Spoiler-Free Review of Harlan Coben’s “The Woods” on Netflix

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

If you thoroughly enjoyed your watches of The Stranger and Safe, Harlan Coben’s latest crime thriller series is out for you to binge-watch now. 

The Woods is a Polish series that premiered on Netflix on June 12th 2020. It features 6 episodes (45-50 minutes in length) and it stars Grzegorz Damiecki, Agnieszka Grochowska, Hubert Milkowski, and Wiktoria Filus. The series is available with subtitles or dubbed in English.

Like the addicting and binge-watch worthy The Stranger and Safe, The Woods is also brought to us from author and creator, Harlan Coben. It is a mystery thriller that centers around Pawel Kopinski. Twenty-five years ago, Pawel’s sister went missing, along with three other teens from their summer camp, but new evidence comes to light, suggesting that the case may not be shut just yet.

This show has the potential to fulfill your craving for a new mystery thriller, but does The Woods measure up to The Stranger and Safe? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Woods Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

A mystery that immediately pulls you in.

Much like with The Stranger and Safe, Harlan Coben is a genius at bringing us into a crime filled world with secrets and reveals at every corner. The mystery surrounding Pawel’s missing sister is a compelling one. It hooks you onto the show and keeps you guessing until the very end, which is what I expect these shows to do.

The Woods Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

Ship-worthy chemistry.

Don’t get me wrong, the series is a crime thriller mystery, but I absolutely loved the chemistry between Pawel and Laura. They fell in love twenty-five years ago and when they meet up in the present, you could just feel the passion between them once again. Sure, they don’t really have too much time to dwell on this, but it helped me connect with the characters more and I thought their performances were believable and well done.

The Woods Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

Seamless flashbacks.

It’s not easy pulling off flashbacks that advance the plot, but I thought that they worked extremely well in this particular series. I was actually more interested in the flashbacks than present day events and I thought that they freed us up from the slower pace at times. The character dynamics were great and you really felt the terror and anxiety rushing through each character as secrets were revealed.

The Cons:

The Woods Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

Slow pace.

The series is only six episodes and each episode isn’t terribly long, but the series had a tendency to drag in many places. The monotonous music and dull lighting didn’t help at times as I had to keep forcing myself to pay attention. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of moments where you will focus on what is going on completely, but I was just hoping for a faster pace like with The Stranger and Safe and I didn’t really get that here.

Too many sub-plots.

If you have read my reviews on The Stranger and Safe, then you know that I often comment on the multiple sub-plots throughout these series. However, they seemed to stick out even more in The Woods because of the slower pace.

We get this present day case that Pawel is working on and I’m not even sure what actually happened with it because it steered off course too much. While many of the sub-plots make sense later on and add to the mystery, they could be extremely overwhelming and unnecessary at times.

So am I in or out?

The Woods Netflix 6
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m about 50/50 on this one. The series is only six episodes long so it does make a good weekend binge-watch, but I wouldn’t necessarily move it up to the top of your list just yet. 

Perhaps I set my expectations a little bit too high here. I adored both The Stranger and Safe and I was counting the days up until the release of this series. While The Woods does deliver as a compelling mystery that will keep you guessing, it lacks in a lot of other areas and is just kind of OK overall.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Woods in the comments section below. You can check out my review of The Stranger here!  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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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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Ranking the top 5 moments from “Riverdale” Season 4 Episode 19: “Killing Mr. Honey”

Happy Thursday TV fans! After watching The CW’s Riverdale season 4 episode 19 season finale, we “blurred the line between fact and fiction,” but are we left with a threat or a rehearsal for actual murder?

Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet. 

In last night’s episode, “Chapter Seventy-Six: Killing Mr. Honey,” the gang is outraged by Mr. Honey’s restrictions on the prom and decide to get creative. Meanwhile, Jughead’s story takes on a life of its own, as we inch closer to the truth.

My top 5 moments from Riverdale season 4 episode 19 are:

5

“Something must be done to stop this heinous villain.”

Mr. Honey is certainly not very popular in Riverdale among his students, as he bans the majority of them from the prom. After Mr. Honey also refuses to approve Betty’s late yearbook submission, war is basically declared.

The group decides to teach Mr. Honey a lesson, leading to a few creative ideas on how to actually execute this…

4

“Is it took dark?”

Maybe not, Jughead, but your story does remind me of something…Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan. For those of you who have never read this, I highly recommend it if you enjoyed Jughead’s initial story during the episode.

Jughead finds out that a college in Iowa may accept him, but he needs to submit another story. Jughead is basically all tapped out, but Betty sparks some new ideas. Jughead begins to create the story of “Killing Mr. Honey,” as the pages are created before our very eyes.

Riverdale season 4 episode 19 1 The CW
Images courtesy of The CW

We witness what could have actually happened if the group decided to kidnap Mr. Honey, which could have led to some unforeseen consequences. It was entertaining though!

3

“The Grinch that stole prom.”

After the group decides to play an immature prank on Mr. Honey in reality, leading to him literally sticking to everything in his office, he is far from amused. He cancels the prom, but our group is not ready to take this decision lightly.

They recruit their parents and we get this amazing scene featuring Alice, Hermione, and Mary leading the way, as they stand up for their children and are successful.

Riverdale season episode 19 2 The CW
Images courtesy of The CW

Mission accomplished!

2

“Don’t mess with us in our own town.”

After a new tape is discovered, featuring the halls of Riverdale High, Betty detects Mr. Honey’s reflection and blows the whistle on him. Mr. Honey’s is a copycat and is forced out of Riverdale High, but it looks like he already has a secure job waiting for him at Stonewall Prep.

Coincidence?

Mr. Honey tries to explain that he was just trying to help them prepare for a life outside of Riverdale, but the gang seems unwilling to buy it. Later on, the school secretary sheds some light and explains that Mr. Honey was the best principal. She gives Jughead a letter that he was sending to Iowa and we discover that Mr. Honey was actually supporting Jughead and the rest of the students.

His measures may have been extreme, but the death toll was down and college acceptance was up, proving that perhaps he did have the best of intentions for the Riverdale students. Jughead decides to change his story and have the students save Mr. Honey, but is it too late?

It looks like Mr. Honey may have been ruled out as a suspect after all, but then who is still sending the creepy tapes and what is their end game?

1

“Maybe it’s an invitation…”

Bughead takes a minute to talk things through toward the end of the episode and Jellybean delivers another tape. They think that the tape is at Veronica’s cabin and decide to take a drive out there to investigate.

After stumbling upon a room with old camera equipment, it’s clear that someone has been staying there. Another tape is waiting and they witness the gang in masks pretending to stab a masked Mr. Honey in a chair, similar to Jughead’s original story.

Riverdale season 4 episode 19 3 The CW
Images courtesy of The CW

So, who is the culprit behind the tapes? We’ll have to wait and see, as episode 19 will now serve as the season finale. We were originally supposed to get three more episodes of season 4 and the acting finale certainly didn’t have the same feel as past season finales, but I’m intrigued to find out more.

Suspects? Theories? Feel free to comment below with your thoughts on the episode and what’s next for our favorite Riverdale residents.

Stay tuned!

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

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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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!

Play if you dare…

Dash and Seek is available here!

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

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My performance of the week ending 5/2/20 on TV goes to…

The cast of Dispatches From Elsewhere on AMC:

Jason Segel, Eve Lindley, Sally Field, and André Benjamin.

I’ve witnessed many shows with brilliant casts, but there was just something truly special and unique about this particular one. We fell in love with their characters in such a short amount of time. They made us laugh. They made us cry. They broke our hearts into a million pieces and then put them back together.

Please note major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.

There have been characters over the years that I have really connected with, but Dispatches From Elsewhere took things one step further. We were asked to imagine each of these characters as “you” or “us,” but when it comes down to it, there’s really only one “you.”

These characters couldn’t be more different and yet they were all brought together by a mysterious game. However, once the game played out, we were left with connections, memories, and moments that reminded us what life is really all about. It’s about the people we choose to share them with, proving that every moment counts…even the small ones.

Dispatches AMC 1
Images courtesy of AMC

When the show began, the narrator asked us to think of each character as us. We were presented with a snapshot of each character’s life and routine. Some stories hit pretty close to home while others were inspiring on another level. While you may have been initially skeptical about how you could relate to each character, those walls and barriers quickly broke down as you found yourself along for the ride.

The show is really more of a journey than anything else, but it’s a journey that we went on as well as the audience. It had moments of pure brilliance and magic, translating past the page and screen. While the show may seem weird and complex, it’s so much more than that. Sometimes we need to look at the simplest version of things in order to get the most out of them.

As the show goes on, Peter, Simone, Janice, and Fredwynn find themselves questioning more than just the game. However, through it all, they also discover this important connection in their group. Their friendships and relationships are beautiful and touching. In a world filled with pain and loneliness, they are able to take a leap of faith in order to find one another, which is no easy task.

Dispatches AMC 2
Images courtesy of AMC

What’s next for our group? Well, the show is over for now, but the season finale was probably one of the most thought-provoking episodes I have ever witnessed on television. It was bold, different, and slightly all over the map, but by the time it was done, I had tears in my eyes and a new respect for the entire cast and crew of this show.

The show is meant to be a limited anthology series. If it is picked up for any additional episodes, we will most likely follow a new group of characters and plot, but I think that the journey and performances we witnessed will forever stay with us. 

Dispatches AMC 3
Images courtesy of AMC

I highly recommend this show to anyone who is looking for something slightly outside of the box. I can confirm that this show is like nothing else I have ever watched. I am truly grateful that I took a chance on it and these actors took my breath away with their incredible portrayals and performances.

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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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!

Play if you dare…

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Ranking the top 5 moments from “Riverdale” Season 4 Episode 18: “Dear Diary”

Happy Thursday TV fans! After watching The CW’s Riverdale season 4 episode 18, we took a trip down memory lane, as Betty remembered what it felt like to fall in love with the boy next door. But sometimes that love is just a fantasy and what’s really important is what has been in front of you the entire time.

Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet. 

In last night’s episode, “Chapter Seventy-Five: Lynchian,” Barchie contemplates taking their feelings to the next level, but will they follow through? Meanwhile, Jughead continues to investigate the creepy VHS tapes and a new suspect is revealed.

My top 5 moments from Riverdale season 4 episode 18 are:

5

“I want in…”

Apparently we are running out of story ideas for Reggie, as he tells Kevin and Fangs that he wants in on their tickle operation. I honestly forgot about this plot, but Kevin agrees and Reggie is ready to prove his worth in this…endurance sport?

Riverdale 4 18 1 The CW
Images courtesy of The CW

Things get complicated when Reggie convinces Kevin to cut out Terry so that they can run their own operation and keep all the profits, which leads to an interesting Vixens/Bulldogs tickle extravaganza, but Terry shows off just how terrifying he can be.

Did you guys really think he would sit there quietly why you stole his idea and kept the profits?

4

“Veronica Lodge and Cheryl Blossom do not back down from a fight.”

Inspiring words for sure, but Veronica may be in over her head here. After she begins to corner the college market with their maple rum, a local family warns her that she is cutting into their business.

The Malloy family trashes the place after they leave and Hiram decides to pay one of them a visit. He doesn’t shoot him and ends up getting badly beaten, but I’m not sure that Daddy Dearest has changed as much as you think, Veronica.

Cheryl wants out of the business and Veronica is proud of her father. Only we cut to a scene where Hiram goes back and kills Mr. Malloy.

Did he just start another feud in Riverdale? Has he just endangered his family even more? We’ll have to wait and see…

3

“You’ll find what you’re looking for…”

Charles and Jughead are still on the case, determined to find out who is behind the creepy VHS tapes. Ethel Muggs seems to be the prime suspect, but Jughead has his doubts. After looking into things further, Jughead has a theory that perhaps they are looking for a filmmaker.

Riverdale 4 18 2 The CW
Images courtesy of The CW

They head to a 24 hour old video store, which features the “Scarlet Suite.” It is a back room that has different VHS tapes that have been traded or dropped off. Jughead and Betty’s “Ponytail Playmate” was there along with a video of Mr. Blossom killing Jason.

After Ethel explains that she kept the sex tape to prevent anyone else from seeing it, Jughead rules her out, but it looks like this secret room has been inspiring some ill thoughts for quite a while.

2

“Why are we here?”

A fair question for sure, as Betty and Archie start to truly think about what their lives would be like if they were together. Betty and Archie both admit to being in love with their current partners, but they also feel this magnetic connection toward one another.

Betty reads through her old diary and Archie writes a song, but after some wise words from Cheryl, Betty realizes that perhaps they just feel safe with one another because everything is changing.

Riverdale 4 18 3 The CW
Images courtesy of The CW

They agree to put a pause on these feelings so it looks like Barchie may be off the table…for now.

But with all these secret videos, it may only be a matter of time before some of their secret kisses are shown to Jughead and Veronica. Let’s hope no one gets hurt…

1

“It’s probably for the best…”

After Terry informs Mr. Honey about the tickle fight, he shows just how much of a nemesis he can be. Only, it may not be all talk. At the end of the episode, Cheryl receives a video similar to Jughead’s. People in masks mock the Cliff/Jason video and we see Mr. Honey at the video store.

We know that Mr. Honey and Cheryl have been clashing for a while, but is he the one behind the tapes? It’s looking that way, but we know that there’s always another twist around the corner in Riverdale…

Either way, it looks like Mr. Honey may be far from sweet, but is he a match for our favorite characters in Riverdale?

Stay tuned!

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

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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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!

Play if you dare…

Dash and Seek is available here!

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

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 “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” on Showtime: Evil Looks Good on Natalie Dormer

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

“Until not a soul is left…are you ready?”

The sequel spin-off of Penny Dreadful may not be connected to the original show, but it does present us with a different kind of evil in a brand new time and setting with Natalie Dormer’s Magda at the very center of it.

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels premiered on Showtime on April 26th 2020. It will feature weekly episodes (55 minutes in length). It stars Natalie Dormer, Daniel Zovatto, Nathan Lane, and Lorenza Izzo.

While the show has been long awaited by fans of the beloved Gothic horror series, Penny Dreadful, there will be no crossovers or Easter Eggs to the original series, even though it seems like this could have been done.

The show takes place in Los Angeles, 1938 and follows several groups of characters as the demon, Magda and Santa Muerte clash on their involvement in mortal affairs.

The show certainly has a lot of possibility, but can it live up to its predecessor? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Penny Dreadful COA Showtime 1
Images courtesy of Showtime

Natalie Dormer ignites the screen.

I am already a fan of the Game of Thrones alum, but I have to say that Natalie Dormer was born for a role like this. While it will certainly not be easy to live up to the breathtakingly magnetic, Eva Green in the original series, Dormer is taking on a new character and is embracing her dark side with style.

The opening scene leaves you wanting so much more and reveals just how manipulative and powerful Dormer’s character can be.

Penny Dreadful COA Showtime 2
Images courtesy of Showtime

Exceptional cast and gorgeous setting.

The sequel is set in pre World War II L.A. The setting is absolutely gorgeous and I appreciated some of these smaller moments where we got to witness dancing in the street, beautiful outfits, and serene backdrops of the bluffs, transporting us back to a different time and place seamlessly.

The rest of the cast is talented as well, which should work in their favor, as they have the potential to really light up the screen with character dynamics and relationships.

The Cons:

Penny Dreadful COA Showtime 5
Images courtesy of Showtime

A storyboard of ideas can get confusing…

After watching the premiere episode, there are already so many characters and sub-plots, which makes it difficult to keep up. I’m all for a slow burn type of reveal, but I think that some of these plots are going to get lost in the void. The premiere episode acted like a storyboard of ideas rather than a full developed plot, which could be problematic.

Penny Dreaful COA Showtime 4
Images courtesy of Showtime

Don’t bench your best player…

Natalie Dormer is the best part of this series right now and yet she is taking a back seat in the premiere episode. While I understand that the show is focusing more on her whispering in the ears of men to convince them to do evil, she honestly deserves more than this.

I love seeing her take on different characters as she hides her true identity as the demon, Magda, but it seems like we are stifling a major asset on this series and I just honestly want to see more of her. Let her shine!

Not enough supernatural elements.

The original series did a fantastic job of transporting us into a world of Gothic horror as we met familiar characters from literature with a unique and dark spin. While I understand that the show is going in a new direction, I don’t want it to lose that supernatural spark. There are a lot of elements in history to explore during this time, but let’s tell a new story filled with legend and magical possibility.

So am I in or out?

Penny Dreadful COA Showtime 3
Images courtesy of Showtime

Right now, I’m honestly about 50/50. The show has the potential to be something extraordinary. We get this interesting clash between the demon, Magda and the legend, Santa Muerte, which could really help the show find its own entertaining path, but I have a feeling that a lot of things will get lost in the midst of an over-complicated plot.

I’m going to give the show a few more episodes because Natalie Dormer honestly deserves it, but I really hope that this slow burn mystery can just start lighting things on fire already.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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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 comes out April 28th!

Dash and Seek is available here!

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

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 “Dispatches From Elsewhere” on AMC: Just the Right Amount of Strange

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

“Pay attention. Clues are all around you…”

Dispatches From Elsewhere premiered on AMC on March 1st 2020. The anthology series features 10 episodes that air weekly (approximately 56 minutes in length). It stars Jason Segel, Eve Lindley, André Benjamin, and Sally Field.

Based on the 2013 documentary film, The Institute, the series centers around four main characters who have lost a sense of meaning in their lives. They each stumble upon a game with many challenges and mysteries, as they unlock the secrets behind it and form unexpected connections with one another.

The show is definitely something different and unique, luring you in from the first opening minutes, which feature the narrator staring at you without saying anything. The show throws you right into the mysterious game, as you find yourself playing along, but it’s really more about the characters and their journey toward self-discovery.

While the show may hit you over the head with some of its underlying themes, it does provide us with a lot of reflective moments as well, but does it do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Dispatches AMC 2
Images courtesy of AMC

A mystery that grabs your full attention.

I may not know what’s going on for a lot of these tests and challenges, but they keep me coming back for more. The opening episode is from Peter’s (Segel) perspective, as he finds himself invited to some kind of elaborate test or game, but there are warnings as well about the mysterious Jejune Institute.

Are they friends or foes? I’m not sure, but the clues are fun and interesting, leading to more pieces of the main puzzle.

Dispatches AMC 1
Images courtesy of AMC

Electric character dynamics.

The cast is absolutely fantastic. Standout performance goes to Eve Lindley as Simone, who really elevates the rest of the characters that much more, while throwing in some humor as well.

The characters couldn’t be more different and yet the narrator asks us to think of them as us, connecting us to their stories. While each character deals with different obstacles, they somehow find true friendship and understanding in their group, suggesting that the strangers we pass by in the world every day have the potential to become so much more.

The Cons:

Dispatches AMC 4
Images courtesy of AMC

A lot going on…

While the show captures our attention, it does go off the rails several times. The show is supposed to be about more than the mysterious game, which we understand immediately, but the plot of the show branches out all over the place.

When you reach the later episodes, things that seemed important fade away and there is some unnecessary fluff that I could have done without. I think that the opening episodes really set the tone for the show and it started to lose steam once some of the reveals were presented.

That being said, it’s also part of the show’s charm, suggesting that our own journeys zigzag rather than travel down a straight path toward understanding.

So am I in or out?

Dispatches AMC 3
Images courtesy of AMC

I’m in! At first glance, I put this show on the back burner. However, once I gave the show a true chance, I quickly lost myself within it. It’s honestly the perfect show to binge-watch during your stay at home quarantine, as it really helps you reflect about what’s important in life and it also allows you to transport yourself somewhere else.

While you may see the reveals coming from a mile away, the show has a deeper meaning and as long as you embrace and understand that and expect to be confused a lot of the time, you’ll enjoy yourself.

This show was an unexpected surprise for me and I’m truly glad that I gave it the chance it deserves. While it may not be perfect, it is extremely unique and touching, blending mystery, sci-fi, and heartwarming moments with some glimpses of pure brilliance along the way.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Stay tuned!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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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 comes out April 28th!

Dash and Seek is available here!

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

 

 

 

 

 

Ranking the top 5 moments from “Riverdale” Season 4 Episode 17: “Wicked Little Town”

Happy Thursday TV fans! After watching The CW’s Riverdale season 4 episode 17, we were reminded that “Riverdale was and is a wicked little town.” The creepy VHS tapes are back, but they take a back seat to The Variety Show, as we sit back and enjoy another musical themed episode.

Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet. 

In last night’s episode, “Chapter Seventy-Four: Wicked Little Town,” Bughead and Varchie both hit a snag, but is it enough to bring another ship together? Meanwhile, Kevin stands up for his right to perform a song from “Hedwig,” but Mr. Honey is not exactly pleased.

My top 5 moments from Riverdale season 4 episode 17 are:

5

“This is not your business.”

Archie has some concerns when he sees Hiram working out at his gym. Hiram pretends that he is perfectly fine and is clearly frustrated that Veronica told Archie about his condition, but Hiram is a proud man and is not about to show his weakness to anyone.

Later on, Veronica and Archie have a fight when she finds out that he didn’t say anything or take him to the doctor. Archie tries to tell Veronica that sometimes there is no reasoning with her father, but it looks like these two are heading in different directions…

4

“I think you should go rogue.”

Kevin is outraged when Mr. Honey informs him that he is not allowed to perform a song from the controversial “Hedwig” for the variety show. Kevin stands up for himself and reminds Mr. Honey that many students are “screaming on the inside” and that they are people, not numbers.

Luckily Kevin has the support of his friends and classmates, as he decides to “go rogue” and give a surprise performance during the day. The performance is out of this world, but Mr. Honey is far from amused.

3

“It is not a sleepover without greasy pizza.”

Well said, Betty! I don’t know about you, but I always love a Riverdale sleepover party and this one is certainly a lot of fun.

Riverdale 4 17 1 The CW
Images courtesy of The CW

Kev is unsure if a “makeover montage” can really help, but I think it’s safe to say that it does the trick and this was my favorite musical number of the episode. More please!

2

“We urge you to hear our plea.”

Cheryl promises Kevin that she will talk some sense into Mr. Honey, which leads to another fantastic musical number featuring the Vixens. Mr. Honey does not approve of Cheryl’s sugary sweet number and reminds her that he doesn’t want to promote “highly sexualized” performances and even has the audacity to hit Cheryl with her own catch phrase…“toodles!”

Riverdale 4 17 The CW 2
Images courtesy of The CW

Mr. Honey says that if anyone performs a song from “Hedwig,” they will be banned from prom, which ignites a peaceful protest. Of course, Mr. Honey counters with canceling the variety show. It’s clear he is not going down without a fight…

1

“The show must go on…”

The moment we have all been waiting for…a Barchie kiss?! I can’t say that I am really surprised since several hints have been thrown our way, but after the clash between both Varchie and Bughead in this episode, Betty and Archie confide in one another and end up sharing a secretive, passionate kiss.

Later on, Jughead and Veronica apologize, leaving Betty and Archie staring at each other from their bedroom windows, understanding that they can’t pursue their desires, but it’s only a matter of time before this potential romance can set all of their friendships on fire…

Either way, the show must go on and “The Archies” put on a fantastic performance at Pop’s for all of their friends and family.

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Images courtesy of The CW

Even Mr. Honey makes it to the show, but Jughead brings us back to the plot, staring out at all of the cameras, wondering who is really sending the creepy tapes?

We are left with a disturbing tape of someone dressed as Betty and Jughead, as Betty cracks Jughead’s head open with a rock. This threat should be taken seriously, but it looks like we will have to wait until April 29th for another new episode.

So, who is sending the tapes? Could Charles or Chic be behind this, someone from The Farm or someone completely new? I can’t wait to find out!

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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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 comes out April 28th!

Dash and Seek is available here!

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My performance of the week ending 4/11/20 on TV goes to…

Kennedy McMann as Nancy Drew on The CW’s Nancy Drew.

It’s not easy playing an iconic character like Nancy Drew, especially when so many other actresses have taken a whirl at it. However, Kennedy McMann is starting to make some waves with her portrayal and in a very good way!

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

When I first heard that we would be getting a new Nancy Drew series, I was beyond excited. The show originally premiered right after Riverdale and I thought it was going to quickly become my new favorite show. However, I had some reservations about it initially and I wasn’t really sure how I felt about the new Nancy.

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Images courtesy of The CW

Sure, there is a maturity to this Nancy and a teenage drama angst that we often find on shows on The CW, but I was really hoping for a spark that would lure me in and I didn’t initially find it. However, I am so happy that I stuck around because the series got better and better as it went on.

The mysteries are so intriguing and they really keep you on the edge of your seat and Nancy has really grown and developed as a character, impressing me so much. Kennedy McMann has been channeling all the right emotions while keeping her sleuth skills up to par.

In the most recent episodes, we got quite a shock about Nancy’s identity and her connection to Lucy Sable, which still has my head spinning. The reveal was quite rewarding and now I am more invested than ever. Part of that is because Kennedy McMann has been beyond fantastic and I can’t stop watching her.

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Images courtesy of The CW

While I initially thought she was moody and self deprecating, she is now using her inner turmoil to become a force of nature herself. It’s going to take Nancy some time to adjust to everything going on, but the supernatural presence in town is not about to let her off that easy.

I’m also much more interested in Nancy’s new relationships, although things may get even more complicated after that major cliffhanger at the end of episode 17. While I originally felt like Nancy’s relationship was forced upon us with Nick, she has been making her own choices now, allowing her to truly discover her sense of self worth.

What’s next for Nancy? Well, she has to deal with the new supernatural threat before it claims her and her friends, but I know that our girl Nancy will not stop until she finds a way to defeat it.

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Images courtesy of The CW

Now that we know Nancy’s true identity, she also has to come to terms with who she is and what kind of relationship she wants with her family and friends.

I’m looking forward to more adventures with Nancy Drew and I am so happy that I decided to stick around and give this show a chance after initially having some doubts.

Sometimes it takes a show a little while to find its identity, especially when it has many predecessors. However, with each new episode, Nancy Drew is finally giving off that spark I was looking for and Kennedy McMann is at the very center of it.

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

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Final Chapter Blog

**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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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:

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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.

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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:

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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?

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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!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

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!

 

 

 

 

Ranking the top 5 moments from “Riverdale” Season 4 Episode 16: “The Locked Room”

Happy Thursday TV fans! After watching The CW’s Riverdale season 4 episode 16, we were reminded that faking your own death is no simple task. Illusions can certainly take a toll, but is it all worth it in the end to solve the perfect murder?

Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet. 

In last night’s episode, “Chapter Seventy-Three: The Locked Room,” Jughead and Betty are determined to wrap up the case once and for all. The mystery is solved, but there may be a few loose ends left after all…

My top 5 moments from Riverdale season 4 episode 16 are:

5

“Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Jughead Jones channels his very own Mark Twain, revealing that he is actually alive to the Stonewall Prep cronies and Mr. DuPont. He’s not holding anything back anymore and he and Betty lock everyone in the room together, determined to get to the bottom of the mystery before they open the doors again.

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Images courtesy of The CW

We certainly get a lot of reveals jam-packed into this episode. We discover that the goal was to execute the perfect murder against him so that one of his classmates could obtain the contract to the Baxter Brother series.

Mr. Chipping’s role comes into play as we learn that Moose was the original target, but Mr. Chipping decided to get him out of there before anything happened to him. This is not the first time this formula of perfect murder has been put into place, as we learn that every single ghost writer for the Baxter Brothers series went through something similar and of course they are ready to lawyer up.

Our “friendly neighborhood doctor of death” played his part to make it look like Jughead was dead, which is something I had predicted earlier on so I was happy to confirm this theory.

As the pieces all come together, Bughead is ready to serve some justice. You should really never mess with the ultimate dynamic duo…

4

“Let’s loop back to the original sin.”

Good idea, Jughead! Even though the Stonewall Prep cronies are responsible for Jughead’s attempted murder, Mr. DuPont is far from innocent. We learn that he murdered his three classmates and made their deaths all look like accidents.

Any time someone got close to the truth, he took them out of his way. We learn that Jughead was brought into the mix because Mr. DuPont was trying to lure out his grandfather, Forsythe, to really tie up all loose ends.

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Images courtesy of The CW

Well, Forsythe is “live and in the flesh,” as he shows up with FP to confront Mr. DuPont. It’s certainly over for Mr. DuPont, but he decides to jump out of the window to commit suicide rather than deal with the consequences of his own actions.

Seriously, they must fix that window a lot…

3

“The counter to your counter.”

Bret doesn’t seem too worried, ready to take a deal and lawyer up to protect himself, but Charles has another idea in mind. He leaves the room while FP and Jughead take over, serpent style.

Bret is beaten into a confession and it looks like he finally got what he deserved. This guy was asking for a punch every single time he opened his mouth.

So long, Bret! Hope to see you never!

2

“You wanted revenge.”

Even though Bret is beyond annoying, the real mastermind of the group has always been Donna. Our girl Betty pays Donna a visit, revealing that Donna’s grandmother was Jane Dallas Brown, one of the original classmates murdered by Mr. DuPont. In addition, we discover that Mr. DuPont stole the idea of Tracy True from her, explaining why Donna wanted to take over the series so much.

Donna initially doesn’t seem threatened by Betty, but Betty promises to leak this story to everyone if she doesn’t back down from the contract. After all, she can link this “entire web of death” back to her.

Tracy deserves better! Go Betty!

1

“Your secret’s safe with me.”

Even though the mystery is solved, Cheryl takes a moment to point out that the kiss between Betty and Archie looked pretty real. Betty assures her that it was all an act, but perhaps there was an unforeseen consequence to all of this.

Is there hope for Barchie or will Bughead continue to thrive?

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Images courtesy of The CW

We’ll have to stay tuned to find out. The drama now moves toward the new variety show, as Archie decides to make another vow or toast to the group. Let’s see how this one works out…

New episodes return April 8th! Stay tuned!

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

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!