and Evan Peters. Each episode runs for approximately 50-55 minutes.

Kate Winslet stars as Mare, a local small town basketball hero who now is a detective. A new case is thrown her way that connects to an unresolved mystery from her past, involving the daughter of one of her former teammates. As Mare attempts to deal with the harsh reality of her own life, she tries to put the pieces together to solve this mystery.

Here is the trailer:

Mare of Easttown presents us with a bleak view on life, but its intricate details and compelling plot draw us in to this new mystery as we attempt to discover the truth along with Kate Winslet’s character. Is the series worth a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Mare of Easttown Spoiler Review 1

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Kate Winslet delivers.

I’m already a huge fan of Kate Winslet and she is one of my favorite actresses of all time. In just the pilot episode, she has managed to completely captivate the audience with her gritty portrayal of Mare.

Mare is far from perfect and she is dealing with a lot in her life, as we slowly start to unravel some of the tragedy that has taken place in her past.

I’ve seen a lot of shows featuring a small town detective immersed in a compelling mystery, but sometimes they can get lost in the midst of the plot.

That doesn’t happen here. Kate Winslet is so magnetic on screen and even in the quiet moments, you find yourself drawn to her, which makes this show that much more interesting in my opinion.

She is the one drawing us in and the mystery almost takes a back seat.

Incredible story-telling.

Every detail of this show is so well done. Even though there is this dark and depressing undertone, it doesn’t overwhelm the show. Every character and every moment shown to the audience is important in some way.

I often get bored with some of the set-up and fluff, but I didn’t feel that way here. I thought that everything was really interesting and when we finally got to the reveal at the end of the pilot episode, I was completely immersed into this show.

The Cons:

Mare of Easttown Spoiler Free Review 2

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Slow burn approach.

This isn’t necessarily a con to me at all. I actually think that the slow burn approach works with this particular show because Kate Winslet is so strong and the other performances really hold up as well.

However, if you are looking for a fast paced action thriller, you won’t get that here. I think that the slow burn reveals are rewarding enough and I can’t wait to learn more, but prepare for a slower pace overall.

So am I in or out?

Mare of Easttown Spoiler Free Review 3

Images courtesy of HBO Max

I’m in!

Mare of Easttown is gritty, compelling, and all consuming. It is already so interesting and intriguing with just the pilot episode and I can’t wait to find out more. Kate Winslet is incredible and I can already see an Emmy in her future…

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Mare of Easttown in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Checking in on “Younger” Season 7: How will it End?

“Age is irrelevant…”

Happy Sunday TV Fans! It’s been over a year and a half since we last checked in on TV Land’s Younger and the last season is finally here! There will be twelve episodes in total for the final season. The first four episodes are already streaming on both Paramount Plus and Hulu. The remaining episodes will air weekly on Thursdays and the show will also air later on its original network, TV Land. 

The Team Charles vs. Team Josh rivalry has gone through its ups and downs, but has Liza finally made a decision on where her heart truly lies?

**Please note spoilers are ahead if you are not caught up on the series.**

At the end of season 6, Charles proposes to Liza at Diana’s wedding and of course we don’t get her answer right away, leaving us with a major cliffhanger for all this time. Luckily, the season 7 premiere doesn’t waste any time and we learn that Liza is really happy with the way things are going with Charles, but she doesn’t know if she wants to get married.

Apparently this “technicality” matters a little too much to Charles and he decides to break things off with Liza, leaving us right back where we started in this Charliza web of uncertainty.

Younger season 7 5

Images courtesy of Hulu

Will they or won’t they?

Let’s pause on that question and discuss what else is going on in the final season.

So I have to say that I was really pleased with more air time for both Lauren and Maggie. Lauren has always been a scene stealer and she has been bringing us some major laughs and it’s about time!

But, we also aren’t seeing Diana or Zane as series regulars which leaves me with a lot of uncertainty. Zane ends things with Kelsey over face time, but I have always seen these two as end game so where does that leave Kelsey?

Younger season 7 3

Images courtesy of Hulu

And Diana has always been at the very center of the dynamic in the work place and it feels empty without her even though Lauren is putting forth a valiant effort to fill our diva’s shoes.

Josh loves being a father and we have already thrown a potential new love interest his way, but he ends up saying some really deep and meaningful words to Liza. They agree that what they have doesn’t need to be defined and that they will always be there for each other, which was really beautiful.

Josh has matured in so many ways across the series and you can argue that he has grown up even more than Liza, who has basically gone in the opposite direction with this whole age scandal thing.

Younger season 7 4

Images courtesy of Hulu

But are Josh and Liza truly meant for each other?

I’m not sure about that either and I’m starting to wonder about how the series will actually end.

At this point, I’m not sure how I feel about Charliza anymore especially since Charles seems so quick to move on to Quinn. I mean, really?

Liza is moving on in her own way, but I’m starting to wonder if she will actually end up on her own at the very end of the series. I’m all for a happily ever after ending, but the show has really been more about Liza’s second chance at a life for herself and she has really achieved that in so many ways.

Younger season 7 1

Images courtesy of Hulu

Sure, she’s had A LOT of missteps along the way, but that’s part of life and maybe this show is really more about self-discovery and awareness than it is about finding that special someone.

I’m already enjoying the final season so much. The fashion has been on point and there has been a lot of humor already, but I hope we don’t spend too much time on the will-they-won’t they aspect because Liza deserves better and I hope she finds what she has been looking for.

Younger season 7 2

Images courtesy of Hulu

Either way, I’m excited to watch the rest of the final season and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Stay tuned, Younger fans!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Younger in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

 

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My new supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Spoiler-Free Review of “Big Sky” Mid-Season Premiere: Same Duo, New Mystery

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

Dewell and Hoyt are back!

Big Sky was the epitome of a guilty pleasure thriller when it premiered in the Fall. We had cat fights, an edge-of-your seat mystery involving a trucker abducting two girls, and some crazy twists along the way.

I was super excited to find out that the show was returning, but now that they have wrapped up the bulk of the mystery, what’s next for Big Sky?

Let’s find out…

As a reminder, the show stars Katheryn Winnick, Kylie Bunbury, Brian Geraghty, and Jesse James Keitel. The mid-season premiere released on April 13th as a two hour episode. Weekly episodes will air on ABC, similar to the first half of the season.

While you might be wondering about the direction of the show now that the mystery from the first half of the show is resolved, we still have a familiar face making some waves while Jenny receives a call from an old flame who needs her help. We are introduced to a new set of characters to keep us guessing while Dewell and Hoyt try to put the pieces together before it’s too late.

The Pros:

Big Sky Mid Season Premiere Review 1

Images courtesy of ABC

Dewell and Hoyt are a dream team!

In the beginning of the series, I wasn’t crazy about these two. The introduction to them felt like I was stuck in a soap opera and I was more invested in the actual mystery behind the missing girls.

However, as the episodes continued, I started to like these two together more and more and I really think that their partnership has come a long way. They make a good team and really balance each other out.

I’m excited that they are still working together and I really love that they are not afraid to challenge authority. These two women kick ass and I can’t wait to see what’s next for them in the second half of the season!

Big Sky Mid Season Premire Review 2

Images courtesy of ABC

What’s up with Ronald?

Creepy, cereal-crazed Ronald is back and is sporting a horrendous wig, but is he planning something, trying to lay low or dealing with his mommy issues?

He has a new girlfriend who seems to have a dark side to her so will these two end up becoming some kind of twisted Bonnie and Clyde?

I’m not sure, but Ronald is making a lot of mistakes along the way. Plus, those stalker phone calls need to stop!

Either way, I’m intrigued!

Big Sky Mid Season Premiere Review 3

Images courtesy of ABC

Great guest stars!

I’m a huge fan of Michael Raymond-James who appeared in True Blood and Once Upon a Time. He has a lot of charm and I can already feel the heat between him and Jenny.

We also have some other amazing guest stars like Britt Robertson and Michelle Forbes so I’m confident that we will get some more characters to hate/love.

The Cons:

Big Sky Mid Season Premiere Review 4

Images courtesy of ABC

A messy new mystery.

I’m a little confused after watching the first two episodes back and part of that is because a lot of the mystery surrounding Jenny’s ex, Blake, deals with his family. We spend a lot of time with them and I’m really not sure what is going on here. I’m not super hooked on the new mystery just yet, but I’ll give it some time.

It’s a little strange because when I started this show, I was immediately hooked on the mystery and it took me a little while to warm up to Dewell and Hoyt. Now, I have the opposite issue. I LOVE Dewell and Hoyt and I even really like Blake, but his family is giving us a lot of complicated messes and I’m not sure if I’m truly invested, but I’m willing to give it a chance for sure.

So am I in or out?

Big Sky Mid Season Premiere Review 5

Images courtesy of ABC

I’m in!

The second half of the season might be starting off a little messy, but I think that this series has a great way of finding its magic as it moves forward with its reveals and twists.

The Ronald angle also has a lot of potential as it keeps that story alive for us to keep us further invested.

I’m on team Dewell and Hoyt for life and I’m confident that we will get to witness more guilty pleasure thrills from them as the series progresses.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Big Sky in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My new supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Checking in on “Fear the Walking Dead” Season 6: Game Changer

Happy Wednesday TV Fans! When we last checked in on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, Virginia was still running things while Morgan started to gather his people at his new potential home.

I’ve been waiting for Fear TWD to find its edge again. That raw intense one it had in the very beginning of the series. After several seasons of singing kumbaya without any major character deaths, I was beginning to lose hope.

And then season 6, episode 8 aired which was a complete game changer for the series.

**Please note MAJOR spoilers are ahead if you are not caught up on the series.**

In season 6, episode 8, we check in on John Dorie, who has really lost his will to live. He contemplates taking his own life, but Morgan and Dakota show up to try and get him to come with them.

Morgan was in a very similar situation a while back and John Dorie was the one to give him the motivation to live again so Morgan tries to do the same for his friend.

Fear TWD season 6 episode 8 3

Images courtesy of AMC

Although John Dorie was introduced later in the series, he quickly became a fan favorite. He always saw the good in people and refused to change his moral compass even though the world has changed, which can be a good thing and a bad thing.

His relationship with June was one of the most beautiful ones I have ever witnessed on a show and there is an authentic and real quality to their marriage. It is far from perfect and both of them have run away from their mistakes before, but they always find a way back to each other.

As we fast forward through the episode, John agrees to help Morgan and Dakota clear the bridge but he wants to be left in peace after that. Morgan takes matters into his own hands and radios to Virginia where John is so that he doesn’t have a choice, explaining that he is not going to sit by and let his best friend die.

Fear TWD season 6 episode 8 1

Images courtesy of AMC

After a few close calls with the horde, it looked like we were right back where we started again and then Dakota decided to show her true colors.

John sees the knife that Dakota uses on a walker and realizes that she was the one who killed Cameron. Dakota explains that he ruined her way out and now she needs to continue to keep her secret…

After John puts away his own weapon, Dakota shoots John in the chest and pushes him over the bridge.

We get this incredible moment where John is drifting to the bottom of the water but sees the photo of him and his dad and it is enough to motivate him to make it to the surface.

Morgan confronts Dakota and we find out that she was the one who initially saved Morgan’s life because she thinks that he is the only one who can actually kill her sister.

Morgan radios over to Virginia and tells them to look for John in the water and that he might need help and of course poor June is there.

June discovers John in the water and he has already turned. In a heart shattering moment, she stabs him in the head, which really had my emotions stirring.

Fear TWD season 6 episode 8 2

Images courtesy of AMC

While this is an incredibly heartbreaking moment, this needed to happen.

We needed a major character death to remind us that this is a show about the zombie apocalypse. While I appreciate the messages of hope, there has to be something that truly motivates the rest of the group to stand up against Virginia and this is it.

When you think about the other characters on the show, it had to be John to go. He was the representation of all that is good in the world and when he changed his mind about ending his life, this death became that much more tragic to me.

I also think that Dakota showing her true colors is a game changer. I was honestly getting tired of the Virginia plot and Dakota may be an even more dangerous threat. She’s clearly a sociopath and it goes to show us how dangerous children can be growing up in this world.

Look at Lydia in TWD. She grew up with a monstrous mother and still managed to turn things around, but she could have easily fallen off the deep end. Dakota is the other end of the spectrum and I am really intrigued by this plot and I have to give it to the writers who really made this twist and reveal work in their favor.

As long as Fear TWD continues on this new path, they will be able to reclaim those moments of sheer perfection I witnessed earlier in the series.

Keep it going, Fear TWD! I can’t wait to see what happens now!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Fear TWD in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My new supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Spoiler-Free Review of “The Nevers” on HBO Max: Steampunk Buffy

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

“We’re meant to be as we are…”

The Nevers premiered on HBO and HBO Max on April 11th 2021. The series is set to air six weekly episodes for part one and then the remaining six episodes of part two will air at a later date. The series stars Laura Donnelly, Ann Skelly, Olivia Williams, and James Norton. Each episode runs for approximately 50-55 minutes.

The latest series created by Joss Whedon is set in Victorian times, following a group of women who are “touched” with special abilities. Our main characters run an orphanage and try and protect other women with these unique abilities from unknown threats in this fantasy steampunk-esque new world.

Here is the trailer:

The Nevers may seem extremely similar to Whedon’s other shows at first glance, but it does have a new unique setting to explore with a mysterious plot tangled in a tale of female empowerment. Does it do enough to stand out from its predecessors? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 1

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Leading ladies worth our time.

The dynamic duo of Amalia True and Penance Adair is a dream come true and these two won me over immediately. They have great chemistry together and will immediately give you some Buffy and Willow nostalgia. 

Amalia is very much like Buffy in a lot of ways with her quick wit and fighting skills while Penance’s quirky humor and strengths involving technology scream Willow. While many critics see this as as a con, this formula works.

I did see the similarities which helped me connect with them as a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I am confident we will be able to peel back more layers of each character as the episodes air and hopefully we will get to see what truly makes both of these ladies tick and how their abilities work.

Either way, we’re off to a good start because if I don’t care about the characters, it’s hard to keep me invested.

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 2

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Fun fight scenes with flair.

I’m all for a well thought out fight scene and some clever puns and maybe that’s the Buffy fan in me, but it makes for some pretty entertaining television.

The fight scenes were really fun and I loved the costumes and setting. This show could have easily fallen into the trap of too much talking and fluff in Victorian times like The Irregulars, but there is already more action and humor embedded in to balance things in a better way.

The Cons:

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 3

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Villain rip-off.

I didn’t mind a lot of the similarities I saw during the show. I’m all for a show about female empowerment and the quirky friendship already felt authentic to me just from the pilot episode.

That being said, I thought the new villain, Maladie was a bad rip-off of Drusilla, who is one of the most iconic villains in television history for me. It just felt overdone and stale and I expected a lot more here.

Messy start and a bad rep.

There’s a lot going on in the opening episode which left me confused about a lot. We are introduced to a lot of characters and this show can easily lose focus if it isn’t careful. I think that as long as it focuses on the main characters and the mystery behind the “touched,” it will do enough each episode to keep us coming back for more.

I want to judge this show on pure entertainment value, but there are already a lot of unfavorable reviews and a lot of discussion involving Joss Whedon, who created the series. Even though he left the project and we will have a new showrunner for part 2, the show feels very much like a Whedon show.

Olivia Williams appeared in Dollhouse, Jane Espenson was a writer on Buffy, and the themes and characters follow a Whedon formula so it will be hard to separate him from it completely. 

So am I in or out?

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 4

Images courtesy of HBO Max

I’m in!

There will certainly be a lot of talk about this show for a while, but I’m going to give it a chance because I think there is enough substance there. The characters are really likable and I kind of really dig the steampunk Victorian vibe. 

The show started off a little bit messy and all over the place, but I think once it finds its groove and settles into its main plot, it can be pure magic. The ending of the pilot episode had me on the edge of my seat and I immediately wanted to watch the next episode. 

I think that as long as you go into this show with an open mind, you will be entertained.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Nevers in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My new supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Ranking the top 5 moments from “Shameless” season 11 episode 12: “Father Frank, Full of Grace”

Happy Sunday TV fans! After watching Showtime’s Shameless season 11 episode 12, we got to say goodbye to the Gallagher family and learned that “time’s precious. Don’t f*ckin waste it.”

Shameless series finale recap 1

Images courtesy of Showtime

Please note major spoilers are ahead if you have not watched the latest episode yet.

In season 11, episode 12, “Father Frank, Full of Grace,” Frank Gallagher’s fate is finally revealed as we spend one last hour saying goodbye to the Gallagher family in the series finale.

My top 5 moments from the Shameless season 11 episode 12 series finale are:

5

“So now what?”

In the beginning of the episode, the Gallagher family discovers Frank and reveals that he has a very faint pulse after his overdose. No one seems to see the letter that Frank left behind except for Franny, who later decides to color all over it.

Shameless series finale recap 6

Images courtesy of Showtime

The plan is a “wait and see” approach to figure out exactly what to do with Frank, but Liam is concerned when Frank disappears. He goes out looking for him, but can’t track him down. Frank has disappointed everyone in his family, but Liam always tries to look out for him no matter what and I will miss seeing their adventures together.

4

“You can’t just change teams…”

Kev and V prepare to sell the Alibi, but learn that the bar will most likely be turned into a cafe or an escape room, which leads to the very important question: “What the f*ck is an escape room?”

Later on, V helps the girls with their new jerseys and Kev puts his foot down, explaining that they can’t just switch sports teams and that this is grounds for divorce.

Shameless series finale recap 7 (1)

Images courtesy of Showtime

At the end of the finale, it is unclear whether Kev and V will go with the offer or potentially sell to Tipping and Carl so they can turn the Alibi into a police bar.

3

“You’re the closest thing to a dad we ever had.”

One of the most touching moments of the finale was during this particular moment. Lip is feeling exhausted from being the one to make all of the decisions, but Ian explains it is because he is like a father to them.

Shameless series finale recap 5

Images courtesy of Showtime

While it is uncertain if Lip and Tami will have another baby or allow Ian and Mickey to adopt him or her, I am hoping that Lip can finally stop putting so much pressure on himself so that he can sit back and enjoy life a little more.

2

“I love this man.”

Ian and Mickey spend the majority of the episode trying to get new furniture for their apartment, but Ian keeps reminding Mickey that it is the 21st.

Shameless series finale recap 3

Images courtesy of Showtime

We see that Mickey is trying to secretly plan something for Ian and later on, they surprise Ian at the Alibi for their wedding anniversary, which was beyond sweet and touching.

Ian declares his love for Mickey as they celebrate and earlier we got a talk about them potentially being dads, which could be a whole new adventure for Gallavich.

Either way, I feel so incredibly lucky to have witnessed the Gallavich moments over the series. True love at its best.

1

“Stop worrying so damn much.”

After Frank stumbles off, he winds up in a church and the priest has him taken to the hospital. Frank tests positive for covid and the nurses discover his “do not resuscitate” tattoo.

Shameless series finale recap 2

Images courtesy of Showtime

While Frank drifts in and out of consciousness, we witness a few flashbacks that include both Fiona and Monica.

At the very end of the episode, Frank appears at the Alibi with his family and Liam stops for a moment and looks back at his stool as if he can somehow sense his presence.

Frank rises up in the sky when he dies and narrates his letter to his family, which has advice for each and every one of them.

It’s last call for Frank and he goes out for good the way he wanted to.

Overall, I thought the series finale was okay. It wasn’t bad, but I was disappointed that we did not see Emmy Rossum as Fiona during the episode. We got a brief moment of Frank looking into Patsy’s Pies along with the couple of flashbacks and he calls the nurse Fiona several times, but he doesn’t even address her in his letter, which seemed odd to me.

Shameless series finale recap 4

Images courtesy of Showtime

Debbie decides to potentially run off to Texas with her criminal girlfriend, Heidi and we don’t get the happy ending I was looking for between her and Sandy, which I felt was a much better match.

The Gallaghers are going to potentially sell the house for a lower price, but I’d like to see where each one of them ultimately end up. It would have been nice to get a reunion a year or two later with all of the characters checking in (including Fiona).

While we get a couple of mentions of possible futures for the other Gallaghers, there was a lot left open and I’m not expecting a full description for each and every one of them, but I guess I wanted a little bit more closure for the other characters.

Either way, the finale was not bad by any means and this show will remain as one of my favorites of all time. It’s tough to nail a series finale and I have seen many shows fail at this. Perhaps bringing Fiona back would have been predictable, but it also would have given fans that bit of nostalgia they were looking for, especially since Fiona was the heart and soul of the show for so many years…

Thanks for the memories, Gallagher family. I enjoyed the watch!

I hope you enjoyed the recap and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Shameless in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My new supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

 

 

Spoiler-Free Review of “Kung Fu” on The CW: Meet Nicky Shen

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

“You make the path that you live…”

Kung Fu premiered on The CW on April 7th 2021 and it will feature episodes that air weekly. The series stars Olivia Liang, Shannon Dang, Gavin Stenhouse, and Tzi Ma. Each episode runs for approximately 42 minutes.

Inspired by the 1972 series of the same name, The CW’s Kung Fu introduces us to Nicky Shen, who ends up running away from her family to become a Shaolin monk. After her mentor is killed and a mysterious sword is stolen, Nicky returns home and encounters several new threats along the way while trying to make things right with her family.

Here is the trailer:

Kung Fu has a lot to offer and its female heroine is likable enough, but there is a lot going on in the pilot episode which has me wondering about the true direction of this series. However, is it worth the watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of The CW

A female heroine to root for.

Olivia Liang portrays our main character, Nicky Shen and she is already doing an incredible job. Nicky Shen is extremely likable and I’m all for a female lead who can kick some serious ass!

I also really like that our main character doesn’t have any special/magical abilities. She doesn’t find herself embedded in a forced upon destiny. Rather, she makes her own decisions and tries to do what is right while still piecing together who she is and making mistakes along the way, which makes her feel like someone you can easily relate to.

Good balance of family & action.

Images courtesy of The CW

While The CW’s Walker failed to meet this balance in my opinion, I think that Kung Fu is already doing a better job of giving us enough fight scenes and action while still focusing on Nicky’s own personal journey. The scenes with her family are relevant and really paint a picture of who Nicky is and where she comes from without overdoing it.

Plus, I enjoyed a lot of the scenes filled with some humor and pop music as well so that the show didn’t feel heavy and overwhelming. It really was a nice touch.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of The CW

A lot going on…

The pilot episode is really busy with set-up, love possibilities, family issues, and a journey of self-discovery with some awesome fight scenes sprinkled in. I liked everything going on, but I was a little bit overwhelmed and I think that as long as the show doesn’t sacrifice character development to further a busy plot, it can find its true path without losing its audience in the process.

Watch out for tropes.

I wasn’t a fan of the voice-over narration, but I can live with it. I also think that the show needs to be careful about its supporting characters falling easily into many tropes we often see especially with some of the DC shows on The CW’s line-up.

Again, there is enough content going on and really enjoyable characters, but we need to allow each one to give us layers so that we become invested in them.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of The CW

I’m in about 75 percent…

I actually really enjoyed the show and I really want to root for Nicky Shen. I think the show has a lot of redeeming qualities and it can really become a part of my regular line-up, but it needs to make a few tweaks over the next few episodes to keep my interest.

As long as the show can lean on character development more than a busy plot and avoid relying on tropes, I think it can actually do really well and I’m looking forward to watching more episodes.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Kung Fu in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My new supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!