5 Spoiler Free Reasons why you should watch “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” on Netflix: A Binge-Worthy Treat That Is Everything You Crave”

“What’s the point of being a witch if I can’t help the ones I love?”  An excellent question for sure, as half-mortal Sabrina Spellman learns that being a witch is not all fun and games.  If you had the choice to be a witch or a mortal, what would you choose?  Would you continue on your normal path or would you choose the path of night?  The Netflix series is based on the Archie Comics series, which was also the inspiration for the sitcom, Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996-2003).  While the sitcom was a fun and lighter take on Sabrina’s adventures, the Netflix series is a much darker approach.  The show features 10 episodes and they are all currently streaming on Netflix as of October 26th 2018.  After watching all of the episodes in one weekend, I can tell you that I absolutely adored this series.  Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is the perfect portion of Riverdale bubble gum pop dipped in delicious darkness.  It is absolutely enchanting and I highly recommend it.  Please note that major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.  My top 5 reasons to check out Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are: 

5

This show tackles real issues. 

Welcome to Greendale.  While the town is known for its spooky and Halloween-like atmosphere, it is also near Riverdale and it should be noted that these two series do connect.  If you are a Riverdale fan like me, you will be pleasantly surprised with a few mentions and connections along the way.  Even though the town has a lot of dark and mystical things going on, the series also sheds some light on some important issues.  Sabrina and her friends witness and deal with sexual harassment and bullying, reminding us that there are some real life horrors happening along with the supernatural ones.  The show does a good job of making us aware of these important issues and promoting female empowerment, while seamlessly continuing on with the plot.

4

The supporting characters.

It is sometimes difficult for the supporting cast to step into the spotlight, especially when there is a strong lead capturing our attention.  However, I was delighted by a lot of the supporting cast.  I give standout performances to Lucy Davis (Hilda Spellman), Chance Perdomo (Ambrose Spellman), Tati Gabrielle (Prudence), Michelle Gomez (Miss Wardwell), and Miranda Otto (Zelda Spellman).  These characters all complimented Sabrina so well and I could really see a true connection among the Spellman family.  You will be delighted by all of them.

3

Episodes 5, 8, and 9.

While all of the episodes were fast paced and fun, these three were on a completely different level.  I will not spoil anything for you, but I would definitely recommend giving these three episodes your undivided attention.  Episode 5 provided me with some Buffy the Vampire Slayer nostalgia and episodes 8 and 9 were shocking and dark, pulling the story in a twisted direction and further developing the character of Sabrina.  These episodes are not predictable and they will have you on the edge of your seat.  Enjoy the ride!

2

Sabrina Spellman.

Played by Kiernan Shipka, Sabrina is a strong female protagonist who you can truly root for.  Kiernan is absolutely enchanting and she really captured the essence of the character.  Sabrina makes mistakes along the way, but that is part of her charm.  She’s flawed, but she has so much inner strength and loyalty to her friends and family.  Sabrina always tries to do what is right to protect the ones she loves.  She sort of reminds me of a mix between Riverdale’s Betty Cooper and Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger.  She is a fast learner and is willing to go against authority to try and keep her moral compass intact.  Sabrina is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in and she is constantly challenging everyone, reminding us that she is not just a powerful witch, but a powerful and amazing woman.

1

A worthy series about witches.

It’s not always easy to provide the audience with a true representation of witchcraft.  There is always the allure of having magical powers and casting spells, but there needs to be a balance as well.  Shows like Charmed and American Horror Story:  Coven were able to capture this along with movies like The Craft.  Chilling Adventures of Sabrina tackles everything from truth spells to resurrection ones and reminds us about “personal gain” and real consequences.  While it may seem glamorous to be a witch, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina reminds us that it’s not always this simple.  Sabrina is trying to find her own identity as a person, but also has to deal with making a choice between her mortal life and her destiny to become a witch.  It’s a decision that weighs on Sabrina for quite some time and she begins to understand that magic cannot always solve everything.  While the show will provide you with some fun magical moments, it also reveals the darkness and sacrifice that comes with it.  Overall, I was truly impressed with this show and I cannot wait until season 2.  I absolutely recommend this spellbinding series to everyone.  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 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

Stay up to date on upcoming premieres of horror TV series @ 12nightsofhorror.com/horror-series-coming-soon

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

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5 Spoiler Free Reasons why you should watch “The Haunting of Hill House” on Netflix: A Worthy Horror Series filled with Bone-Chilling Moments

“I am home.”  But what if you share your home with ghosts and spirits?  I’m not talking about Casper here, but potentially dangerous and manipulative spirits that can haunt you for the rest of your life.  The Netflix series is based on the book by Shirley Jackson, which was also the inspiration for the film, The Haunting.  There were two versions of the film in 1963 and in 1999 as well.  The Netflix series follows a family who grew up at Hill House and flashes between the past and the present, unraveling the mysteries there.  Each member of the Crain family encounters something different, but they are all connected to the house in one way or another.  They desperately try to overcome their terrifying and traumatic past, as new obstacles and threats continue to surface in their present.

The show features 10 episodes and they are all currently streaming on Netflix as of October 12th 2018.  After watching all of the episodes in one weekend, I can tell you that the series was a pleasant surprise.  There were absolutely terrifying moments that will have you going to sleep with the lights on for weeks to come and other moments that were so incredibly heartwarming and unpredictable.  The show somehow successfully blends family drama in with genuine horror, giving me almost a Brothers and Sisters vibe, while continuing to provide me with frightening moments.  The acting is absolutely incredible and the writing and dialogue is somehow poetic, luring you in to Hill House completely.  Please note that major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.  My top 5 reasons to check out The Haunting of Hill House are: 

5

This show is genuinely scary. 

I’m not talking about the typical jump scares that almost seem unnecessary and essentially become predictable, as you can almost count down to the next moment that is meant to make you pop out of your seat.  The scares on this show are not forced and they seamlessly connect with the rest of the plot, which make them that much more terrifying in my opinion.  You may have nightmares about “The Bent-Neck Lady” like me, but the show will continue to provide you with worthy bone-chilling moments up until the very end.  I found myself needing to watch the show with all the lights on, even during the day.  It’s seriously that scary and even if you don’t scare easily, you will appreciate the way these terrifying moments emerge.

4

Something different.

While some fans have been apprehensive about the series following a different plot, this works to the show’s advantage.  It allows us to be presented with an entirely unique mystery in familiar territory and branches out further to form its own identity, separate from the novel and the films.  If you are looking for just another remake of the films, this is not the show for you, but I would encourage you to give it a try anyway because it is well worth the watch.

3

Episodes 3, 5, and 9.

While all of the episodes were brilliantly done, these three were absolutely incredible.  I will not spoil anything for you, but I would definitely recommend giving these three episodes your undivided attention.  While important plot points are learned during these three episodes, there is something so incredibly magnetic about them.  I found myself completely lost in the story during these three episodes in particular, unaware of anything else going on around me.  That’s how good they are.  Make sure you have your popcorn ready in advance!

2

The cast.

I was initially overwhelmed by the large size of the Crain Family.  We meet Hugh and Olivia Crain, played by Timothy Hutton and Carla Gugino, and their children:  Steven, Shirley, Theo, Luke, and Nell.  The show flashes back between past and present quite frequently and everyone in the cast was absolutely terrific.  I give standout performances to Carla Gugino, Kate Siegel (older Theo), and Elizabeth Reaser (older Shirley), but truly everyone was amazing.  You really believed that they were all family and found yourself connected to each and every one of them as the episodes continued.

1

The family drama works.

Part of what made me enjoy this show so much was the fact that I was completely connected to the characters.  I wasn’t willing to part with any character and I found myself rooting for them more than I normally would when watching a horror film.  The show does an excellent job of combining the terrifying and unexplained moments with the horror we deal with in everyday life.  I’m talking about unspeakable crimes that are committed, grief that we need to endure, addiction, and guilt that will eat us up from the inside if we let it.  The show seamlessly blends the supernatural horrors with these very real ones, connecting us that much more to the characters and the story.  While I initially thought that perhaps the show might have been better suited as a film, I quickly realized that this is not the case.  You would lose out on the connection to these characters and the mystery unravels in perfect tempo, leading up to a satisfying crescendo at the end.  While the series is not your average horror movie, it elevates to something more powerful and resonating.  You won’t be disappointed.  Ready to watch?

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on The Haunting of Hill House in the comments section below.  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

Stay up to date on upcoming premieres of horror TV series @ 12nightsofhorror.com/horror-series-coming-soon

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

5 Reasons why you should watch “Light as a Feather” on Hulu: “Light as a feather…stiff as a board.”

“So who wants to go next?”  If you have ever watched the movie, The Craft, then you know about the slumber party game, “Light as a feather, stiff as a board.”  Maybe you tried this out in your own basement and failed miserably or maybe you called your mom to pick you up early from a sleepover party just to avoid this very type of game.  No judgment please.  Either way, this show focuses around that very same game with an added twist that will have you wondering if any slumber party game is safe.  After watching Truth or Dare earlier this year, I’m having my doubts.  The Hulu series is based on the book by Zoe Aarsen and follows a group of teenage girls who enjoy pre-gaming at a cemetery as part of their Halloween tradition.  A night of seemingly harmless fun turns into something dark and twisted, as each character hears a description of how they will die before they are levitated by the group.  While this is not the version of the game I remember, it certainly adds for dramatic effect, especially when the characters realize that they are in danger of dying that way in real life.

The show features 10 episodes and they are all currently streaming on Hulu as of October 12th 2018.  After watching all of the episodes in one day, I can tell you that the series can best be described as cotton candy sweet with some light and fun horror sprinkled on top.  Yes please!  The show reminded me of a mix between Pretty Little Liars and The Craft and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised overall.  If you are looking for jump scares or nightmare-worthy horror, this is not necessarily the show for you, but there are some cringe-worthy moments for sure.  October is the perfect month to watch your fair share of horror and and Light as a Feather delivers as a binge-watching worthy treat.  Please note that major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.  My top 5 reasons to check out Light as a Feather are: 

5

A concept that immediately draws you in.

The fact that we are all familiar with the slumber party game, “Light as a feather, stiff as a board,” definitely helps draw you into this show right away.  The show also does a great job of diving right in and not giving you too much back story that will have you tuning out.  While we do get to learn about each character, I thought that the flashbacks flowed together perfectly.  Sure there are some moments featuring teenage drama that you may find unnecessary, but let’s not pretend like that’s a reason to turn off the show.  Think Mean Girls, Heathers, and Pretty Little Liars. 

4

Short episodes.

I don’t know about you, but I love to binge-watch.  Each episode is about 25 minutes long so it is absolutely possible to finish this show in a weekend or even a day if you are feeling ambitious.  The writers did a great job of ending each episode on a cliffhanger that will have you automatically pressing play for the next one to start.  Sometimes you don’t even realize how far you have gotten because each episode is fast paced.  It’s also OK to walk away for a moment and grab your popcorn if needed because you will not need to analyze every second of the show to understand what is happening.  No need to rewind unless you really want to.  The show is pretty straightforward and the recaps at the beginning of each episode fill you in on everything that’s important.  The show is just pure entertainment without all the fuss and I have to say that I appreciated that, especially while taking a break from other shows and films that require more attention.

3

You can’t easily predict what is going to happen next.

You may think you have already figured out the show just from watching the preview and maybe you have, but I think that the show does a really nice job of keeping you on the edge of your seat.  The mystery behind the game unravels with each new episode and the questions that you may have stirring around in your brain are answered, but the answers aren’t completely obvious, which is refreshing.

2

McKenna Brady played by Liana Liberato.

I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely invested in the characters on this show and no one stood out in particular other than McKenna Brady, played brilliantly by the talented Liana Liberato.  I always look for a connection to a character and McKenna is someone I could see as my own best friend.  While her friends and family have redeeming qualities, there is something magnetic about McKenna.  She is smart and capable, but she is not perfect.  She falls into the classic scenario of hanging out with the mean girls at school and knows that she is guilty of this.  However, McKenna has a lot on her plate and I commend her strength and loyalty.  While I initially got a Single White Female vibe from the antagonist, Violet, I saw some potential here as well.  Either way, I was pleasantly surprised by Liberato’s performance and she really helped elevate the rest of the show, redeeming some other performances that were leaving a little something to be desired.

1

Throwback to fun horror movies in the 90’s.

What I really enjoyed about this show was that it was the perfect throwback to films like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream, Urban Legend, and The Craft.  I grew up watching these movies and I enjoyed that they were the perfect blend of slasher and terror scares with some predictable, but fun teenage drama thrown in.  I personally enjoy fun horror movies like this that don’t have me terrorized with nightmares for the rest of my life, but everyone likes something different.  Either way, I thought that this show provided me with the entertainment I expected and even pleasantly surprised me, leaving me wanting more.  Ready to watch?

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on Light as a Feather in the comments section below.  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

Stay up to date on upcoming premieres of horror TV series 12nightsofhorror.com/horror-series-coming-soon

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

 

Ranking the top 5 moments featuring Fiona from “Shameless” season 8

Happy Monday TV fans!  As I woke up this morning, I felt a void not having a new episode of Shameless to discuss.  However, just because Shameless is done for the season, it doesn’t mean we have to take a break from the hilarious Gallagher family and friends cold turkey.  For today, I am going to be recapping and ranking the top 5 moments featuring the lovely Fiona Gallagher from season 8.  Whether she was trying to make a point to her family or giving her tenants a piece of her mind, Fiona fully embraced her new role as a land lady with spunk and class…well maybe not class, but she does get her point across after a few tries.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the full season yet.  My top 5 moments featuring Fiona from Shameless season 8 are:

5

Fiona is not a step in anyone’s rehab. (Moment from Season 8, episode 4)

Sean is back and Fiona is not about to let her heart stay shattered.  When Sean walks through the door, Fiona’s first reaction is to walk out and leave him standing there with his mouth open.  After she eventually goes to find out what he has to say, she learns that he is clean now, but also married and she realizes that she is a step in his recovery.  Fiona storms out of the restaurant but is not done just yet.  She writes down every lie and every promise in a fury and decides to let his wife know just how she is feeling.  Sounds like the perfect revenge, only Fiona tells all of this to the wrong woman and she starts screaming at her husband thinking he is using drugs again.  Sean then walks out of his motel room with his wife and Fiona just gets into her car laughing.  It’s great to see Fiona can still have a sense of humor even when she is dealing with the jerk who broke her heart and left her on her wedding day.  Fiona realizes that Sean is not worth it and heads home to be with her family.  You are much more than a step in a program Fiona, you are our hero!

4

Fiona was right.  (Moment from Season 8, episode 3)

When the kids come to Fiona about what to do about the angry meth dealer, Fiona is more than willing to help set it right.  But not before she has each and every member of the family say “I was wrong, you were right Fiona.”  Fiona has been telling them the entire time that this was a bad idea, but the kids continued on anyway and she wants them to learn a valuable lesson.  The Gallagher family then proceeds to dig up Monica.  So it happens that Fiona buried the rest of the Meth with their dead mother, Monica which leads to an interesting bonding moment between the siblings.  They are covered in dirt, digging for an eternity, and you would think this would be bad enough.  Carl then uses a forklift to speed up the process, only to drop the coffin, which opens suddenly as their dead Mother falls out.  Their screams of horror are hilarious, but they work together as a team while they continue to tell Fiona that she was right all along.

3

Fiona says “Game On!” (Moment from Season 8, episode 7)

Throughout episode 7, Ian demonstrates that he is not backing down and is still mad at his sister for preventing him from obtaining the shelter for the homeless kids he works with.  He pours ice-cold buckets of water on her, throws eggs at her apartment building, and sets up tents in the lot next door to bother Fiona.   “Occupy Fiona!” the kids scream repeatedly, while Ian uses a megaphone to get the full volume and effect he is looking for.  Fiona tries to be the bigger person and refuses to let Ian see that she is angry, but when he calls the fire marshal on her and messes with her business, it’s game on.  Fiona bribes the homeless teens with pizza and when that doesn’t work, she whips out her wallet.  “You get a 20 and you get a 20!” she shouts proudly, happy to have won.  Her pride is intact, but most of her money has been sacrificed for the cause.  Ian is furious that she has done this, but she tries to make amends by finding them another space to open the shelter.  She tells Ian how much she cares about him and loves him, genuinely worried about his well-being, remembering that family comes first.

2

Fiona rescues her dog, Rusty. (Moment from Season 8, episode 11)

After learning that the injured roofer, Rodney and his family are suing Fiona for 6 million dollars, she weighs her options and learns that she is basically screwed.  Not only did she hire an unlicensed contractor with no insurance, she also only has liability coverage up to half a million dollars.  Fiona would have to give up the apartment building and her house and still be in debt for the rest of her life if Rodney goes through with the law suit.  Fiona tries desperately to get the family out of her apartment and is shocked when she finds out they even changed the lock.  Fiona tries to make a deal with Ronald’s wife and even offers for them to stay in the apartment rent free for a year, but is not getting anywhere.  Fiona’s main concern is for her dog, Rusty, however.  She demands that “there better be water in her dog’s bowl” and launches a plan with her boyfriend, Irish Ford to save him.  After sealing the door shut and turning off the water, Fiona drills her way into the apartment and gets her dog, Rusty to safety.  Ronald’s daughter screams out for “Sparkles,” horrifying Fiona even further that they had the audacity to rename her dog.

1

“Time to go Gallagher.” (Moment from Season 8, episode 12)

After Fiona talks with her lawyer, she is horrified that Rodney and his family are actually demanding custody of her dog, Rusty…or “Sparkles” along with 3 million dollars.  Her lawyer explains that her best option is to sell the building and to declare bankruptcy but Fiona is not ready to give up on her hard work just yet.  After consulting with a few others, Fiona realizes that she is going to take back what is hers.  She meets Frank’s friend, “Pyro Paulie,” who provides her with instructions on how to smoke out Rodney and his family…literally.  After they vacate the building, Fiona gives them an offer on her terms.  She says she will pay them a few thousand now for them to leave and never come back and that she will continue paying them $500 a month after that.  Rodney’s wife refuses the offer, which prompts Fiona to begin lighting cash on fire to show them she means business.  Rodney realizes that a lawsuit can take a very long time before he may see any money and takes the deal.  Fiona is able to keep her building and now has a new relationship with Irish Ford to look forward to.  Things are looking up for Fiona after all.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and comments on Shameless below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Ranking the top 5 episodes of the series

Happy Friday TV fans!  I was somewhat uninspired by the shows that aired last night so I decided to return to an old favorite, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Over the years, Buffy still holds up for me as one of my top shows of all time.  Buffy first aired when I was in high school and in desperate need of a female lead to look up to that was strong, resilient, smart, and selfless.  Plus Sarah Michelle Gellar’s wardrobe as Buffy helped my fashion sense tremendously.  Watching Buffy helped shape me into the person I am today and while I have not re-watched the show in several years, the episodes are still fresh in my mind.  I have to say that out of all my top 5 rankings, this was the most difficult show to narrow down my selections.  I adore making lists so when I was brainstorming last night about which episodes I wanted to include, I found myself scratching off some and adding others repeatedly.  There were some that I really wanted to include but I thought it was only fair to pick 5.  I think that goes to show that there are so many amazing episodes of Buffy.  Good job Joss Whedon! My five top episodes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer for are:

5

“Hush” (season 4, episode 10).  

I have to admit that I still have nightmares about “The Gentlemen” from this episode.  They are so well crafted and creepy, that even Freddy and Jason cannot compare.  “The Gentlemen” travel to Sunnydale to collect hearts and steal the voices of everyone so that no one can hear you scream.  I was in college when this episode first came out and I remember being very hesitant to open my dorm-room door after a knock because of this.  Sure that is a little extreme, but that’s how truly scary these demons were.  What really makes this episode stand out is that Buffy and the Scoobies have to find a way to defeat them and communicate with one another without their voices.  This leads to some great comedy along the way balanced with sheer terror.

4

“Fool for Love” (season 5, episode 7).

In this episode, Buffy comes very close to dying and is looking for a way to learn from her mistakes and stay alive.  She decides to go to the vampire, Spike, for help.  She knows that over his lifetime, he has killed two slayers and she wants to know how.  For me, Spike has always been one of my favorite characters.  The development of his back-story was so interesting and necessary to the show.  What really grabs the viewer is when he tells Buffy that “he’s always been bad,” only to flash back to a scene where he is dressed in a dusty suit, reciting poetry.  Who would have thought that one of the most dangerous vampires of all time had a romantic side?  We find out through the episode that he was nicknamed “William the Bloody” because of his “bloody awful poetry.”  While it is interesting to see how Spike is turned into a vampire and how he defeated the other two slayers, what really stands out is his love for Cecily.  He had been crafting his poetry for her and pouring his heart out, only for her to reject him and say that he is “beneath her.”  This moment is what drags Spike’s vulnerability to the surface and comes back to haunt him when Buffy later says the same thing to him.  For me, the end of this episode always stands the test of time.  Spike goes off to kill Buffy for making a fool of him and he sees her crying on her porch steps after she has learned that her mother is very ill.  He goes to sit with her and comfort her in what I think is the purest and most beautiful moment between them.  At this moment, Spike doesn’t have a soul.  Sure, he has a chip in his brain preventing him from hurting others, but he is able to show true compassion and friendship here, which is really beautiful.

3

“The Gift” (season 5, episode 22).  

This is a very powerful season finale and I often thought that the series would end here.  It wasn’t until the UPN network picked up Buffy for seasons 6 and 7 that it continued on.  A lot goes on in this episode and a catastrophic portal opens that can only be closed by the blood of the key, Buffy’s sister Dawn.  Buffy makes the ultimate sacrifice, choosing to jump into the portal to sacrifice herself to save her sister and the world.  A flash-back reveals Buffy reminding Dawn that their blood is the same, which brought tears to my eyes.  Buffy tells Dawn that “the hardest thing in this world is to live in it.  Be brave.  Live.  For me.”   As if this moment couldn’t have been tragic enough, Spike’s reaction to Buffy’s death is so heart-wrenching and real.  He does truly care for her and feels he let her down.

2

“The Zeppo” (season 3, episode 13).  

You may be wondering why I included this episode and why it is ranked so high on my list.  “The Zeppo” is the funniest episode of the entire series, following a series of events through Xander’s perspective.  In the beginning of the episode, Cordelia talks about how everyone in the Scoobies has something to contribute except for him.  He’s like “Jimmy Olsen” or “The Zeppo.”  Xander gets into a never-ending adventure where Buffy and the rest of the gang are simply background noise.  Xander’s reaction to each new challenge is hilarious and the music is spot on, which makes this episode stand out for me as one of my all-time favorites.

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

  • “School Hard”
  • “Halloween”
  • “Innocence”
  • “Passion”
  • “I Only Have Eyes For You”
  • “Homecoming”
  • “Lovers Walk”
  • “The Wish”
  • “The Prom”
  • “Living Conditions”
  • “Something Blue”
  • “Who Are You?”
  • “Buffy vs. Dracula”
  • “Triangle”
  • “The Body”
  • “Life Serial”
  • “Once More, With Feeling”
  • “Tabula Rasa”
  • “Conversations with Dead People”
  • “Lies My Parents Told Me”
  • “Chosen”

1

“Becoming Part 2” (season 2, episode 22).  

This has always been my absolute favorite episode of the series.  While the episode has a lot going on, the last moments are what make it so powerful.  Angel has lost his soul and became the evil Angelus and Buffy is fully prepared to put a stop to him, recognizing that the man she fell in love with no longer exists within this soulless demon.  Angelus is opening the mouth of a demon that will swallow the world hold, unleashing hell upon earth.  Just as Buffy is about to strike him down with a sword and save the day, Willow’s spell takes effect, and his soul has now been returned.  Angel doesn’t remember what has happened or where he is.  The damage is done; however, as the demon’s mouth has already been opened and Buffy must destroy the love of her life to close the portal.  Buffy reveals her selflessness again to save the world, losing her true love in the process.  Once the tragic task is completed, Buffy leaves Sunnydale, unable to deal with the tragic consequences.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to comment on some of your own favorite episodes.  Happy viewing and have a wonderful weekend!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

“Breaking Bad” ranking the top 5 episodes of the series

After re-watching AMC’s Breaking Bad all the way through for the second time, this series maintained a comfortable spot in my top 5 television series of all time.  The characters of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, played brilliantly by Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, have so much depth.  They both possess flaws but as viewers, we accept them for it, and they transform into even more complex characters throughout the series.  Their partnership is heartfelt and tragic at the same time, remaining constant among a whirlwind of dangerous challenges and foes along the way.  After re-watching the series for a second time, I was eager to rank my top 5 episodes from the show.  Please note that spoilers are below if you have not gotten the chance to watch and if you haven’t, I strongly recommend that you get to cooking!  My top 5 episodes from Breaking Bad are:

5

“One Minute” (season 3, episode 7)

For starters, the flashback to “The Cousins” as young boys guided by Hector Salamanca is haunting on its own.  The two boys are fighting and one wishes the other was dead.  Hector proceeds to drown the boy, asking the other one how much longer he has down there.  When the boy comes up for air, Hector reminds the brothers that family is everything.  In present time, Jesse is recovering from the horrific beat-down that Hank gave him, after Walt had someone prank his cell to claim that his wife was in the hospital.  The end of the episode had me on the edge of my seat, as Hank is seen entering his car in a shopping plaza with flowers for his wife.  Everything seems to be going fine until he gets an anonymous call that two men are coming to kill him.  Even before we see “The Cousins” approach the vehicle, Hank’s reaction to every little sound and flash that goes by almost makes time stand still, which makes this episode that much more haunting.

4

“Dead Freight” (season 5, episode 5)

The opening of this episode is so innocent and tranquil.  A young boy is riding his dirt bike in the desert when he comes across a tarantula, which he captures in a jar.  The sound of a freight train echoes in the distance.  As the episode continues, I almost forgot about this opening scene.  The episode is jam-packed with so much action and drama.  Even after watching a second time, my heart was beating out of my chest when Jesse and Todd were pulling off a heist to replace the Methylamine with water, while Walter monitored it.  Meanwhile, Mike and the rest of the gang kept watch and distracted the drivers.  Everyone played a major part in this heist and I worried about it unraveling with each new obstacle.  The heist is successful and everyone is celebrating when the young boy from the opening of the episode is standing in front of them and innocently waves.  The unthinkable happens when Todd waves back and then shoots him, as Jesse screams “No” in so much agony, that it almost echoes through the television.  In a fleeting moment, the innocence is destroyed and reality sets in that everything is not without consequences.

3

“Face off” (season 3, episode 13)

This is probably one of the most intense season finales of a show I have ever seen.  The previous episode revealed Walter’s failed attempt to take out his nemesis, Gustavo Fring, with a car bomb.  The viewers know by now that although Fring is a worthy opponent, one should never underestimate Walter White, Heisenberg himself.  Walter calculates every moment of revenge, involving Fring’s former enemy, Hector Salamanca, keeping the phrase, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” true.  Who would have thought that Hector could still be so dangerous in his condition?  The ominous ringing of his bell returned and ended with an explosion.  Perhaps what was most eerie about this, was that Gus adjusted his tie and walked out of the room, keeping up his polished appearance per usual, only to collapse, revealing that half of his face had been completely torn off.  The writers don’t stop here, however.  At the end of the episode, we get a shot of the Lily of the Valley berries that we know poisoned Brock, the child that Jesse had grown so close to.  Walter will stop at nothing to remain on top, but clearly has gone too far this time.

2

“Grilled” (season 2, episode 2)

This is the episode that completely hooked me on the show.  While I enjoyed the short first season, this episode elevated the show to an entirely new level.  Walter and Jesse had been kidnapped by their insane opponent, Tuco.  You may think that is crazy enough, but Hector Salamanca steals the show with his incessant ringing of the bell, which ultimately brings Fring to his demise later in the series.  Tuco explains that the ringing of the bell means “yes”and no ring means “no.”  Walter and Jesse had been trying to poison Tuco, but Hector is not going to let them get away with it that easy.  They try to convince Tuco that Hector was mad because they changed the TV station, but with each threatening ring, Tuco becomes more and more suspicious of the beloved duo.  The episode even ends with the bell ringing throughout the credits to leave the viewer with that sound to remain in their senses for just a few minutes more.  Talk about intense!

1

“Salud” (season 4, episode 10)

After watching the series through for a second time, this episode still remains my absolute favorite.  Any true Breaking Bad fan will take just a glimpse at the infamous pool and be transported back to this intense episode.  Part of what makes this episode stand out so much to me is that Walter is not involved in the action-packed scene, which leads to Gus Fring poisoning the entire cartel.  Jesse, Mike, and Gus meet the powerful, Don Eladio.  After Jesse comes to teach the cartel how cook successfully, the cartel now insists that they “own” Jesse.  Don Eladio is in for an unfortunate turn of events; however, when Gus presents him with his favorite bottle of tequila and proposes a toast.  Gus even takes a sip himself after insisting that Jesse does not have any because he is an addict.  As the cartel begins dropping like flies, Gus is shown puking in the bathroom to get rid of as much poison as possible.  It shows the viewer just how far he will go to bring his enemy down, which is what makes his later demise so extreme.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your comments along with your own favorite episodes below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl