Ranking the top 5 moments from “Fear the Walking Dead” season 4 episode 9: “Yesterday is Yesterday”

Happy Thursday TV fans!  After watching AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead season 4 episode 9, I learned that it’s important to leave the past in the past, but what happens when the future is uncertain?  Are we able to get through the day or do we find ourselves replaying moments that we can’t change?  While we don’t know what the future holds, it’s important to keep Al’s words in mind:  “Yesterday is yesterday, but today is today and God knows if there’ll be a tomorrow.”  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.  In last night’s episode, “People Like Us,” Morgan decides that it is time to return home, now understanding that Rick was right all along.  Meanwhile, Alicia, Victor, and Luciana distract themselves in different ways and June confides in Al about John.  My top 5 moments from Fear the Walking Dead season 4 episode 9 are:

5

“There’s nothing for me anywhere.”

While Alicia handles her grief by isolating herself, Victor and Luciana remain inside the big house they found.  Victor gets through the day by drowning himself in alcohol and Luciana tries to shut off everything around her by losing herself in the music from the record player.  Morgan tries to convince both of them to come to Virginia with him.  While Victor explains that he has had his “fair share” of road trips, Luciana’s response about there being nothing for her anywhere is hopeless and devastating.  Nick’s death has clearly had a huge impact on her, but it’s truly heartbreaking to see her feeling so alone and isolated.  Luciana needs someone to believe in again and maybe it’s the last person in the world you would ever think she would be invested in, but at least Charlie’s act to return the book, “The Little Prince,” got her out of the house.

4

“I just want to look him in the eye and tell him he was right.”

During the episode, Morgan recognizes that it’s time to return home and he asks that Al drive him there.  He plans on leaving the next day and he shares that his friend was right all along.  We know that Morgan is referring to Rick, but he had to see it for himself.  Morgan thought that he needed to be away from people, but his experience with the people he met here reminded him that he can still do some good for those around him and make a difference.  It’s great to see Morgan have a change of heart here and it’s important that he came to this epiphany on his own.  Let’s just hope Morgan can get a chance to tell Rick all of this.

3

“Telling her brought me back to the world.”

Charlie is having a tough time in her new circumstances and doesn’t even call out for help when she is almost attacked by a walker.  John Dorie is very concerned about her and tries to talk to her about it in the tank without any pressure.  He understands what it feels like to have something eat away at you, especially guilt and regret.  John explains that he found someone to talk to, meaning June, and says that “telling her brought me back to the world.”  Hopefully Charlie can trust John or find someone else to confide in before it’s too late.  His words do clearly resonate with Charlie, as she risks her life to try and take a step toward forgiveness by returning the book, “The Little Prince,” to Luciana.  While she may never be forgiven completely, it is a step in the right direction.

2

“I’m not Laura.”

When Al and June go to investigate things down the river, June requests to talk to Al off the record.  She confides in her about her concerns and fears, worrying that John will soon realize that she’s not “Laura,” the woman he fell in love with.  June feels like she’s a woman who got scared and ran away and is defined by this.  Al admits that she doesn’t really give advice, but tells June that she has been helping John everyday now and “that’s who you are now.” 

1

“My mom would have saved him.”

Morgan is very concerned about Alicia who has been staying by the garden, isolating herself from everyone else.  Alicia has been finding notes asking for help pinned to walkers and she distracts herself from the pain and grief swirling around inside of her by focusing on finding this person who needs help.  Morgan agrees to assist her, as they follow the notes like a trail of breadcrumbs to the source.  Morgan tries to caution Alicia about rushing in and the two team up to execute a plan.  When Alicia reaches the man, she is devastated to find out that he has already turned.  Morgan tries to explain that he has been like that for days and that she could not have saved him, but she tells him that her mom would have, which makes this moment truly heartbreaking.  Alicia knows that she has a lot to make up for, but Morgan suggests something simpler like just being there for her friends since they clearly need her.  This moment between Morgan and Alicia is real and honest.  Morgan has felt exactly like Alicia, wanting to run away from everything and stay away from people, but now truly understands that this is not the way.  Let’s hope that they both get a chance to help their friends before it’s too late.  After all, it’s raining walkers and a storm is coming.  Stay tuned!

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

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!

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Ranking my top 5 Horror TV Shows: “Well good news I found a piece of pie with no blood on it. Anybody want a bite?”

Greetings TV Fans!  With all of the excitement centered on the release of the trailer for the upcoming Halloween film, I started to really think about some of my favorite horror films of all time and then I realized that there are quite a few TV shows that fit the bill as well.  Whether you enjoy campy horror, slasher suspense, or zombies galore, horror TV shows have been around for quite a while and still stand the test of time.  For today, I am going to be ranking my absolute favorite horror TV shows.  Please note that for this list I have decided not to include TV shows that overlap in fantasy, supernatural, and sci-fi.  For example, shows like Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, and True Blood will not be included because I think they have so many other layers with elements of horror.  That being said, if you have read my blog before, you know that I am a huge fan of these shows, but I wanted the chance to let some other horror TV shows take the spotlight.   Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch any of the series below yet. My top 5 horror TV shows are:

5

Slasher

I recently got the chance to binge-watch the first two seasons of Slasher on Netflix and I have to say that the show pulled me in right away.  If you are a fan of slasher films like Scream, this is the show for you.  The first season centers around the character, Sarah who finds herself caught in the middle of a series of murders that are very similar to the murder of her own parents.  The opening episode is beyond terrifying featuring the killer, The Executioner, who will give you nightmares for sure.  The second season follows a completely different story-line and has more of an Agatha Christie type feel, as we learn about a group of friends who were responsible for killing a girl many years ago and try to put together the missing pieces when they later return.  Each season brings different elements to the table, but has a healthy dose of gore, mystery, and twists that are not that easy to guess, which is refreshing.

4

Scream Queens

I am a huge fan of campy horror and I thoroughly enjoy films like Shaun of the Dead, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, The Evil Dead franchise, and The Cabin in the Woods.  I think there is something to be said about the perfect blend of horror and comedy that is just pure genius.  Even though Scream Queens only lasted two seasons, this show had me laughing out loud and screaming whenever the Red Devil made an appearance.  The show follows a sorority who is targeted by the killer, but I have to say that Niecy Nash playing the security guard, Denise is the absolute best part of the show.  While you may think you have seen a million movies like this before, Scream Queens really delivers and I was beyond disappointed when the show was cancelled.

3

Bates Motel

Have you ever wondered what turned Norman Bates into the infamous killer in Psycho?  Bates Motel gave us the chance to really dive into the dark and creepy world of Norman Bates.  The show is a prequel and we get a glimpse into Norman’s life as a teenager.  The acting on this show is outstanding and the characters really draw you in, as you almost feel sympathy for Norman as you see the events that lead to his breakdown.  The show has an eerie and mysterious feel, drawing the viewer in seamlessly.  While we don’t see as much blood and gore in this particular show, Norman’s actions are bone-chilling and beyond creepy, which scare us in an entirely different way.  When Norman dresses up as his mother, it’s scary how he is able to emulate her mannerisms and words to perfection.  While the show answers many questions from Psycho, it also does a great job of paving its own identity, causing you to be on the edge of your seat at all times, never knowing what to truly expect from the Bates family.

2

Ash vs Evil Dead

Ash vs Evil Dead is another show that is the epitome of campy horror.  Bruce Campbell is a genius and I have been a fan of the Evil Dead franchise for a long time.  The show gave fans the chance to fall in love with Ash Williams, or “Ashy Slashy,” all over again, accepting that the only person who can stand in the way of evil is not afraid to deliver a well thought out pun just before destroying a deadite in grotesque and creative ways.  The show also allows fans to get to know the Ghost Beaters, Kelly and Pablo, who team up with Ash against the she-devil, Ruby, played by the absolutely fabulous Lucy Lawless.  The show recently aired its series finale, but provided fans with three seasons of fun, gore, comedy, and great music.  You are seriously missing out if you do not check this show out.  “Groovy.”   

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Scream
  • It
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?
  • Twin Peaks
  • The Twilight Zone
  • Goosebumps
  • The Strain
  • Hannibal
  • The Walking Dead franchise

 

1

American Horror Story

It should be no surprise that my favorite horror TV show is FX’s American Horror Story.  The show is created by Ryan Murphy and does an amazing job of covering every element of horror.  Each season features a different premise with a new type of evil never lurking too far away.  While each season is unique in its own way, my absolute favorites are Coven, Hotel, and Murder House.  The show is not afraid to test boundaries and will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time.  There have been some moments on the show that have been so frightening that I was not able to sleep without seeing Twisty the Clown appear in my nightmares.  The show does a great job of bringing one’s fears to the surface, but it also really looks into the darkness that exists within society as well, which really elevates the show.  The most recent season focused on a cult, proving that humanity can be just as capable of performing evil as spirits and vampires.  I was also very intrigued by the comparison of each season to a circle of hell from Dante’s Inferno Dante’s journey through each circle exposes him to different types of sin and evil that exist in the world and within society, which adds even more complexity to American Horror Story.  I am beyond excited to see what the next season brings and what sins it will explore next.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own thoughts and comments on your favorite horror TV shows. 

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 the top 5 moments from “Fear the Walking Dead” season 4 episode 8 Mid-Season Finale: “No One’s Gone”

Happy Monday TV fans!  After watching AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead season 4 episode 8, I learned that we really are all “connected by this single screwed up world,” as Al suggested.  The truth is important and the stories and memories we leave behind are sometimes all we have left to cling to.  We may not always find what we are looking for, but we touch the lives of so many without even realizing it.  Words and actions matter and more importantly, the truth can bring us some much needed comfort, reminding us that it’s never too late to become the person we are meant to be.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.  In last night’s episode, “No One’s Gone,” we learn that Madison and Al crossed paths in the past; making a much bigger impact on each other than anyone might have guessed.  Meanwhile, Morgan and Naomi try to make it to the infirmary to help save John Dorie’s life, Alicia shows up to finish things once and for all, and Madison’s fate is finally revealed.  My top 5 moments from Fear the Walking Dead season 4 episode 8 Mid-Season Finale are:

5

“Thought I’d mix it up today.”

When Al and the others show up at the stadium, the tank is surrounded by an overwhelming amount of walkers, but they are ready to cause a distraction that will allow Morgan and Naomi to get inside to help John.  The plan seems to be working, but Alicia, Victor, and Luciana show up with an RPG, refusing to make this go seamlessly.  Alicia and Al share some choice words over the walkie-talkie, while Al reminds her that she’s now definitely supporting the other side.  It’s great to see Al finally step into the action, as she trusts Charlie to record what goes on, not wanting to lose out on a chance to document their story further.  Alicia and Al get into quite the fight when Alicia shows up at the tank.  Al comes pretty close to being the main course meal for the walkers, but is able to get out of this without a scratch.

4

“We’re connected by this single screwed up world.”

During the episode, we flash back to the past before Madison found the stadium and learn that she crossed paths with Al.  While they initially start off not trusting each other, Madison eventually lets her guard down after aimlessly searching for a tape from one of her kids.  Al talks to Madison about the truth and tells her how it can change things.  She empathizes with Madison and explains that even though she didn’t find the story she was looking for, someone might be interested in her story one day.  Madison explains that she broke her promise to her kids and that “you don’t need a camera cus it just sticks.”  She tells a heartwarming story about her kids trying to help a wounded bird and nurse it back to health.  They named the bird “Amina” for short and took care of her, giving her a chance when no one else would.  Madison would open the box each day, fearing what she might find, but was shocked to see the bird flying around in their living room.  Madison was so touched by the actions of her children who refused to give up on this bird that anyone else might have turned their back on.  She explains that there is not a lot of that left in the world now and she never wants her kids to lose that.  When Madison and Al part ways, Al gives her some Ramen noodles and tells her that maybe they will meet again.  Later on, when Madison reunites with her kids at the motel, she reveals to them that someone helped her when they didn’t have to and that “It’s time for us to do the same.”  Her interaction with Al inspires her to build the stadium into a place where others can go to find a sense of belonging, protection, and people who will stand by them.  Madison’s words are absolutely beautiful and remind us that there is still good in the world.  Even though she and Al were strangers, they ended up helping each other, reinforcing the belief that there are still good people existing in this world.

3

“June, well that’s my favorite month.”

When Naomi goes into the infirmary with Morgan, John is holding on by a thread.  He asks Charlie to record him, but Al tries to get him to stay positive.  John explains that “it’s for her,” as he speaks openly to Naomi on camera and tells her to stop running and to help Morgan do the same.  Luckily, Naomi is able to stabilize John and it looks like he is going to be OK.  Naomi tells John that her real name is June, finally wanting to tell him something real and meaningful.  John’s reaction is beyond heartwarming when he tells her that June is his favorite month.  June touches John’s hand and the spark between these two is burning brightly again, allowing us John Dorie fans to cheer.  It looks like these two might get the chance they deserve after all, inspiring some hope in this distressing world.  I am absolutely thrilled that John is going to be OK because his character elevates the show, opening up possibilities for a new chapter.

2

“I’m not that person anymore.”

When Alicia is in the tank, she spots the Ramen noodles and demands to know where Al got them.  Everything clicks in her head when she frantically searches through the tapes and finds one titled, “Amina.”  Alicia watches the recording of her mother, Madison, carefully listening to each and every word, displaying her grief across her face.  Alicia still wants to take revenge on Naomi, however; and demands that Al convinces her to come out.  Al strategically leaves on the walkie-talkie to warn Morgan and Naomi.  Morgan offers to go first because he doesn’t want anything to happen to Naomi.  When Alicia comes out, he stands in front of Naomi and she is shocked that is willing to give his life for a stranger.  Alicia’s rage is almost uncontrollable now, as she points the gun at them and screams, “My Mom’s dead because of what you did!”  Morgan doesn’t give up on Alicia and even when she says that she’s not that person anymore, Morgan tries to get her to realize that it’s not too late and that things can change.  Morgan explains that they did for him and they still can for Alicia.  He ultimately gets through to her when he tells her that they already have because he’s not dead.  Alicia breaks down crying and the immediate threat is over, as she finally allows her emotions to break through.  This moment is absolutely heartbreaking, as Alicia shows her own vulnerability.  It’s shocking that she waited this long to cry, but her actions are understandable and I just hope that she can take comfort in knowing how much her family cared about her and how she still has the opportunity to become who she is meant to and to help others in need.

1

“It was never about the stadium.  It was about the people.  It was about us.”

Al asks Alicia what happened to her mother, as she made quite an impact on her as well and Alicia replies with, “You want the rest of my Mom’s story?  Pull over.”  All of the pieces finally come together, as we learn about the last moments for everyone in the stadium.  Charlie explains that Mel saved her life and got her out of there in the car.  Naomi reveals that she tried to talk everyone out of leaving, but they had already made up their minds.  She explains that she was then surrounded by walkers and made a run for it, thinking that everyone was already dead.  She was then later picked up by the Vultures, but it’s clear that Naomi was just trying to survive like everyone else.  We learn that Victor got burned when he saved Alicia from running after her mother and then we finally learn the fate of Madison.  Madison recognized that her friends and family were in danger and lured the walkers away from them with a flare, trusting that the walls would hold.  No one else believed her and the other people died trying to escape, but Madison knew that she was right.  Once she saw that her family would be able to get away safely, she tried to make it to the tunnels but was trapped with nowhere to go.  As the walkers surrounded her, Madison threw the flare into the hoard and a bright glow reflected off her face before the explosion hit.  Madison gave up her life so that her family and friends could live.  After the story is recorded, Al labels this one “Madison,” reminding us that her story is never gone.  Madison will live on through her family and her actions will hopefully inspire them to continue to try and do the right thing.  We will need to wait until August 2018 for new episodes, but we have now lost two main characters and I’m interested to see where we are going now.  While we know that new threats are always right around the corner, it will be interesting to see how the dynamic of the show shifts now that we are focusing on different characters and story-lines.  I’m absolutely open to the change, but I will miss Madison, as Kim Dickens did a phenomenal job as the main protagonist on the show.  RIP Madison.  Stay tuned!

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

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 the top 5 moments from “Fear the Walking Dead” season 4 episode 7: “Cause I’m a Chick with Layers”

Happy Monday TV fans!  After watching AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead season 4 episode 7, I learned that it’s pretty much impossible to stay on the sidelines for too long, especially when walkers are involved.  While we may have too much pride or feel an obligation to our family and loved ones, sometimes we need to learn when to let go and choose a side.  It might not always be the right decision, but it could be the determining factor of our survival.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.  In last night’s episode, “The Wrong Side of Where You Are Now,” Naomi and Morgan desperately try to save John Dorie’s life, Charlie tries to say she’s sorry, and Al realizes that she cannot hide behind her camera forever.  Meanwhile, we learn more about the moments leading up to the fate of the stadium, as Madison is conflicted over what to do next.  But will her pride ultimately lead to the death of the people she tried so desperately to protect?  My top 5 moments from Fear the Walking Dead season 4 episode 7 are:

5

“Why did you save me?”

In the beginning of the episode, Morgan and Naomi try to keep John stable, recognizing that they need to get some medical supplies to give him a chance.  Everyone begins opening fire on each other and Morgan notices Charlie out in the open, who is trying to get to Mel.  Morgan tries to tell her that he is gone and instructs her to come with him.  Morgan is always trying to do what is right and recognizes that he needs to protect her.  Charlie asks Morgan why he saves her, especially since he knows what she did to Nick and Morgan simply replies with, “Because this has to stop some place.”  Again, Morgan is the voice of reason, but he is being drowned out by the deafening chaos surrounding them.  You would think that everyone would want to put their differences aside and focus on surviving, but people end up becoming even more dangerous threats to each other than the dead walking among them.  Charlie clearly feels remorse over what she has done and tries to explain that what happened was her fault.  While Charlie is far from innocent, her confusion is understandable.  Her parents died which was traumatizing enough and she has been living in a very different world, clinging to the only person who has been there for her, Mel.  I’m not sure if we can ever really trust Charlie again, as that familiar saying, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me,” comes to mind.  However, she is a child and has been burdened with way too much at such a young age.  Either way, she understands regret and feels responsibility for what happened, which proves that she is not a lost cause just yet.

4

“You know what, it doesn’t matter.”

After Alicia attempts to take out Mel in his truck, he climbs out of it severely injured, barely able to move or talk.  Alicia slowly walks up to him, clutching her gun and asks Mel, “How long was she with you?”  While we don’t know exactly who “she” is, we can only assume she means Naomi, but is it possible that she may be referring to her mother, Madison?  Either way, Alicia doesn’t give much time for Mel to come up with an answer, as she tells him it doesn’t matter and swiftly stabs Mel in the head, ending his life.  There is no remorse in Alicia’s eyes here, who has allowed her quest for vengeance to take over.  This can be extremely dangerous, as Alicia seems to turn off her sense of right and wrong.  Alicia has tried to do the right thing in the past and even went out with Nick to help save Mel’s life, but now realizes that she unleashed a monster in the process.  While I’m not sure that Alicia should be judge, jury, and executioner, her grief has clearly escalated to an entirely new level, as she turns off her emotions to take out anyone who gets in her way.

3

“Stay with me.”

After John is shot, Naomi tries to do everything possible to save him.  Morgan lets her know that he is his friend and helps as much as he can.  After Mel drives away in the truck, the medical supplies go with him, and her only option is to get to the infirmary at the stadium.  Morgan tells Naomi that John never gave up on her and was looking for her since the moment she left.  In a heartwarming moment, Naomi finds the scrabble pieces that John kept with him, bringing tears to her eyes and mine as well.  It’s absolutely apparent how much Naomi still loves John and she does not want to lose him.  While we are unsure if John will be able to survive, Naomi is ready to do whatever is necessary to try and save him.  I am desperately hoping that she will be able to do so, as I am not ready to close the book on their love story just yet.  After all, doesn’t someone deserve a happy ending here?

2

“You’re holding on to something that’s gone.”

When we flash back to the past, we see that Madison and the others find Mel and agree to help save him after Charlie asks them to.  While Charlie has burned them in the past, Madison still wants to do what is right and allows Naomi to take care of him.  Mel tries to make a deal with Naomi, recognizing that she is new to the group and gives her something to really consider.  He even tries to tell Madison about Ennis’s plan, but Madison doesn’t want to give in.  Madison is holding on to her pride and her promise to her children.  It’s clear that she has worked extremely hard on making this stadium into a home for them, but it doesn’t seem like this home will last for long.  Madison doesn’t want to admit defeat and suggests that they begin building up the walls surrounding the stadium.  Victor and the others agree to help, not wanting to go against their leader, but it’s clear that not everyone is convinced that this is necessarily the best plan.  Naomi tries to get Madison to see reason as well, but to no avail.  She ultimately sides with Madison and says that she will get the infirmary ready.  Ennis unleashes an overwhelming amount of walkers upon the stadium covered in oil.  Madison prepares to try to get to Nick and Alicia, who are in the truck outside the gates and sees the flames, glowing with intensity.  Later, when Al drives up to the stadium, we see that the Ice Cream Truck has been sitting there for some time, abandoned and burned up, but we still do not know the fate of Madison.  I’m still hopeful that she was able to make it out alive, but we will need to wait and see.  We are also still unsure on what convinced Naomi to join the Vultures, especially since she was still helping Madison in the end.

1

“I think I know who you are.  I think I’ve seen it.”

In the beginning of the episode, Al is still recording everything on her camera.  Morgan tries to snap her out of this, but she says that this story isn’t hers.  He reminds her that John’s story is about to end and that a good man will die if she continues to hide and she ultimately makes the right decision and gets involved.  Al pulls up in the tank and Alicia temporarily stands down.  Al agrees to take them to the stadium and Morgan tells her that he thinks he knows who she is.  Al says that she is “a chick with layers,” and drives straight into the stadium, proving just how strong and fearless she is.  However, the stadium is completely infested with walkers who immediately surround the tank.  It doesn’t look like it will be easy to get to the infirmary, if it’s even still standing at this point.  Al and the others are faced with a new obstacle, but will they be able to make it out alive?  Stay tuned!

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

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 the top 5 television series based on movies: “If the apocalypse comes, beep me.”

So I’ve noticed that more and more remakes and adaptations from film are making their way to the smaller screen, which got me thinking about some of my favorites and how they compare to the originals.  While some television series go in a completely different direction, others attempt to be closer to the original but sometimes fail to capture the same allure, leaving fans disappointed or searching for more.  To me, what makes a television series truly stand out is if it takes on its own life and branches out into a new world of characters and stories.  Whether it is considered a prequel or another chapter, the series has to capture the interest of the viewer who tuned in and keep it.  Sounds like a difficult task especially when you add in an original film that the series is based on.  Some of the shows below do an excellent job of staying true to the original and respecting where the series comes from in terms of history and context.  At the same time, they are able to continue on with the story or shift into a new one without skipping a beat, keeping the original fans happy and bringing in new ones at the same time.  My top 5 television series based on movies are:

5) Teen Wolf.  Based upon the 1985 film of the same name starring Michael J. Fox, the series was created in 2011 on MTV.  Already this was a risky move, as the audience MTV was targeting might not have necessarily seen the original movie, although I hope so.  While the movie has a cheesy humor-like quality, the series follows the same premise of a teenage-boy realizing that he is transforming into a werewolf, only it embraces more of a horror genre approach.  Both characters are named Scott, only with different last names and have to deal with the consequences of being bitten by a werewolf while dealing with everyday teenage drama.  While the series is based on the movie, it really becomes something completely new and different, advancing the plot into something darker with touches of romance and terror, delving much deeper into the story.

4) Hannibal.  Based upon the films, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon, the series is a psychological thriller that dives into the relationship between FBI agent, Will Graham and Dr. Hannibal Lecter who will later become his nemesis.  While the television series had a lot to live up to from the books and films it was based upon, it proves to be a contender with excellent performances and a detailed plot, which keeps the viewer active and involved.  As a result, the audience becomes hooked and drawn to every horrible reveal.  While the films attempt to stay true to the books and showcase a simpler approach, the series is not afraid to break into new developments and jump head first into the darkness and insanity that is at the core of these characters.

3) Ash vs Evil Dead.  Based upon the franchise films, The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness, the series once again stars the very funny and brilliant Bruce Campbell as Ash or “Ashy Slashy” as fans know him by.  What is so great about this series is it is a true continuation of the films.  Bruce Campbell is once again the star bringing fans back to the originals.  Bruce Campbell has a true talent for bringing the campy horror-like genre a life of its own and I would have been disappointed if anyone had been casted in his place.  Once again, Bruce and his chainsaw arm need to fight the forces of evil and he recruits some new and fun characters to help along the way.  Lucy Lawless also joins the cast who did work with Bruce previously on Xena and fits in perfectly.  The series stays true to the campy-horror genre while keeping the comedy going strong.

2) Bates Motel.  Based upon the classic film, Psycho, the prequel follows the life of Norman Bates as a teenager and also introduces his mother, Norma Bates.  The acting in the series is so real and powerful, as each actor reveals to the audience vulnerability blended with insanity, hypnotizing us into wanting to watch more and more.  What’s truly impressive about the series is that the viewer becomes attached and fully invested into both Norman and Norma.  As Norman is losing control, you do feel bad for him and see that there are moments of goodness that do truly exist in him.  His unusual attachment to his mother seems harmless at first, but grows into something more and more dangerous, however.  The series does an excellent job of allowing viewers to see the man behind the monster and to understand that although darkness wins in the end, there is a grey area that exists, making it not so easy to merely write Norman off as a killer without a conscience.

1) Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Based upon the film of the same name, this television series is at the top of my list because it takes a superficial campy premise and turns it into something epic and memorable.  In the film, Buffy is very superficial and materialistic which creates some laughs and fun along the way, but there is nothing substantial about her character that makes her stand out.  When Joss Whedon decided to turn his movie into a television series, Buffy had now become a character that teenage girls could truly look up to.  She is a strong female who makes some bad decisions along the way, but this shows that she is human and she has to sacrifice a lot in order to save the world, growing up fast as a result.  The humor remains but is more subtle and witty in the series, embracing more of a romantic and darker idea about the world of vampires and truly recognizing that this is a lot of pressure to put on one teenage girl to fight them all and repeatedly save the world.  The series has the perfect blend of drama, action, comedy, and horror with terrific acting and entertaining villains along the way.  It has truly surpassed the film, but it’s fun to take a look back at the movie from time to time.

 

I hope you enjoyed the list.  Feel free to post your comments below on your favorite television series based on films.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

“American Horror Story” ranking the seasons from best to worst: Nine Circles of Hell

So after finishing up FX’s American Horror Story:  Cult last night, I started thinking about how it held up against the other seasons.  Before the premiere of AHS : Cult, Ryan Murphy, co-creater of the series, had posted the nine circles of hell from Dante’s Inferno:

Limbo (Murder House)

Lust

Gluttony (Hotel)

Greed (Freak Show)

Anger (Roanoke)

Heresy (Cult)

Violence

Fraud (Asylum)

Treachery (Coven)

Murphy had previous explained that each season is connected, but the link to the nine circles of hell invests the viewer into new theories and also suggests that the series will have an end after season 9.  Perhaps it is all meant to keep fans on the edge of their seats, but it does make one really think about the similarities to each circle of hell and how they are all intertwined.  After watching all of the seasons so far, I have ranked them in the following order (best-worst):

  • Coven
  • Hotel
  • Murder House
  • Cult
  • Asylum
  • Freak Show
  • Roanoke

While you may agree or disagree with my rankings, it really got me thinking about how this matches up with Inferno’s nine circles of hell.  The last (ninth) circle of hell is “treachery” which matches up with my overall pick for best season, AHS:  Coven.  For me, the betrayal in “Coven” really scratches beneath the surface and tugs at your soul.  On the surface, the witch-craft element is very entertaining and reminiscent of the movie, The Craft.  However, there are a lot more elements going on in the show and treachery is at its core.

My second favorite season is AHS:  Hotel which pairs up with “gluttony.”  According to Inferno, “Gluttony” is the third circle of hell.  Those who are guilty of “gluttony” are forced to lie in a slush created by an icy rain which is meant to represent those who have overindulged in “food, drink, and other worldly pleasures.”  The icy rain that brings an eternal bitter cold to the sinner connects me to the Countess portrayed by Lady Gaga in AHS:  Hotel.  She is a vampire already representing eternity and feeds on the blood of others.  What’s really interesting to me is that in this circle of hell, the beings punished are not able to see the other victims lying near them because of their own selfishness.  Not being able to feel remorse or love for others is dangerous enough, but its combination with gluttony is even more so.

My third favorite season is the first season AHS:  Murder House.  Interestingly enough, this aligns with “Limbo,” which is the first circle of hell.  This could be just a coincidence, but those who are trapped here are unable to move on to heaven and are forced to reside in an inferior version, much like ghosts who are unable to move on, which appear throughout Murder House.

If the theory is true, that would leave AHS with 2 more seasons representing “Lust” and “Violence.”  While I am not sure if we will see any burning rain or violent winds, it really gives the viewer a lot to think about in terms of what type of premise we will see next.

As of August 2018, we now also know that the series has been picked up for a tenth season and will continue through 2020.  I still think that the “nine circles of hell” idea is important and relevant to the show, but I am curious to explore more and see where we are headed.  I am counting the days until the premiere on September 12th.  How about you?

Feel free to post your thoughts and theories on AHS below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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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.

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The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover