Spoiler-Free Review of “Nine Perfect Strangers” on Hulu: Is Wellness truly worth it?

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

“Wellness here I come!”

Nine Perfect Strangers is a new mini-series from David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies, Big Sky) based on the bestselling novel by Liane Moriarty. The show premiered on August 18th 2021, featuring three episodes available to stream now on Hulu (approximately 45-50 minutes in length). The remaining five episodes will air weekly. The show stars Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, Samara Weaving, Luke Evans, Regina Hall, and Bobby Canavale.

Nine Perfect Strangers introduces us to nine people who have been invited to an exclusive wellness retreat with extreme measures. As they all come searching for “transformation” and a wellness of sorts, they quickly learn that they are signing up for a lot more with their eccentric guru, Masha (Kidman), who may be hiding a few secrets as well.

Here is the trailer:

Nine Perfect Strangers has an amazing cast and an interesting premise, but does it do enough to hold our attention? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Hulu

A cast to be excited about.

I’m always thrilled to see Nicole Kidman in pretty much anything, but wow this cast is truly fantastic. I am a huge fan of Samara Weaving and I love how she always immerses herself completely in whatever role comes her way. While I have mostly seen her in horror films, she has quite a bit of range and I almost didn’t recognize her at first because this character was so different.

Melissa McCarthy is so funny and while her films are usually hit or miss for me, I am finding her to be the best part of the show right now and she is helping balance out a lot of the heavy emotional parts.

The rest of the cast is very talented and I’m interested to explore each character more (including the staff at the Wellness retreat).

A plot that draws you in.

There is a lot left to be revealed here, but I already have so many questions and theories and that’s usually what happens whenever I watch a David E. Kelley show. There are a lot of secrets embedded within the walls of this wellness retreat and I want to know more about Nicole Kidman’s character and what her true motivation is.

The show is doing a good job at bringing me back for more and I’m excited to find out where it’s going to lead us.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Hulu

Not my favorite role for Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman is so talented, but I’m not really feeling this new role for her. Some of the other characters are a lot more interesting, but she does have a lot of mystery surrounding her own character.

I think my biggest issue is her Russian accent. I’m not really buying it and it’s throwing me off a little. I think her character is serving as more of a plot device right now, which is slightly disappointing but I’m hoping that we can explore some more layers soon.

Wavering in its identity.

After watching the first three episodes, I’m not really sure what this show wants to be. Is it an emotional drama? Is it a show about self-discovery? Is it a mystery? I’m not really sure and it’s starting to go off in many directions.

That being said, it’s still reeling me in enough with each episode to keep me coming back for more and I tend to always feel slightly unsure of David E. Kelley’s shows initially, but once all of the reveals begin to unravel, things get a lot more interesting.

I’m hoping that happens here too because I would hate to see this show get lost in the void especially since it has such an amazing cast.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Hulu

I’m in about 75 percent…

I’m intrigued by this show and I think that it has a lot of potential. I’m already reading a lot of comparisons to The White Lotus (I still have to watch this) which makes the timing of this release seem slightly problematic.

That being said, I think that the cast is really wonderful and there is a great dynamic between all of the characters. There is a lot left to discover and I think the show has done enough to keep me invested. I’m confident that the reveals will be worth it, but I hope we start to learn more about the mystery behind everything in the next few episodes.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Nine Perfect Strangers 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…

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…

Dash and Seek is available here!

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Predictions for the “Cruel Summer” Season Finale: Who is Annabelle?

Happy Monday TV Fans! As we approach the season finale of Cruel Summer, there is quite a lot I want to see, but will we be able to answer all of our questions or will there be more of the mystery left to uncover?

**Please note spoilers are ahead if you are not caught up with this series.**

Cruel Summer has quickly become one of my favorite shows to premiere this year and even though the trippy time jumps may have your head spinning here and there, the mystery is a good one and I have had so many theories and questions about this particular show.

Just when you think you have it all figured out, the show throws you for a loop which reminds us that seeing things from each perspective is not always clear cut and sometimes there is a lot more to the truth. 

So, what can we expect from the season finale?

Images courtesy of Freeform

Well, now that we have witnessed the events leading to Kate being locked up in the basement, we are going to be watching the trial between Kate and Jeanette. We know that Kate did have a relationship with Martin, but it did escalate into something truly horrific and my heart does go out to her.

We now understand how Jeanette’s necklace showed up at the house, but Kate seems still pretty convinced that Jeanette saw her and that wasn’t evident at all from the flashbacks we witnessed. 

The trial is probably going to have a lot of drama, but will we learn anything new?

I still have two major questions and I want some answers in the season finale.

Is Mallory hiding something?

Images courtesy of Freeform

Everything in my gut tells me that Mallory has a secret. I’m not exactly sure what her part is in this all, but maybe she saw more on that videotape than she is letting on…

Mallory lied to Jeanette about the snow globe, but what else does she know and can she be trusted at all?

Let’s talk about Annabelle…

Images courtesy of Freeform

The biggest question I have had has been around who Annabelle is. I have theories about it being another victim, part of Kate’s personality or part of Martin’s own issues, but I really hope that we finally get to explore the answer to this burning question because I think it has the potential to truly surprise the audience.

Don’t let us down!

Will there be another twist?

Images courtesy of Freeform

The series has only been approved for one season, but that doesn’t mean that Freeform won’t decide to bring it back for a second one, but what would actually happen in the second season?

We would need another shocking twist to bring us back for more and the only thing that comes to mind is perhaps Martin isn’t actually dead after all? Maybe Jeanette did actually see her?

I also think that one of the parents knows a lot more than they are saying or maybe there was another witness.

Honestly I don’t know, but I really like this show and would be happy to see another season only if we have more to the mystery left to uncover.

Stay tuned!

If you haven’t watched Cruel Summer yet, you can catch up now on Freeform and Hulu!

Feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Cruel Summer in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

THIS COMPETITION IS KILLER…

When former friends, Shay and Adriana team up to participate in a Halloween scavenger hunt with a cash prize, they temporarily put their differences aside to outsmart their opponents. However, they soon start to realize that a dangerous threat is playing their own version of the game, stalking them during each hunt.

Winning is now a necessity as their lives are at stake. As old wounds and memories re-surface, Shay and Adriana attempt to unmask the threat before the night is over, but soon learn that Scream Hunt is not done with them just yet…

My new young adult horror thriller comes out October 7th 2021! I hope you enjoy!

Scream Hunt is available here!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “The Secrets She Keeps” on AMC: Things are not as they seem…

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

“I just can’t get you out of my head…”

The Secrets She Keeps originally premiered on Network 10 in April of 2020 and later was available to stream on Sundance Now. AMC is now airing the series with weekly episodes as of April 19th 2021. The Australian thriller series is set to air six weekly episodes. It stars Laura Carmichael, Jessica De Gouw, Michael Dorman, and Cariba Heine. Each episode runs for approximately 50-55 minutes.

Based on the novel of the same name, the show centers around two pregnant women who meet in a supermarket. After discovering their similarities, we start to piece together the secrets they are both holding as they become entangled in a web of deception.

Here is the trailer:

The Secrets She Keeps is a mystery thriller series that promises to keep you guessing at every turn. As pieces of the puzzle are revealed, we soon discover that nothing is as it seems. The plot is intriguing enough, but does this series do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Secrets She Keeps 1

Images courtesy of AMC

A mystery that draws you in.

The show immediately gave me a Single White Female kind of vibe and I loved that. Both women have past scars and secrets, but they also seem to be hiding a lot. Agatha clearly has some sort of obsession with Meghan and envies her life, but as we start to learn more about Agatha’s own past, things aren’t so clear cut, which makes this mystery that much more layered and intriguing to me.

Great acting.

Both of the female leads are fantastic and I actually really like both of their characters. They are believable and really embodied the real life fears and doubts of women everywhere. Pregnancy can be scary enough and they are also tackling so many other things, which makes this chance encounter between the two of them that much more important. I can’t wait to find out more!

The Cons:

The Secrets She Keeps 2

Images courtesy of AMC

Somewhat predictable.

I predicted some of the initial reveals, but I think that as the series progresses, it will keep me guessing. It’s hard to keep that suspense going and I think the series is doing a good job of bringing us back for more, but I hope it doesn’t lean too heavily on obvious reveals.

I’m keeping an open mind!

So am I in or out?

The Secrets She Keeps 3

Images courtesy of AMC

I’m in!

The Secrets She Keeps is exactly the kind of thriller I enjoy. It may be borderline Lifetime-esque, but it has enough going on to keep me coming back for more. I’m confident that the reveals will become harder to guess as the episodes progress and I’m excited to watch the remaining episodes to see this plot unfold!

If you enjoy shows like Who Killed Sara? and The Stranger, you will feel right at home with this series and I’m really excited it is finally airing in the United States!

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

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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…

Main promo smaller

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…

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…

Main promo smaller

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!

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.

Bravo!

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!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pros:

Little Fires Hulu 3
Images courtesy of Hulu

Witherspoon and Washington are electric on screen.

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

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

A mystery that leaves you wanting more.

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

Little Fires Hulu 2
Images courtesy of Hulu

90’s nostalgia.

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

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

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

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

The Cons:

Little Fires Hulu 4
Images courtesy of Hulu

Same Reese. Different show.

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

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

So am I in or out?

Little Fires Hulu 5
Images courtesy of Hulu

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

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

It is the series to watch right now!

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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

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!

My performance of the week ending 3/7/20 on TV goes to…

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison on Showtime’s Homeland season 8.

As I continue to watch the final season of Homeland, it’s important to recognize and celebrate Claire Danes for her brilliant performances week after week. She has done so much more than merely becoming Carrie Mathison…she IS Carrie Mathison and she will forever be a legend because of it.

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

Homeland is always jam-packed with quite a lot each episode and you really have to be in the right frame of mind to watch the show, but it continues to captivate my undivided attention and if I start to drift off for even a moment, Carrie Mathison brings me right back. 

Homeland Showtime 2
Images courtesy of Showtime

While Carrie has displayed a million emotions over the seasons, I really prefer the Carrie who wants to get to the truth. Her board of theories and her drive to analyze every angle is beyond inspiring. She risks it all for her country, but she also has quite a few layers and blocks in her memory that make her even more of a dynamic character.

Sometimes Carrie is unsure if she can trust herself, but we know that her intentions are typically good. Does she get carried away sometimes? Absolutely, but I think it is a constant struggle for her to balance all of her intense emotions. She uses that intensity to be a major asset at her job, but it also takes a toll on her, as the rest of her emotions spiral out of control…especially when she is off her meds.

Each episode in season 8 has been absolutely fantastic so far. In season 8, episode 4, Carrie risks it all to help a woman in trouble. She doesn’t stress about following protocol or getting approval. She simply makes a decision based on her gut, understanding that doing the right thing doesn’t always follow the rule book.

What’s next for Carrie? Well, I imagine quite a lot after that major cliffhanger at the end of episode 4. It looks like she is going to have to put her theories to work to find out what is really happening and I’m assuming we will also start piecing together her missing memories to unlock those secrets.

Homeland Showtime 1
Images courtesy of Showtime

I’m intrigued to find out how it all ends. As much as I want a happy ending for Carrie so that she can be reunited with Franny, it’s somewhat unlikely that both she and Saul will make it out of this alive. A sacrifice will most likely be made and I’m not sure that I am prepared for it just yet, but I’m confident that Claire Danes will continue to deliver extraordinary performances for the remainder of the season.

I can’t wait to find out how it all ends!

What are some of YOUR theories?

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

[twitter-follow screen_name=’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 “Safe” on Netflix: The Perfect Binge-Watch for fans of “The Stranger”

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

If you thoroughly enjoyed your binge-watch of The Stranger, you might have been endlessly skimming through Netflix recommendations for something to measure up. Well fear not, as Netflix gets it completely right with its latest recommendation…Safe.

Safe actually premiered on Netflix on May 10th 2018, but it has been gaining popularity ever since The Stranger premiered. It features 8 episodes (40-45 minutes in length) and it stars Dexter’s Michael C. Hall, Amy James-Kelly, Amanda Abbington, Marc Warren, and Hannah Arterton.

Like The Stranger, Safe is also brought to us from author and creator, Harlan Coben. It is a mystery thriller that follows Tom Delaney’s search for his missing daughter, Jenny. Once again, dark secrets are exposed as several threads begin to unravel together, leaving us on the edge of our seats with constant twists and turns.

The show has a very similar feel, almost making it seem like part of a thriller anthology series, but does Safe measure up to The Stranger? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Safe Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

Once again, an amazing cast!

Michael C. Hall was absolutely brilliant as Tom Delaney and as a huge fan of Dexter, I was pleased to see him thrive in another role. The rest of the cast was fantastic as well, making the character dynamics that much more more intriguing.

Safe Netflix 7
Images courtesy of Netflix

Another surprising mystery.

Even though I preferred the approach of an actual stranger exposing dark secrets, I thought that the mystery behind Safe was just as compelling. Once again, I found myself completely invested to see how things would unfold, coming up with my own theories and suspects along the way. The show is far from predictable and each episode leaves you wanting more and more.

The Cons:

Safe Netflix 5
Images courtesy of Netflix

Too many sub-plots.

Much like The Stranger, we ended up lost in several side plots and characters along the way. Some of them connected to the main mystery centered around Tom Delaney and his daughter, but others seemed out of place and strange. That being said, I thought that Safe did a better job with this than The Stranger, connecting as many dots as possible for us without completely overwhelming us.

So am I in or out?

Safe Netflix 6
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in 100 percent again! After watching The Stranger, I was endlessly searching for something similar to watch and I love that we now get the chance to discover the hidden gem of Safe. I didn’t even know about this show when it premiered, but hopefully more fans of The Stranger will discover it and give it a chance because it can stand on its own as a worthy thriller series.

Even though I think that I enjoyed The Stranger a little bit more, Safe did not disappoint at all. Once again, Netflix delivered with the perfect binge-watch and we can never get enough of Michael C. Hall, so that was an added bonus!

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

[twitter-follow screen_name=’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!

Love time travel?  Me too!  Check out my blog on The Octoberpod Guide to Time Travel and stay tuned for an all new episode of Octoberpod!  Fun and spooky stuff for retro horror fans!  Subscribe at Octoberpod Home Video

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Locke & Key” on Netflix: Unlocking the Door to your Next Binge-Watch

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

A dark, magical adventure filled with heart, leading us past our imagination with some worthy evil threats thrown into the mix.

Locke & Key premiered on Netflix on February 7th 2020 with 10 new episodes (40-45 minutes in length). It stars Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones, Jackson Robert Scott, Darby Stanchfield, and Laysla De Oliveira.

The show is based on the graphic novel series written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez. After the tragic death of their father, three siblings move into his old mansion with their mother, unlocking past secrets and discovering some magical keys that light the way to their new potential destiny. However, there is an evil lingering inside the well of Keyhouse that threatens them all.

This is not the first time we have seen a plot like this and there are a lot of similarities to The Chronicles of Narnia, The Haunting of Hill House, and Stranger Things. That being said, I absolutely love all three of those, so I welcomed this familiar plot with open arms.

However, does Locke & Key unlock its way to its own identity? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Locke and Key Netflix 5
Images courtesy of Netflix

The Locke siblings are the heart of the show.

I loved the family aspect of The Haunting of Hill House and we get a young adult friendly version of that in Locke & Key. The relationship between the siblings is heartwarming and believable. All three of these characters are absolutely fantastic and you almost feel like you are a part of their family. The performances are well done and the family drama isn’t overly exaggerated.

Locke and Key Netflix 8
Images courtesy of Netflix

The mystery is intriguing and entertaining.

From the very first episode, we get a sneak peek of what’s to come for the Locke family, as they explore Keyhouse with brand new eyes. The house is breathtaking, but the Locke siblings quickly discover that there are more secrets hidden within the walls of their father’s old home.

Locke and Key Netflix 6
Images courtesy of Netflix

Evil looks good on our Villainess.

The villain in this series is beyond entertaining. She’s absolutely fantastic and will lure you over to the dark side for sure. She is cunning, powerful, and mysterious, as the Locke siblings are forced to really think outside the box to stop her, but do not underestimate her for one second. I love a good Villainess and Dodge  or “Well Lady” certainly exceeded my expectations.

The Cons:

Locke and Key Netflix 7
Images courtesy of Netflix

The rest of the characters fade into the background.

Unlike Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which has an endless amount of extraordinary characters, the rest of the group in Locke & Key are just kind of okay and very forgettable. Even Mrs. Locke seemed all over the place and I almost felt like they didn’t really know what to do with her character.

I did enjoy Scot the most out of the friend characters, who had the most adorable nickname for our girl Kinsey, Rocky Road, but the supporting characters seemed underdeveloped and uninspiring. That being said, the Locke siblings and Dodge certainly made up for that and stole the show.

Some plot holes and unanswered questions.

I wouldn’t say that this was a major con, but I found myself asking more questions about the keys and where they came from. A lot of things are explained in the end and we are left with a major cliffhanger, so I’m hoping for some more background information if we get a second season.

So am I in or out?

Locke and Key Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in! This series was so much fun and I watched it all in one day. It has a lot of heart and so many twists and turns that will keep you thoroughly invested throughout the show.

While it may not be the next Stranger Things, it doesn’t have to be. Locke & Key creates its own separate identity and has the potential to become my new favorite show with possible future seasons. Now about my key…

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

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! 

Love time travel? Me too! Check out my blog on The Octoberpod Guide to Time Travel and stay tuned for an all new episode of Octoberpod! Fun and spooky stuff for retro horror fans! Subscribe at Octoberpod Home Video