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

Tom Pelphrey as Ben Davis on Netflix’s Ozark season 3.

Ozark season 3 may be my favorite season yet and part of that is because of the beyond brilliant performance by Tom Pelphrey, who gave his heart and soul to his portrayal of Wendy’s brother, Ben Davis.

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

It’s not easy being the new character on a show, especially when the characters are already so fantastic. However, Ben Davis certainly makes his presence known when he shows up to stay with the Byrde family.

What I really enjoyed about Ben was the way he was able to elevate other characters on the show. His connections with Ruth and his sister, Wendy, really developed their own character transformations, which I thought was so clever and thought-provoking.

Ben from Ozark Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

We learn that Ben suffers from bipolar disorder and begins to make some drastic decisions when he starts developing romantic feelings for our girl, Ruth, which worries Wendy. Wendy has seen Ben at his worst before and doesn’t want to go down this dark path again, especially since the entire family is walking on eggshells while working for the drug cartel.

I’ve never really liked Wendy that much before, but her interactions with Ben made me change my mind. We finally got to witness some truly believable and emotional moments with Wendy and I’m not sure that we would have seen them without Ben on the show.

Ben from Ozark Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

Ben has some fantastic and chilling moments on his own as well and isn’t afraid to shatter the lies and secrets being told in town. While his measures and actions may be beyond extreme at times, you can tell that he really has a big heart and cares about both Ruth and his family. He wears his heart on his sleeve, but he also believes in loyalty and integrity. He is honestly one of the most interesting characters I have seen on a show in a long time.

It’s not always easy to portray someone with a mental illness, but Tom Pelphrey really does a great job. He doesn’t overdo things or overact. He just simple embraces the role to the point where you really think that he is Ben Davis, which deserves a lot of recognition. I honestly think that he deserves an Emmy nomination for this role. He’s that good.

Season 3, episode 9 will tug at all of your emotions. I mentioned how powerful this episode was during my spoiler-free review of season 3, but Pelphrey’s performance is so real and heart-wrenching. I was crying my eyes out during this episode and I am still thinking about it even now. That’s how epic it was.

Family can sometimes be more complicated than anything else in the world and yet we still want to do everything we can to help the ones we love.

Bravo, Tom Pelphrey! Thank you for elevating an already fantastic show into something even greater.

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! 


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!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Ozark” season 3 on Netflix: Edge of Your Seat Perfection

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

Netflix certainly has us covered with plenty of new shows, seasons, and movies to help us during social distancing, but they really hit it out of the park with the latest season of Ozark.

Ozark season 3 premiered on Netflix on March 27th 2020 with 10 new episodes (Approximately 60 minutes in length). It stars Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner, Janet McTeer, and Tom Pelphrey.

If you have never seen the show before, it channels a real Breaking Bad feel. Marty Byrde is forced to move his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks in order to launder money for the drug cartel.

Each season focuses on different business ventures that Marty must obtain in order to successfully launder the money to appease his boss and protect his family, leading to scandal, murder, and secrets along the way.

I am a fan of the series and was eager to see where the Byrde family would invest their time and money next. A casino seemed like the perfect place, but we quickly learn that this may not be so easy when competitors and the FBI begin to stir up some trouble for the Byrde family.

The show is fantastic, but the episodes are super long and sometimes can drag here and there. However, season 3 absolutely picks up the pace while introducing us to some new characters. But does it do enough to stand out from its prior seasons? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Ozark Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

New character dynamics light up the screen.

I am a huge fan of Ruth Langmore and will continue to root for her against all odds. Seriously, she’s the best. However, I was beyond thrilled when we got some new characters on the show to really spice things up and to develop some of our other characters even more.

I am going to highlight Wendy’s brother, Ben, who comes to visit the Byrde family. Tom Pelphrey is beyond brilliant playing this role and he also helps us see even more layers from both Ruth and Wendy. Season 3, episode 9 was probably the best episode I have witnessed on the show and I think that both Pelphrey and Linney deserve an Emmy for their performances.

 I still have chills from it…

It was also nice to see other characters develop more. Charlotte and Jonah actual earn their own story-lines, which I appreciated, as they interact with Helen’s rebellious daughter, Erin.

The casino background is a nice change of scenery.

We’ve seen Marty invest in a restaurant and a strip club, but I thought the casino was really a bold choice.

Ozark Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

I have to say that Ruth did an amazing job running the floor and was not afraid to ruffle any feathers if anyone tried to mess with her.

Of course the casino captures the attention of the FBI, which makes things more complicated for the Byrde family, but I was thoroughly invested in all of the schemes and secrets behind the scenes here, which was a welcomed change of business for the Byrde family.

Fast paced edge of your seat moments and cliffhangers.

Every episode had something new and exciting. I was never bored throughout season 3 and the final moments of the last episode will leave you in complete shock. It’s that good. I really appreciated how much this show adapted to keep the pace going steady, as it had the tendency to slow down quite a bit in seasons 1 and 2.


The Cons:

Ozark Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

The Darlene and Wyatt scenes…

So, while I thought a lot of the new character relationships and dynamics were necessary and intriguing, we don’t need to pair everyone up and we don’t need unnecessary sex scenes with certain characters that really leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Sometimes I think certain characters should really just be abandoned if they don’t further the plot and we don’t need to have them in every scene for them to make a difference.

So am I in or out?

Ozark Netflix 5
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in! Since a lot of my favorite shows are delaying production and release, I was beyond pleased to be able to binge-watch Ozark season 3 all in one weekend. This series blends family drama and crime thrills seamlessly. Each episode leaves you wanting more and the finale gave us one of the most shocking cliffhangers I have seen in a while.

Season 3 was my favorite season yet! More please!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Ozark season 3 in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!


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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Ranking the top 5 moments from “Riverdale” season 3 episode 12: “Pretty by Day, Poison by Night”

Happy Thursday TV fans!  After watching the CW’s Riverdale season 3 episode 12, Choni fans finally got to witness some quality screen time for our girls, Cheryl Blossom and Toni Topaz.  And I have to say, it was worth the wait!  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “Chapter Forty-Seven:  Bizarrodale,” Tom and Sierra are ready to get married, but the Gargoyle King has some other plans for the Midnight Club.  Meanwhile, Archie continues to grow closer to Josie, Veronica comes face to face with Jughead’s mom, Kevin is tired of hiding in the shadows, and Cheryl and Toni have their first fight.  My top 5 moments from Riverdale season 3 episode 12 are:


“And suddenly I’m in an episode of Ozark.”

I have to admit that Veronica drops some of the best references on the show and it is well appreciated.  We may not be in Ozark, Missouri, but Riverdale has its own set of problems to deal with.  After destroying the drugs last week, Veronica learns that her actions may have some very steep consequences.  After realizing that she does not have enough money to cover her debt, Veronica and Reggie come face to face with Gladys Jones, otherwise known as Jughead’s mom.  Gladys agrees to put Veronica on a payment plan of sorts while taking Reggie’s beloved car as collateral, but she reminds them not to tell Jughead about her involvement here.  Now that Gladys and Jellybean are back in town, something tells me that the drama will not stop here.  What else does Gladys have up her sleeve?  We’ll have to wait and find out, but I’m looking forward to exploring it further.


“So maybe I can help you feel a little less alone.”

Or maybe you are going to end up kissing Josie, but are you really ready for a new relationship, Archie?  During this episode, Josie and Archie continue to grow closer.  Archie agrees to take Josie to her music audition and truly listens to her about some of her hopes and doubts about life.  Their friendship has blossomed into something more, but what will happen when Veronica finds out?  We know that Veronica has moved on to Reggie, but is she truly over Archie?


“We finish the game we started.”

Tom and Sierra are excited to announce their wedding, but even the Gargoyle King wants to send his or her best wishes.  We quickly learn that the rest of the Midnight Club have received similar notes and are told that they must finish the game to protect their children.  Only we soon learn that it was a distraction, leaving all of their children in potential danger.  It seems like the adults in town need to take some much needed cues from their children.  Perhaps we needed more screen time for Betty Cooper in this episode so she could school the adults again.  Either way, we know that the Midnight Club is still very much involved here and we still have a lot of unanswered questions.


“You wanted to destroy what you couldn’t have.”

Kevin and Moose finally got some screen time in this episode as well, as Moose decides to finally come out to his father, which was no easy decision.  While Moose is under the impression that his father is supporting him, Mr. Mason decides to recruit some of the junior ROTC members and kidnaps both Kevin and Moose, while posing as the Gargoyle King.  Luckily, everyone arrives before anyone is hurt, but Mr. Mason explains that there was no poison in the chalices and he was never going to hurt the boys.  Later on, Mr. Mason reveals that he had once possessed romantic feelings for Tom Keller back in the day and was rejected.  Clearly Mr. Mason is not over this, but taking it out on your son is not the way to go.  Also, it seems like pretty much anyone can just find this Gargoyle King mask and try to get their dirty work done without being caught.  While it looks like this may be the end for Kevin and Moose, something tells me that Kevin has someone out there who is truly worthy. 


“We know how to dominate too.”

The wait is finally over, as Choni fans got to witness some quality screen time for our favorite couple.  Although, it was not all happy moments for these two, which actually really helped elevate their couple status for me.  During the episode, Cheryl is upset to find out that her mother is trying to prevent her from being accepted into the college of her choice because of her alumni status.  After almost outing Moose in front of the entire school, Toni and Cheryl have an argument, as Toni sheds some light on what really matters in life.  Later on, Toni and Cheryl take on “operation fifty shades of blackmail” and Penelope eventually folds so that Cheryl has an in at her college of choice.  After all, she can’t have her Maple Club clients exposed.  Previously, Cheryl has always been known to be somewhat selfish, but her character has really transformed thanks to “TT.”  Cheryl gives her interview time to Toni, recognizing her girlfriend’s talent and potential, which is a beautiful moment.  She also takes things one step further, when she forms a new gang of sorts for Toni, realizing how much Toni loved being a Serpent.  The girls will be known as “The Pretty Poisons,” but I wonder how the Serpents will react to this new group?  Either way, Cheryl finally took a moment to put Toni’s needs above her own and truly expressed her love for her with her actions.

Overall, the episode provided us with some more setup without Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones, who only had about 30 seconds of screen time.  While I appreciated the screen time for Choni and Kevin, I feel like we can still move the plot forward without leaving characters out.  However, the episode still left us with a lot of questions about The Gargoyle King, The Midnight Club, and Gladys’s return to town, but still no mention of the farm.  Either way, I was very excited to see the growth of Cheryl and Toni’s relationship in this episode, as their love has become something more than passionate and beautiful.  It has now transcended into a selfless and unconditional love that is not to be taken for granted.  Stay tuned!

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

**Don’t miss out on My Bloody Valentine’s Week book promotion for The Search for Alice!  It will be on sale for 99 cents from 2/11/19-2/17-19 and free with Kindle Unlimited! 

The Search for Alice is available here!

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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl


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**As you may know, February is “Women in Horror” month. To celebrate, asked women from different professions if they would like to answer some questions about being a “Woman in Horror,” and more. I am so excited that I was interviewed for this and I hope that everyone continues to celebrate and support women in horror all year round! Check out my Women in Horror month Interview at Women in Horror Month Interview with Author/Blogger Amy Koto

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! 

Ranking my top television shows of 2018 on Netflix: Binge-watching throughout the year!

Greetings TV Fans!  While I have not gotten a chance to binge-watch every show on Netflix, I did have time to catch up on quite a few series from 2018 while I anxiously wait for new episodes to return.  While some old favorites of mine didn’t quite make the cut with their new seasons, other new series pleasantly surprised me.  Netflix has done a good job of successfully providing me with the binge-watching we all crave once in a while with its lineup.  Who am I kidding…all the time! 

My top television shows streaming on Netflix for 2018 are:

5. 13 Reasons Why (season 2)

4. Orange Is the New Black (season 6)

3. Ozark (season 2)

2. The Haunting of Hill House

1. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

While I am a devoted fan to 13 Reasons Why and OITNB, I was absolutely loving Netflix’s addition of some horror television series this past year.  The Haunting of Hill House was not loved by all, but I thought that it combined the perfect amount of bone-chilling moments with heartwarming ones.  My absolute favorite series on Netflix for the past year has to go to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which was deliciously dark with just the right amount of Riverdale pop mixed in.  I was also impressed with Ozark season 2, which had me hooked even more than season 1!

Honorable mentions:

Daredevil (season 3)


While nothing will compare to season 1 of Daredevil for me, I was impressed with season 3.  While it was slow moving in the beginning, it really picked up steam halfway through and allowed us to finally explore Karen Page’s character further, while also introducing us to a formidable villain.  Tidelands is your new guilty pleasure.  Trust me.  Sure, it may be filled with unnecessary fluff, but it’s the perfect weekend escape if you are looking for something light, sexy, and fun!


Jessica Jones (season 2)


I absolutely loved the first season of Jessica Jones and I was very disappointed with season 2.  The entire season was slow moving for me and I am not sure if I can continue watching for season 3, but I will try and give it a chance.  I was also so excited to watch Insatiable, especially because I am a huge Alyssa Milano fan, but I found that the plot was all over the place.  The show had the potential to become a new cult classic, but it almost seemed unsure of its direction.  I will give season 2 a chance, but I’m looking for something that actually captures the dark humor that I crave.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own comments and thoughts about your favorite television shows on Netflix from 2018.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl


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I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

When Kallie Bennett, a jaded teenage girl plagued by her alcoholic mother and her peers molded out of sheer bubble gum perfection, chases after Alice in Wonderland herself, she ends up lost in her own version of Wonderland, which forces her to face her utmost fears and introduces her to familiar characters with a dark twist. Among these characters is Ches, a gorgeous vampire with a conflicted conscience, who becomes Kallie’s guide and blossoming love interest. She also crosses paths with Queen Hartley, a manipulative witch who has the power to strip away one’s memories and imagination, which brings a bone chilling new meaning to “off with their heads.” In The Search for Alice, Kallie starts to realize that her Wonderland is just as frightening as her own reality and that she cannot always run away from her problems. She must figure out a way to defeat Queen Hartley and return home before it is too late, but she soon learns that escaping Wonderland means leaving Ches behind forever.

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My top television shows of 2017 on Netflix: Binge-watching throughout the year!

Since I covered my top favorite television shows that aired in 2017 on local and cable networks, I thought it would only be right to discuss my favorite shows that aired on Netflix as well.  While Netflix has been slowly taking away some of my old favorites series to make room for the new ones, I have been pleased with a lot of their new shows.  Don’t get me wrong, I desperately want them to bring back shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and One Tree Hill and to consider not taking Lost off.  Either way I will still dust off my old DVD sets and settle for some quality shows on Netflix as a compromise.  Netflix has done a good job of successfully providing me with the binge-watching we all crave once in a while with its lineup.  Who am I kidding…all the time!  Please note some spoilers are ahead.

The Best of the Best of television shows streaming on Netflix for 2017 are:

  1. 13 Reasons Why
  2. Stranger Things (season 2)
  3. The Punisher
  4. Ozark
  5. Orange is the New Black (season 5)

Orange is the New Black is a favorite guilty pleasure of mine and I admit that I look forward to every June for the premiere.  I tend to watch these episodes in just under a week because I am always sad when it is over to soon.  Season 4 ended with a cliff-hanger of Daya pointing a gun at a guard, leaving fans wondering what would happen next.  A lot of the season focused on the inmates refusing to be treated poorly anymore, leading to a riot that allowed the tables to be turned and the inmates to take control of the prison.  Each episode was jam-packed with drama and action, which had me contemplating when to start up the next episode.  I have to admit that it took a lot of self-control to watch everything over the course of the week, as it would have been very easy to finish this within a day or two.

When my friends told me about Ozark, they said it was sort of like Breaking Bad but not really.  Not really that specific of a review, but it did get my attention and I checked out the show featuring the wonderful and brilliant Jason Bateman.  Bateman plays Marty who gets caught up in a money-laundering scheme and is forced to leave his home with his family and set up shop in the small town of Ozark so that the head of the Mexican cartel doesn’t kill him and everyone he cares about.  Marty has a set of skills that are unlike many others and thinks on his feet quickly to come up with a business scheme that can work, all while trying to deal with the fact that his marriage is coming to an end and to keep his children happy.  Sounds like a tall order and it is.  While the series is no Breaking Bad, at least not yet anyway, it was entertaining and absolutely worth a watch.

I am a big fan of Marvel in general and The Punisher is one of my favorite heroes or maybe anti-heroes of all time.  Usually when I say this, fans question this and say why not Wolverine or Captain America?  The Punisher is so powerful to me because he has no super powers and his quest for revenge is sympathetic and tragic.  When Netflix’s Daredevil season 2 came out, the best part of it was the introduction of The Punisher.  I was ecstatic when I heard that the character would be getting his own series.  I am happy to say that I successfully binge-watched this show over the weekend and it is everything I could have hoped for.  Jon Bernthal is so believable as Frank Castle that you would think the comic series was based off of him.  He is someone to root for and although the violence may be extreme, the enemies get what is coming to them.  I also found myself investing time and energy into the supporting cast as well which is rare for me.  The villains are also so intense and heart-breaking, as Frank Castle finds himself being betrayed left and right while he is trying to make amends and bring those who deserve it to justice.

Stranger Things season 2 is absolutely worth a binge-watch and perhaps a second or third time through.  That’s how good it is.  The music alone sparked new life into this season, the characters and friendships were bonded further, and the quest to find out where one comes from and what “home” truly means is touching and beautiful.  Once again, this season blended the perfect amount of comedy with sci-fi mystery.  New friends and characters are introduced and the adventures don’t stop.  I don’t want to give away too much in case you haven’t gotten a chance to watch yet, but remember “friends don’t lie.”  So please watch and enjoy!

When 13 Reasons Why streamed on Netflix earlier in the year, it was considered to be very controversial because of the subject matter and targeted audience.  As a result, it got mixed reviews.  After watching the first episode for myself, I found myself binge-watching the season all in one day.  While I am sure many of you have done the same, the show did an excellent job of drawing the viewer in wanting to unlock the real reasons why Hannah Baker decided to end her life and how her friend, Clay Jensen is involved.  Rather than leave a suicide note, Hannah records everything on 13 audio cassette tapes and has them delivered to the different people responsible so that they can hear the whole story.  While the show makes you want to dive deeper into truth, there is something very raw and painful about the emotions that are revealed along the way from each character who wronged Hannah and how they are dealing with the aftermath of her death along with issues in their own lives that they are facing.  You connect with the characters so much which makes the ultimate fate of Hannah that more tragic and heart-breaking.  While the show is emotionally difficult to handle sometimes, it is worth a watch and reminds us about what is truly important in life.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post some of your favorite television shows from 2017 that streamed on Netflix below.  Happy viewing and the countdown to 2018 is here!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl