Spoiler-Free Review of “Helstrom” on Hulu: Where’s the horror?

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

“I’m not here to hold hands or save a cat from a tree or respond to false alarms….”

Helstrom is a new superhero horror series on Hulu, which premiered as part of their Huluween line-up on October 16th 2020 with 10 episodes available to stream now (approximately 55 minutes in length). It stars Tom Austen, Sydney Lemmon, and Elizabeth Marvel.

Based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe character, Daimon Hellstrom (Son of Satan), the series follows siblings, Daimon and Ana Helstrom. The estranged siblings possess supernatural abilities that aid in their quest to exorcise demons and eliminate threats, while they come to terms with their dark past.

Here is the trailer:

A horror superhero series could be filled with lots of potential, but it’s concerning that Marvel removed its name from the title. Either way, I went into this show hoping for some welcomed dark horror, along with some new unique characters. But does Helstrom do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Helstrom Elizabeth Marvel

Images courtesy of Hulu

Elizabeth Marvel is bloody fantastic!

I was a fan of hers already, but wow does she play this part well. She is the mother of Daimon and Ana and is showing signs of being possessed by a demon. We’ve seen show after show featuring some kind of demon possession, but I have to say that she frightened me and in a very good way.

Ana’s wardrobe is to die for.

Helstrom Ana

Images courtesy of Hulu

Every single time she made an entrance, I was drooling over her wardrobe and then some. Ana was the stronger character for me throughout the series, but her amazing outfits definitely helped capture my attention.

The Cons:

Helstrom on Hulu

Images courtesy of Hulu

Slow, unfocused, and sloppy.

I really had high hopes for this show and the cast had the potential to really bring it to life, but the execution did not translate well. The pacing is extremely slow, the reveals are not rewarding enough, and the characters don’t have enough layers to keep you invested. 

There have been plenty of shows about demonic possession and jaded antiheroes reminding us of the good vs. evil premise that just do this better. Shows like Lucifer, Constantine, Outcast, and Supernatural come to mind.

Unworthy of the horror label.

I was actually really excited to watch another horror superhero premise. There is something to be said about the dark line between right and wrong and the darkness that lurks beneath the surface of humanity.

Unfortunately, Helstrom never really earned its horror badge. There were a few cringe-worthy scenes that were displeasing to the eye, but that’s about it…

So am I in or out?

Helstrom on Hulu 2

Images courtesy of Hulu

I’m in for the fashion, but unfortunately I’m out on this watch.

The show fell into the forgettable limbo of overdone demonic possession shows for me. The pacing was slow and there were a lot of missed opportunities. 

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

If you have time, I would love it if you would check out my book, Dash and Seek in the link below. Thank you and I hope you enjoy!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Monsterland” on Hulu: The Darkest Parts of Humanity

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

Monsterland is a new horror anthology television series on Hulu. It stars Kaitlyn Dever, Taylor Schilling, Nicole Beharie, and Mike Colter. The series premiered on October 2nd 2020 with eight episodes (approximately 55 minutes in length).

Based upon the short story collection, North American Lake Monsters, Monsterland reveals some deep and dark truths lurking beneath the surface. While supernatural and horror elements do play a part, the real horror lies within humanity.

Here is the trailer:

Horror anthology series are surfacing left and right and with Halloween right around the corner, you are probably in search of some good solid scares. However, Monsterland may be more of an unsettling emotional roller coaster ride rather than your typical horror series. Is Monsterland worthy of a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Hulu

Incredible performances.

Kaitlyn Dever, Taylor Schilling, and Nicole Beharie really stood out for me, but there were a lot of familiar faces in each episode and I thought that each character did a great job. Since this is anthology style, each episode focuses on a new character in a different town, but every performance held up and was probably the best part of the series for me.

A different take on horror.

One thing I did appreciate in this series was the attention to the darkness embedded within humanity. Sometimes our decisions can eat away at us and while there are some cringe-worthy moments sprinkled in to each episode, the real fear is that we are the actual monsters and have to come to terms with our past and accept the consequences of our actions.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Hulu

The episodes are way too long.

The episodes are about 53 minutes in length each and they really drag at times. I think that this concept could have worked much better with 35 minute episodes. I understand the need to build up character development through a slow burn approach, but I found myself tuning out quite a bit.

Dark and depressing.

I went into this series hoping for some welcomed horror and I found myself really upset watching each episode. The episodes are emotionally unsettling, which isn’t necessarily a con, but it didn’t help with the slower pace. Other than episodes 1, 5, and 8 (the best episodes of the series for me), the rest of the episodes were dragged out and forgettable, but they did have some worthy performances that should be noted.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Hulu

I’m about 50/50 on this one.

I appreciated the different take on horror here and I was drawn in for a few of the episodes, but I was disappointed overall and thought that the episodes were way too long. If you are looking for an anthology horror-esque show other than American Horror Story, I recommend The Haunting of Hill House (season 2 drops next week) or Hulu’s Into the Dark, which had a unique seasonal theme.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

If you have time, I would love it if you would check out my book, Dash and Seek in the link below. Thank you and I hope you enjoy!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

 

A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now! I hope you enjoy!

READ IF YOU DARE…

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My performance of the week ending 4/18/20 on TV goes to…

Kerry Washington as Mia Warren on Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere.

There are a lot of emotions to tap into during this show, but Kerry manages to display every single one to perfection. Her performance as Mia Warren is real and honest and she brings me to tears.

**Please note some spoilers are ahead, but major ones have been left out for your convenience.**

It’s no secret that Kerry Washington is a fantastic actress, but she is exploring a whole new character in Little Fires Everywhere and I absolutely love every single second of it. Mia Warren clashes drastically with Reese Witherspoon’s Elena Richardson and the dynamic between these two is fantastic.

Even though both are talented actresses, Kerry has been stealing the show. Mia is broken and jaded in a lot of ways, but she also tells the blunt truth, which is not always received well in a small town where appearances matter.

Mia is a fantastic artist and photographer and she loves to take pictures of how people really are, capturing them in emotionally raw moments that reflect the parts of them they don’t always want others to see.

Mia Warren Hulu 1
Images courtesy of Hulu

And that’s what makes her work so unique, revealing the many layers of her own character as well. After learning more about Mia’s past, a lot of the jumbled pieces started to form into coherent images, but Mia is far from being perfect herself. She has made many mistakes in her life and she clings to her relationship with her daughter, Pearl, but quickly learns that perhaps her stance on honesty should also apply to her own family.

Mia’s connections with other characters are truly interesting because she really seems like more of a loner and yet she is able to make such an epic impact on all of their lives. Elena starts out wanting to gain Mia’s approval, but eventually changes her tune, determined to expose her for her own faults.

Mia Warren Hulu 2
Images courtesy of Hulu

There is this constant divide between these two and yet they both value motherhood above all else. Elena is all about perfection even though she has her own skeletons in the closet, but Mia recognizes the beauty in imperfection. It’s interesting how Mia’s daughter bonds with Elena and Izzy feels more comfortable with Mia, revealing that perhaps these two broad ends of the spectrum are not that different.

Mia has tried so hard to prepare her daughter, Pearl, for the harsh realities of the world while Elena refuses to let Izzy just be herself, which creates another interesting dynamic. Through it all, Mia’s love for Pearl is apparent and she will do anything to protect her child, but now that Elena is threatening that relationship, things may get ugly.

Mia Warren Hulu 3
Images courtesy of Hulu

What’s next for Mia? Well, we’ll have to wait and see, but Elena has crossed a serious line and Mia is not one to stay quiet. We also need to see how this impacts Mia’s relationship with her own daughter and how this plays out. The fires are igniting everywhere between these families and it’s only a matter of time before someone or something is destroyed.

I can’t wait to see how it all ends and I am so invested and grateful for Kerry Washington’s performances week after week. She is truly brilliant in this role and deserves some recognition for sure.

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pros:

Little Fires Hulu 3
Images courtesy of Hulu

Witherspoon and Washington are electric on screen.

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

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

A mystery that leaves you wanting more.

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

Little Fires Hulu 2
Images courtesy of Hulu

90’s nostalgia.

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

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

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

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

The Cons:

Little Fires Hulu 4
Images courtesy of Hulu

Same Reese. Different show.

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

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

So am I in or out?

Little Fires Hulu 5
Images courtesy of Hulu

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

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

It is the series to watch right now!

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

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The 2020 Mid-Season TV Premieres I am most looking forward to: Bring on the new episodes!

Greetings TV Fans!  As we approach Mid-January, some of our absolute favorite shows will be returning with new episodes and we can also look forward to some brand new shows as well that have a lot of potential.  Looking to find out when they all start?  You came to the right place!

While some of our favorite returning shows already have 2020 premiere dates announced, others are still giving out a TBD 2020 response, as I vigilantly keep checking to see when they will be premiering.  It looks like we have several new shows with a lot of potential and some of our returning favorites seem very promising as well.

Without further delay, the 2020 Mid-season TV premieres I am most looking forward to are:

The Outsider

The Outsider HBO
Image courtesy of HBO

Premiere date:  January 12th 2020

Where to watch:  HBO

Based on Stephen King’s novel, this series will follow the murder investigation of a young boy, which leads a seasoned cop to question everything after discovering some supernatural forces and threats along the way.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 3)

Sabrina Netflix
Image courtesy of Netflix

Premiere date:  January 24th 2020

Where to watch:  Netflix

Sabrina Spellman is back and we can’t wait to see what she does next!  Will she finally find a balance between being a mortal and a witch or will she lose herself to dark magic completely?

The Stranger

The Stranger Netflix
Image courtesy of Netflix

Premiere date:  January 30th 2020

Where to watch:  Netflix

Adam Price seems to have it all.  That is, until a stranger approaches him one night and reveals a shocking secret that will change his life forever.  This new mystery thriller looks binge-watch promising for sure!

Katy Keene

Katy Keene The CW
Image courtesy of The CW

Premiere date:  February 6th 2020

Where to watch:  The CW

A spin-off of Riverdale Yes please!  Oh wait and it stars Pretty Little Liars’s Lucy Hale?  I’m in!

Locke & Key

Locke and key Netflix
Image courtesy of Netflix

Premiere date:  February 7th 2020

Where to watch:  Netflix

Based on the graphic novel, this show follows a group of siblings who move into Keyhouse after their father is murdered, which leads to some creepy findings of their own.

Homeland Season 8 (Final Season)

Homeland Showtime
Image courtesy of Showtime

Premiere date:  February 9th 2020

Where to watch:  Showtime

It seems like it’s been quite some time since we’ve last checked in with Carrie Mathison, but it’s about time.  I can’t wait to see how it all ends!

The Haunting of Bly Manor (The Haunting of Hill House Season 2)

The Haunting of Bly Manor Netflix
Image courtesy of Netflix

Premiere date: TBD 2020

Where to watch: Netflix

The second season of The Haunting of Hill House already looks extremely promising based on the premise.  Much like the AHS anthology, we will see several of the stars return from season one as we are welcomed into a new story, which will loosely follow The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.  Can’t wait!!!!

Cursed

Cursed Netflix
Image courtesy of Netflix

Premiere date: TBD 2020

Where to watch: Netflix

A fresh take on the Arthurian legend starring 13 Reasons Why’s Katherine Langford?  I’m definitely in!  This show is based on Frank Miller’s novel and will center around the Lady of the Lake (Nimue) story in a re imagined way.

Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft country HBO
Image courtesy of HBO

Premiere date: TBD 2020

Where to watch: HBO

A Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams team-up seems too good to be true, but that’s what we have here for this highly anticipated horror drama.  Based on the novel by Matt Ruff, this story follows Atticus Black, who is searching for his missing father.

Westworld (Season 3)

Westworld HBO
Image courtesy of HBO

Premiere date: March 15th 2020

Where to watch: HBO

Season 3 will bring us into a whole new world and if Aaron Paul is around for it, I’m in!

Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere Hulu
Image courtesy of Hulu

Premiere date: March 18th 2020

Where to watch: Hulu

Starring the talented and amazing Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, this limited series will follow the fears of suburban mothers, which may give us some Big Little Lies and Desperate Housewives nostalgia for sure.  I’m in!

Stay tuned for reviews, recaps, and top five moments!  I don’t know about you, but I am very excited for new episodes to return and I am really looking forward to exploring these new promising shows!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post the shows you are looking forward to premiering in 2020 in the comments below.  I always love discovering new shows and that’s where you come in!  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

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**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

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

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Zomboat!” on Hulu: Zombies can’t swim…can they?

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

It seems like the zombie apocalypse trend may be here to stay, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Now that TWD is taking a break until February, you may be going through some zombie withdrawal.

Fear not, as Zomboat! is the perfect show to provide you with some campy zombie apocalypse fun, while even making mention of the great and powerful Rick Grimes!

The UK show began streaming episodes on Hulu as of October 25th 2019 and currently features six episodes for season one.  It stars Leah Brotherhead, Cara Theobold, Hamza Jeetooa, and Ryan McKen.  We follow a group of survivors after a zombie apocalypse occurs in Birmingham, as they decide to escape using…a canal boat.

If you are a fan of Shaun of the Dead and Anna and the Apocalypse, you will feel right at home with this horror comedy, but is Zomboat! original enough to find its own identity?  Let’s find out!

The Pros:

Zomboat Hulu 2019 1
Images courtesy of Hulu

The dynamic between sisters Kat and Jo is fantastic.

You will immediately fall in love with these two, as they battle the zombie apocalypse while bringing us some welcomed dark comedy.  The banter between them is hilarious and they are really believable as sisters, as you start to root for them from the very start of the show.

Short episodes.

Each episode runs a little under 25 minutes, which makes binge-watching this show really easy.  The episodes are fast-paced and I’m glad they went with the shorter length because this show could easily go off track, but it stays on point, which I appreciated.

References to your favorite zombie shows and movies!

If you are thinking about watching this show, you are most likely a fan of the zombie genre and this show does a great job of presenting the audience with these references.

From The Walking Dead to Contagion, you will be chuckling quite a bit during the conversations, which gave this show a very real feel to me.

Sure, it’s the zombie apocalypse and all, but maybe we should be planning out our strategy according to how we play Call of Duty?  Either way, this was a lot of fun!

The Cons:

Zomboat Hulu 2019 2
Images courtesy of Hulu

There’s nothing too original about the zombies.

While the show goes out of its way to point out some of the flaws of zombie shows and movies we love, they don’t really do anything drastically different here.  You can’t kill the zombies in Zomboat! in traditional fashion and we do get some interesting twists thrown our way, but the interactions with the zombies were very routine.

That being said, we do get some hilarious fights and some interesting choices of weapon, but if you are looking for something really unique or different in the genre, I’m not sure that you will find it here.

So am I in or out? 

Zomboat Hulu 2019 3
Images courtesy of Hulu

I’m in!  I went into this show without any real expectations and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.  The dark sarcastic humor was spot on for me even if I wasn’t laughing out loud hysterically all the time. 

We are left with a huge cliffhanger at the end, so I am hoping we get a second season soon, but I would love to hang out with Kat and Jo during the zombie apocalypse, although we might need to change up our wardrobe a little bit.

If you are looking for some zombie fun or a quick show to binge-watch while all of your other shows go on break, this is the perfect one for you!

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

[twitter-follow screen_name=’TV_Fanatic_Girl’]

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The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

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

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Castle Rock” Season 2 on Hulu: Lizzy Caplan as Annie Wilkes gets this Slow-Burn Horror off to a Chilling Start

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

Just in time for Halloween, Hulu has released the first three episodes of Castle Rock season 2.  I loved season 1 so much and it featured some of the most brilliant episodes on television that I have ever witnessed.

Seriously, if you haven’t seen season 1, episode 7 (The Queen) yet, I highly recommend it.  So that being said, Castle Rock season 2 has a lot to live up to, but I am excited that they are taking the anthology approach, as we get a new story with different characters.

Castle Rock is a psychological horror series on Hulu based on the characters and setting of Stephen King.  There will be 10 episodes for season 2.  Similar to the format with season 1, Hulu has released the first 3 episodes as of October 23rd 2019 and it will continue to run weekly episodes on Wednesdays.  Season 2 stars Lizzy Caplan, Tim Robbins, and Elsie Fisher.  

Season 2 follows a nurse named Annie Wilkes, based on the character of the same name in Misery.  While Castle Rock is not necessarily a prequel, it does bring us familiar elements from both Misery and Salem’s Lot

Annie has a lot of psychological issues and she is on the run with her teenage daughter when she arrives in Castle Rock.  Annie mostly keeps to herself, but when she goes through withdrawal from her medication, her hallucinations start to become all too real, as she finds herself doing some very bad things. 

The plot and characters certainly have a lot of potential, but will season 2 be able to hold its own?  Let’s find out!

The Pros:

Castle Rock season 2 1
Images courtesy of Hulu

Lizzy Caplan is beyond captivating as Annie Wilkes.  

Her performance will chill you to your core, disturbing you in just the right way.  Caplan absolutely nails the role and is the best part of the show so far.  She immerses herself completely in this role, bringing you wild eye stares and horrifying reactions that are so real and terrifying.

The perfect dose of psychological horror.

I love that this show brings you along for the ride, unfolding the mystery with its audience.  While a lot of the scares are psychological, there are some edge of your seat moments that remind us just how deadly an unhinged paranoid person can be.

I think it also works to the show’s advantage not following a specific plot from Stephen King, allowing familiar characters and settings to take on a life of their own, which makes this show unique and original.

The Cons:

Castle Rock season 2 2
Images courtesy of Hulu

A lot of setup.

There are a lot of elements to digest after watching the first three episodes of season 2.  You may find yourself slightly overwhelmed by this, but I had the same issue with season 1 and it ended up paying off, as other elements were revealed later on.

Slow moving at times.

Each episode is about 50-55 minutes in length and the show does move at a slow pace from time to time.  The show is more of a slow-burn psychological horror, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make it difficult to binge-watch all at once.  You may want to try one episode at a time, but I thought that there were enough things going on to keep your attention.

So am I in or out? 

Castle Rock season 2 3
Images courtesy of Hulu

I am in 100 percent!  Lizzy Caplan’s performance is enough to keep me invested, but I love the intertwining between the two works from Stephen King, while creating a new story that branches off into something completely different. 

After watching the first three episodes, I am excited to continue watching weekly and I think this will actually make the watch that much more entertaining, as bits and pieces of the mystery are presented.  If you haven’t started watching yet, I highly recommend it, especially if you are a Stephen King fan.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Final Chapter Blog

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

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Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

Spoiler-Free Review of “Light as a Feather” Season 2 Part 2 on Hulu: “The Skin Crawling moments are Back with a Vengeance!”

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

Light as a feather, stiff as a board.

Light as a feather, stiff as a board.

She’s dying.

She’s dying.

She’s dead.

She’s dead…

Your favorite deadly slumber party game is back!  After airing the first 8 episodes of season 2 back in July 2019, Hulu has released part 2 of the season as of October 4th 2019.  Episodes 9-16 are all currently available to stream.

The show stars Liana Liberato, Haley Ramm, Brianne Tju, and Jordan Rodrigues and follows a group of friends who play a deadly game of Light as a Feather, which predicts exactly how they will die, targeting them one by one.  After a slightly disappointing start to season 2, I was worried about the second half of the season.  Did it live up to the bone-chilling moments in season 1 or did it fizzle out for good?  Let’s find out!

The Pros:

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Images courtesy of Hulu

The performances of Haley Ramm (Violet), Liana Liberato (McKenna), and Brianne Tju (Alex).

Again, I have to give it up to this trio.  Some of the characters on this show seem filler, but these three ladies held my attention the entire time.  I love that they all didn’t start out as friends and their bond becomes stronger when they are all linked together by this curse, but the dynamic between them is fantastic and they really elevate the show.

The skin crawling moments are back!

Season 1 gave me some nightmares for sure, as some moments were genuinely shocking and hard to watch.  These moments really gave a show that is mostly dipped in bubble gum pop horror a chance to be a little bit darker and I was disappointed when this fizzled out in the first half of season 2.  However, the second half of the season delivered with this, giving us several moments that will really make you cringe and then some!

Satisfying twists.

We all know the game and I knew it would be hard to keep the show fresh and interesting, but I thought the second half of season 2 did a good job of keeping us on our toes.  The twists worked for the most part and they kept me guessing up until the end.

The Cons:

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Images courtesy of Hulu

Channeling too much Lifetime…

So, this show has had a lot of teenage drama since the start and that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you are used to shows like Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale.  I didn’t even really mind the will-they-won’t-they love triangle and I appreciated the LGBTQ relationship, but there were some moments that just felt like a failed attempt to throw in some fatal attraction psycho components, which weren’t really needed in my opinion.

Some really obvious moments.

I don’t know what it was, but there were just some moments that had that hit you over the head feel that undermined the show slightly.  For example, (hey, here’s a bottle of pills…he must have taken these).  I don’t expect everything to be a major twist, but I do want it to be believable as well.  This didn’t happen all the time, but I did notice it more than I did in the first season.

So am I in or out? 

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Images courtesy of Hulu

I’m back in!  Even though I had some issues with the season overall, I still enjoyed the watch.  The short episodes really helped move the binge-watching along and it’s just one of those shows that you can really enjoy especially around Halloween, so I have to give it up to Hulu for perfect timing.

Overall, I think this series is a lot of fun and it really gives you a lot of nostalgia for 90’s movies like The Craft and I Know What You Did Last Summer.  Sure, there is a lot of teenage drama mixed in, but the skin crawling moments really helped push this one over to the darker side for me. There is no word yet on a season 3, but I’m not sure that we necessarily need one, although there is always something left open at the end…

Enjoy the watch and perhaps you may want to re-consider any slumber party games in the future…

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

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What to Watch on TV this Fall: The 2019 Fall TV Premieres I am Most Excited For!

Greetings TV Fans!  As we enter into the Fall season, some of our favorite shows will be returning with new episodes and we can also look forward to some brand new shows as well that seem to have a lot of potential.  Looking to find out when they all start and where to watch them?  You came to the right place!

While some of our favorite returning shows already have 2019 premiere dates announced, others are still giving out a late 2019/early 2020 vague response, but it looks like we have plenty of shows to watch in the meantime!  Without any further delay, the 2019 Fall TV premieres I am most looking forward to are:

American Horror Story: 1984 (Season 9)

AHS 9 10 1
Image courtesy of FX

Premiere date: Wednesday, September 18th 2019

Where to watch: FX Network

Welcome to Camp Redwood!  Who doesn’t love the 80’s?  The ninth season of AHS looks like it is going to provide us with a lot of slasher fun and nostalgia.  While Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters will not be on the newest season (sigh), we do have some fan-favorites returning, including the wonderful and brilliant Emma Roberts.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season 14)

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Image courtesy of FXX

Premiere date: Wednesday, September 25th 2019

Where to watch: FXX Network

I mean, who doesn’t love laughing along with our friends from Paddy’s Pub?  The gang is back and I can’t wait to see what schemes they come up with next.  After Mac’s moving dance performance, anything is possible!  Perhaps another Charlie Kelly episode?  There is plenty of Charlie work to go around after all.

Evil (New Series)

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Image courtesy of CBS

Premiere date: Thursday, September 26th 2019

Where to watch: CBS 

I don’t know about you, but I am definitely down to watch another show with Luke Cage’s Mike Colter, but it looks like he will be trading in his super hero strength in order to investigate demonic possessions and other supernatural threats.  I’m in!

Light as a Feather (Season 2, Part 2, episodes 9-16)

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Image courtesy of Hulu

Premiere date: Friday, October 4th 2019

Where to watch: Hulu

Light as a feather…stiff as a board.  I never get tired of hearing that and I’m hoping that the second half of season 2 can bounce back and provide us with some spooky haunting fun.  This show is extremely addicting and there are constantly new twists and turns so I personally can’t wait!

The Walking Dead (Season 10)

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Image courtesy of AMC

Premiere date: Sunday, October 6th 2019

Where to watch: AMC

It’s time to silence the Whisperers once and for all, but what threats will emerge next?  As we approach season 10, we know that this will be Michonne’s last season, but what does that mean for her character?  I can’t wait to find out!

Riverdale (Season 4)

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Image courtesy of The CW

Premiere date: Wednesday, October 9th 2019

Where to watch: The CW

After that cliffhanger ending in season 3, it looks like we will have a new mystery to dive into for season 4, which centers around one of our main characters.  What secrets will emerge next?  Stay tuned!

Nancy Drew (New Series)

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Image courtesy of The CW

Premiere date: Wednesday, October 9th 2019

Where to watch: The CW

It looks like I will be busy on Wednesday nights indefinitely!  Nancy Drew is one of my favorite book series of all time and this new series looks like a dark and grown up version, giving me some Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars feels right off the bat.  I’m in 100 percent!

Supernatural (Season 15) *Final Season*

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Image courtesy of The CW

Premiere date: Thursday, October 10th 2019

Where to watch: The CW

How will it all end for the Winchesters?  After that cliffhanger ending in season 14, it looks like our favorite hunters have a lot of work to do, but luckily they have some backup in our favorite angel, Castiel.  What can we expect for the final season?  I’m not sure, but I would love to see some fun nostalgia sprinkled in with some returning guest stars.  It will be beyond difficult to say goodbye, but I know that the series will end the way it is intended to and I’m looking forward to watching these final adventures with Sam and Dean.

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

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Image courtesy of Netflix

Premiere date: Friday, October 11th 2019

Where to watch: Netflix (to be released at a later date on AMC)

So I initially didn’t think to put this on the list since it is technically a movie, but how can I leave out one of my favorite series of all time?!  Jesse Pinkman is back and Breaking Bad fans everywhere can rejoice, as we finally get to find out what happens next in the story!

The Purge (Season 2)

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Image courtesy of the USA Network

Premiere date: Tuesday, October 15th 2019

Where to watch: USA Network

What happens on Purge Night doesn’t necessarily stay on Purge Night.  I love The Purge movies and when I first heard about the television series last year, I really didn’t go into it with high expectations.  Well I was in for a huge surprise, as this show became one of my favorite series of the year.  It’s fast paced, surprising, and a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what happens in season 2 as we follow a brand new group of characters.  Are you ready, citizens?

Castle Rock (Season 2)

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Image courtesy of Hulu

Premiere date: Wednesday, October 23rd 2019

Where to watch: Hulu

The Stephen King anthology series was another bone-chilling and haunting surprise for me last year and I have been waiting quite some time for a premiere date announcement for season 2.  Well it looks like we are in luck, as new episodes will return right before Halloween, which certainly seems fitting.  It looks like we will follow a new story and a new group of characters in the mysterious town of Castle Rock, but I am hoping to get some Easter eggs or connections to season one.  We shall see!

Shameless (Season 10)

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Image courtesy of Showtime

Premiere date: Sunday, November 10th 2019

Where to watch: Showtime

We said goodbye to fan-favorite, Fiona Gallagher for good last season, but can season 10 keep the Gallaghers relevant?  Let’s hope so!  While I am disappointed that Fiona will no longer be on the show, it looks like we will need to turn our attention to Lip, especially now that he is going to be a father.  The laughs never fail on one of my favorite series of all time and I can’t wait to see what the Gallagher family does next!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to comment on any TV Premieres that YOU are looking forward to watching in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

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Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Light as a Feather” Season 2 Part 1 on Hulu: “Slumber Party with a Serial Killer…what can go wrong?”

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

So maybe a slumber party with a serial killer isn’t the best idea, especially when you and your friends are being stalked by an evil supernatural force that has a thing for games, but where would be the fun in that?  After the addicting and fun premiere of Light as a Feather season 1, I have been anxiously waiting for new episodes to arrive and they are finally here!  If you are craving some Pretty Little Liars drama mixed in with an I Know What You Did Last Summer feel, then you are in the right place!

Light as a Feather is based on the popular Wattpad story written by Zoe Aarsen.  In season 1, five teenage girls head out to a graveyard for some underage drinking and a seemingly harmless game of Light as a Feather.  If you are not familiar with the popular slumber party game, now might be a good time to re-visit the film, The Craft, which is one of my personal favorites as well.

During the game, each girl takes a turn and their death is described to them in detail.  Things start to get weird when the girls begin dying exactly as it was determined in the game.  McKenna Brady and her friends realize that they are being targeted by something supernatural, but is there a way to end the game without hurting others in the process? 

Season 2 still centers around McKenna Brady, who now inherits the burden of carrying out the game, which leads to more players, more twists, and of course…more drama.  Season 2 will feature 16 episodes in total.  The first 8 episodes have been released on Hulu and are currently streaming as of July 26th 2019.  The remaining 8 episodes will be released October 4th 2019 on Hulu.

The show stars Liana Liberato, Haley Ramm, Brianne Tju, and Jordan Rodrigues.  We also get several new characters introduced into the mix, including characters played by The Walking Dead’s Katelyn Nacon and Angel and Dexter’s Julie Benz, who I am always happy to see!  Season 2 has a lot to live up to, but can it hold steady and keep the game going?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

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Image courtesy of Hulu

The performances of Haley Ramm (Violet), Liana Liberato (McKenna), and Brianne Tju (Alex).

It’s not easy living up to the success of season 1, but these three ladies rock!  They truly embrace their characters, which made the watch much more enjoyable for me.  Plus, while the first season focused more on the aspects of the game, we get some needed character growth and development in season 2.  I was particularly interested in Violet’s backstory, who is becoming one of my favorite female antagonists on TV and Ramm’s portrayal of her is fantastic!

Fast paced episodes and more cliffhangers!

I’ll say this, Light as a Feather does not disappoint when it comes to keeping you on the edge of your seat.  Season 2 provides us with more twists and the end of episode 8 will immediately have you wanting more.  I still thoroughly enjoyed the quick episodes, which run about 25-30 minutes in length, which means you can easily breeze through and binge-watch the first part of season 2 in about 4 hours, which comes in handy when you have a lot of other shows to watch!  This show can easily drag certain things out for too long so I appreciated that we kept the short episodes going and I enjoyed a lot of the twists thrown our way, which made the game and plot interesting enough for me.

The Cons:

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Image courtesy of Hulu

A lot of teenage drama.

I don’t personally mind watching some teenage drama and I am a fan of shows like PLL, but I also want to balance in the supernatural threat evenly with the social drama going on.  There are new relationships forming, break-ups, and arguments among friends, but it sometimes felt like our characters were more worried about these social issues rather than the supernatural one that could actually threaten their lives and everyone they care about…

Slow start to the game.

The first three episodes provide us with a lot of setup and things really don’t start taking off until episode 4.  Since we only have 8 episodes right now, that was slightly disappointing.  We also see the game from McKenna’s perspective and she deals with blackouts, which means we only get bits and pieces of the actual game, which made the threats to the new players slightly underwhelming for me.  There was a really creepy and gruesome vibe in season 1 and I was hoping that would continue in season 2, but I only saw some glimmers of it and I guess I just wanted to see more of the actual Light as a Feather game.

So am I in or out? 

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Image courtesy of Hulu

I am still a huge fan of the series and I will continue to watch it, but I was slightly disappointed with season 2.  The premise of this show makes it difficult to keep it new and fresh and I totally understand that, but I think that season 2 needed to find a better balance between the supernatural game and the teenage drama.  We still have the second half of season 2 and we are left with another huge cliffhanger, so I will definitely be tuning in to find out what happens next.

Overall, perhaps I set my expectations too high for season 2, but it was still an entertaining watch for me.  It just didn’t hold a candle to season 1.  If you enjoyed season 1, I still recommend that you watch season 2, but I am interested to find out what other fans think as well.  The game is far from over and it seems like we may explore the origins of it further, which has a lot of potential.  Plus, you never know which side Violet is going to end up on and McKenna has her own inner turmoil to deal with, so there is a lot left to uncover.  Stay tuned!

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

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

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

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

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Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals!