Spoiler-Free Review of “13 Reasons Why” Season 4 on Netflix: High School is Over

**Major spoilers have been left out for your convenience so feel free to read on!**

“Life is a pretty spectacular thing.”

The final season of 13 Reasons Why premiered on Netflix on June 5th 2020 with 10 new episodes (Approximately 58 minutes in length) in season 4. It stars Dylan Minnette, Christian Navarro, Alisha Boe, Brandon Flynn, and Miles Heizer.

The show is based on the novel written by Jay Asher. It follows a young high school student who suffers from depression after dealing with bullying and betrayal. The series allowed us to see things from Hannah Baker’s perspective in the first season, but the other seasons focused more on the lives of her friends and family members as they coped with grief and other significant changes.

If you are a fan of this show, then you know that it is like nothing else you have ever seen. It tackles a lot of important and sensitive issues without holding anything back. When the show first premiered, there was a lot of controversy surrounding it and there are several warnings that come up before each episode that should not be ignored.

Coming to the end of a brilliant series is not easily done, but does 13 Reasons Why give our beloved characters the proper farewell they deserve? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

13 Reasons Why s 4 Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

Moving performances by Dylan Minnette, Alisha Boe, and Brandon Flynn.

The entire cast is great, but this trio really gives us some heart-wrenching moments that will have you in tears. They are real, believable, and thought-provoking. You can truly empathize with them. You can easily imagine them as your own best friend or brother or sister. In a way, we have really watched them grow up on screen. 

When I first started the series, I had mixed thoughts on all of the characters and while Clay Jensen stole our hearts and compassion from the very start, Justin and Jessica really went through important character transformations throughout the series.

13 Reasons Why S 4 Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

Proper goodbyes.

A lot of series don’t really get the chance to give each and every one of their characters a proper send off. Some series are canceled too early and others drag things out too much. However, I thought that 13 Reasons Why did a really great job of allowing us to truly say farewell to each character.

High School can often feel like the end and unfortunately, it is the absolute end for some of our beloved characters. But for others, it is just the beginning of their journey and we can all relate to that.

While some characters discovered new relationships and passions, others went down dark roads of despair. But each one got enough screen time so that we could appreciate and understand their growth. Not just in high school, but in life.

13 Reasons Why S 4 Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

Episode 6

Each episode gave us some tropes about the end of high school. We got to witness a senior camping trip, college interviews, the prom, and graduation. However, I thought that episode 6 almost could have been a standalone for the series.

It was so intense and it really brought me back to that same feel I had while watching season 1, which I appreciated. Again, the warnings should not be ignored on this series and I strongly recommend watching it with someone else, but I thought the writing and direction for this particular episode was brilliant.

The Cons:

13 Reasons Why S 4 Netflix 4

Unsure of its plot.

A lot of season 4 focuses on Clay’s anxiety, especially after coping with what happened to Bryce and Monty. It is not easy to personify mental illness, but I could have done without the cheesy horror effects sprinkled in. They were kind of distracting and it took away from Clay’s actual issues. I thought it would have been better to stick with Clay’s revealing conversations with his therapist, which were extremely well done.

I’m still also not sure what the main plot was. Season 4 was kind of all over the place in certain aspects. In season 1, we focused on Hannah. In season 2, we looked at things from other eyes. In season 3, we watched things from a newcomer and also focused on a murder. However, season 4 didn’t really have much of a plot.

There were moments of pure brilliance and some really heartbreaking ones that still have me in tears, but I guess I was hoping for something to really captivate my attention like with the other seasons.

13 Reasons Why S 5 Netflix
Images courtesy of Netflix

Jessica Davis deserved more.

Jessica’s character transformation across the seasons has really been something spectacular. In season 3, she really embraced her strength and identity as a woman and became a leader. However, in season 4, she still talks a lot about these issues, but we spend too much time tangling her up in a love triangle that was unnecessary.

Jessica has been in toxic relationships, but she has also discovered her individuality. I just didn’t want that completely tainted and I thought that we could have moved away from the love triangle plot all together.

So am I in or out?

13 Reasons Why S 4 6 Netflix
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in because I have a lot of respect for this show. There are a lot of teen dramas around that skim over important issues and I really thought that this particular one dove right in without censors. There are some moments throughout the show that are extremely difficult to watch, but sometimes we need to watch them in order to process all of these important issues in our lives.

The world can be scary and overwhelming and 13 Reasons Why reminded us that through all of the grief and difficult moments, there are also really beautiful ones as well and that life is worth living. While I had some personal preferences and issues with the final season, I will forever be a fan of this show.

It’s one of a kind and something that will stand the test of time for me.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on 13 Reasons Why 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!

Do you love horror series? Of course you do! Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon. It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

 

 

Spoiler-Free Review of “Dispatches From Elsewhere” on AMC: Just the Right Amount of Strange

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

“Pay attention. Clues are all around you…”

Dispatches From Elsewhere premiered on AMC on March 1st 2020. The anthology series features 10 episodes that air weekly (approximately 56 minutes in length). It stars Jason Segel, Eve Lindley, André Benjamin, and Sally Field.

Based on the 2013 documentary film, The Institute, the series centers around four main characters who have lost a sense of meaning in their lives. They each stumble upon a game with many challenges and mysteries, as they unlock the secrets behind it and form unexpected connections with one another.

The show is definitely something different and unique, luring you in from the first opening minutes, which feature the narrator staring at you without saying anything. The show throws you right into the mysterious game, as you find yourself playing along, but it’s really more about the characters and their journey toward self-discovery.

While the show may hit you over the head with some of its underlying themes, it does provide us with a lot of reflective moments as well, but does it do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Dispatches AMC 2
Images courtesy of AMC

A mystery that grabs your full attention.

I may not know what’s going on for a lot of these tests and challenges, but they keep me coming back for more. The opening episode is from Peter’s (Segel) perspective, as he finds himself invited to some kind of elaborate test or game, but there are warnings as well about the mysterious Jejune Institute.

Are they friends or foes? I’m not sure, but the clues are fun and interesting, leading to more pieces of the main puzzle.

Dispatches AMC 1
Images courtesy of AMC

Electric character dynamics.

The cast is absolutely fantastic. Standout performance goes to Eve Lindley as Simone, who really elevates the rest of the characters that much more, while throwing in some humor as well.

The characters couldn’t be more different and yet the narrator asks us to think of them as us, connecting us to their stories. While each character deals with different obstacles, they somehow find true friendship and understanding in their group, suggesting that the strangers we pass by in the world every day have the potential to become so much more.

The Cons:

Dispatches AMC 4
Images courtesy of AMC

A lot going on…

While the show captures our attention, it does go off the rails several times. The show is supposed to be about more than the mysterious game, which we understand immediately, but the plot of the show branches out all over the place.

When you reach the later episodes, things that seemed important fade away and there is some unnecessary fluff that I could have done without. I think that the opening episodes really set the tone for the show and it started to lose steam once some of the reveals were presented.

That being said, it’s also part of the show’s charm, suggesting that our own journeys zigzag rather than travel down a straight path toward understanding.

So am I in or out?

Dispatches AMC 3
Images courtesy of AMC

I’m in! At first glance, I put this show on the back burner. However, once I gave the show a true chance, I quickly lost myself within it. It’s honestly the perfect show to binge-watch during your stay at home quarantine, as it really helps you reflect about what’s important in life and it also allows you to transport yourself somewhere else.

While you may see the reveals coming from a mile away, the show has a deeper meaning and as long as you embrace and understand that and expect to be confused a lot of the time, you’ll enjoy yourself.

This show was an unexpected surprise for me and I’m truly glad that I gave it the chance it deserves. While it may not be perfect, it is extremely unique and touching, blending mystery, sci-fi, and heartwarming moments with some glimpses of pure brilliance along the way.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Stay tuned!

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 comes out April 28th!

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 “Ozark” season 3 on Netflix: Edge of Your Seat Perfection

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

Netflix certainly has us covered with plenty of new shows, seasons, and movies to help us during social distancing, but they really hit it out of the park with the latest season of Ozark.

Ozark season 3 premiered on Netflix on March 27th 2020 with 10 new episodes (Approximately 60 minutes in length). It stars Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner, Janet McTeer, and Tom Pelphrey.

If you have never seen the show before, it channels a real Breaking Bad feel. Marty Byrde is forced to move his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks in order to launder money for the drug cartel.

Each season focuses on different business ventures that Marty must obtain in order to successfully launder the money to appease his boss and protect his family, leading to scandal, murder, and secrets along the way.

I am a fan of the series and was eager to see where the Byrde family would invest their time and money next. A casino seemed like the perfect place, but we quickly learn that this may not be so easy when competitors and the FBI begin to stir up some trouble for the Byrde family.

The show is fantastic, but the episodes are super long and sometimes can drag here and there. However, season 3 absolutely picks up the pace while introducing us to some new characters. But does it do enough to stand out from its prior seasons? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Ozark Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

New character dynamics light up the screen.

I am a huge fan of Ruth Langmore and will continue to root for her against all odds. Seriously, she’s the best. However, I was beyond thrilled when we got some new characters on the show to really spice things up and to develop some of our other characters even more.

I am going to highlight Wendy’s brother, Ben, who comes to visit the Byrde family. Tom Pelphrey is beyond brilliant playing this role and he also helps us see even more layers from both Ruth and Wendy. Season 3, episode 9 was probably the best episode I have witnessed on the show and I think that both Pelphrey and Linney deserve an Emmy for their performances.

 I still have chills from it…

It was also nice to see other characters develop more. Charlotte and Jonah actual earn their own story-lines, which I appreciated, as they interact with Helen’s rebellious daughter, Erin.

The casino background is a nice change of scenery.

We’ve seen Marty invest in a restaurant and a strip club, but I thought the casino was really a bold choice.

Ozark Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

I have to say that Ruth did an amazing job running the floor and was not afraid to ruffle any feathers if anyone tried to mess with her.

Of course the casino captures the attention of the FBI, which makes things more complicated for the Byrde family, but I was thoroughly invested in all of the schemes and secrets behind the scenes here, which was a welcomed change of business for the Byrde family.

Fast paced edge of your seat moments and cliffhangers.

Every episode had something new and exciting. I was never bored throughout season 3 and the final moments of the last episode will leave you in complete shock. It’s that good. I really appreciated how much this show adapted to keep the pace going steady, as it had the tendency to slow down quite a bit in seasons 1 and 2.

Bravo!

The Cons:

Ozark Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

The Darlene and Wyatt scenes…

So, while I thought a lot of the new character relationships and dynamics were necessary and intriguing, we don’t need to pair everyone up and we don’t need unnecessary sex scenes with certain characters that really leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Sometimes I think certain characters should really just be abandoned if they don’t further the plot and we don’t need to have them in every scene for them to make a difference.

So am I in or out?

Ozark Netflix 5
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in! Since a lot of my favorite shows are delaying production and release, I was beyond pleased to be able to binge-watch Ozark season 3 all in one weekend. This series blends family drama and crime thrills seamlessly. Each episode leaves you wanting more and the finale gave us one of the most shocking cliffhangers I have seen in a while.

Season 3 was my favorite season yet! More please!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Ozark season 3 in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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 “Locke & Key” on Netflix: Unlocking the Door to your Next Binge-Watch

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

A dark, magical adventure filled with heart, leading us past our imagination with some worthy evil threats thrown into the mix.

Locke & Key premiered on Netflix on February 7th 2020 with 10 new episodes (40-45 minutes in length). It stars Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones, Jackson Robert Scott, Darby Stanchfield, and Laysla De Oliveira.

The show is based on the graphic novel series written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez. After the tragic death of their father, three siblings move into his old mansion with their mother, unlocking past secrets and discovering some magical keys that light the way to their new potential destiny. However, there is an evil lingering inside the well of Keyhouse that threatens them all.

This is not the first time we have seen a plot like this and there are a lot of similarities to The Chronicles of Narnia, The Haunting of Hill House, and Stranger Things. That being said, I absolutely love all three of those, so I welcomed this familiar plot with open arms.

However, does Locke & Key unlock its way to its own identity? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Locke and Key Netflix 5
Images courtesy of Netflix

The Locke siblings are the heart of the show.

I loved the family aspect of The Haunting of Hill House and we get a young adult friendly version of that in Locke & Key. The relationship between the siblings is heartwarming and believable. All three of these characters are absolutely fantastic and you almost feel like you are a part of their family. The performances are well done and the family drama isn’t overly exaggerated.

Locke and Key Netflix 8
Images courtesy of Netflix

The mystery is intriguing and entertaining.

From the very first episode, we get a sneak peek of what’s to come for the Locke family, as they explore Keyhouse with brand new eyes. The house is breathtaking, but the Locke siblings quickly discover that there are more secrets hidden within the walls of their father’s old home.

Locke and Key Netflix 6
Images courtesy of Netflix

Evil looks good on our Villainess.

The villain in this series is beyond entertaining. She’s absolutely fantastic and will lure you over to the dark side for sure. She is cunning, powerful, and mysterious, as the Locke siblings are forced to really think outside the box to stop her, but do not underestimate her for one second. I love a good Villainess and Dodge  or “Well Lady” certainly exceeded my expectations.

The Cons:

Locke and Key Netflix 7
Images courtesy of Netflix

The rest of the characters fade into the background.

Unlike Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which has an endless amount of extraordinary characters, the rest of the group in Locke & Key are just kind of okay and very forgettable. Even Mrs. Locke seemed all over the place and I almost felt like they didn’t really know what to do with her character.

I did enjoy Scot the most out of the friend characters, who had the most adorable nickname for our girl Kinsey, Rocky Road, but the supporting characters seemed underdeveloped and uninspiring. That being said, the Locke siblings and Dodge certainly made up for that and stole the show.

Some plot holes and unanswered questions.

I wouldn’t say that this was a major con, but I found myself asking more questions about the keys and where they came from. A lot of things are explained in the end and we are left with a major cliffhanger, so I’m hoping for some more background information if we get a second season.

So am I in or out?

Locke and Key Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in! This series was so much fun and I watched it all in one day. It has a lot of heart and so many twists and turns that will keep you thoroughly invested throughout the show.

While it may not be the next Stranger Things, it doesn’t have to be. Locke & Key creates its own separate identity and has the potential to become my new favorite show with possible future seasons. Now about my key…

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

Love time travel? Me too! Check out my blog on The Octoberpod Guide to Time Travel and stay tuned for an all new episode of Octoberpod! Fun and spooky stuff for retro horror fans! Subscribe at Octoberpod Home Video

 

 

 

 

Spoiler-Free Review of “The Outsider” on HBO: A Glimmer of Haunting Potential

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

In the midst of this slow burn crime drama, there is this potential for chilling perfection lurking in the shadows.  Combine that with an extremely talented cast, an intriguing plot, and some supernatural elements, and this could be the formula for a hypnotizing new show.

The Outsider premiered on HBO on January 12th 2020 with two full length back-to-back episodes.  The mini-series will feature 10 episodes (60 minutes in length).  It stars Jason Bateman, Ben Mendelsohn, Cynthia Erivo, and Julianne Nicholson.

Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, The Outsider follows the investigation behind the horrific murder of a young boy.  After evidence begins to appear quite quickly, things become much more complicated with potential supernatural forces at play, causing the lead investigator to question things further.

This slow burn crime drama has the potential to hook its audience completely, but does it do enough in its first two episodes to keep us coming back for more?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Outsider HBO 1
Images courtesy of HBO

An extremely talented cast.

The performances are so captivating and believable from the opening minutes of the series.  Having an all star cast definitely works in the show’s favor.  The characters are compelling enough and there are still a lot of secrets left to uncover, hooking us in that much more.

Some really creepy and gruesome elements.

There are some graphic images in this show, but it adds to the shock and horror behind the crime.  We also get some really creepy moments that I haven’t quite figured out yet, stirring with disturbing possibility.  The use of discord music to set some of these scenes is actually quite brilliant as well, really creating a world of unexplained mystery.

The Cons:

The Outsider HBO 2
Images courtesy of HBO

The pacing is slow…extremely slow.

I watched the two opening episodes back-to-back and felt like I was sitting there for over three hours.  I even almost fell asleep a few times because of that so I’m not sure that a double episode premiere was wise.

Moving forward, I will only watch one episode at a time.  There is a lot to process, but I am really hoping that the show can pick up some steam because that may be its biggest downfall.

So am I in or out?

The Outsider HBO 3
Images courtesy of HBO

I’m in…at least for now.  Episode 3 will introduce us to Cynthia Erivo’s character, Holly Gibney, and I am truly hoping that she can liven things up and start to make sense of this case.

The unexplained mystery is genuinely intriguing and I want to see this unfold, but things need to pick up so that I don’t lose interest completely.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

Spoiler-Free Review of “Dare Me” on USA Network: Dark Sensational Potential with Spirit Fingers

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

“Cheerleading equals death,” according to Torrance’s hilarious younger brother in Bring It On and he may have been spot on when it comes to USA Network’s new teen drama.  Teenage girls can be dangerous, especially when the captain’s spot on her beloved squad is threatened, as secrets slither into the open, luring us into a promising slow burn thriller.

After watching the Pilot episode, the show already reminds me of Bring It On combined with some dark cult comedy greats like Heathers and Jawbreaker, which could be the formula for a fantastic new show.

Dare Me is based on the novel of the same name by Megan Abbott, following the plot of a cheerleader who seeks revenge on the squad that betrayed her.  The show premiered on the USA Network on December 29th 2019 and will feature 10 weekly episodes.  It stars Willa Fitzgerald (Scream), Marlo Kelly, Herizen Guardiola, Erika Prevost, and Taveeta Szymanowicz.

The show seems like it may have been better suited for a slot on Freeform and a mid-season premiere can be problematic, but the show could be a diamond in the rough.

Does Dare Me do enough to capture our full attention in its Pilot episode?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Dare Me USA Network 1
Images courtesy of USA Network

Strong and interesting characters.

I am already a fan of Willa Fitzgerald and she is definitely making waves as the new coach of this cheerleading squad.  Marlo Kelly is also proving to be quite the scene stealer as the mean girl captain with a bitter sweet tooth for revenge.  More please!

Cheerleading can be brutal.

I absolutely love the concept of this show and we are immersed into a competitive world where these girls will do anything to be the one on top of the pyramid.  The dark and sadistic hints are enough to hold my attention, as we begin to explore the secrets leading up to some kind of unspeakable crime.

I have a lot of questions already, but that just means this show is doing a good job of keeping me invested so far.

The Cons:

Dare Me USA Network 2
Images courtesy of USA Network

Super long montages and lots of fluff.

The show is already coming across as a slow burn thriller, which means we will need to invest some time into it before we get any major reveals.  There is a lot of set-up in the pilot episode to really introduce everything, but I could have done without the numerous montages.  Seriously, it seemed like they were endless.

So am I in or out?

Dare Me USA Network 3
Images courtesy of USA Network

I’m in for now, but I’m not completely convinced as of yet.  The show has a lot of promise and potential to become something truly dark and magnificent, but I just need things to speed up slightly so that I don’t lose interest too quickly.

When a show airs weekly episodes, they need to do enough to keep viewers coming back and I think they have, but we need to keep up the pace and introduce more dark secrets involving this major crime to prevent us from losing interest.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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 Terror: Infamy” on AMC: A Faint Flicker of Ghostly Potential

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

“There’s something evil…I can feel it.”  Well perhaps it is the real life terror that these characters are facing in the midst of World War II, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for some supernatural occurrences too.  Or does it?

The Terror is a historical drama horror anthology series on AMC. The second season will feature 10 episodes and it premiered on August 12th 2019.  The Terror: Infamy looks deeper into the real life horror that Japanese-Americans went through during World War II, leading up to Pearl Harbor.  It stars Derek Mio, Kiki Suzekane, Shingo Asami, and George Takei.  After watching the season premiere, I have some mixed thoughts and I’m wondering if this show really needed the ghostly elements.  Let’s find out!   

The Pros:

The terror 5
Images courtesy of AMC

Cringe-worthy horror scenes.

In particular, the opening scene was extremely gruesome and almost difficult to watch and yet you can’t shift your eyes away from it.  There are a lot of images that will truly make your skin crawl, so be warned if that is not your cup of tea.  And speaking of tea…

Interesting exploration of Japanese folklore.

I am actually really invested in this story-line and I like learning about supernatural occurrences from different cultures.  The scene with reading the tea leaves was mysterious enough and I am intrigued to find out more about evil spirits, which are referred to as the Yurei.

The real life historical backdrop is compelling.

So, I really appreciate that this series is trying to take a deeper look at terrifying times in history, while giving us a different supernatural take, but the scenes that focused on the real life moments in history could almost be a stand-alone series.  I know that this show is trying to create a balance, but I thought that these moments were truly captivating, so it will be interesting to see if the balance is tipped toward the historical moments more in the coming episodes.

The Cons:

The terror 6
Images courtesy of AMC

Uninspiring characters.

Other than Yuko, who seems to have the most potential, I had a difficult time connecting to the characters and the fluff and setup overwhelming the season premiere.  The main character, Chester, was just kind of OK and I’m hoping that he can captivate me more in future episodes, but there was a lot to process in the opening episode and I almost felt like I had to take notes to keep up.

Slow moving in parts and unsure of its identity.

The season premiere lasted for a little over an hour, but I felt like I was watching it for two hours.  Part of the issue for me was that the opening scene was so incredible and then the remaining parts just kind of fell off.  Even though we continued to get glimmers of interesting story along the way, there were just so many moments that had me dozing off.  I also sort of feel like this show is trapped between a movie and a mini series, as perhaps it doesn’t translate particularly well to a traditional weekly television series.

So am I in or out? 

The terror 4
Images courtesy of AMC

As of right now, I am in about 75-80 percent, but I wouldn’t say that you need to stop what you are doing to watch this.  The opening scene was fantastic and there are some truly chilling moments sprinkled throughout the premiere, but I’m not sure that the show can keep up with this pace if it continues to rely more on unnecessary dialogue and excessive setup. 

There were also not too many surprises, but I’m hoping that the mystery surrounding the Yurei can measure up.  I will continue to watch for now, but I am hoping that the coming episodes can form their identity a little bit better.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Blog

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

 

 

 

Spoiler-Free Review of “NOS4A2” on AMC: A Faint Spark Glimmering in the midst of all the Backstory

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

“There are people in this world with abilities.”  Based on the book of the same name by Joe Hill, NOS4A2 follows Vic McQueen, who discovers an old bridge that will take her and her motorcycle anywhere in the world to find lost things.  We are also introduced to the villain, Charlie Manx, who kidnaps young lonely children, promising to drive them off to Christmasland, but visions of sugarplums have been replaced with nightmares of darkness, as he attempts to essentially drain the life force of the children to maintain his own youthful appearance.  While it appears that he is a vampire, there is definitely some mystery surrounding him and we have a lot left to discover.

NOS4A2 is available to watch on AMC and season one features 10 episodes.  The pilot premiered on June 2nd 2019.  The show stars Ashleigh Cummings, Zachary Quinto, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Virginia Kull, and Jahkara Smith.  We are immediately introduced to the villain, Charlie Manx, who appears to be a creepy old man waiting in a car, but we quickly learn that he is extremely dangerous and is in the business of stealing children, luring them with promises of candy canes and Christmas forever.

The Pros:

Nos4a2 6
Image courtesy of AMC

The acting is convincing and the characters draw you in.

I’m already a huge fan of Zachary Quinto’s work and he does not disappoint in this series, fully embracing the role of the villain.  Even with all the makeup, Quinto makes this creepy old man seem beyond twisted.  I was also pleasantly surprised and entertained by Ashleigh Cummings, who plays our main protagonist, Vic.  The performances are real and compelling and both of these characters appear to have a lot of layers for us to peel back and discover.  In addition, I was intrigued by the character of Maggie, played by Jahkara Smith, who appears to be some kind of psychic librarian, using scrabble pieces to discover clues.  Sounds like a pretty cool ability to me.

The first ten minutes and the last ten minutes give us a glimmer of potential.

I thought that the opening and closing of the season premiere was mysterious and creepy.  I wanted this vibe to continue for the rest of the premiere, but I’m hoping that this glimmer of hope can somehow translate into the remaining episodes, as this show has the potential to be something truly dark and unique.

The Cons:

Nos4a2 5
Image courtesy of AMC

Too much backstory all at once.

While I have not yet read Joe Hill’s novel, the show gave us way too much backstory for a season premiere, which made the pilot seem heavy and boring.  I understand the need to introduce us to these characters, but perhaps Vic’s backstory could have been sprinkled over all of the episodes instead, while introducing us to her interesting abilities.  Also, we barely get to see the villain in the episode and I feel like the time could have been divided up a little bit better to fully capture our attention.

Slow paced premiere.

In addition to the excessive backstory, there was just a really slow paced feel after the opening minutes of the premiere, which initially drew me in.  There are a lot of elements to be discovered here, but I just felt like there was way too much fluff for the majority of the episode and I found myself tuning out quite a bit, which is not a great sign for a season premiere.

So am I in or out? 

Nos4a2 4
Image courtesy of AMC

As of right now, I am on my way out, but I give all shows three episodes to change my mind.  There are some redeeming qualities here and the world of Joe Hill seems intriguing, introducing us to some Stephen King like elements that could be genuinely terrifying and different.  However, the pace of the show needs to pick up and we need to scratch the excessive backstory and focus on the journey ahead across the mysterious bridge.  I’m ready to lose myself, but I need much more in order to do so.  Fingers crossed that the next episodes can capture my full attention!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on NOS4A2 in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**Goodreads Giveaway currently going on for Book Two, Embracing the Looking-Glass (100 copies available) from 5/29/19-6/21/19 Enter Goodreads Giveaway Here!

Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Blog

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

Spoiler-Free Review of “Swamp Thing” on DC Universe: The Swamp is Lovely, Dark, and Deep

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

“I don’t like mysteries…I like solutions.”  Only CDC investigator, Abby Arcane, is about to find herself tangled in a mystery, one that lurks beneath the surface of the swamp waters, but is she up for the challenge?  It looks like she may not have a choice, discovering that returning home to Marais, Louisiana will be far from drama free.  If you are looking for your next favorite show, you may be in the right place, as the pilot episode delivers and stays true to the horror label that has been attached to it.

Swamp Thing is available to watch on DC Universe and season one features 10 episodes.  The pilot premiered on May 31st and the remaining episodes will air weekly on Fridays, leading up to the scheduled season finale on August 2nd.  The show stars Crystal Reed, Andy Bean, Derek Mears, Virginia Madsen, Henderson Wade, and Jennifer Beals.  We follow Abby Arcane, who returns home to investigate a deadly virus spreading in the swamps. She meets a biologist named Alec Holland, who is researching the virus on his own.  As Abby tries to find answers to explain the horror she is seeing before her eyes, she ends up coming face to face with a mysterious creature, but is he a friend or foe?

The Pros:

Swamp T 1
Image courtesy of DC Universe

An origin story that truly pulls you in.

Much like Gotham and Smallville, Swamp Thing has successfully pulled me into this world, revealing an origin story that is unique and riveting.  Whether you are familiar with the comics or not, this show can stand on its own, allowing us to truly explore and understand the character development here.  I’m a fan of comics in general, but I can’t say that I am an expert on Swamp Thing.  But you don’t really need to be because the show already has so much potential just from its pilot episode and the plot is captivating and intriguing without ever making you feel lost or too unfamiliar with the story.

This show is worthy of the horror genre.

While many shows dabble in the horror genre, this show deserves to keep that label.  The show is genuinely scary and there are already so many parts that will creep you out.  The opening scene is chilling and fantastic.  I was on the edge of my seat, watching the horror unfold before my eyes, which is not always easy to accomplish in just one episode.  The show has a fast paced tempo and it doesn’t seem like the character building or small town drama will get in the way of this.

Crystal Reed is your new crush.

Crystal Reed is absolutely fantastic as Abby so far.  Typically, it takes me about three episodes to get used to a show to determine if I truly want to give it my undivided attention or not.  With Swamp Thing, I have already been pulled into this world and part of that is because Abby’s character is so interesting.  She has many layers and a backstory that will need to be explored further, but there is something magnetic about her, which makes me want to go on this dark journey with her that much more.

The Cons:

Swamp thing 6
Image courtesy of DC Universe

The show is only on DC Universe.

Honestly, the only con I can come up with so far is that this show is exclusively airing on DC Universe.  I started a 7 day free trial so that I could check out the pilot, but since the episodes air weekly, I would need to commit to a subscription in order to keep watching and I have so many streaming subscriptions already.

Also, this show has the potential to be binge-watch worthy and I wish that all of the episodes were available to stream now so that I don’t forget about them.  Having said that, this show has started off in such a fantastic way and as long as the rest of the episodes can measure up to the pilot, it seems like it is worth the wait and the investment.  Don’t let us down, Swamp Thing!

So am I in or out? 

Swamp T 2
Image courtesy of DC Universe

I am in 100 percent!  This show has so much potential and I can’t wait to dive into the next episodes.  Swamp Thing perfectly blends horror, mystery, and romance all in one.  The characters are intriguing and the shots by the swamp are well done, creating a world that is so fantastically creepy.  I never felt bored by anything going on and I was on the edge of my seat during several moments.  Let’s just hope that the remaining episodes live up to this amazing pilot because I am ready to submerge myself completely into the swamp!

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

**Goodreads Giveaway currently going on for Book Two, Embracing the Looking-Glass (100 copies available) from 5/29/19-6/21/19 Enter Goodreads Giveaway Here!

Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Blog

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

Spoiler-Free Review of “Chambers” on Netflix: Trippy Horror Identity Crisis

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

“It’s the unseen energy that surrounds your body.  It tells you who you really are inside.”  But what happens when your aura is shared with someone else?  A good question for sure and Sasha Yazzie is about to experience this first hand after she survives a heart transplant and begins to feel more than connected to her dead donor, Becky Lefevre.  Sasha is welcomed into Becky’s former home, as Becky’s family desperately tries to make a connection with her, still coping with the death of their teenage daughter.

Sasha learns that Becky’s death may not have been an accident after all, as she starts to put the pieces together after experiencing some hallucinations and distant memories.  But are they actually hallucinations or has Sasha tapped into Becky’s spirit somehow?  I’m ready to find out, as Sasha tries to unravel the mystery behind Becky’s death, but will she lose her own soul in the process?

Chambers currently features 10 episodes, all streaming on Netflix as of April 26th 2019.  It stars Sivan Alyra Rose, Marcus LaVoi, Uma Thurman, Tony Goldwyn and Lili Taylor.  The show sort of has an indie horror supernatural vibe mixed with 13 Reasons Why, as we get some teenage drama sprinkled in along with some Native American culture.  Throughout the series, we are presented with different suspects and new twists and turns, as we try to piece together the mystery surrounding Sasha and her dangerous passenger.

The Pros:

Chambers 5
Image courtesy of Netflix

The premise of the show and the opening episodes are really intriguing.

The show actually starts off brilliantly.  It captured my attention right away and I was immediately drawn to Sasha’s character and I felt a connection to her.  The first three episodes of the series are haunting, eerie, and unique.  They present us with some legitimately scary moments of horror, while introducing us to the other elements of the show, which immediately drew me in to the mystery.

The performances are believable and the characters are unique.

I have an issue with shows that give me an awesome story and plot, but characters who are underdeveloped and acting that is lacking.  However, I almost felt the opposite with this show.  The performances were incredible and moving.  Stand-out performances go to Sivan Alyra Rose as Sasha and Uma Thurman as Nancy.  All of the characters had interesting qualities and I even believed the friendships and relationships going on around them.  I almost felt like these performances were too good for this series and they deserved better, but they did keep me invested in the show.

The music soundtrack and setting.

I don’t always pay attention to a music soundtrack, but this show has an amazing one.  Throughout the series, we get an excellent mix of soulful R&B, subtle techno, and mesmerizing moody rock.  The kind of moody rock that makes you want to lie down on your floor and listen to it again and again, while staring up at the ceiling and contemplating the world around you.  And this worked perfectly with this show.  The music mirrored the indie trippy vibe I was getting and I loved it.

The song that stuck out the most for me, and probably for you too, is “I Wanna Be Adored” by The Stone Roses, which you can listen to below.

Sasha begins hearing this song in Becky’s car and we later hear it again and again, as we learn that it has a connection to Becky’s mysterious death.  Seriously, I loved it so much that I have been jamming out to it myself and dancing around, but I have yet to come in contact with another soul so far, so I guess my aura is clear for now.  One of the lyrics in the song is, “I don’t have to sell my soul.  He’s already in me,” which is clever and spot on, as Sasha deals with her own soul sharing.

The imagery through the setting of the show is beautiful and intriguing as well.  The show takes place in Arizona, but was mostly filmed in New Mexico and gave me a Breaking Bad nostalgia.  The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and the fade-ins and camera angles worked well with it, which was a pro for me.  This show had so many beautiful and mysterious elements and this was complimented by the setting for sure.

The Cons:

Chambers 7
Image courtesy of Netflix

This show drags in so many parts.

While the first three episodes moved rather quickly for me, the remaining episodes felt slow and I think it’s mostly because there were too many filler moments that just didn’t work.  Each episode runs about 40-45 minutes, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but if it feels like an episode is taking forever, that’s not so great.  There were just too many moments of fluff in-between that didn’t really do anything for the show and it just slowed down the tempo too much for me, while only giving me small pieces of the mystery I invested so much time into.

This show doesn’t really know what it wants to be.

So, my title for today’s blog included identity crisis and I think that’s probably this show’s main problem.  It just felt like it didn’t know which way to go.  While it is perfectly acceptable for genres to overlap with one another, this show seemed like it was zigzagging all over the place.  Many of the plots started to branch out on their own with no real set-up or explanation.  I was along for the ride, but I often felt like I was hallucinating myself, as I tried to grab hold of what this show was truly trying to be, which was kind of exhausting and disappointing.

So am I in or out? 

Chambers 6
Image courtesy of Netflix

Overall, I was actually really frustrated with this show because I felt like it had the potential to be absolutely brilliant.  The first three episodes were different and unique and the pros that I mentioned earlier really held my attention.  Even the ending of the show is really great and it left us with a major cliffhanger that will need to be explored if this gets picked up for a season two.  I feel like a few tweaks could have made this show so much better.  For example, we get 10 episodes, but I think this show could have been done in 6-8 episodes max.  More episodes isn’t always better and this actually caused the show to drag and spiral out into too many directions.

The premise and the mystery will keep you guessing and is enough to hold your attention, but I guess I was just so upset that this could have easily become one of my new favorite shows if it just tried a little bit harder.  Overall, I’d say it was OK to pretty good and I’d give it a B minus-B range.  I wouldn’t say that you need to stop what you are doing to watch this, but it does have enough going on to provide you with some entertainment and some creepy horror elements, so I’d say to add it to your future watch list, once your other favorite shows stop airing new episodes.

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

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

**Book Two of the Dreaming of Wonderland series is scheduled to come out in June 2019 so stay tuned on that!!!!!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

**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!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals!