“Once Upon a Time” Season 7 episode 6 review: Ivy/Drizella vs Regina…who will wind up on top?

Happy Saturday TV viewers!  I thoroughly enjoyed the flashbacks in ABC’s Once Upon a Time, season 7, episode 6 last night and am looking forward to the blossoming rivalry between Ivy/Drizella and Regina.  Please note that spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  While I found Lady Tremaine to be a true villain right down to her core, there was something about her that was lacking and uninspiring.  Sure she’s got the look and knows how to talk down to others while keeping her head held high with disdain, but do we really care enough about her as a formidable foe?

For me, the introduction of Ivy/Drizella as the true villain waiting in the wings was an excellent move by the writers.  For one, she has a fabulous sense of style.  Her pairings are to die for and she is polished and smart, which makes her very capable of out-maneuvering her opponents.  Her harmless posts showing her and Henry drinking together were pure genius.  The flashback showing Regina trying to mentor her really resonated with me.  It shows the full transformation of Regina as a character.  The evil queen recognized so much of her former self in Drizella and wanted to help her channel her anger and use her power for good.  Of course this backfires, creating a very dangerous opponent.  But I’m not so worried.  Regina may have embraced her good side, but she is a fiery and strong woman and will do anything to protect her son.

It was also interesting to see how much of an impact a mother can have on a child.  Ivy/Drizella’s quest for revenge is completely driven by her mother’s lack of care and interest in her, similar to Regina as well.  While these mothers had a damaging impact on their children, mothers can also be a source of unbelievable goodness and strength.  Jacinda has been doing all she can to be able to provide for her daughter, Lucy and Regina’s love for Henry is resilient.  Their unconditional love makes them a true match for Ivy/Drizella and Lady Tremaine.  But where will Rumpel fit in to all of this?  I thoroughly enjoyed Regina handing over a bottle of MacCutcheon’s whiskey to him, a Lost easter egg.  It was also very clever how Ivy/Drizella insisted on pouring herself a glass from the top shelf, using the very same fictional brand.  It reminded me very much of Charles Widmore lecturing Desmond Hume that he was not worth a swallow of this whiskey in Lost.  Desmond was able to prove Charles wrong and I am certain Regina will do the same.  Are you?

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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“Supernatural” Lucky season 13: How has the longest running show on the CW lasted?

Can a television series air for 13 seasons and still bring in viewers without becoming stale?  The CW’s Supernatural series is currently on lucky or perhaps unlucky season 13 and it begs the question, how has this show lasted so long?  A few thoughts come to mind as I myself am a long-time fan of the show.  For starters, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are believable as brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester and have an undeniable bond.  Viewers connect and empathize with them as you find yourself on the edge of your couch clutching your popcorn, wondering if one of these challenges along the way will ultimately separate the brothers forever.  That being said, they have survived hell, purgatory, and whatever else has been thrown their way while still keeping a sense of humor through it all.  Is the brotherly bond enough to keep the Supernatural series from becoming tiresome, however?

 

For me, it also comes down to the clever way that the writers integrate episodes that some critics may refer to as fluff.  Episodes like season 4’s “Yellow Fever,” where the opening scene reveals Dean running for his life from an adorable Yorkie or season 9’s “Thinman,” which has a creepy vibe brewing until you find out that it involves fan favorites, the Ghostfacers, are brilliant.  Throughout the serious plot twists or the enemies that come their way, whether it involves angels or demons, this can sometimes wear on you as a viewer.  Incorporating episodes where Sam and Dean are just merely going out on hunter adventures keeps it exciting and fresh, while giving true fans that sense of nostalgia that hooked them onto the show in the first place.  It’s the reason why shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Charmed which were also favorites of mine, did not have as long as a run as Supernatural.  These shows eventually ran their course, while Supernatural keeps going strong.   It follows the main plot for the season while strategically sprinkling in fun and lighter episodes that remind you why you keep coming back for more.

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

“Riverdale” Review Season 2 Episode 5: Lollipop, lollipop…sweet or sour?

“Lollipop, lollipop, oh lolli lolli lolli, lollipop.”  Not sure about the rest of you, but I had this song stuck in my head after watching yesterday’s episode of the CW’s Riverdale (season 2, episode 5).  Betty’s ringtone played over and over with this song while the black hood toyed with her, threatening her image of kindness and perfection.  I’m not sure if I was left with a sweet or sour taste in my mouth at the conclusion, however.  I have become a fan of Riverdale after binge-watching the first season on Netflix and have been really excited to see where the show is going after solving the first major mystery from season one.  Growing up, I loved reading the Archie comics and I enjoy how Riverdale has transformed into a saucier, more mysterious version of the comic series.  It has just the right balance of bubble gum pop with a hint of Gossip Girl nostalgia along with a Nancy Drew like quality.

Episode 5 had a vortex of story-lines going on, however; which split my attention a little too much.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode.  We had the mysterious black hood calling Betty and testing her left and right, threatening her sister’s life is she would not comply.  Who is the mysterious villain on the other end?  So far he or she has been outsmarting Betty with every move, convincing her to bring her mother’s secrets to life, spoiling her friendship with Veronica, and destroying her relationship with Jughead.  As I started to think about who the black hood might be, their motives seem focused completely on shattering Betty’s world, unleashing her own darkness in the process.  The black hood even leads her on a wild goose chase only for her to end up looking at her own reflection so that she would understand that they are very much alike.

While this story-line has my full attention, episode 5 also sprinkled in Jughead’s tests to become part of the Serpent gang, leading him to kiss Toni in the very same day Betty sent Archie to break up with him, which begs the question:  is the love between Jughead and Betty really that epic?  Will Betty and Archie get together instead?  They have been growing closer and closer trying to decipher the black hood’s clues, while Veronica has been distracted by her old lifestyle, desperately trying to win the approval of her father.  Speaking of Veronica, her old friend visiting only to bring havoc onto the small town of Riverdale and ultimately trying to attack Cheryl seemed forced.  While my heart goes out to Cheryl, was this necessary for the episode?  Was this only to set up a convenient bad guy for Betty to target, rather than the black hood going after her family?  Either way, the secrets and lies beneath the surface of Riverdale have not all reached the surface, so I will continue to watch to see them unravel.  Will you?

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Et tu, Winter? Review of “American Horror Story 7: Cult,” episode 10

I just finished watching yesterday’s episode of FX’s American Horror Story:  Cult and I am still trembling.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  The violence in this episode was beyond extreme, flashing back to the Charles Manson murders and glorifying the other stabbing of recurring character, Gary which had me shielding my eyes and cringing.  That was not the hardest part to watch for me, however.  It was the look in Evan Peters’s eyes who plays Kai when he choked the last breath of life out of his beloved sister, Winter, portrayed by Billie Lourd.  The acting in American Horror Story:  Cult has surpassed the previous seasons in my opinion.  It was wonderful to see Bille Lourd branch out of supporting role in Fox’s canceled series, Scream Queens and bring a truly haunting element to her character while still being likable behind her empty stares.  The stand out performance for me has been Evan Peters who is so believable as his character, Kai Anderson, that it makes me fear what would happen if this character truly existed in the real world.

This series has had its share of ups and downs for me as I have been trying to follow along to see which plot twist to cling to more, as a new story branches out with each episode.  The beginning of the series had me waking up in the middle of the night, clutching my teddy bear, fearing that one of the dreaded clown-masked culprits had broken in.  The series has grown past Ally’s fears and paranoia, played brilliantly by the wonderful Sarah Paulson, however.  She has grown into a strong woman filled with rage, clarity, and an unquenched thirst for revenge, as she has been picking apart Kai’s plan going unnoticed.

Kai made several comments throughout this most recent episode about how inferior women are to men and how they can never lead because they were too emotional.  However, Ally and Beverly are about to unravel that as they continue to cut deeper into Kai’s own emotional baggage which has now spilled out into the open after killing his own sister for fear of her possible betrayal.  After the killing off of some major characters, it makes the viewer wonder who will survive it all and come out on top.  I for one am counting the days until the finale next Tuesday and the preview suggests that Ally and Beverly will undo everything that Kai has tried to accomplish and unleash the untamed rage to the surface of these scorned and no longer broken women.

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

“Dancing with the Stars” predictions: spoilers ahead!

Being the best at something means you should typically win first place or at least come close, right?  This is not necessarily the case on this season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, however.  Take Jordan and Lindsay, for instance.  Jordan’s lines matched almost evenly with the professional dancers and judge, Len Goodman still insisted that he deduct a point because of the extra movement he did with his hand a few weeks back.  So if being the best dancer is not the way to get to the finale, then how can a couple achieve this?

Frankie and Whitney may have figured it out and are real possible winners of the show.  Is Frankie the best dancer?  Absolutely not.  But that doesn’t matter.  After watching each season, I’ve come to realize it’s more about the dancers with little or no experience who truly blossom and grow throughout the show only to become more confident and better technically.  Even though Jordan and Lindsay’s performances were pretty much flawless in my eyes, I was more entertained by Frankie and Whitney.  The addition of Alfonso in the trio dance was just what the couple needed to inch ahead.  Entertainment can go a long way and you would be surprised how much a genuine smile can truly brighten up the dance floor.  So if you think you have the winners pretty much figured out this season, you may want to think twice.

Who will win it all?  It’s not certain yet, but Frankie and Whitney are definitely headed in the right direction.  My predictions are that Frankie and Whitney will come in first with Jordan and Lindsay in a close second.  Third place is a little trickier, however.  I’m going with Lindsey and Mark for now, but don’t count out Victoria and Val just yet.  Also, Drew and Emma might sneak in there.  While I feel they should go home next, he has a strong fan base and could creep into the finale.

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

 

 

Top 3 Favorite TV Series of all time

Happy Monday to all of you TV viewers out there!  Today’s topic will focus on my top 3 all-time favorite television series no longer airing new episodes.  I have to say that coming up with this list was extremely difficult.  What truly makes a show that epic and memorable?  I realize that my favorites may include some of yours or may be completely off and that’s what makes television series so great.  They each impact us in a different way and leave some kind of impression on us.  I always find it so interesting that I can remember where I was in my life or what was going on around me when thinking about a particular episode or season that I watched.  Also, if I can continuously re-watch a series and still find something new each time, it helped it make the list.  So here it goes…my top 3 series no longer airing:

  1. Lost.  Lost is without a doubt my favorite television series of all time.  Out of my top 3, this was the easiest one to come up with.  I recently watched the series for my 16th time this summer and will continue to do so each year.  You may think 16 re-watches of a show is beyond excessive and you’re probably right.  However, Lost brings something new to the table each time I watch.  Forget about the others or the smoke monster or whatever you think you may know about Lost.  This show is about the characters and the connections they make while on the island.  They were all searching for something and found it unexpectedly when flight 815 crashed onto to the island. “We have to go back!” The main character, Jack got it right.  I keep coming back for more and more.
  2. Breaking Bad.  I recently re-watched this series for a second time to see if it would have the same impact on me as the first time I watched.  While I’m not sure I can watch this show as many times as Lost, this show is addictive in its own way.  What really makes this show stand out to me is the partnership and friendship between Walter and Jesse.  Through every betrayal and twist and turn, when it comes down to it, they both truly care for each other and will stand by each other in the end.
  3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  To round up my top 3, Buffy still stays strong.  For a while, Buffy was my favorite show but I realized that it did not measure up years later when Lost and Breaking Bad came out.  I think it has a lot to do with me growing as a person as well.  When Buffy originally came out, I was in high school so the strong character of Buffy really stood out to me and honestly really helped shape who I was as a person.  The series had just the right amount of laughs balanced with the supernatural drama to keep me hooked for years.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post some of your own as well!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl