Spoiler-Free Review of “The Stranger” on Netflix: A Complex Thriller Worthy of your next Binge-Watch

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

“A secret revealed is a secret destroyed.”

The Stranger premiered on Netflix on January 31st 2020 with 8 episodes (40-45 minutes in length).  It stars Richard Armitage, Siobhan Finneran, Anthony Head, Dervla Kirwan, and Hannah John-Kamen.

The show is based on the book of the same name by Harlan Coben.  It is a mystery thriller that follows the lives of several families, as secrets are exposed by a stranger, creating a vortex of lies, murder, and a quest to uncover the truth.

This is not the first crime thriller that Netflix has released, but it’s difficult to deliver some worthy twists without over-complicating things.

If you enjoy movies like The Call, The Girl on the Train, and Gone Girl, this new show will make you feel right at home, but does it do enough to stand out as a worthy thrill ride?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Stranger Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

The mystery will keep you invested and guessing the entire time.

Adam Price basically has his entire life turned upside down when a stranger approaches him with a shattering secret about his wife.  As we begin to uncover the truth with Adam, you will find yourself on the edge of your seat, which makes the watch entertaining and fast-paced.  Unnecessary set-up does not get in the way, as we dive right into the mystery from the opening minutes of the series.

An amazing cast.

Richard Armitage does a fantastic job with his role, but I was also really impressed by Siobhan Finneran’s portrayal of Johanna Griffin.  Let’s not forget that we also have Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum, Anthony Head playing a supporting role to perfection.  The list goes on and on and every single performance was spot on.

The Cons:

The Stranger Netflix Show 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

Way too many sub-plots.

Yes, this is one of those shows where everything connects.  However, we certainly get a lot thrown our way and some of it seems beyond outrageous.  If you pay attention, a lot of the connections and reveals make sense later on, but some of them are actually never explained, so I’m wondering why we didn’t just focus on the main mystery, which was compelling enough.

It’s easy to get lost in this show and perhaps it is too complex for its own good, but there are enough reasons why you should still watch the show in its entirety anyway.

So am I in or out?

The Stranger Netflix Show 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in 100 percent!  While the show may be unnecessarily complex at times, it is the epitome of the perfect weekend binge-watch.  You can watch all eight episodes in one sitting and you will probably want to because each episode leaves you wanting more, as you try to figure out the mystery going on.

I tend to thoroughly enjoy mystery thrillers with a touch of Lifetime drama thrown in and this show exceeded my expectations.  While this isn’t the best show or thriller I have ever seen, it delivers as a quick and entertaining show you can watch while throwing in some unexpected twists and moments that will keep you guessing.

Keep these coming, Netflix!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Stranger 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!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” Part 3 on Netflix: Spellbinding Perfection

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

“Here’s to Sabrina Spellman!  Cheerleader by day, Queen of Hell by Night!”

Hell looks good on our girl Sabrina Spellman, played brilliantly again by Kiernan Shipka. 

In the midst of all of the dark and twisted spell-casting, there is still room for some fun bubble gum pop moments featuring cheerleading, Riverdale Easter Eggs, and romance.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Netflix 8
Images courtesy of Netflix

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 premiered on Netflix on January 24th 2020 with 8 new episodes (55-60 minutes in length).  It stars Kiernan Shipka, Miranda Otto, Lucy Davis, Chance Perdomo, Ross Lynch, and Michelle Gomez.

Part 3 starts off with a bang, as Sabrina is desperate to find a way into Hell to free her boyfriend, Nick.  With the help of her mortal friends, Sabrina crosses paths with some new foes along the way.  Sabrina is destined for the crown, but is quickly challenged again and again.

Her loyalties are tested, but where does her heart truly lie?

Parts 1 and 2 were absolutely fantastic, but can Part 3 measure up?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

We dive deeper into a magical world filled with history, wickedness, and mystery.

The show seamlessly submerges us into a world with dark magic wedged into every nook and cranny of history.  We learn about Dante’s Inferno, vampires, banshees, voodoo, Pagan gods, and more.  While it may initially seem like this is quite a lot to cram into 8 episodes, each adventure worked so well with the plot, luring us in that much more.

New and interesting characters.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Netflix 6
Images courtesy of Netflix

The show already has a large cast with amazing characters, but some of the new additions really added to the charm of the show.  But let’s not forget about Lilith aka Mary Wardwell, who continues to be a phenomenal scene stealer.

I also really appreciated the time spent toward developing some of the other characters, specifically Theo and Prudence.

Some of the new villains prove to be quite formidable, constantly putting our girl Sabrina Spellman to the test, which provides us with a lot of edge-of-your-seat moments and exciting twists.  More please!

Lots of fun.

Even though Sabrina is now the Queen of Hell, she still decides to try out for the cheerleading squad with Ros.  We get some fantastic musical numbers that gave me a 90’s nostalgia along with some crafty Riverdale Easter Eggs, which is known as the murder capital of the world.  Where’s vigilante Archie when you need him?

I thought that this poppy fun feel really balanced out the darker elements of the show, giving me a Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibe while still casting its way toward its own magical identity.

The Cons:

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

None.  Well, I guess if I need to pick something, it would be that I wanted more episodes. 

Parts 1 and 2 featured 16 episodes split up into 8 at a time.  Parts 3 and 4 will follow the same format.  We will get the next 8 episodes on July 3rd 2020, which is a long time to wait to catch up with our favorite witches!

So am I in or out?

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Netflix 5
Images courtesy of Netflix

Of course I’m in…100 percent and more!  This show gets better and better.  Countdown until the next witching hour!

If you aren’t watching this show yet, I absolutely recommend it.  It is so much fun and the characters are bewitching…even without the magic.  Enjoy witches!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 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!

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5 Spoiler Free Reasons why you should watch “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” Part Two on Netflix: Dancing with the Devil

“My soul is who I am and I signed it away willingly.”  So what happens when we make that Faustian deal?  Are we destined for darkness or can we still choose a path of light?  For Sabrina Spellman, finding a balance between her mortal life and her witch one becomes that much more complicated in Part Two.  Part Two features 9 episodes and they are all currently streaming on Netflix as of April 5th 2019. 

After watching all of the episodes in one weekend, I can tell you that I am even more hooked than I was before.  While Part One subtly dipped us into darkness, we have now submerged ourselves in it completely, as the gates of hell threaten everyone in Greendale.  However, sometimes the most dangerous threat is staring back at us in the mirror.  Do we embrace the darkness or do we continue to fight for good to prevail?  Please note that major spoilers have been left out for your convenience so feel free to read away!  My top 5 reasons to check out Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part Two are: 

5

Part Two is darker.

The spells are darker, the threats are darker, and even the romance is.  Sabrina embraces her life as a witch, but quickly realizes that she may no longer be able to balance it with her mortal life.  We learn about dark prophecies and fears, as Part Two does not hold back.  It gives us the perfect amount of horror and has quickly become one of my favorite shows about witches of all time.

4

Buffy the Vampire Slayer nostalgia.

Some fans of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina mentioned that they thought the show was similar to Buffy back in Part One.  While I did see some similarities with certain episode plots, it still seemed far away from Buffy, which is one of my favorite series of all time and it’s difficult for a show to even come close to this for me.  However, Part Two was a different story.  We discover a lot about the gates of hell in Part Two, which will have you thinking about the hellmouth in Sunnydale.  Also, Sabrina’s mortal friends come together and start helping out a lot more this season, reminding me a lot of the Scoobies in Buffy.  Alexis Denisof (Wesley from Buffy and Angel) is a fun guest star and we also see a darker romance for Sabrina, which gave me a lot of Bangel feels.  The end of Part Two will have you making some comparisons to “Becoming Part II” of Buffy, which is my favorite episode of all time.  Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is unique and can stand on its own, but I thoroughly enjoyed some of these parallels, which made me like the show even more.

3

All hail the Villainess, Ms. Wardwell.

One of my favorite characters on the show is Ms. Wardwell, better known as Lilith.  In Part Two, her character is explored a lot more and she becomes even more entertaining, if that is possible.  I always love a worthy villainess and while some of the Weird Sisters continue with their antics in Part Two, Ms. Wardwell takes the cake as a villainess you do not want to mess with.  We get to understand a little bit more about her motives as well and her dynamic with Alexis Denisof’s character, Adam, is very entertaining.

2

Kiernan Shipka.

I devoted a previous blog to Kiernan Shipka’s performance as Sabrina Spellman and even gave her my performance of the week.  Kiernan elevates Sabrina’s character to something greater in Part Two.  She is so convincing and she constantly challenges authority, proving to be a female role model one can look up to.  Sabrina never shies away from a challenge and always speaks her mind and tries to do what she can to make a difference.  She is so believable and strong, but she makes mistakes too, allowing us to relate to her that much more.  I absolutely love seeing Sabrina’s character enter into more layers, as we get to peel back each one to discover more and more about who she is and who she is destined to be.

1

New and dangerous threats.

Part Two gives us so many new threats and a lot of twists and turns as well.  Sabrina continues to be tested and we get a huge reveal later in the season, which will have you glued to your television.  Even with all of the dangerous threats thrown Sabrina’s way, she continues to persevere.  However, we quickly realize that Sabrina’s biggest threat may be herself, but are we ever truly able to separate our darkness from our humanity?  Just when you think you have witnessed the Big Bad of Part Two, a new threat emerges, keeping us entertained and guessing until the very end.  I fell in love with this series in Part One, but my love has now quickly become an obsession, which is a good thing.  I hope you enjoy Part Two as much as I did and I absolutely recommend it.  Ready to watch?

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 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!

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! 

Ranking the top 5 episodes of “Angel”

Happy Wednesday TV Fans!  I just finished my Angel re-watch and I’m left wanting more!  I mean, we were left with a cliffhanger in the end, but there is something to be said about this series, which truly resonates with me.  For today, I am going to be ranking my top 5 episodes from Angel Over my many re-watches of the show, these episodes still stand out and captivate my undivided attention.

The series has so many great episodes and I have plenty of honorable mentions as well because it was truly difficult to just pick five episodes.  Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this show has a lot of funny moments, but it is also very dark and extremely heartbreaking.  I relate to the characters on this show so much and I think that’s why some of these episodes truly stand out for me.

It’s not just about advancing the plot or introducing a new big bad.  These episodes mark epic moments, but they also remind us how much we truly connect to these characters, even after all this time.  While some episodes are shocking, other ones are beyond heartbreaking, but they are absolutely brilliant and worthy of a discussion for sure.  During my re-watch, I chatted with so many Buffy and Angel fans and it was interesting to see which episodes stood out for them compared to my own.

While I may have my own personal preferences, it just furthers my opinion that Angel is an underrated spin-off and deserves some recognition as a standalone series as well.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not yet watched the series.  My top 5 episodes from Angel are:

5

“Rm w/a Vu” (Season 1, episode 5)

Room 2 18 1

Cordy:  I’m not a sniveling whiny little Cry-Buffy.  I’m the nastiest girl in Sunnydale history. I take crap from no one…Back off!  Polygrip.  You think *you’re* bad?  Being all mean and haunty?   Picking on poor pathetic Cordy?  Well, get ready to haul your wrinkly translucent ass out of this place, because lady, the bitch is back.

Maude:  Do you think that I’m going to take that from trash like you?

Cordy:  I tell you what I think.  I think that you’re going to pack your little ghost bags and get the HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE!

So for me, this episode has to be the one that hooked me onto Angel for good.  When I first began watching Angel, it coincided with season 4 of Buffy and I was mostly looking for crossover events.  However, this episode changed all of that for me.  I always loved Cordelia Chase on Buffy, played by the amazing and beautiful, Charisma Carpenter.  However, she didn’t always get enough screen time on Buffy and she started to really grow as a character toward the end of season 3.  She even staked her very first vampire at graduation!

I was excited to see her on Angel and this episode allowed her to step out of her supporting role and into a leading one with flair.  This episode is absolutely hilarious and kind of creepy at the same time.  I have to admit that I always hesitate before looking in the mirror in the bathroom just because of this very episode.  I mean, you never know if Maude is still hanging around.

I love this episode because Angel and Doyle are trying to fight off other demons, but it’s Cordelia who needs to find the strength within herself to cast out the ghost of Maude, proving that you should never underestimate a girl with confidence and attitude.

4

“Reunion” (Season 2, episode 10)

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Lilah:  For god’s sake, help us.

Holland:  Angel – please. – People are going to die.

Angel:  And yet, somehow, I just can’t seem to care.

My top 5 list would not be complete without including “Reunion.”  I absolutely adore both Drusilla and Darla and often felt like they didn’t get enough time on Buffy either.  Fear not, these bad-ass ladies make their triumphant return on Angel and wreak havoc on the entire city.  After being brought back from the dead, Darla realizes that she is dying as a mortal and the lawyers of Wolfram & Hart enlist Drusilla to turn Darla back into a vampire.

In this episode, these two ladies go shopping, which is enough to make this episode truly stand out, especially when Drusilla starts “ringing all over.”  I mean, you gotta love modern technology.  However, they do not stop here, as they decide to go to the Wolfram & Hart party and truly make a splash.  Darla reminds Holland and the other lawyers that they ordered a massacre and these two ladies show up to bring the massacre to them.

While this moment is shocking on its own, Angel shows up and closes the doors on the lawyers, turning his back on them and refusing to help.  Drusilla recognizes that this man is not Angelus, but Angel’s humanity is tainted here, as he gives up and even fires his team at the end of the episode, causing our fearless leader to question everything.

3

“Birthday” (Season 3, episode 11)

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Skip:  You may wanna think about that. The only way *you* get to keep the visions is by becoming – part demon. The process isn’t easy. It’ll make your vision pain feel like a stroll through candyland. And even after the pain subsides the effects of the transition will be numerous and unpredictable. You may never be able to lead a human life again.

Cordy:  So – demonize me already.

I love this episode because it is a Cordy-centric one; however, it also allows Cordelia to really transform and grow as a selfless hero, which is extremely important.  In this episode, Cordelia’s painful visions catch up with her, as she ends up in some kind of deep sleep or coma, as Angel and her friends try to help her.

Cordelia ends up in a limbo of sorts and meets her guide, Skip, who is a hilarious demon that really almost deserves his own spin-off series.  Cordelia is brought to a mall so she feels comfortable and is given the chance to re-write her life.  Skip makes it so she never bumped into Angel at the party in LA and she ends up becoming famous with her own show, Cordy!  It seems like she has the perfect life, but Cordelia’s path intertwines with helping the helpless and she later makes the decision to accept her visions and become part demon.

Skip warns her that there will be consequences, but Cordelia is ready to accept her fate, understanding that it is her true purpose to help others.  This episode is so important because we have really seen Cordelia’s goodness shine through, as she will do anything to help.  In previous seasons of Buffy and maybe even earlier on Angel, Cordelia would have taken her shiny new life and ran with it, but she’s not that girl anymore.  She has become a hero one can truly be proud of and she’s ready to embrace her new destiny. 

2

“Not Fade Away” (Season 5, episode 22)

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Illyria:  You’re fading. You’ll last 10 minutes at best.

Gunn:  Then let’s make ’em memorable.

Spike:  In terms of a plan?

Angel:  We fight.

Spike:  Bit more specific.

Angel:  Well, personally, I kind of want to slay the dragon…Let’s go to work.

I was a little torn between my number 1 and 2 picks, but I am going to give the series finale of Angel my number 2 spot.  However, please note that this was a very difficult decision because this episode is fantastic.  Season 5 really got things back on track for the show, but it also provided us with some heartbreaking moments that still make me cry today.

In the series finale, the apocalypse we have been hearing about for 5 seasons is finally unleashed by Wolfram & Hart.  Angel and his team are ready to fight, even though the odds are definitely not in their favor.  The episode does a great job of summing certain things up and providing us with some closure.  For example, we get to see Harmony being Harmony and Connor returns to stand by his father’s side, which is important.  We also get to see some heartbreaking closure for Wesley as well, which I am going to devote another blog entry to, so stay tuned on that.

At the end of the episode, it is raining and our remaining heroes debate over the plan.  Angel wants to fight the dragon of course and simply tells them to “go to work,” leaving fans with a major cliffhanger at the end of the series.  So, we don’t know if the prophecy will be fulfilled and if Angel will eventually become human and we don’t know the fate of some of our remaining characters as well.

However, I think this series finale is one of the best I have seen on any show because it reminds us what the show is about.  While Buffy had more closure and the opportunity to do whatever she wanted at the end of the series, Angel and his team are left fighting the good fight, which is why he came to LA in the first place.  It’s not about achieving the happily ever after.  It’s about the fight until the very end to “help the helpless” and that’s exactly what Angel and the others do.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one episode of Angel are:

  • “I Will Remember You”
  • “Hero”
  • “Eternity”
  • “Five by Five”
  • “To Shanshu in L.A.”
  • “Guise Will Be Guise”
  • “Darla”
  • “Disharmony”
  • “Lullaby”
  • “Forgiving”
  • “Awakening”
  • “Soulless”
  • “Salvage”
  • “Life of the Party”
  • “Destiny”
  • “Harm’s Way”
  • “A Hole in the World”
  • “Shells”

1

“You’re Welcome” (Season 5, episode 12)

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Angel:  I need you here.

Cordy:  Don’t make it hard, Angel. I’m just on a different road… and this is my off-ramp. The Powers That Be owed me one, and I didn’t waste it. I got my guy back on track…We take what we can get, champ, and we do our best with it. I’ll be seeing you.

Oh, what the hell. One for the road?

There really has to be something said for the 100th episode of this series.  I remember being so disappointed when I saw that Cordelia was no longer in the main credits at the start of season 5 and I was wondering if she would ever wake up from her coma.  In this episode, fans get their wish and Cordelia returns.  Her bright smile is back and she is excited for some “shopping” with Angel and Wesley, giving fans a real sense of nostalgia and appreciation for the start of the series.

The episode is absolutely brilliant from start to finish, but nothing could prepare me for the very end.  Joss Whedon is fantastic at creating twists that we never see coming and that’s what he did here.  Cordelia reveals that it’s no longer her time and that the “Powers That Be” owed her one, allowing her to get Angel back on track with his destiny.

Throughout the series, Angel and Cordelia had a will-they-won’t-they vibe going on and I really loved the chemistry between these two.  That being said, I am a Buffy & Angel fan for life, but I’m not going to knock the connection between Angel and Cordelia.  After missing literally every opportunity to be together previously, it seems like they are now going to get a chance at a “happily ever after.”  Only this is a Joss Whedon show and happily ever after is not possible, as we learn that Cordelia never wakes up from her coma and Angel is informed at the end of the episode that she died.  A

ngel is initially confused, as he tells the person on the phone that she is standing right there, but realizes that she is gone.  However, Cordelia does her job by reminding Angel what he stands for and they even get the chance to share an epic kiss that had me swooning for sure.

In classic Cordy-style, she says, “You’re welcome” at the end of the episode and we are left with Angel simply saying, “Thank you,” which broke my heart all over again, as he is now standing there alone.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post some of your thoughts on your own favorite episodes from Angel below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Angel and cordy gif 1

**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!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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Ranking the top 5 villains from “Angel”

Happy Wednesday TV Fans!  For today, I have returned to one of my old favorites, Angel, as I am currently on the last season of my re-watch.  I have such an appreciation for this spin-off series of Buffy, as it really was not afraid to dive deeper into the darkness that exists all around us.  Angel Investigations had a mission to “help the helpless” and they did run into their fair share of villains along the way.  However, they faced some demons they never saw coming, some evil foes from their past, and even villains among each other.

These villains became worthy opponents who continued to threaten our beloved characters and the world.  Each villain was unique and terrifying in their own way, but they continuously challenged Angel.  Whether they used the law and corruption to further their agenda or just smashed everything in sight, they deserve a spot in my top 5.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the series yet. My top 5 villains from Angel are:

5

Holtz collage

Holtz

Daniel Holtz is a vampire hunter from Angel’s past and he made a deal with a demon named Sahjan so that he could get his revenge on Angel and Darla.  Holtz is the main villain in season 3 and returns from a state of suspended animation to take out “Angelus” once and for all.  Holtz learns that the vampire he knew from long ago is now with a soul, but he still wants to make him suffer.  Angelus killed Holtz’s family and Holtz wants to even the score.

He is a formidable villain because he successfully takes away the one thing that Angel truly cares about.  He doesn’t kill Angel’s son, but he abducts him and takes him to another dimension with the help of Wesley’s betrayal.  Angel’s son, Connor, ends up growing up in another dimension and is raised by Holtz.  Holtz continues to manipulate this love and even has his right hand partner in crime, Justine, kill him so it looks like Angel did it.

Holtz wants to ensure that Angel’s son will hate him for the rest of time, which is a revenge that would hurt Angel more than any other type of torture thrown his way.  Holtz was contemplative in his plan and truly impacted Angel, proving to be a villain worthy of my top 5 for sure.

4

The beast collage

The Beast

The Beast is a nearly unstoppable demon that emerges in season 4.  When Cordelia returns to earth, she has visions about this particular demon, which seems to be connected to Connor somehow.  The Beast is very powerful and Angel has a tough time fighting him.  The Beast begins killing members of the “Ra-Tet” to successfully banish the sun.  The Beast is all about destruction, but we eventually learn that his strings are being pulled by Jasmine, who has taken over Cordelia’s body.

Even though The Beast is not a master manipulator, he is powerful enough to hurt everyone in his path, including Faith, who tries to help bring back Angel once he is turned into Angelus.  The Beast was a villain made for nightmares and he definitely gave me some during my re-watch and he may have been Angel’s toughest opponent when it comes to combat.

3

Dru and darla collage

Darla & Drusilla

The delicious and dark duo that wreaked havoc in season 2 absolutely deserve a spot on my list.  By themselves, Darla and Drusilla prove to be dangerous, but as a tag team they are truly masterful.  After Darla is brought back as a human in season 2, Wolfram & Hart recruit Drusilla to turn her into a vampire.

These two bad-ass ladies just want to have fun, as they even go on a shopping spree that is to die for…literally.  Angel has close ties to both of them from his past, which makes them formidable foes.  My favorite episode with them is “Reunion,” (Season 2, episode 10), where they decide to turn the tables on Wolfram & Hart and deliver a “massacre” just like they ordered.  Only the massacre is on the lawyers, as they kill everyone at the party except for Lindsey and Lilah.

They even spark a darkness within Angel, as he allows Darla and Drusilla to kill everyone at the party.  He is not Angelus in this moment, but something else, as his past consumes him and he almost turns off his humanity here, which proves just how dangerous this duo was.

2

Jasmine collage

Jasmine

After fans were initially shocked that Cordelia could be the potential big bad in Season 4, we learn that Jasmine has been controlling her and pulling the strings.  Cordelia ends up giving birth to Jasmine, which puts her into a coma, and the goddess is released into the world.  You would think that Jasmine would be all about destruction, but her methods are different, as she creates a world of “shiny happy people.”  You know she was evil when she got Angel to wear yellow.

Everyone is enamored by Jasmine, as they flock to her and will do anything to make her happy, which is beyond dangerous.  Later on, Fred is exposed to Jasmine’s blood and sees the true face of Jasmine, which consists of maggots and rotting flesh.  Thanks to Fred, everyone else is eventually able to see what Jasmine truly is and we learn that she consumes large groups of people at a time to maintain her strength.  So, basically she eats people, but in a happy, cheery way.

Jasmine is a worthy villain because she was able to successfully infiltrate Angel’s group and use Cordelia to be reborn into the world.  She was also a villain that Angel could not just merely fight and attack, as her manipulation of the world was something transcendent of violence, but luckily we had our girl Fred there to make a difference.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Angelus
  • Illyria (although I don’t personally classify her as a villain)
  • Skip
  • Vocah

1

WOlfram collage.jpg

Wolfram & Hart

It should be no surprise that my favorite villain has to go to “Wolfram & Hart.”  I decided to keep them as a collective, rather than break them up individually, because that was the point of this evil law firm.  While Buffy had to fight endless demons, gods, and vampires, Angel had to deal with evil lawyers who were not afraid to cut through red tape to further their agenda.  My standout lawyers from Wolfram & Hart were Lindsey and Lilah, but the entire concept of an evil law firm was pure genius. 

The lawyers of Wolfram & Hart successfully use manipulation and corruption, which is not something Angel can just easily fight or attack.  They actually helped Angel become an even stronger hero, as he needed to think outside the box to outsmart them again and again.  In season 5, Angel is presented with the opportunity to lead the Wolfram & Hart branch in LA, which was a shock to many viewers.  Even though Angel tries to do good with the resources he now has readily available, there are still consequences and threats thrown his way.

The ultimate last apocalypse of the series is unleashed from Wolfram & Hart, which reminded us that they were the very source of the evil walking the earth.  Whether you love them or hate them, you have to respect the unique methods of Wolfram & Hart, as this law firm absolutely earns my top spot today.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own thoughts and comments on your favorite villains from Angel. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**Don’t miss out on My Bloody Valentine’s Week book promotion for The Search for Alice!  It will be on sale for 99 cents from 2/11/19-2/17-19 and free with Kindle Unlimited! 

The Search for Alice is available here!

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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!

As you may know, February is “Women in Horror” month. To celebrate, PromoteHorror.com asked women from different professions if they would like to answer some questions about being a “Woman in Horror,” and more. I am so excited that I was interviewed for this and I hope that everyone continues to celebrate and support women in horror all year round! Check out my Women in Horror month Interview at Women in Horror Month Interview with Author/Blogger Amy Koto

Ranking my top 5 funniest moments from “Angel”

Happy Wednesday TV fans!  As I near the end of my Angel re-watch, it really got me thinking about how many hilarious moments there are throughout the series.  It’s been quite some time since I have re-watched this show and I found myself laughing out loud repeatedly, proving that even though this show may be considered a darker spin-off of Buffy, it really stands out and embraces its own identity.  For today, I am going to be ranking my top 5 funniest moments of the entire series.  I was having a little bit of trouble deciding because there were so many hilarious moments, but I guess it comes down to preference.  Either way, I think you will be thoroughly entertained and I hope it brings you some Angel nostalgia and some laughs as well.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the full series yet.  My top 5 funniest moments from Angel are:

5

Angel singing “Mandy” for karaoke (Moment from Season 2, Episode 2, “Judgment”).

So, Angel singing in any capacity is hilarious, but this is where it all started.  There are several references throughout the show to Barry Manilow and Angel’s favorite songs, but you really can’t beat this moment.  Cordelia is also absolutely hilarious when she comments that Angel will do anything to save someone.

4

Harmony comes to visit (Moment from Season 2, Episode 17, “Disharmony”).

Harmony really shined when she became a vampire.  I didn’t think that anything could get funnier than her having “minions” on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, her on-again-off-again relationship with Spike or “Blondie Bear,” or her bitch fight with Xander, which had me falling out of my chair laughing.  However, Harmony was not done yet and made her presence known on Angel.  The episode, “Disharmony,” is one of my favorite personal guilty pleasures and it is laugh out loud funny from start to finish.  Later on, Harmony gets her own episode in “Harm’s Way,” (season 5, episode 9) and never disappoints!

3

Wesley pretends to be Angel (Moment from Season 2, Episode 6, “Guise Will Be Guise”).

Wesley doesn’t always get all the attention he deserves, but he is one of the funniest characters on the show.  This is the first episode where he really shined for me, as he pretended to be Angel to help an innocent.  The episode got funnier and funnier along the way, as Wesley wore Angel’s coat with pride and even insisted on calling the shots after Angel had returned.

2

“I don’t dance…” (Moment from Season 1, Episode 13, “She”).

In this episode, Angel is forced to mingle at Cordelia’s party and gets thrown off when someone asks him to dance.  After saying, “I don’t dance,” we hilariously cut to scenes of Angel dancing ridiculously.  In the end credits, we get to see both Angel and Wesley dancing, which is beyond funny.  Enjoy!

Some honorable mentions before revealing my funniest moment on Angel are:

  • Spike mocks Angel and calls him a “fluffy puppy with bad teeth” in Season 1, Episode 3, “In the Dark.”
  • Angel and Wesley’s reaction to Cordelia’s acting in Season 1, Episode 17, “Eternity.”
  • Lorne’s family member does the “dance of joy” in Pylea in Season 2, Episode 21, “Through the Looking Glass.”
  • Angel gets turned into a puppet in Season 5, Episode 14, “Smile Time.”
  • Cordelia sings “Greatest Love of All” in Season 4, Episode 4, “Slouching Toward Bethlehem,” which is the same song she sang for talent show in Season 1, Episode 9, “The Puppet Show,” on Buffy.  I’m not sure which performance is better…
  • Fred asks Angel if he has any weed in Season 4, Episode 6, “Spin the Bottle.”
  • Illyria says that she has been in a world without shrimp in Season 5, Episode 17, “Underneath,” which is a throwback to Anya talking about a world without shrimp on Buffy.
  • Pretty much any scene with Andrew.

1

Cordelia and Wesley mock Buffy and Angel’s romance (Moment from Season 3, Episode 5, “Fredless).

I almost completely forgot about this scene and when I got to it on my re-watch, I must have watched it at least ten times.  It’s seriously that funny.  Cordelia puts her acting skills to the test, but Wesley steals the show when he steps in and says that he almost forgot to brood.  Angel’s reaction to “the show” is absolutely hilarious as well.  As a big fan of Bangel, I really appreciated this scene, as it brightened up my day and gave me a new respect for Angel.  I hope you agree!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post some of your own favorite funniest moments on Angel in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**Don’t miss out on My Bloody Valentine’s Week book promotion for The Search for Alice!  It will be on sale for 99 cents from 2/11/19-2/17-19 and free with Kindle Unlimited! 

The Search for Alice is available here!

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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!

 

Ranking my top 5 moments featuring Buffy and Spike from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Happy Wednesday TV fans!  As I near the end of my Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-watch, it really got me thinking about how many epic moments there are between Buffy and Spike.  While I tend to prefer Buffy and Angel together romantically, I cannot ignore the spark between these two and I’m sure that Spuffy fans would agree.

For today, I am going to be ranking the top 5 moments featuring Buffy and Spike.  I was having a little bit of trouble deciding because there are so many outstanding moments and I did ask for input from Spuffy fans on Twitter as well.  Thank you so much for your help and participation!  I’m glad to know that I was not the only one having trouble with this, but I think that really proves that all of these Spuffy moments truly stand the test of time.

Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the full series yet. 

My top 5 moments featuring Buffy and Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are:

5

Porch scene

The porch scene (Moment from “Fool for Love” season 5, episode 7).

Front porch.gif

During this episode, Buffy seeks out Spike’s help after she is almost killed by a vampire.  Spike has killed two slayers in his lifetime and Buffy is looking to find out more about this.  We get to see a glimpse into Spike’s past and learn that he was previously a “bloody awful poet” before being turned into a vampire.

During present day, Spike has the chip in his head and is beyond furious with Buffy after she tells him that he is beneath her, which is what Cecily said to Spike so many years ago.  Spike decides that he is going to kill Buffy to even the score, but has a sudden change of heart when he sees her crying on the porch.

Buffy has just found out that her mother is extremely sick and she takes a moment outside to try and deal with this.  In a beautiful and selfless moment, Spike simply asks Buffy “what’s wrong” and sits next to her on the porch in silence.  Buffy may not be ready to talk about it just yet, but this gesture is very much appreciated and reveals that Spike is capable of friendship and goodness even before his soul is returned.

4

Intervention

Buffy kisses Spike as “Buffybot” (Moment from “Intervention” season 5, episode 18).

During this episode, Spike’s “Buffybot” is both hilarious and slightly disturbing.  Spike’s infatuation with Buffy has reached a new level, as he “role plays” with Warren’s creation.  Glory’s minions notice that “Buffybot” is protecting Spike as if he were “precious” and mistake him for the key.  Glory tortures Spike badly, but he refuses to give Dawn up because he knows that it would destroy Buffy.

At the end of the episode, the real Buffy pretends to be “Buffybot” to find out what Spike said.  After Spike reveals that he did not tell her anything, Buffy kisses him.  This is the first “real” kiss between these two.  Buffy does it to thank him, but Spike is beyond shocked by this act and I was pleasantly surprised myself.

3

I love you buffy

Buffy tells Spike she loves him right before he sacrifices himself (Moment from “Chosen” season 7, episode 22).

In the series finale, Spike sacrifices himself to destroy the hellmouth.  Right before he dies, he tells Buffy that he can feel his soul.  Buffy holds his hand, which begins to burst into flames and tells Spike that she loves him.  Spike says, “No you don’t.  But thanks for saying it.” 

While this moment is absolutely heartbreaking, Spike’s purpose has now been fulfilled.  He saves the world and protects Buffy, truly earning the title of a “champion.”  Buffy recognizes his sacrifice and tells him that she loves him because he deserves to hear it.  Whether she means it or not, this moment truly touches my heart and soul.

2

Musical

Buffy and Spike kiss at the end of the musical (Moment from “Once More, with Feeling” season 6, episode 7).

You can’t help singing along to the musical episode of Buffy.  Or maybe you can, but I absolutely know all of the words and I’m not ashamed to admit that.  There have been undeniable sparks between Buffy and Spike leading to this moment and at the very end of the musical episode, Buffy and Spike share an epic kiss.

It’s like you can see the fireworks going off at this moment, as these two finally begin a romantic relationship.  While their relationship has many ups and downs, this kiss is beyond swoon-worthy.  Most fans voted for this particular moment as their favorite and I have to admit that I was pretty torn as well, but I ultimately decided that there was one more moment that really showcased the love between Buffy and Spike even more.  At least for me.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one moment featuring Buffy & Spike are:

Buffy drinking.gif

  • Spike takes Buffy out drinking (Moment from “Life Serial” season 6, episode 5).
  • Spike proposes to Buffy after Willow’s spell goes wrong (Moment from “Something Blue” season 4, episode 9).
  • Faith in Buffy’s body teases Spike (Moment from “Who Are You?” season 4, episode 16).
  • Buffy learns that Spike’s soul has returned (Moment from “Beneath You” season 7, episode 2).
  • Buffy & Spike take down a building (Moment from “Smashed” season 6, episode 9).
  • Buffy tells Spike that she was in heaven (Moment from “After Life” season 6, episode 3).
  • Spike tells The First that Buffy believes in him (Moment from “Bring on the Night” season 7, episode 10).

1

Touched 5

Spike tells Buffy that she’s the one (Moment from “Touched” Season 7, episode 20).

After re-watching the series, this moment still remains as my absolute favorite for Buffy and Spike.  Spike’s speech to Buffy is so real and perfect.  He tells her how he feels with every part of his being and speaks from the heart.  Buffy is feeling lost and confused and Spike reminds her that she is a “hell of a woman” and “the one.” 

Later in the episode, Buffy and Spike just hold each other, which is truly something magical.  This simple expression of their love is so pure and perfect.  Their relationship has transcended into something beyond epic in this moment and I wouldn’t have it play out any other way.

Later in the series, Spike even tells Buffy that it was the best night of his life and it’s definitely my favorite moment for these two!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own comments and thoughts about your favorite moments featuring Buffy & Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**I would love it if you would take a moment to check out my Whizbuzz Book page via the link below for everything you need to know about my new book, The Search for Alice, including my author bio page and links to my website and social media sites!  Thank you!

My Whizbuzz Book Page

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!

I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy 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!

When Kallie Bennett, a jaded teenage girl plagued by her alcoholic mother and her peers molded out of sheer bubble gum perfection, chases after Alice in Wonderland herself, she ends up lost in her own version of Wonderland, which forces her to face her utmost fears and introduces her to familiar characters with a dark twist. Among these characters is Ches, a gorgeous vampire with a conflicted conscience, who becomes Kallie’s guide and blossoming love interest. She also crosses paths with Queen Hartley, a manipulative witch who has the power to strip away one’s memories and imagination, which brings a bone chilling new meaning to “off with their heads.” In The Search for Alice, Kallie starts to realize that her Wonderland is just as frightening as her own reality and that she cannot always run away from her problems. She must figure out a way to defeat Queen Hartley and return home before it is too late, but she soon learns that escaping Wonderland means leaving Ches behind forever.

Want to read more?  You can click the link directly below for a free preview.  Thanks for your support!

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

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover