Spoiler-Free Review of “Dare Me” on USA Network: Dark Sensational Potential with Spirit Fingers

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

“Cheerleading equals death,” according to Torrance’s hilarious younger brother in Bring It On and he may have been spot on when it comes to USA Network’s new teen drama.  Teenage girls can be dangerous, especially when the captain’s spot on her beloved squad is threatened, as secrets slither into the open, luring us into a promising slow burn thriller.

After watching the Pilot episode, the show already reminds me of Bring It On combined with some dark cult comedy greats like Heathers and Jawbreaker, which could be the formula for a fantastic new show.

Dare Me is based on the novel of the same name by Megan Abbott, following the plot of a cheerleader who seeks revenge on the squad that betrayed her.  The show premiered on the USA Network on December 29th 2019 and will feature 10 weekly episodes.  It stars Willa Fitzgerald (Scream), Marlo Kelly, Herizen Guardiola, Erika Prevost, and Taveeta Szymanowicz.

The show seems like it may have been better suited for a slot on Freeform and a mid-season premiere can be problematic, but the show could be a diamond in the rough.

Does Dare Me do enough to capture our full attention in its Pilot episode?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Dare Me USA Network 1
Images courtesy of USA Network

Strong and interesting characters.

I am already a fan of Willa Fitzgerald and she is definitely making waves as the new coach of this cheerleading squad.  Marlo Kelly is also proving to be quite the scene stealer as the mean girl captain with a bitter sweet tooth for revenge.  More please!

Cheerleading can be brutal.

I absolutely love the concept of this show and we are immersed into a competitive world where these girls will do anything to be the one on top of the pyramid.  The dark and sadistic hints are enough to hold my attention, as we begin to explore the secrets leading up to some kind of unspeakable crime.

I have a lot of questions already, but that just means this show is doing a good job of keeping me invested so far.

The Cons:

Dare Me USA Network 2
Images courtesy of USA Network

Super long montages and lots of fluff.

The show is already coming across as a slow burn thriller, which means we will need to invest some time into it before we get any major reveals.  There is a lot of set-up in the pilot episode to really introduce everything, but I could have done without the numerous montages.  Seriously, it seemed like they were endless.

So am I in or out?

Dare Me USA Network 3
Images courtesy of USA Network

I’m in for now, but I’m not completely convinced as of yet.  The show has a lot of promise and potential to become something truly dark and magnificent, but I just need things to speed up slightly so that I don’t lose interest too quickly.

When a show airs weekly episodes, they need to do enough to keep viewers coming back and I think they have, but we need to keep up the pace and introduce more dark secrets involving this major crime to prevent us from losing interest.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Dare Me 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!

Spoiler-Free Review of “You” Season 2 on Netflix: Lifetime Dexter Does It Again

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

Obsession looks good on Joe Goldberg, played brilliantly by Penn Badgley.  After season one became a streaming sensation on Netflix, I was slightly worried that season two would not be able to deliver, but starting over in a new town gave us plenty of opportunities to witness Joe’s dark narrative come alive once again.

You (season two) began streaming new episodes on December 26th 2019 on Netflix.  Season two features ten episodes (about 50 minutes in length).  It stars Penn Badgley, Victoria Pedretti, James Scully, Ambyr Childers, Carmela Zumbado, and Jenna Ortega.

In season two, Joe moves from New York to L.A. and is determined to get a fresh start as “Will,” but things get complicated when he falls in love with his new romantic interest, Love.  He quickly becomes entangled in her family drama, which mostly involves her twin brother, Forty.  Joe tries to be a better person, but the darkness within him continues to stir, as he starts to lose self-control once again.

If you loved season one, you are probably wondering if season two lives up to it?  Let’s find out!

The Pros:

You Netflix 6
Images courtesy of Netflix

Strong supporting characters that steal the show.

As much as I love listening to Joe’s moody narrative, it can get a bit stale if we don’t shake things up with some interesting characters.  My biggest issue with season one was that I actually really didn’t like Beck as a character.  In season two, I really thought that Love had a lot of potential, but I was also intrigued by her twin brother, Forty, who is absolutely hilarious.

Joe’s new neighbors, Delilah and Ellie, are also both fantastic.  You care about their stories and they really allowed us to see Joe/Will’s struggle to be a hero you can count on.  Being a serial killer can get in the way of this; however, but these characters spark a lot of goodness within him, which really helps him grow as a person despite all of his past inner demons.

Joe’s backstory is revealed and seamless connections to season one questions.

We get a lot of flashbacks sprinkled in during the episodes about Joe’s childhood, which help us understand him a bit more.  Even though we get a new setting and characters for season two, I thought the connections to season one worked perfectly.  They weren’t forced or excessive and they really answered a lot of questions that I had without hitting us over the head with unnecessary cameos.

Really great twists.

I did not see the ultimate twist coming and I was very impressed with it, bringing me in that much more.  This show is addicting and I tend to watch it all in one sitting because I don’t want anyone to spoil it for me.  Each reveal was well timed and I actually thought this season was even better than the first.

The Cons:

You Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

Less kills than season one.

I mean, I guess that shows growth in Joe’s character, but I kind of missed seeing all of the Dexter-like kills from season one, but the ones we do get are rewarding enough.  That being said, it’s hard to continue listening to Joe’s conflicted narrative when we don’t get some surprising kills thrown into the mix to balance that out.

Can’t escape that Lifetime feel.

The show actually did originally air on Lifetime and Netflix ended up picking it up, but there are a lot of scenes that just scream Lifetime with so many over dramatic moments.  But to be honest, that’s why we are watching this.  I can’t say that this surprised me and we witness so many real and honest performances to balance this out, but there were some scenes that were just a little bit too outrageous.

So am I in or out?

You Netflix 5
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in 100 percent!  I really enjoyed season one of the show, but I loved season two even more. “I wolf you season two!”

This show is beyond addicting.  It’s dark and obsessive, but it also has so many genuine moments of compassion and humor. 

Stand out character:  Forty, who basically stole the show for me. 

Season two was also not afraid to make fun of itself, even having one of the characters comparing Joe’s actions to Dexter, which I appreciated.

The twists were so great and the pacing worked so well, making this show the perfect one to binge-watch.  I hope that we get a season three because this show is fantastic!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on You 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!

Spoiler-Free Review of “V Wars” on Netflix: Ian Somerhalder and vampires…again

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

Much like zombie shows, vampire shows are always emerging, providing us with different takes on the legends we all know and enjoy.  While some shows are much better than others, casting a lead who has already stolen our hearts as a bad boy vampire is not such a bad idea…

While you may feel like the story behind V Wars has been done over and over again, it does have redeeming qualities that make it a somewhat entertaining watch.

The show began streaming episodes on Netflix as of December 5th 2019 and currently features ten episodes for season one.  It stars Ian Somerhalder (LOST, The Vampire Diaries), Adrian Holmes, Jackie Lai, Kimberly-Sue Murray and Laura Vandervoort (Bitten).

We follow Dr. Luther Swann (Somerhalder) after he is exposed to a virus, which surfaced from the ice after a climate change.  After being quarantined with his best friend, Michael Fayne, Dr. Swann starts to realize that a deadly infection has been released, turning people into vampires, or Bloods, as they like to be called.

If you are a fan of shows like The Passage and The Strain, you will most likely be entertained by V Wars, but if you are looking for a more romanticized view on vampires, you may want to pass on this one.  

The Pros:

V Wars Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

Did I mention Ian Somerhalder?

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Somerhalder, but I was slightly worried that his character would feel like a ripoff of Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries, but this is a completely new character and role for Somerhalder.  Dr. Luther Swann is our main protagonist and I have to say that I absolutely fell in love with the glasses!

Overall, I thought that Somerhalder did an excellent job with the role.  There were times where I felt like his reaction was somewhat strange and repetitive, but as the episodes continued, he showed more and more potential.

More Laura Vandervoort please!

I am a fan of hers as well and I thought that her character, Mila, had the most potential.  She gave me a Buffy Summers vibe for a little bit, trying to even the score and possessing some bad-ass qualities of her own.

That being said, I’m not sure why we kept her story in the background for the majority of the episodes.  Somerhalder and Vandervoort stole the show for me and it looks like we are set up for a potential team up if we get a season two.

Violent vampires with some much needed gore.

I actually like that the show went in a different direction, focusing more on the Bloods having an infection.  This gave it a Sci-Fi feel, but I think this actually helped the show stand out a little bit more.  The connections to DNA were interesting and the paranoia and extreme measures from the government made you really think twice about things.

Plus, there was plenty of gore, although the vampires seemed to be all over the place and very messy!  Either way, I loved the gore!

The Cons:

V Wars Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

Confusing setup for supporting characters.

The show actually has a talented and extremely attractive cast, which worked in its favor, but I was confused when new characters were introduced.  Other than the characters of Dr. Swann and Michael Fayne, I constantly had to check to make sure I was still watching the same show when we started following other characters.

I thought this was sloppy and careless.  These supporting characters actually had a lot of potential so this was frustrating, as I felt like I had to go back several times to make sure I didn’t miss something.

Soap opera nonsense.

I’m all for a guilty pleasure, but sometimes it felt like we just randomly started a sex scene to see Somerhalder with his shirt off (not that I’m complaining) rather than to advance a plot or to develop relationships and characters.  The plot and soap opera drama felt tiresome at times, but I think that the cast redeemed it as much as they could.

So am I in or out?

V Wars Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in!  Let’s be honest, I was going to be in no matter what as soon as I saw that Ian Somerhalder was starring in this show.  That being said, I went into this show with very low expectations, fearing that we may have another I-Land disaster on our hands.  However, the show was surprisingly entertaining and fast-paced.

Yes, there were a lot of things that frustrated me and so much of it could have been presented better, but I thought the show was binge-watch worthy.  Is this the best show I have seen about vampires?  Absolutely not, but if you go into it ready for a watered down version of The Strain, you will be entertained.

Also, we are left with a major cliffhanger at the end and I would love to see Somerhalder and Vandervoort continue to team up for a season two if we get one!

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Dreaming of Wonderland Holiday 1

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!

**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! 

Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Walking Dead” season 9 episode 16: “The Storm”

Happy Monday TV fans!  After watching AMC’s The Walking Dead season 9 episode 16, Ezekiel reminded us that “things fall apart.”  However, “it’s knowing when to keep fighting and knowing when it’s over.”  But is it ever really over?  The threats continue to pour in and our characters are tested again and again, but somehow they continue to survive even when it feels like the entire world is against them.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “The Storm,” winter is the real enemy, but the walkers are not really up for a snow ball fight either.  Meanwhile, Lydia gets up close and personal with a walker, Dog goes missing, Carol tries to cope with her loss, and Negan is finally let out of the cage.  My top 5 moments from The Walking Dead season 9 episode 16 season finale are:

5

“You don’t have to protect me.”

In the beginning of the episode, the characters start to flee or prepare for the brutal winter storm that is headed their way.  We get to listen in on some chatter on the way and find out that apparently we need to send a raven in order to get a response from Maggie, but I appreciate that they are trying to keep that story-line open.  Lydia is not really a welcomed guest, but Daryl refuses to let anyone talk to her with disrespect.  Lydia feels extremely guilty and tells Daryl that he doesn’t have to protect her, but Daryl reminds her that “it’s their problem, not yours.”  I love that Daryl is looking after Lydia here because he obviously wants to do something nice for Henry, but I think Daryl also sees a lot of himself in Lydia as well.  Daryl believes that she is a good kid and is willing to help her, but Carol is having a tough time, as she explains, “Every time I look at her, all I see is him.”

4

“It’s like Christmas to me.”

Back in Alexandria, the characters realize that they need to find a suitable place to get warm, but Gabriel recognizes that they have to let Negan out or he will freeze to death.  Finally!  Negan does not disappoint, as he hilariously comments on the “hot little quadrangle” we have to entertain us, which doesn’t really amuse Rosita and her suitors.  Negan takes it one step further and tells Gabriel, “Your girl’s doc is also your girl’s baby daddy,” but refuses to have his comments be called predictable.  He later says, “Father…not the Father” to keep the laughs coming for us, which reminded me why I love Negan’s character so much.  He may not have too many fans in Alexandria, but he absolutely kept me entertained.

3

“You’re not weak.”

Lydia’s guilt is overwhelming her and she ends up getting up close and personal with a walker stuck in the snow.  Lydia closes her eyes and starts bringing her arm toward its mouth, but Carol interrupts this before anything can happen.  Later on, Lydia tells Carol that her son is dead because of her.  In a heartbreaking moment, she says, “Henry said I was a good person, but he was wrong.”  She asks Carol to kill her, hoping to fix everything.  Carol’s grief has been consuming her and it was beyond heartbreaking to watch her go through Henry’s box of things.  However, Carol knows that Henry truly cared about Lydia and is still a good person.  Carol doesn’t grant Lydia her request and simply tells her, “You’re not weak,” which I thought was a really important moment between these two.  Carol and Lydia may never really form a close bond, but they both have a shared love for Henry, which is a link that will never be severed.

2

“I feel like I’m losing myself again.”

Carol continues to lean on Daryl’s shoulder, but Ezekiel is not exactly pleased.  He later approaches Daryl and asks him not to continue on to Hilltop with them once they are out of the storm.  Ezekiel explains that he is not trying to be the bad guy, but that he wants to give Carol and him a fresh start after everything they have been through.  Daryl doesn’t give him an answer, but he does later ask Carol what she wants him to do.  The bond and friendship between Daryl and Carol is so strong, but Daryl is willing to walk away if that’s what Carol needs.  Daryl and Carol have been through a lot together so it’s understandable why Carol is leaning on him so much, but it doesn’t make it any easier for Ezekiel.  At the end of the episode, Carol decides to go to Alexandria and gives Ezekiel back his ring.  Ezekiel tells Carol that he’ll never stop loving her and Carol says, “I’ll never regret the fairy-tale,” which broke my heart.  Carol has been through unimaginable horrors and I just want her to have something good, but I think it will take a very long time before she is able to open up her heart again.  Carol needs to heal, but she has to do this on her own so that she doesn’t lose herself again.

1

“Thank you for saving her.”

We get some action during the episode, as the walkers begin popping out of the snow while Daryl and the others cross into Alpha’s territory to get to safety.  Daryl even cleverly uses an icicle as an interesting choice of weapon.  Meanwhile, Judith also gets herself into trouble when she runs after Dog in the middle of the storm.  Negan rushes after her and tells her, “You’re just trying to get a little extra Negan time.”  I mean, we’ll take all the Negan screen time we can get.  Negan saves Judith and Dog, but has injured his leg severely.  Luckily, they make it out OK and Michonne later approaches Negan to thank him for saving his daughter.  This is a very big moment, revealing that perhaps Negan can make a difference after all, even though Michonne has had a hard time accepting this.  Does this mean that Negan will be out in the open from now on?  I really hope so because I think that he can truly prove his worth in Alexandria.  Negan also leaves us with a very important observation.  Michonne risked a lot by cutting into Alpha’s territory, but will there be consequences?  Negan explains that “no one ever thinks that they’re the evil one” and he’s spot on.  We cut to Alpha briefly who says, “I’ll need to be stronger for what comes next,” as Beta begins whipping her arm.  No wonder Lydia has so many issues.

So what exactly is coming next?  It certainly gives us some setup for season 10, but we’ll have to wait to find out.  We are also left with a mysterious voice coming over the radio at the very end.  So who is on the other end?  Is it an old friend or a new potential ally?  It sounded like a female.  Is it possible that this is a crossover from Fear the Walking Dead? Maggie? Someone connected to Rick?  I’m not sure, but it definitely keeps my interest invested, as I am looking forward to finding out more.  Overall, the episode provided us with a nice balance of setup and action.  Nothing was going to compare to the shock of episode 15, but I still thought that the season finale had a lot of important moments and it really gave us a chance to connect with some of our favorite characters even more.  Stay tuned for season 10 and don’t forget that Fear the Walking Dead begins June 2nd!

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

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, 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!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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

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 “What We Do In The Shadows” FX Series Premiere: Fangtastically Funny

Happy Friday TV Fans!  The wait is over and What We Do In The Shadows is finally here!  The show is based on the film of the same name from 2014 and it is brought to us by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement.  If you are not familiar with the movie, it is a mockumentary following a group of vampires living together in New Zealand.  FX was awesome enough to actually play the movie the day before the series premiered, which gave me time to re-watch it and enjoy the campy horror fun.  I mean, seriously there were so many bloody dishes to clean…

If you are a fan of the film, you will absolutely fall in love with the series as well, which now takes place in Staten Island, New York.  Love that!  Even if you have never seen the film before, you will enjoy the series, which is kind of like The Office if it followed vampires.  In the series, we follow a different group of vampires, but it is set in the same universe as the movie, which means a crossover is not out of the question.  Fingers crossed!  The series introduces us to Nandor, Laszlo, Nadja, and their human familiar, Guillermo.  However, my personal favorite was an energy sucking vampire named Colin, who can bore everyone to death with dull conversation starters, which is probably the funniest part of the show so far.

Overall, I thought that the series premiere had a lot of potential and provided us with some really funny moments, especially the grocery store scene, which was laugh out loud hilarious.  Not all of the jokes landed for me, but I had the same issue with the film, so I think it comes down to comedy preference, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  However, there is a void right now in horror comedies, as shows like Ash vs Evil Dead, Stan Against Evil, and Scream Queens have all been canceled.  I still don’t get why, but that means that there is definitely room for What We Do In The Shadows to provide us with some much needed horror comedy.  We will get 10 episodes of the first season and I’m looking forward to some bloody brilliant comedy for sure!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts on What We Do In The Shadows in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, 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!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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

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 the top 5 moments from “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists” season 1 episode 2: “Sex, Lies, and Alibis”

Greetings TV fans!  After watching Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars:  The Perfectionists season 1 episode 2, I realized that it’s important to stay true to who you are.  You may want to change some of your past evil ways, but that doesn’t mean that you should let people walk all over you.  The new head of security may be the bitch, but our girl Alison is the Queen Bee for sure!  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “Sex, Lies, and Alibis,” Nolan’s death is officially ruled a murder and everyone is a suspect.  Meanwhile, Alison receives a disturbing text message and Mona channels her inner crazy to get to the bottom of things.  My top 5 moments from Pretty Little Liars:  The Perfectionists  season 1 episode 2 are:

5

“It’s OK if you’re relieved he’s dead.”

While coping with the shock of Nolan’s death, Ava, Caitlin, and Dylan realize that they are in a lot of trouble.  Their conversation comes true, as Nolan dies exactly the way they described, which means that they are all suspects.  But if they are not to blame, that means that someone else was in the woods, listening to this very same conversation.  Each character has a secret, but will Nolan’s death split them apart or bring them closer together?  If there was someone else in the woods, who was it and what is their next move?  We’ll have to stay tuned to find out, but it doesn’t look like anyone is in the clear.

4

“I literally just got that text…from the dead guy.”

Alison receives a text message from Nolan’s phone after he died and is immediately in panic mode.  Alison goes to visit Mona for help and Mona points out that someone wants to make it look like Alison killed Nolan.  Mona determines that the text message was sent during a power outage, which explains the delay, but this still doesn’t make Alison look that innocent.  Was the text sent from Nolan and what help did he require?  Is it possible that the killer used Nolan’s phone to lure Alison out?  There are so many questions here, but I am completely immersed into this mystery and I’m absolutely loving it so far.

3

“I’m the reason he’s dead.”

When Alison goes to Mona for help, she is showing off her impressive, but crazy skills, as she writes down everything, trying to get to the bottom of the mystery.  Mona could give Homeland’s Carrie Mathison a run for her money here, as she becomes obsessed with figuring everything out.  Alison ends up hitting Mona in the face to snap her back to reality and it actually works, as Mona is happy to see some Key Lime pie, which is her favorite!  Mona gives Alison some great advice and asks her, “When did you become such a wuss?”  I love that Mona is not afraid to tell it as it is and Alison needs to hear this from her.  We know that Alison is looking for her fresh start and wants to do good, but that does not mean that she needs to get stepped on in the process.  We still don’t know much about Mona’s potential connection to the FBI or some other kind of secret service, but I’m sure we will find out more soon.

2

“Spencer and Toby eloped?”

So I absolutely love that this new series is finding a voice of its very own, but it also stays true to its roots.  Alison casually name drops A and we also get to witness Mona calling Hanna from Pretty Little Liars and we discover that Spencer and Toby eloped, which had me cheering and possibly squealing with joy.  I thought that this was a very clever way to keep PLL fans satisfied with new information while keeping the new story going.  We also get to see the new characters show up at Nolan’s funeral, giving me a sense of PLL nostalgia for sure.  Well done!

1

“Bring it on bitch.”

At the funeral, we get to meet Dana Booker, who is a former FBI agent and the new head of security.  She has a connection to Ava, as she previously worked on her father’s case.  Coincidence?  We already established that there are no coincidences here.  Dana is taking her job very seriously, but Ava asks an important question:  “Why leave the FBI to become a school cop?”  Ava may be the unlikely voice of reason here, as I was thinking the very same thing.  Dana may have a past here or she could be connected to Taylor’s message on the wall somehow, but it looks like she is going to be a major pest. 

Later on in the episode, Nolan’s mother is waiting for Alison in her house, which is kind of creepy.  Alison understands that this was previously her daughter’s house and has a revealing conversation with her.  Claire tells Alison that she is a survivor and perhaps this is exactly what Alison needed to hear.  After Dana interrupts Alison’s lecture to pull Ava, Caitlin, and Dylan out of class, Alison lies and says that they were all at her house the night of the murder.  Alison clearly wants to make a difference with her students and understands what it means to be caught up in all the drama, but did she make the right call here?  We’ll have to wait and see, but it looks like Queen Alison is back, so Dana better watch out.  Stay tuned!

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

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, 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!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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Ranking the top 5 moments from “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists” season 1 episode 1: A Solid Series Premiere

“Welcome to Beacon Heights University, where excellence is not an option…it’s a requirement.”  After watching Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars:  The Perfectionists season 1 episode 1, I remembered why I fell in love with Pretty Little Liars in the first place.  It’s hard for a spin-off to gives fans that sense of nostalgia, while still creating a unique voice of its own, but I have already been hooked after the first episode and I can’t wait to see the new mystery unfold.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s “Pilot” episode, Alison DiLaurentis gets a fresh start and takes on a TA position at Beacon Heights University, but is quickly reunited with our favorite troublemaker, Mona Vanderwaal.  Meanwhile, we meet several of Alison’s new students who may wind up being the prime suspects in a new murder and Alison’s presence here reminds us that nothing is ever a coincidence for a Pretty Little Liar alum.  My top 5 moments from Pretty Little Liars:  The Perfectionists  season 1 episode 1 are:

5

“We are and then we’re not.”

After Alison comes to town and is reunited with Mona, it looks like both of our favorite characters from Pretty Little Liars are in desperate need of a fresh start.  We learn the fate of Alison and Emily’s relationship, as Alison explains that Emily had trouble getting over the past.  Does that mean that Alison and Emily will never get back together?  Not necessarily, as they are tied together by a family, but it looks like this relationship has been put on pause for now.  Alison wants to leave the mean girl behind her and truly wants to help her students and make a difference, but wherever Alison goes, drama is never too far behind.

4

“Is it OK to murder a murderer?”

An interesting question for sure and I have to say that I was actually really digging Alison’s lecture.  Can I sign up for her class?  As Alison gets to know her new students, she asks them to participate in a discussion on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which is actually quite fitting if you think about it.  We are introduced to several new characters and quickly learn that everyone is a suspect and that appearances can be very deceiving.  No one really stood out to me just yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing their characters explored further as the series continues.

3

“Try and stay away from him.”

Perhaps the most disliked new character is Nolan Hotchkiss, who seems to be the resident bad boy on campus.  Alison notices that Nolan is a lot like how she used to be, using manipulation and blackmail to get what he wants, but there also seems to be a lot of complicated drama with his family as well.  We learn that his sister, Taylor, apparently committed suicide about a year ago and that Nolan’s mother, Claire, played by the amazing Kelly Rutherford, seems interested in Alison because she reminds her of her daughter.  Mona says that by her calculations, Nolan could be dangerous, but can we really trust Mona here?  What other connections does Alison have to the Hotchkiss family?  I’m not sure, but I’m already intrigued enough to find out more.  I’m loving this setup so far!

2

“I know a little bit about manipulation.”

Maybe way more than a little bit, Alison, but it appears that you have truly changed, but the past has a way of dragging you backwards sometimes.  We soon learn that Taylor is actually alive, as Nolan goes to visit her secretly.  So why did she fake her own death and what is the bigger play here?  There seems to be quite an emphasis on the advanced security system on campus, so have the Hotchkiss siblings uncovered something behind that or is there another mystery yet to be revealed?  Alison also finds a picture of Taylor and the resemblance is striking, so is it possible that Alison could be related to Taylor?  Toward the end of the episode, Alison uncovers a message behind the wallpaper in Taylor’s old room that says, “They’re Watching,” which furthers my theory on the security issue, but there is still a lot to uncover here.

1

“There are no coincidences.”

Alison recognizes that there are definitely no coincidences.  After all, she comes from Rosewood.  Alison asks Mona why she is here, but it looks like this all needs to be put on hold, as we find out that Nolan has been brutally murdered at the end of the episode.  Nolan is found impaled on a fence, as everyone gathers around in horror.  All of his friends quickly become suspects and so our murder mystery begins.  However, we are left with another cliffhanger at the end, as Mona starts talking to herself and asking if this was her fault and has someone in her ear piece.  Is Mona actually working for the FBI or some kind of secret agency?  I mean, we know that Mona is extremely intelligent and qualified so perhaps her recruiter position is just a cover.

Either way, I am already completely hooked and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.  The spin-off series premiere really gave Pretty Little Liar fans exactly what they needed, but I am really enjoying the college campus change of scenery and I think this will give Alison and Mona the chance to shine, while introducing us to some new faces who may surprise us.  Stay tuned!

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

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, 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!

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The Search for Alice Feb 2019

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Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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