My performance of the week ending 3/21/20 on TV goes to…

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan on AMC’s The Walking Dead season 10.

Season 10 has been quite the ride, but I may have just watched one of the most epic episodes I have ever seen (Season 10 episode 12) and part of that is because of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s beyond brilliant performance as our antihero, Negan.

**Please note MAJOR spoilers are ahead if you are not caught up on the series.**

Jeffrey Dean Morgan knows how to play a villain well. He’s ruthless at times, but he also has so much charisma and humor, really making him someone you love to hate and eventually transforming into more of an antihero rather than a villain. While I can’t forgive some of Negan’s actions that shattered TWD, I have been a fan of his for a while and I have enjoyed witnessing his character growth. Negan played the villain well, but he absolutely flourishes as an antihero.

Negan has many layers and he is no stranger to performing some unspeakable acts, but sometimes you need a villain to take down another villain and so our long con was created. Alpha is another villain who has been beyond ruthless, but Negan recognizes a lot of himself in her. Alpha talks about her decisions in terms of survival and destiny, but Negan also recognizes a vulnerability within her that Carol is determined to use to bring her down once and for all.

While many of the other characters on the show keep their moral compass steady, Carol has really lost her way after what happened to Henry and is completely driven by revenge. Carol recognizes that doing things the right way doesn’t always pay off and does what she has to do in order to bring down her enemy.

In season 10 episode 12, everything is revealed, as Negan approaches Alpha and explains that he has Lydia held up in a shack nearby. It has been obvious for quite a while now that Lydia would be Alpha’s ultimate downfall, even though she has been so obsessed with getting rid of her daughter in order to stifle this weakness within her.

Alpha clearly became somewhat intrigued by Negan and their tryst in the woods still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I think in a lot of ways, Negan truly did sympathize with Alpha and probably did connect with her on some level. However, Negan has always had a strict code about not harming children and we have witnessed his interactions with Lydia and Judith, suggesting that he would never let anything actually happen to them.

Negan’s long con works to perfection as he leads Alpha to an empty shack, immediately slicing her throat to put her down quickly before bringing her reanimated head back to Carol. Even though Negan did what was necessary, he tries to do so with compassion, holding Alpha gently while her life pours out of her, proving that Negan is not the same man anymore.

Negan AMC 1
Images courtesy of AMC

I thought that Negan’s discussion with Alpha about his own wife and how he shut down after her death was so important for his character growth. We have been witnessing the changes in Negan, but I think this may be the first time he actually sees it for himself and expresses it out loud. Negan certainly still has a long way to go until redemption, but I think taking down Alpha was a huge step in the right direction.

What’s next for Negan? It will be interesting to see how the rest of the group receives him now that he has taken down the other big bad wolf. Will they accept that Carol released him from his cell or will they still be cautious around him? I’m not sure, but I think it’s safe to say that we are done putting Negan behind bars.

Negan AMC 2
Images courtesy of AMC

I also thoroughly enjoyed the team-up between him and Carol and hope to see this dynamic duo get some more screen time together to take down the rest of their enemies. You have to admit, they make a pretty unstoppable team!

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

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Ranking the top 5 moments from “Supernatural” season 13 episode 10 backdoor pilot: “Wayward Sisters”

Happy Friday TV fans! The weekend is almost here, but I find myself needing to discuss the backdoor pilot of “Wayward Sisters” via Supernatural before diving into any other shows.  After watching the CW’s Supernatural season 13 episode 10 last night, I am pleasantly surprised by how seamlessly “Wayward Sisters” introduced itself to the world of Supernatural fans.  These are some “amazing women” and they have somehow managed to create a real connection and believable family in just under an hour.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, we are introduced to the “Wayward Sisters” and learn how they have all come together to fight the good fight to save the world…or at least Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Meanwhile, Sam and Dean take a time out in the “Bad Place,” leaving the demon fighting to the very capable Claire Novak, Sheriff Jody Mills, and the hilarious, Sheriff Donna, to put their sisterhood to the test and save the day.  My top 5 moments from Supernatural season 13 episode 10 are:

5

“D-Train” means business.

After the first twenty minutes or so of the backdoor pilot, I was getting a little antsy, waiting for that light and fluffy humor that Supernatural does so well to emerge.  Well I got what I asked for when Jody calls in back-up and Sheriff Donna shows up with the license plate “D-Train.”  While the girls are not really sure what to make of her, Donna does what she does best.  She jumps right in as if she was part of the family the entire time and brings the basics:  weapons galore and a wonderful sense of humor.  When the monsters from the “bad place” are surrounding them, Donna takes them out one by one as if she is Super Sheriff with a gun.  She quickly teaches Patience how to defend herself and adds a voice of reason when Jody is contemplating jumping through the open portal to protect her family.  Something tells me that Donna will continue to bring on the laughs and is the perfect addition to the “Wayward Sister” family.

4

“I think it just rang the dinner bell.”

While Sam and Dean take a break in the “Bad Place,” they refuse to sit by quietly on the sidelines.  After Dean enjoys some cooked lizard, they realize that they are about to become meals themselves for a very loud monster in the distance.  When they are attacked by the cloaked shadowy figure, a bell sounds and Sam and Dean brace themselves for the worst.  Even though the Winchesters play more of a supporting role here, the episode would not be complete without their commentary on being stranded.  While they seem more bored than worried for their lives, they still recognize the fact that they can’t find the door back to their world.  Maybe they had a plan…or maybe they knew they had left some great friends behind who would save the day.  Either way, we are happy to have Sam and Dean back in one piece.

3

Claire comes through…with a flame thrower.

“Wayward Sisters” seems to be focusing on Claire Novak as the main protagonist.  She is clearly bad-ass or “Biker Barbie,” but Claire needs to learn to think ahead.  Her plan of attack typically involves her busting through a door to get the bad-guys without really thinking about the consequences.  When Patience reveals her vision that Claire is going to die, she initially dismisses it.  Jody is constantly trying to intervene and prove how much she cares about her and Alex, but Claire thinks she is just keeping her from following through on her destiny.  Even though she needs to work on having a plan, she does certainly help out Jody and Donna when they are trapped in a car, surrounded by the monsters from the “bad place.”  She makes quite the fiery entrance with a flame thrower, proving that she is very capable of fighting her own battles.

2

Claire and Kaia go through the door to save Sam and Dean.

Jody comes to the realization that she can’t always be there to protect Claire and the other girls.  She learns to let go and allow Claire to prove that she can be the hero she so desperately wants to become.  In the beginning of the episode, Claire and Kaia instantly have a bond, comparing scars and revealing secrets about how abandoned and alone they feel sometimes.  Claire promises to protect Kaia who takes the jump with her, going through the open door to the “Bad Place.”  They quickly rescue Sam and Dean, but Patience’s vision takes a detour when Kaia jumps in front of Claire to protect her.  Kaia has made the ultimate sacrifice and Sam and Dean have to pry Claire away from her lifeless body to make it back safely.  Claire confides to Jody that she understands why she is the way she is now.  This teaches her a valuable lesson and gives her the motive to keep fighting the good fight…to protect the innocent and to avenge Kaia’s death.

1

“I saved Sam and Dean…WE saved Sam and Dean.”

Claire finally understands the importance of a team…or really more of a family.  She recognizes these “amazing women” surrounding her at the dinner table and truly sees the importance of sticking by the ones you love.  Claire says that her “family is her army,” and she is absolutely right.  Sam and Dean came together after they lost their father and recognize that their bond as brothers is the most important thing in the world.  They will always try to do good, supporting each other along the way.  Claire now also sees that this is the key to her destiny and that she is not alone in the fight.  She will stop the cloaked shadowy figure that ended Kaia’s life no matter what it takes.  The end of the episode gives us a surprise twist, however; revealing that the shadowy figure is Kaia, but what does this mean?  Does Kaia have a doppelganger?  Is this the real Kaia?  While we are not exactly sure just yet, it definitely leaves Supernatural fans wanting to see more of the “Wayward Sisters.”  Overall, the backdoor pilot did a good job of introducing fans to a familiar premise, a great music soundtrack, and some truly remarkable women that we can learn to root for just like the Winchester Brothers.  While we may not find out until May 2018 if we can expect a fall premiere of the spin-off series, I am hoping that we are able to give these ladies a chance to shine.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Supernatural  and “Wayward Sisters” below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

The 2018 Mid-Season TV Premieres I am most looking forward to: Bring on the new episodes!

Since I covered my favorite shows from 2017 for all networks in previous posts, I wanted to also explore the television premieres that have not yet aired yet.  The holidays are over and the New Year is quickly approaching, which will bring an end to re-runs and the return of new episodes from some of our favorite shows.  However, I am most looking forward to television shows that have not had an official premiere yet.  While some of these shows already have 2018 premiere dates announced, others are still giving out an “early 2018” vague response, as I desperately keep refreshing the internet to see when they will be returning.  Please note some spoilers are ahead if you have not caught up yet on previous seasons.  Without further delay, the 2018 Mid-season TV premieres I am most looking forward to in no particular order are:

The 100

The Affair

Homeland

Ash vs Evil Dead

Jessica Jones

The 100 ended on a major cliff-hanger last season and I am counting the days until I can see Clark and my other favorite characters from Sky Crew return.  Did “Praimfaya” destroy everything?  Who else has survived?  Will Clark and Bellamy finally get together or will we be forced to endure their unspoken tension between each other for another season?  The questions are endless and I need some serious answers as we move into the new season and this new future world.  Either way, I know that The 100 is up to the challenge and will provide fans with non-stop action and drama.

The Affair had me slightly confused on where it would go after the end of season 3.  While seasons 1 and 2 continued to unravel mysteries and kept audiences guessing who would end up with who, season 3 ended on a different note.  At the end of last season, Noah is left outside staring into his family’s house on Christmas.  They are all clearly happy and at peace and he gets back in the cab not knowing where to go next.  Does he go after Alison or somewhere completely new?  It is very open-ended, but I am looking forward to The Affair getting back to its roots.  Perhaps this means introducing some more new characters into the mix and saying goodbye to others, but the show still has a story left to tell and I’m ready for more.

Homeland is another show that left fans with a jam-packed finale, finally saying goodbye to a main character we have come to trust and rely on in previous seasons.  At the end of the season, Carrie had been shut out of the White House, which has us wondering what threats will she have to deal with next?  Will she be able to trust anyone?  What will happen to Saul?  The unanswered questions will soon be revealed, as the show is set to premiere in mid-February.

Ash vs Evil Dead is coming back in February as well.  After a long hiatus from season 2, I am looking forward to the return of “ashy slashy” and friends.  Our favorite characters were left celebrating in season 2 and it seems like life may return to normal, but we know that evil is lurking somewhere close.  Ash cannot put his chain-saw arm into retirement just yet.  What kind of demons will he face?  Will the gang be reunited?  While we are unsure of the threats and set-up, we know we can count on Ash for hilarious over-the-top humor and campy horror.

Jessica Jones is scheduled to return to Netflix in early March 2018 along with Jessica’s quick wit and jaded past.  After defeating her enemy, Kilgrave in season 1, will she be able to put her life back together again?  Is he truly gone and if so, who will she be facing in the upcoming season?  Will we find out more about her past and explore her super-powers further?  While I am not sure where we will be going in season 2, I am along for the ride.  Jessica Jones may not be a hero we typically think of in the spotlight, but her character is deep and complicated and she has a way of showing the bad guy who’s boss while remaining true to herself.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post the shows you are looking forward to premiering in 2018 in the comments below.  Happy viewing and the countdown to 2018 is here!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl