Spoiler-Free Review of “Warrior Nun” on Netflix: It’s not easy being a Chosen One

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

One girl destined to fight against the demons of the world. Sound familiar? The premise screams Buffy the Vampire Slayer with religious undertones, which instantly sparked my attention, but sometimes a comparison is not always a good thing.

Warrior Nun premiered on Netflix on July 2rd 2020. It features 10 episodes (approximately 45-48 minutes in length). It stars Alba Baptista, Toya Turner, Emilio Sakraya, and Thekla Reuten.

Based on the manga style comic book character, Warrior Nun Areala, the show focuses on Ava. After waking up in a morgue, she discovers that she is far from dead and now possesses supernatural abilities as the chosen Halo Bearer. She faces new threats and demons while also searching for her own identity along the way.

Right away, I was completely hooked by the premise. The trailer was actually quite good and I’m all for a show that features a strong female character taking on the apocalypse, but does Warrior Nun do enough to make it stand out from its predecessors? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Warrior Nun Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

Delightful performances.

Standout performances go to Alba Baptista as Ava and Toya Turner as Shotgun Mary. They are believable and they really helped me connect more with these particular characters. There is subtle humor and sarcasm going on mixed with some real life altering scenarios, which gave us a good balance throughout the show.

These nuns kick ass!

The fight scenes may seem slightly ridiculous. They are flashy and unrealistic, but they are also really entertaining and they kept the pace going. If you’re a Chosen One, I want to see some bad-ass fight scenes and Warrior Nun certainly delivered with that.

The Cons:

Warrior Nun Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

Awkward voiceover narration.

I get it. We are trying to connect with Ava and learn more about her past to truly appreciate and understand what she has to deal with now. However, the voiceover narrations were awkward and out of place. They actually made Ava seem more whiny than she actually is and I could have done without them.

Too many episodes.

There are ten episodes and I think this show really could have been done in eight. When you have that many episodes, it really slows things down. There was unneeded fluff that made me lose interest several times throughout the show, which is a shame. Sometimes less is more…

This show is NOT Buffy.

I’ve seen multitple comparisons going on between this show and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While I can absolutely see the similarities and noticed some myself, this show is nothing like Buffy, which is in a category of its own. I think this actually hurt the show because it just falls flat in comparison. On its own, the show actually has a lot of redeeming qualities, but I’m not sure it will be able to break through these comparisons.

So am I in or out?

Warrior Nun Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in…about 75 percent. Overall, this show was pretty entertaining. I liked the premise. I liked the characters and I loved the kick-ass fighting scenes. Once I got over the disappointment that this show would not be in the same category as Buffy, I started to enjoy it more…especially once I got to episode 4.

That being said, there is a lot slowing down the pace of this series and the exceptional premise falls flat in several areas, but there is still enough substance and heart in this show. If you are looking for a supernatural type of binge-watch, I would recommend watching The Order before Warrior Nun, but there is certainly enough to enjoy throughout your watch.

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

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 “Ju-On: Origins” on Netflix: Stomach-Turning Terror

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

If you thoroughly enjoy the horror film franchise, Ju-On or The Grudgeyou may have been counting the days until the release of the streaming television series, Ju-On: Origins.

Ju-On: Origins is a Japanese horror series that premiered on Netflix on July 3rd 2020. It features 6 episodes (28-30 minutes in length). The series is available with subtitles or dubbed in English.

It’s difficult to present fans with something truly unique and different when coming from such an extensive franchise, but the series manages to bring us back to the beginning. We witness several timelines involving a house with unexplainable connections to horrific acts of violence and murder, as a paranormal investigator tries to obtain as much information as he can to get to the truth.

This show has the potential to truly terrify you with a satisfying binge-watch, but does Ju-On: Origins do enough to step out from the shadows of the films? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Ju On Origins Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

The anthology style works.

Since there are only six episodes and each one is actually pretty short, the anthology style works well. We learn about several different characters who have all entered the house in question throughout the late eighties and into the nineties, presenting us with connections and a real mystery.

The series is supposed to represent the true events that actually inspired the franchise and this particular style allows Ju-On: Origins to branch out and form its own identity.

Moves away from jump scares/tropes.

I don’t know about you, but there are several moments from The Grudge movies that still don’t sit well with me. I’m constantly checking under the covers and that sound still haunts me to this day.

The series takes a different approach and moves away from the jump scares that we are all accustomed to. Rather, it leans more on some disturbing scenes of gore and a slow burn approach, revealing that sometimes cruel and unthinkable acts of humanity may actually be more terrifying in the end, which gives the audience something to truly think about.

While the show didn’t really scare me, there were some moments that really made my stomach turn. Seriously, I skipped breakfast today just because of it.

The Cons:

Ju Origins Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

Slow moving at first.

There are only six episodes, but things really didn’t pick up for me until episode 4. Once the mystery started unraveling more and more, I became more invested and I was actually really interested in some of the character connections and the reveals.

It would have been great if the show had this same feel from the very start, but there are moments in each episode that have that shock value to grab your attention.

Not for the faint of heart.

As I mentioned earlier, there are some real disturbing moments of gore featured in the series. However, there are also some scenes that are extremely difficult to watch and I hope that Netflix considers adding a few advisories to these particular episodes that show a violent sexual assault and an extremely disturbing scene involving a pregnant woman.

As of right now, Netflix codes the show as being for mature audiences, featuring violence. However, I think that extra advisories should be added for episodes 1 and 4. Please be aware of these scenes during your watch.

So am I in or out?

Ju On Origins Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m about 50/50 on this one. I think that true fans of this franchise will thoroughly enjoy the series. If you are a horror fan looking for something quick to binge-watch, it only takes about three hours to get through all of the episodes.

The show does have some interesting qualities and I really did become more invested during episode 4, but I think we could have captured this feel from the very beginning and some of that was missed with the slower pace.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Ju-On: Origins 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…

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 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 “13 Reasons Why” Season 4 on Netflix: High School is Over

**Major spoilers have been left out for your convenience so feel free to read on!**

“Life is a pretty spectacular thing.”

The final season of 13 Reasons Why premiered on Netflix on June 5th 2020 with 10 new episodes (Approximately 58 minutes in length) in season 4. It stars Dylan Minnette, Christian Navarro, Alisha Boe, Brandon Flynn, and Miles Heizer.

The show is based on the novel written by Jay Asher. It follows a young high school student who suffers from depression after dealing with bullying and betrayal. The series allowed us to see things from Hannah Baker’s perspective in the first season, but the other seasons focused more on the lives of her friends and family members as they coped with grief and other significant changes.

If you are a fan of this show, then you know that it is like nothing else you have ever seen. It tackles a lot of important and sensitive issues without holding anything back. When the show first premiered, there was a lot of controversy surrounding it and there are several warnings that come up before each episode that should not be ignored.

Coming to the end of a brilliant series is not easily done, but does 13 Reasons Why give our beloved characters the proper farewell they deserve? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

13 Reasons Why s 4 Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

Moving performances by Dylan Minnette, Alisha Boe, and Brandon Flynn.

The entire cast is great, but this trio really gives us some heart-wrenching moments that will have you in tears. They are real, believable, and thought-provoking. You can truly empathize with them. You can easily imagine them as your own best friend or brother or sister. In a way, we have really watched them grow up on screen. 

When I first started the series, I had mixed thoughts on all of the characters and while Clay Jensen stole our hearts and compassion from the very start, Justin and Jessica really went through important character transformations throughout the series.

13 Reasons Why S 4 Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

Proper goodbyes.

A lot of series don’t really get the chance to give each and every one of their characters a proper send off. Some series are canceled too early and others drag things out too much. However, I thought that 13 Reasons Why did a really great job of allowing us to truly say farewell to each character.

High School can often feel like the end and unfortunately, it is the absolute end for some of our beloved characters. But for others, it is just the beginning of their journey and we can all relate to that.

While some characters discovered new relationships and passions, others went down dark roads of despair. But each one got enough screen time so that we could appreciate and understand their growth. Not just in high school, but in life.

13 Reasons Why S 4 Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

Episode 6

Each episode gave us some tropes about the end of high school. We got to witness a senior camping trip, college interviews, the prom, and graduation. However, I thought that episode 6 almost could have been a standalone for the series.

It was so intense and it really brought me back to that same feel I had while watching season 1, which I appreciated. Again, the warnings should not be ignored on this series and I strongly recommend watching it with someone else, but I thought the writing and direction for this particular episode was brilliant.

The Cons:

13 Reasons Why S 4 Netflix 4

Unsure of its plot.

A lot of season 4 focuses on Clay’s anxiety, especially after coping with what happened to Bryce and Monty. It is not easy to personify mental illness, but I could have done without the cheesy horror effects sprinkled in. They were kind of distracting and it took away from Clay’s actual issues. I thought it would have been better to stick with Clay’s revealing conversations with his therapist, which were extremely well done.

I’m still also not sure what the main plot was. Season 4 was kind of all over the place in certain aspects. In season 1, we focused on Hannah. In season 2, we looked at things from other eyes. In season 3, we watched things from a newcomer and also focused on a murder. However, season 4 didn’t really have much of a plot.

There were moments of pure brilliance and some really heartbreaking ones that still have me in tears, but I guess I was hoping for something to really captivate my attention like with the other seasons.

13 Reasons Why S 5 Netflix
Images courtesy of Netflix

Jessica Davis deserved more.

Jessica’s character transformation across the seasons has really been something spectacular. In season 3, she really embraced her strength and identity as a woman and became a leader. However, in season 4, she still talks a lot about these issues, but we spend too much time tangling her up in a love triangle that was unnecessary.

Jessica has been in toxic relationships, but she has also discovered her individuality. I just didn’t want that completely tainted and I thought that we could have moved away from the love triangle plot all together.

So am I in or out?

13 Reasons Why S 4 6 Netflix
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in because I have a lot of respect for this show. There are a lot of teen dramas around that skim over important issues and I really thought that this particular one dove right in without censors. There are some moments throughout the show that are extremely difficult to watch, but sometimes we need to watch them in order to process all of these important issues in our lives.

The world can be scary and overwhelming and 13 Reasons Why reminded us that through all of the grief and difficult moments, there are also really beautiful ones as well and that life is worth living. While I had some personal preferences and issues with the final season, I will forever be a fan of this show.

It’s one of a kind and something that will stand the test of time for me.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on 13 Reasons Why 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…

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!

PLAY IF YOU DARE…

Dash and Seek is available here!

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

Do you love horror series? Of course you do! Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon. It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

 

 

Spoiler-Free Review of “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” on Showtime: Evil Looks Good on Natalie Dormer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pros:

Penny Dreadful COA Showtime 1
Images courtesy of Showtime

Natalie Dormer ignites the screen.

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

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

Penny Dreadful COA Showtime 2
Images courtesy of Showtime

Exceptional cast and gorgeous setting.

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

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

The Cons:

Penny Dreadful COA Showtime 5
Images courtesy of Showtime

A storyboard of ideas can get confusing…

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

Penny Dreaful COA Showtime 4
Images courtesy of Showtime

Don’t bench your best player…

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

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

Not enough supernatural elements.

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

So am I in or out?

Penny Dreadful COA Showtime 3
Images courtesy of Showtime

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

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

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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!

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

**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 “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

**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

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 “The Stranger” on Netflix: A Complex Thriller Worthy of your next Binge-Watch

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

“A secret revealed is a secret destroyed.”

The Stranger premiered on Netflix on January 31st 2020 with 8 episodes (40-45 minutes in length).  It stars Richard Armitage, Siobhan Finneran, Anthony Head, Dervla Kirwan, and Hannah John-Kamen.

The show is based on the book of the same name by Harlan Coben.  It is a mystery thriller that follows the lives of several families, as secrets are exposed by a stranger, creating a vortex of lies, murder, and a quest to uncover the truth.

This is not the first crime thriller that Netflix has released, but it’s difficult to deliver some worthy twists without over-complicating things.

If you enjoy movies like The Call, The Girl on the Train, and Gone Girl, this new show will make you feel right at home, but does it do enough to stand out as a worthy thrill ride?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Stranger Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

The mystery will keep you invested and guessing the entire time.

Adam Price basically has his entire life turned upside down when a stranger approaches him with a shattering secret about his wife.  As we begin to uncover the truth with Adam, you will find yourself on the edge of your seat, which makes the watch entertaining and fast-paced.  Unnecessary set-up does not get in the way, as we dive right into the mystery from the opening minutes of the series.

An amazing cast.

Richard Armitage does a fantastic job with his role, but I was also really impressed by Siobhan Finneran’s portrayal of Johanna Griffin.  Let’s not forget that we also have Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum, Anthony Head playing a supporting role to perfection.  The list goes on and on and every single performance was spot on.

The Cons:

The Stranger Netflix Show 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

Way too many sub-plots.

Yes, this is one of those shows where everything connects.  However, we certainly get a lot thrown our way and some of it seems beyond outrageous.  If you pay attention, a lot of the connections and reveals make sense later on, but some of them are actually never explained, so I’m wondering why we didn’t just focus on the main mystery, which was compelling enough.

It’s easy to get lost in this show and perhaps it is too complex for its own good, but there are enough reasons why you should still watch the show in its entirety anyway.

So am I in or out?

The Stranger Netflix Show 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in 100 percent!  While the show may be unnecessarily complex at times, it is the epitome of the perfect weekend binge-watch.  You can watch all eight episodes in one sitting and you will probably want to because each episode leaves you wanting more, as you try to figure out the mystery going on.

I tend to thoroughly enjoy mystery thrillers with a touch of Lifetime drama thrown in and this show exceeded my expectations.  While this isn’t the best show or thriller I have ever seen, it delivers as a quick and entertaining show you can watch while throwing in some unexpected twists and moments that will keep you guessing.

Keep these coming, Netflix!

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

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

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 “October Faction” on Netflix: Freakish Potential with Flat Delivery

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

A Mr. and Mrs. Smith type couple that fights supernatural monsters while balancing in some normal family drama.  Sounds like it could be oozing with eerie potential.

October Faction premiered on Netflix on January 23rd 2020 with 10 new episodes (40 minutes in length).  It stars Tamara Taylor, J.C. MacKenzie, Aurora Burghart, Gabriel Darku, and Maxim Roy.

The show is based on the comic series, The October Faction, introducing us to the Allen family.  After a family tragedy, The Allens move back to their hometown, but the supernatural threats continue to track them down.  Deloris and Fred’s twin children, Viv and Geoff, also deal with their own share of issues, especially when they start to discover that they may have some supernatural abilities of their own.

This is not the first time we have seen a horror/supernatural series try to balance out monsters and demons with family drama.  Think of successful series like Supernatural, Charmed, and Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House.  While the show has a lot of promise and potential, it seems like a lot of it was stifled by the uninspiring execution, along with the timing of being released the day prior to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

That being said, October Faction does have some redeeming qualities, but is it worthy of your next binge-watch?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

October Faction Netflix 6
Images courtesy of Netflix

A fantastic villain with otherworldly abilities.

Played by Maxim Roy, Alice, really breathes new life into the show.  The mystery surrounding her is the most intriguing part of the series and she really performs some cringe-worthy acts with her powers that will make you think twice about going up against her.

Likable characters.

The Allen family may have a lot of dark secrets, but they also deal with everyday problems as well.  The balance works well, as we leave the monster hunting in the background and focus on the character dynamics.

The twins, Viv and Geoff, have to deal with a lot of identity searching in high school and their performances are believable and captivating.  Plus, they have some pretty awesome abilities too!

The Cons:

October Faction Netflix 5
Images courtesy of Netflix

Way too much set-up in the opening episodes.

The show starts off really slow and boring with a few sprinkles of potential here and there, but it was honestly a struggle to watch episodes 1-3.  Normally, if this was a weekly show, I would have tuned out by now, but I gave it a chance since I could watch all the episodes at once.

Surprisingly, episodes 4-9 are actually quite brilliant and the plot really takes off with interesting twists and reveals.  However, I can’t ignore the fact that the first three episodes are just so uninspiring and I have a feeling many of you might tune out.  However, if you are willing to take a chance, episode 4 is where things really start to pick up.

So am I in or out?

October Faction Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

This is a tough one.  I’m in for episodes 4-9, which were binge-watch worthy, but overall, I am out because the opening episodes were so dull and the ending was kind of all over the place.  I’m frustrated about this one because this show could have been fantastic and it almost felt rushed and clumsily put together.

I would recommend that you watch shows like Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Light as a Feather first if you are looking for an entertaining supernatural watch, but if you are willing to put the work into watching October Faction, there are some entertaining moments sprinkled in.

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