Spoiler-Free Review of “Yellowjackets” on Showtime: Your Next Obsession has Arrived!

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

“So what do you think really happened out there?”

Yellowjackets premiered on November 14th 2021 on Showtime. The series will feature ten weekly episodes. It stars Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynskey, Tawny Cypress, Ella Purnell and Sammi Hanratty. Each episode runs for approximately 53-55 minutes.

On their way to nationals, a female high school soccer team survives a plane crash in the middle of the wilderness. Years later, they try to cope with the horrific events that took place after the crash.

Here is the trailer:

Yellowjackets effectively blends several genres together, leading us into a twisted mystery with a great cast and a disturbing plot. Does it do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Showtime

Does plenty to bring you back for more!

Even though there was a lot of set-up in the first episode, it did a really good job of reeling the audience in right from the start. We see glimpses of several dark and disturbing moments in the past that left me wanting more immediately. I’m so anxious to explore the mystery surrounding these characters and I am completely hooked!

Images courtesy of Showtime

All-star cast!

I expected fantastic things from Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci and Melanie Lynskey, but even their younger selves are stealing the show. There is a lot of talent here and I’m so excited to see them all interact more.

Effectively blends genres and time jumps without making our heads spin…

There is a lot to process, but I thought that this show managed to effectively jump back and forth in time. One of my biggest cons with Cruel Summer was that I felt like my head was spinning with the constant time jumps even though I loved the mystery at the center.

Yellowjackets gets this right and I actually thought the past plot was a little more intriguing than the present, but I’m confident that everything will seamlessly connect, bringing us a story worth getting excited about.

I also thought that the blending of genres worked effortlessly. There is something dark and horrific going on, immediately giving me vibes of Alive and The Wilds, but there are also some sprinkles of Big Little Lies too which should make an interesting mash-up.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Showtime

A lot to keep track of…

The time jumps were effective in this series, but the pilot episode was jam-packed with so much. Don’t get me wrong…I absolutely loved all of it, but it was a lot to process and I felt like I needed a cheat sheet at times for certain things, but there’s still plenty of time to figure everything out in ten episodes.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Showtime

I’m in 100 percent!

I’m so excited about this show and I can’t wait to see how things unfold!

The cast is out of this world, the past and the present both have compelling plots, and the dark secrets rooted in the past are so intriguing and I need to know more!

It’s safe to say that I am completely hooked and I think that you will be too!

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

This competition is killer…

When former friends, Shay and Adriana team up to participate in a Halloween scavenger hunt with a cash prize, they temporarily put their differences aside to outsmart their opponents. However, they soon start to realize that a dangerous threat is playing their own version of the game, stalking them during each hunt.

Winning is now a necessity as their lives are at stake. As old wounds and memories re-surface, Shay and Adriana attempt to unmask the threat before the night is over, but soon learn that Scream Hunt is not done with them just yet…

My new young adult horror thriller is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Scream Hunt is available here!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Nine Perfect Strangers” on Hulu: Is Wellness truly worth it?

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

“Wellness here I come!”

Nine Perfect Strangers is a new mini-series from David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies, Big Sky) based on the bestselling novel by Liane Moriarty. The show premiered on August 18th 2021, featuring three episodes available to stream now on Hulu (approximately 45-50 minutes in length). The remaining five episodes will air weekly. The show stars Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, Samara Weaving, Luke Evans, Regina Hall, and Bobby Canavale.

Nine Perfect Strangers introduces us to nine people who have been invited to an exclusive wellness retreat with extreme measures. As they all come searching for “transformation” and a wellness of sorts, they quickly learn that they are signing up for a lot more with their eccentric guru, Masha (Kidman), who may be hiding a few secrets as well.

Here is the trailer:

Nine Perfect Strangers has an amazing cast and an interesting premise, but does it do enough to hold our attention? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Hulu

A cast to be excited about.

I’m always thrilled to see Nicole Kidman in pretty much anything, but wow this cast is truly fantastic. I am a huge fan of Samara Weaving and I love how she always immerses herself completely in whatever role comes her way. While I have mostly seen her in horror films, she has quite a bit of range and I almost didn’t recognize her at first because this character was so different.

Melissa McCarthy is so funny and while her films are usually hit or miss for me, I am finding her to be the best part of the show right now and she is helping balance out a lot of the heavy emotional parts.

The rest of the cast is very talented and I’m interested to explore each character more (including the staff at the Wellness retreat).

A plot that draws you in.

There is a lot left to be revealed here, but I already have so many questions and theories and that’s usually what happens whenever I watch a David E. Kelley show. There are a lot of secrets embedded within the walls of this wellness retreat and I want to know more about Nicole Kidman’s character and what her true motivation is.

The show is doing a good job at bringing me back for more and I’m excited to find out where it’s going to lead us.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Hulu

Not my favorite role for Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman is so talented, but I’m not really feeling this new role for her. Some of the other characters are a lot more interesting, but she does have a lot of mystery surrounding her own character.

I think my biggest issue is her Russian accent. I’m not really buying it and it’s throwing me off a little. I think her character is serving as more of a plot device right now, which is slightly disappointing but I’m hoping that we can explore some more layers soon.

Wavering in its identity.

After watching the first three episodes, I’m not really sure what this show wants to be. Is it an emotional drama? Is it a show about self-discovery? Is it a mystery? I’m not really sure and it’s starting to go off in many directions.

That being said, it’s still reeling me in enough with each episode to keep me coming back for more and I tend to always feel slightly unsure of David E. Kelley’s shows initially, but once all of the reveals begin to unravel, things get a lot more interesting.

I’m hoping that happens here too because I would hate to see this show get lost in the void especially since it has such an amazing cast.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Hulu

I’m in about 75 percent…

I’m intrigued by this show and I think that it has a lot of potential. I’m already reading a lot of comparisons to The White Lotus (I still have to watch this) which makes the timing of this release seem slightly problematic.

That being said, I think that the cast is really wonderful and there is a great dynamic between all of the characters. There is a lot left to discover and I think the show has done enough to keep me invested. I’m confident that the reveals will be worth it, but I hope we start to learn more about the mystery behind everything in the next few episodes.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Nine Perfect Strangers 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…

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! I hope you enjoy!

READ IF YOU DARE…

Dash and Seek is available here!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “The Undoing” on HBO: Nicole Kidman returns to the small screen

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

The Undoing is a new mystery drama limited series from Big Little Lies creator, David E. Kelley. It premiered on HBO on October 25th 2020. The series will air six weekly episodes on HBO and HBO max. It stars Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Donald Sutherland, Lily Rabe, and Matilda De Angelis.

Based on the novel, You Should Have Known, The Undoing follows Grace Fraser, (Kidman) who is a successful therapist living in New York City with her husband and son. After meeting a new mom at a school auction group, a mystery emerges and secrets begin to unravel.

Here is the trailer:

Those of us missing Big Little Lies may be extremely excited about the team-up between Kelley and Kidman once again, but comparisons are not always the best thing for a new show. Does The Undoing do enough to earn its own merit? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Undoing Cast Nicole Kidman HBO

Images courtesy of HBO

Incredible cast!

Much like Big Little Lies, The Undoing has an amazing cast. The acting is incredible and Nicole Kidman really shines as Grace. I am also really intrigued by Elena’s character. There is this magnetic mystery radiating from her and I want to know more! 

I can’t say enough good things about Nicole Kidman, but I need to take a moment to fully appreciate how stunning she is in that dress at the auction…wow! I have a feeling we will see elegant and timeless fashion from her over the episodes.

I want to know more! Mission accomplished.

The Undoing Nicole Kidman HBO 2

Images courtesy of HBO

There is this slow burn approach to the series, as we immerse ourselves in Grace’s life and the drama that surrounds it. The acting is so good and I was never really bored.

As soon as we got to some of the reveals later on in the pilot episode, I was hooked. I have so many questions and I need to watch the next five episodes immediately.

The mystery is a good one and I’m invested for sure.

The Cons:

The Undoing HBO 3

Images courtesy of HBO

Comparisons to Big Little Lies.

It’s hard not to make comparisons when you have the same creator and the same lead actress, but comparing this show to Big Little Lies is not doing it any favors. Rather, I think that if you take a step back from that and treat this show as something completely separate, you will enjoy it more.

This is supposed to be a psychological thriller with drama and it is succeeding so far. While I do see the similarities between the two shows, I am going to give this show the proper chance it deserves.

So am I in or out?

The Undoing Nicole Kidman HBO 4

Images courtesy of HBO

I’m in!

This show is exactly what I need right now. It presents us with a compelling mystery that hooks you right away. Nicole Kidman is incredible and I can’t wait to watch more episodes!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Undoing 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 releases on November 12th 2020! Available for pre-order! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Little Fires Everywhere” on Hulu: Deliciously Deadly Suburbia

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

“If they’re saying something untrue, then you should change the story…”

Little Fires Everywhere premiered on Hulu on March 17th 2020 with 3 new episodes (Approximately 50 minutes in length). The remaining 5 episodes of the limited series will air weekly on Wednesdays. It stars Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Joshua Jackson, Lexi Underwood, and Gavin Lewis.

The show is based on the best-selling novel written by Celeste Ng. It follows a 90’s family living in the picture perfect suburban town of Shaker Heights. They cross paths with a mother and daughter who have just arrived in town, as secrets, dark pasts, and mysteries are revealed. Each character’s story is intertwined with another, creating a vortex of drama along the way.

This plot and setting may seem familiar, as it definitely channels some aspects of Big Little Lies, The Affair, and Desperate Housewives.

However, the connections and story lure you in right away, making this binge-watch friendly option entertaining. But does it do enough to stand out from its predecessors? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Little Fires Hulu 3
Images courtesy of Hulu

Witherspoon and Washington are electric on screen.

Their characters certainly have an interesting dynamic and we can absolutely feel the awkward tension between them, as each mother comes from a different socioeconomic background. However, the performances of these two incredible actresses transform these intriguing characters into something far greater. I can’t get enough of them!

The rest of the supporting characters are actually terrific as well and I would like to spotlight Lexi Underwood, who plays Mia’s (Washington) daughter, Pearl.

A mystery that leaves you wanting more.

The opening scene of the series immediately draws you in, as we discover that Elena Richardson’s (Witherspoon) beautiful home is on fire. We know that this is not an accident and it certainly makes you suspect everyone we meet, as we try to get to the bottom of this mystery, while other secrets are exposed along the way.

Little Fires Hulu 2
Images courtesy of Hulu

90’s nostalgia.

I don’t know about you, but I love a show that can transport me back to a time that I know very well. The show is set during the late 90’s and we get several mentions of this, but the pop culture references seamlessly mentioned really make you feel like you are turning back time.

The kids are seen watching Ricki Lake and The Real World. Elena’s daughter throws in some comments about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and even compares her own high school relationship to Brenda and Dylan’s on Beverly Hills, 90210.

Once you get to the high school dance, the songs will absolutely make you smile. Seriously, one song after the next had me singing along from Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping to The Cardigans’s Lovefool to Savage Garden’s Truly Madly Deeply.

I was in 90’s music heaven and I still know all the words! Enjoy!

The Cons:

Little Fires Hulu 4
Images courtesy of Hulu

Same Reese. Different show.

I wouldn’t say that this is really a con, but I have seen Reese Witherspoon play this character before. Elena Richardson is very much a mix between Bree Van de Kamp from Desperate Housewives and Madeline Martha Mackenzie on Big Little Lies, played by Witherspoon. I’ve seen Reese play this character obsessed with perfection many times and I was hoping for a different role for her.

That being said, she plays the role brilliantly, but I guess I was looking for some more layers from her.

So am I in or out?

Little Fires Hulu 5
Images courtesy of Hulu

I’m in! This series is exactly what I need right now. The show keeps you on the edge of your seat and there are so many moments in-between the big ones that will take your breath away. Every character and plot point is important and Kerry Washington is out of this world. She’s truly incredible and she lights up the screen with Reese Witherspoon, as we unfold this mystery together.

While some of the suburban drama is predictable, the show has not let me down yet, surprising me with its reveals and twists. I can’t wait to watch the remaining episodes and I absolutely recommend this show.

It is the series to watch right now!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Little Fires Everywhere 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!

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My performance of the week ending 7/27/19 on TV goes to…

Nicole Kidman as Celeste Wright on HBO’s Big Little Lies season two.  I am always impressed with Nicole Kidman in every role, but her performance in Big Little Lies has been incredible over the past two seasons.  While I have some mixed thoughts on season two overall, Nicole’s performance continued to send chills down my spine.  It’s almost like you could feel everything that she was feeling, as she completely embodied the character of Celeste.  Please note some spoilers are ahead if you are not caught up on both seasons.

Celeste is so broken and fragile, especially after everything she has recently gone through.  In season two, it almost seems like she is sleepwalking through her life until she gets a huge wake up call.  And yet, through all the mistakes, she is still able to ultimately channel her inner strength and stand up in front of the court to fight for her sons.  Some of Celeste’s actions are questionable and it’s clear that she does need some help, but she loves her children unconditionally and she refuses to be a victim here.

It was unsettling and heartbreaking to witness what Celeste had to go through on the stand, but she somehow decides to defend herself, taking matters into her own hands.  Celeste cross examines her mother-in-law, who is played brilliantly by Meryl Streep, but her mother-in-law definitely knows how to cross boundaries and she pushes a lot of buttons along the way.

Celeste maintains her composure and sets the record straight, bringing to light some interesting revelations.  In the season two finale, I was utterly and completely captivated by Nicole’s performance.  Celeste almost reminded me of a bird with a broken wing, now discovering that she can fly again, which was inspiring to watch.

What’s next for Celeste?  We’ll have to wait and see and I am uncertain if we will see any future episodes of the series.  We are left with another cliffhanger, although it certainly did not have the shock factor of the season one finale, but I am hoping that Celeste uses this win to also recognize that she does need help so that she can truly be there for her children.  Either way, Nicole’s performance is note-worthy and even though season two did not compare to season one for me, she continued to hold my undivided attention, proving to be a worthy actress in every single role.

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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Have a performance on TV that you think is simply outstanding? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

**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!

**Special Summer Book Sale going on from 7/24-19-7/30/19. Each book on sale for 0.99 cents! 

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

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