Spoiler-Free Review of “The Santa Clauses” on Disney+: Scott Calvin is back and brings the nostalgia!

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

“So we’re just doing home invasions now?”

The Santa Clauses premiered on Disney+ on November 16th 2022 with the first two episodes available to stream now. There will be six episodes in total that will air weekly. The holiday comedy series is a continuation of The Santa Clause films (the first film released in 1994). The series stars Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Austin Kane, Elizabeth Allen-Dick, and Kal Penn. Each episode runs for approximately 33-35 minutes.

Scott Calvin begins to realize that he can’t be Santa Clause forever, as he searches for a suitable replacement for the job.

Here is the trailer:

The Santa Clauses has a good amount of nostalgia while creating something new with some decent humor.  Is it worthy of your next watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Disney+

Good sense of nostalgia.

Much like Hocus Pocus 2, The Santa Clauses taps into some magical nostalgia, transporting us right back to 1994 when the first film released. I was super happy to see both Tim Allen and Elizabeth Mitchell in the series and there will be another familiar face to be excited about later on.

The newcomers (especially the elves) do a fantastic job as well, making this series a lot of fun.

Images courtesy of Disney+

The production value is pretty impressive.

When Santa traveled across the world, there were a lot more bells and whistles this time around. I don’t necessarily need a film or series to be flashy with tons of special effects, but The Santa Clauses gets an upgrade, making things feel shiny and new without losing its original magic.

Decent humor.

I think it helps that the showrunner on this worked on shows like Modern Family and 30 Rock. There is a dry humor that works really well. The series is great for kids, but it may be even better for the adults who watched the original film.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Disney+

I’m not sure this needed to be a series…

While I’m having fun watching it, I think this series might have worked better as a film. It sort of feels like a film already and I’m not sure that the weekly release of episodes will do it any favors.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Disney+

I’m in!!!

A cute and light watch with some genuinely funny moments.

If you’re a fan of the original movie, there’s plenty to enjoy with this series.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

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

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

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

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

Spoiler-Free Review of “First Kill” on Netflix: Watered-down True Blood is a Delightful Distraction

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

“Young love is a powerful thing…”

First Kill premiered on Netflix on June 10th 2022 with eight episodes available to stream now. The YA teen vampire series from executive producer, Emma Roberts, stars Sarah Catherine Hook, Imani Lewis, Elizabeth Mitchell, Gracie Dzienny, and Will Swenson. Each episode runs for approximately 46-52 minutes.

Juliette and Calliope begin to fall for one another, but soon realize that one of them is a vampire and the other is a vampire hunter, causing a feud between their families.

Here is the trailer:

First Kill features a LGBTQ+ power couple in this modern interpretation of Romeo and Juliet, but does it have enough bite? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

First Kill Spoiler Free 1

Images courtesy of Netflix

Undeniable chemistry.

I really felt such an electric charge between these two from the very first moment we saw them interact with one another. I was super excited to see a LGBTQ+ couple shine on a vampire series and it was easy to root for these two against all odds. More please!

First Kill Spoiler Free 2

Images courtesy of Netflix

Fantastic cast and stand-out characters!

I am a huge Elizabeth Mitchell fan and I was so beyond thrilled to see her on this show! She does a fabulous job and I really liked the majority of the characters. 

Gracie Dzienny is a scene-stealer as Elinor! Wow, what a character. I’d love to see her have her own show because she is deliciously wicked.

The Cons:

First Kill Spoiler Free 3

Images courtesy of Netflix

Contrived at times with painful dialogue…

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed this series, but I couldn’t take it too seriously. It’s more of a guilty pleasure watch. I’m already seeing a lot of comparisons to Buffy, but this series felt more like a PG-rated version of True Blood to me.

The dialogue was really bad at times (“You bit me. You staked me!”). This made it harder to connect even though I genuinely liked the characters. The plot wasn’t bad, but there were too many characters involved, which over-complicated things. I also could have done without the overdone and overused voice-over narration. There were just so many elements that felt really contrived and I wanted some more edge, even though we saw glimmers of it at times.

It will be interesting to see where we go from here if we get a second season, especially since we got a few cliffhangers at the end.

So am I in or out?

First Kill Spoiler Free 4

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in!!!!

Love at first bite!

This series is really entertaining as long as you don’t take it too seriously. If you enjoy vampire series, you’ll find enough to be excited about with this one and a new ship to swoon over!

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

A Halloween they’ll never forget…

Scream Hunt Halloween

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

Scream Hunt is available here!

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

Ranking “The Purge” movies from Best to Worst

“Commencing at the siren, any and all crime, including murder, will be legal for 12 continuous hours…”

Since The Forever Purge is premiering this weekend, I thought it would be the perfect time to go back and binge-watch all of The Purge films. I’m a huge fan of the franchise and I also absolutely loved the television series. I’m still disappointed that it was canceled, but I’m looking forward to seeing The Forever Purge.

There’s just something about these films. They are highly entertaining and addicting! The masks are creepy, the death scenes are cringe-worthy, and the characters truly make you want to root for them. Each film reveals another aspect of Purge Night, which prevents these movies from feeling repetitive while still keeping you on the edge of your seat.

Please note some spoilers are ahead.

Without any further delay, let’s find out exactly how I ranked The Purge films and why.

1

The Purge: Anarchy

The Purge Anarchy 1
Images courtesy of Blumhouse Productions

The sequel is rarely better than the original movie, but I absolutely adore the second film in the franchise and it is my absolute favorite one. Released in 2014, The Purge: Anarchy stars Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Kiele Sanchez, and Zoë Soul.

While the first movie focused on a home invasion, the second film gives us a chance to see Purge Night on the streets. We follow Frank Grillo’s character, Leo, who is the ultimate bad-ass of this franchise. Leo is looking to Purge after losing his son, but he runs into a group of strangers and decides to intervene to help save them.

Standout Purger:

Who can forget the Purger in the creepy God mask? The wave really seals the deal and makes you want to run for your life. I absolutely love that the mask later appeared in The Purge series (season 2), giving us a fun Easter Egg and a bit of an origin story.

2

The Purge

The Purge 1
Images courtesy of Blumhouse

The original Purge film really came out of nowhere. It was a lower budget film and it ended up being very successful. Released in 2013, The Purge stars Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Edwin Hodge, and Adelaide Kane.

Hawke’s character, James, designed the security system for their home, as he stays in with his family on Purge Night, confident that they will be safe. However, things take a drastic turn when his son lets a bloody stranger into their home to save him, which angers some local Purgers.

The original film has a completely different feel from the other films. We focus on one individual family and their fight for survival. The film is chilling and extremely entertaining and we really connect with this family.

Standout Purger:

The Purge 1 2
Images courtesy of Blumhouse

The leader of this group of twisted Purgers is quite sinister. He even takes off his mask and tries to reason with James and his family. However, once he doesn’t get what he wants, he proves to be quite ruthless and a worthy opponent.

3

The Purge: Election Year

The Purge 3
Images courtesy of Blumhouse

In the third film, we finally take some time to look into the mysterious NFFA and their ties with the government. Released in 2016, The Purge: Election Year stars Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson, and Betty Gabriel.

Once again, the amazing Leo is back and better than ever. He has somehow landed a job as the head of security for Senator Charlie Roan, giving us even more bad-ass fight scenes. Seriously, he’s unstoppable. Senator Charlie Roan is running for presidency and wants to put an end to Purge Night, but the loyal followers of the NFFA refuse to give up without a fight.

After an assassination attempt is made on Charlie’s life, she and Leo end up on the streets and run into some characters who try to help protect her, recognizing what is at stake. The third film has quite a lot of action, but there is a lot going on and it gets carried away at some points.

Standout Purger:

The Purge 3 1
Images courtesy of Blumhouse

Who could forget the candy girls? I mean, it seems like a stretch for someone to Purge over a candy bar, but these girls are ready to seek out revenge on Joe’s deli and they show up dressed to the nines in a car covered in twinkling lights. Talk about making an entrance…

Fun fact: Elizabeth Mitchell starred in my favorite show, Lost, and the infamous Apollo Bar is the candy bar in question. Gotta love a great Easter Egg!

4

The First Purge

First Purge
Images courtesy of Blumhouse

The annual Purge had to start somewhere, right? The First Purge is a prequel to the franchise, allowing us to witness the first actual Purge that took place. Released in 2018, the film stars Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, and Marisa Tomei.

The prequel focuses on an experiment in Staten Island. Residents are offered $5000 to stay home on Purge Night and others are given incentive to actually participate. After the dismal results, The NFFA decides to send in some guns for hire to make it appear that Purge Night is more successful than it actually is, as a group of characters fight for survival throuhgout the night.

The film has a lot of set-up, which gives it a much slower feel. However, the main action sequence toward the end of the movie featuring a raid on the apartment is extremely well done and may be my favorite scene of the entire franchise.

Standout Purger:

First Purge 1

They really nailed the creepy vibe and then some with Skeletor. He is the first official Purger in history and let’s just say that he is having the time of his life…

So, what’s next for The Purge? Well, the television series has been canceled, but I highly recommend that you watch it. It was a lot of fun! The Forever Purge is supposed to take place after Election Year, so hopefully it will bring something new to the table. I’ve heard rumors that this may not be the last Purge film after all and I’m hopefully that a certain vigilante named Leo Barnes returns!

Stay tuned for my review of The Forever Purge! (in theaters July 2nd 2021)

Where to watch The Purge films: As of July 2021, films 1-2 can be streamed on Peacock. Films 3-4 can be watched on FXM or on Hulu with live TV. The Purge television series can be watched on Peacock and Hulu.

Which films did YOU enjoy most?

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Purge films in the comments section below. Thank you 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! I hope you enjoy!

READ 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!