Spoiler-Free Review of “The Order” season 1: Secret Societies, Werewolves, and Magic

“Magic isn’t good or evil.  It just is.”  Welcome to The Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose, a secret society filled with magic practitioners, but this is no Hogwarts, as we dive into a dark war between werewolves and The Order.  Our main character, Jack Morton, finds himself in the middle of it, uncovering secrets about himself and his family, but what side will he end up choosing?

Love the premise?  Me too, which is why I was initially very excited to binge-watch this show.  The Order  premiered on March 7th 2019 and is available to stream all 10 episodes on Netflix.  After watching the entire season within two days, I have a lot of mixed feelings on it.  I absolutely love that the show takes place on a college campus, rather than the typical high school setting we see with these types of series that are filled with teen drama with some light horror around the edges.  The show has a feel of The Covenant mixed with The Secret Circle, which should give you a good indication of whether you will like it or not.  I was also excited to see some familiar faces like Sam Trammell from True Blood, Max Martini from Revenge, and Jewel Staite from Firefly.

The show has a lot going on, but I wasn’t really pulled in until the third episode.  This was slightly underwhelming, as there are only 10 episodes in season one, but the plot was intriguing enough to keep me invested.  The spells gone wrong are fun and the show is not afraid to kill off main characters, keeping our attention.  Even the main love story is not nauseating and it doesn’t take away from the plot, which was a plus.  However, I wasn’t overly impressed with the acting from the majority of the cast and some of the humor did not land the way it was intended to.  I also felt like the show started to go in a few different directions, but ended up having a solid ending, leaving us with a major cliffhanger that will have you wanting a second season, although we will have to wait to see if we get one.

Overall, I enjoyed the series, but I wouldn’t say that I had to stop what I was doing to watch it.  If you like these types of shows, you will be entertained enough, but I recommend first watching shows like Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Light as a Feather, which did a better job of holding my attention.  However, if you are finding yourself in need of a quick show to binge-watch, this might be the perfect option for you, as it does have a lot of redeeming qualities.

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

**Goodreads Giveaway currently going on for The Search for Alice (100 copies available) from 2/21/19-3/14/19. Enter Goodreads Giveaway Here!

**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 Feb 2019

The Search for Alice is available here!

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! 

 

 

Advertisements

Spoiler-Free Review of “Mia Morris’ Diary” Series: A Vampire Mystery Sprinkled with some Campy Horror Fun on Top

“I want you to believe…to believe in things you cannot.”  A modern retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mia Morris’ Diary is a web series released by Black Cat Film Productions currently streaming on YouTube.  It is inspired by The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Notes by Christine, and The Cate Morland Chronicles.  The series follows Mia Morris, who has been leaving video diary messages for her boyfriend, who is currently studying abroad.  However, a lot of spooky things begin to happen, as a vampire becomes drawn to Mia and her close friends, luring them into danger and darkness.  Mia reacts to everything that is happening and tries to make sense of it as best she can, but there are some things that simply cannot be explained.  As she continues to uncover the mystery surrounding her, Mia’s world is turned upside down, as she starts to question everything and everyone around her.  Do vampires really exist and what do they want with her?

I was very excited to watch this show, which is now available to stream all 22 episodes on YouTube.  If you love binge-watching like me, then this series is the perfect option for you.  Each episode is only a few minutes in length, which is actually really great.  You can pick up right where you left off without missing anything, which is sometimes difficult to do during most television series.  I love being drawn into a series immediately and the pilot episode allowed me to do so, providing us with some setup, but also introducing us to the mystery right away so that we crave instant answers.  While some episodes contain welcomed fluff, others are eerie and hypnotizing, inviting us into the story.  I found myself playing Nancy Drew along with Mia to uncover the mystery and unmask the villain.

Mia Morris' Diary YouTube

The lead actress provided us with a believable performance and I thoroughly enjoyed when all of her friends came together to make sense of the madness.  Think the Scoobies from Buffy the Vampire Slayer There was just the right amount of campy horror fun mixed in to balance out the drama behind the vampire seduction.  When I started the web series, I felt that it had a lot of potential.  However, the series can be somewhat slow moving at times in the middle.  I would have liked to have seen more scenes involving the group coming together to solve the mystery, but that’s just because I really enjoyed that dynamic.  Overall, I think that the show is worth a stream if you find yourself craving some vampire mystery fun.  I mean, who doesn’t love a good vampire story?

Top Shorts Mia Morris' Diary

Ready to check out the series?

Mia Morris' Diary

Watch Mia Morris’ Diary Now!

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

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!

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!

 

 

 

Spoiler-Free Review of “A Discovery of Witches” season 1: To Stream or not to Stream

“It begins with absence and desire.  It begins with blood and fear.  It begins with A Discovery of Witches.”  Based on the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness, the television series follows Diana Bishop, played by Teresa Palmer, an alchemist and a reluctant witch, who comes across “Ashmole 782,” which is a mysterious text that has been missing for quite some time and is desired by many witches, vampires, and demons.  After discovering the text, Diana crosses paths with a vampire named Matthew Clairmont, played by Matthew Goode.  Can you guess what comes next?  Of course there is a love story, which makes things complicated, as witches and vampires are forbidden from being together.

So am I in or out?  I was initially very excited to watch this show, which is now available to stream all 8 episodes on Sundance Now and Shudder.  I have read the trilogy and I absolutely adored the first book in particular.  When I started the television series, I felt that it had a lot of potential.  However, the series can be slow moving at times and other characters are introduced a little bit too much, which caused me to continue to go back to see who everyone was and why they were there.  So to stream or not to stream?  If you are a fan of Twilight or The Originals, you will enjoy the series.  There are only 8 episodes, but I felt like things didn’t really get going until episode 6.  The love story is moving enough, the acting was impressive despite some empty conversation starters, and there were even some formidable villains.  You will most likely connect more with Matthew than Diana.  Think Mr. Darcy if he were a vampire.  I was also very impressed with Satu played by Malin Buska, who was absolutely brilliant.

I very much enjoyed the history of the witches and Diana discovering her powers along with the introduction of dark magic, but I would have liked to see a better balance here.  I understand the need to focus around the love story, but I think this might actually turn some fans away, as it is somewhat similar to Twilight, which could be off-putting, even though I ship Diana and Matthew a lot more than Bella and Edward.  When I read the book series, I fell in love with the creepy library atmosphere and the mystery behind discovering the text, which was glossed over very quickly on the show.  The series has gotten a lot of attention in the UK and has already been renewed for seasons 2 and 3, which opens the door to more time walking and more magic.  If you are a fan of the book series, I think you will enjoy the show and appreciate how much they try to incorporate everything, but if you are a casual fan, it may miss the mark for you.  Overall, I think that the show is worth a stream if you find yourself craving a good supernatural love story.  However, if you are looking for something dark and disturbing, this may not be your cup of tea.

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

**I would love it if you would take a moment to check out my Whizbuzz Book page via the link below for everything you need to know about my new book, The Search for Alice, including my author bio page and links to my website and social media sites!  Thank you!

My Whizbuzz Book Page

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!

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!

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.

Want to read more?  You can click the link directly below for a free preview.  Thanks for your support!

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

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover

 

 

5 Spoiler Free Reasons why you should watch “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” on Netflix: A Binge-Worthy Treat That Is Everything You Crave”

“What’s the point of being a witch if I can’t help the ones I love?”  An excellent question for sure, as half-mortal Sabrina Spellman learns that being a witch is not all fun and games.  If you had the choice to be a witch or a mortal, what would you choose?  Would you continue on your normal path or would you choose the path of night?  The Netflix series is based on the Archie Comics series, which was also the inspiration for the sitcom, Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996-2003).  While the sitcom was a fun and lighter take on Sabrina’s adventures, the Netflix series is a much darker approach.  The show features 10 episodes and they are all currently streaming on Netflix as of October 26th 2018.  After watching all of the episodes in one weekend, I can tell you that I absolutely adored this series.  Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is the perfect portion of Riverdale bubble gum pop dipped in delicious darkness.  It is absolutely enchanting and I highly recommend it.  Please note that major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.  My top 5 reasons to check out Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are: 

5

This show tackles real issues. 

Welcome to Greendale.  While the town is known for its spooky and Halloween-like atmosphere, it is also near Riverdale and it should be noted that these two series do connect.  If you are a Riverdale fan like me, you will be pleasantly surprised with a few mentions and connections along the way.  Even though the town has a lot of dark and mystical things going on, the series also sheds some light on some important issues.  Sabrina and her friends witness and deal with sexual harassment and bullying, reminding us that there are some real life horrors happening along with the supernatural ones.  The show does a good job of making us aware of these important issues and promoting female empowerment, while seamlessly continuing on with the plot.

4

The supporting characters.

It is sometimes difficult for the supporting cast to step into the spotlight, especially when there is a strong lead capturing our attention.  However, I was delighted by a lot of the supporting cast.  I give standout performances to Lucy Davis (Hilda Spellman), Chance Perdomo (Ambrose Spellman), Tati Gabrielle (Prudence), Michelle Gomez (Miss Wardwell), and Miranda Otto (Zelda Spellman).  These characters all complimented Sabrina so well and I could really see a true connection among the Spellman family.  You will be delighted by all of them.

3

Episodes 5, 8, and 9.

While all of the episodes were fast paced and fun, these three were on a completely different level.  I will not spoil anything for you, but I would definitely recommend giving these three episodes your undivided attention.  Episode 5 provided me with some Buffy the Vampire Slayer nostalgia and episodes 8 and 9 were shocking and dark, pulling the story in a twisted direction and further developing the character of Sabrina.  These episodes are not predictable and they will have you on the edge of your seat.  Enjoy the ride!

2

Sabrina Spellman.

Played by Kiernan Shipka, Sabrina is a strong female protagonist who you can truly root for.  Kiernan is absolutely enchanting and she really captured the essence of the character.  Sabrina makes mistakes along the way, but that is part of her charm.  She’s flawed, but she has so much inner strength and loyalty to her friends and family.  Sabrina always tries to do what is right to protect the ones she loves.  She sort of reminds me of a mix between Riverdale’s Betty Cooper and Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger.  She is a fast learner and is willing to go against authority to try and keep her moral compass intact.  Sabrina is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in and she is constantly challenging everyone, reminding us that she is not just a powerful witch, but a powerful and amazing woman.

1

A worthy series about witches.

It’s not always easy to provide the audience with a true representation of witchcraft.  There is always the allure of having magical powers and casting spells, but there needs to be a balance as well.  Shows like Charmed and American Horror Story:  Coven were able to capture this along with movies like The Craft.  Chilling Adventures of Sabrina tackles everything from truth spells to resurrection ones and reminds us about “personal gain” and real consequences.  While it may seem glamorous to be a witch, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina reminds us that it’s not always this simple.  Sabrina is trying to find her own identity as a person, but also has to deal with making a choice between her mortal life and her destiny to become a witch.  It’s a decision that weighs on Sabrina for quite some time and she begins to understand that magic cannot always solve everything.  While the show will provide you with some fun magical moments, it also reveals the darkness and sacrifice that comes with it.  Overall, I was truly impressed with this show and I cannot wait until season 2.  I absolutely recommend this spellbinding series to everyone.  Ready to watch?

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

**I would love it if you would take a moment to check out my Whizbuzz Book page via the link below for everything you need to know about my new book, The Search for Alice, including my author bio page and links to my website and social media sites!  Thank you!

My Whizbuzz Book Page

Stay up to date on upcoming premieres of horror TV series @ 12nightsofhorror.com/horror-series-coming-soon

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!

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.

Want to read more?  You can click the link directly below for a free preview.  Thanks for your support!

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

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover

5 Spoiler Free Reasons why you should watch “The Haunting of Hill House” on Netflix: A Worthy Horror Series filled with Bone-Chilling Moments

“I am home.”  But what if you share your home with ghosts and spirits?  I’m not talking about Casper here, but potentially dangerous and manipulative spirits that can haunt you for the rest of your life.  The Netflix series is based on the book by Shirley Jackson, which was also the inspiration for the film, The Haunting.  There were two versions of the film in 1963 and in 1999 as well.  The Netflix series follows a family who grew up at Hill House and flashes between the past and the present, unraveling the mysteries there.  Each member of the Crain family encounters something different, but they are all connected to the house in one way or another.  They desperately try to overcome their terrifying and traumatic past, as new obstacles and threats continue to surface in their present.

The show features 10 episodes and they are all currently streaming on Netflix as of October 12th 2018.  After watching all of the episodes in one weekend, I can tell you that the series was a pleasant surprise.  There were absolutely terrifying moments that will have you going to sleep with the lights on for weeks to come and other moments that were so incredibly heartwarming and unpredictable.  The show somehow successfully blends family drama in with genuine horror, giving me almost a Brothers and Sisters vibe, while continuing to provide me with frightening moments.  The acting is absolutely incredible and the writing and dialogue is somehow poetic, luring you in to Hill House completely.  Please note that major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.  My top 5 reasons to check out The Haunting of Hill House are: 

5

This show is genuinely scary. 

I’m not talking about the typical jump scares that almost seem unnecessary and essentially become predictable, as you can almost count down to the next moment that is meant to make you pop out of your seat.  The scares on this show are not forced and they seamlessly connect with the rest of the plot, which make them that much more terrifying in my opinion.  You may have nightmares about “The Bent-Neck Lady” like me, but the show will continue to provide you with worthy bone-chilling moments up until the very end.  I found myself needing to watch the show with all the lights on, even during the day.  It’s seriously that scary and even if you don’t scare easily, you will appreciate the way these terrifying moments emerge.

4

Something different.

While some fans have been apprehensive about the series following a different plot, this works to the show’s advantage.  It allows us to be presented with an entirely unique mystery in familiar territory and branches out further to form its own identity, separate from the novel and the films.  If you are looking for just another remake of the films, this is not the show for you, but I would encourage you to give it a try anyway because it is well worth the watch.

3

Episodes 3, 5, and 9.

While all of the episodes were brilliantly done, these three were absolutely incredible.  I will not spoil anything for you, but I would definitely recommend giving these three episodes your undivided attention.  While important plot points are learned during these three episodes, there is something so incredibly magnetic about them.  I found myself completely lost in the story during these three episodes in particular, unaware of anything else going on around me.  That’s how good they are.  Make sure you have your popcorn ready in advance!

2

The cast.

I was initially overwhelmed by the large size of the Crain Family.  We meet Hugh and Olivia Crain, played by Timothy Hutton and Carla Gugino, and their children:  Steven, Shirley, Theo, Luke, and Nell.  The show flashes back between past and present quite frequently and everyone in the cast was absolutely terrific.  I give standout performances to Carla Gugino, Kate Siegel (older Theo), and Elizabeth Reaser (older Shirley), but truly everyone was amazing.  You really believed that they were all family and found yourself connected to each and every one of them as the episodes continued.

1

The family drama works.

Part of what made me enjoy this show so much was the fact that I was completely connected to the characters.  I wasn’t willing to part with any character and I found myself rooting for them more than I normally would when watching a horror film.  The show does an excellent job of combining the terrifying and unexplained moments with the horror we deal with in everyday life.  I’m talking about unspeakable crimes that are committed, grief that we need to endure, addiction, and guilt that will eat us up from the inside if we let it.  The show seamlessly blends the supernatural horrors with these very real ones, connecting us that much more to the characters and the story.  While I initially thought that perhaps the show might have been better suited as a film, I quickly realized that this is not the case.  You would lose out on the connection to these characters and the mystery unravels in perfect tempo, leading up to a satisfying crescendo at the end.  While the series is not your average horror movie, it elevates to something more powerful and resonating.  You won’t be disappointed.  Ready to watch?

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

**I would love it if you would take a moment to check out my Whizbuzz Book page via the link below for everything you need to know about my new book, The Search for Alice, including my author bio page and links to my website and social media sites!  Thank you!

My Whizbuzz Book Page

Stay up to date on upcoming premieres of horror TV series @ 12nightsofhorror.com/horror-series-coming-soon

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!

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.

Want to read more?  You can click the link directly below for a free preview.  Thanks for your support!

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

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover