My performance of the week ending 1/11/20 on TV goes to…

Marlo Kelly as Beth Cassidy on USA Network’s Dare Me.

There’s a new mean girl in town and she can already give Regina George and Heather Chandler a run for their money.  Throw in some over-competitive cheerleading, dark secrets, obsession, and a possible murder, and she may just be crowned the new Queen Bee.

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

Dare Me has aired two episodes so far and I am already completely captivated by Beth Cassidy, played brilliantly by Marlo Kelly.  While a lot of the other characters have potential as well, there is something almost magnetic about Beth. Her wide eye stares and dangerous actions make her a potential modern day femme fatale, but there’s also several layers beneath this tough appearance.

Beth clearly has a weakness for her best friend, but we all know that obsession can be a deadly game, especially when someone gets in her way.  While the cheesy montages are a little bit much, Marlo nails every scene with unsettling perfection.  This may be her break-out role because she is destined for stardom.

In addition, Beth clearly has some family issues going on.  Her father moved in with his mistress across the street and their daughter is also on the squad, which causes even more drama during games and practice.  Being on top of the pyramid is not just a privilege…it’s a necessity, and Beth is willing to take out the competition while keeping a smile planted on her face.

Beth is already set up to face off against our main protagonist, Coach Colette French (Willa Fitzgerald), but will she be able to put her personal agenda aside for the good of the team?  I personally am looking forward to more interactions between these two because the tension is intense.

Coach Colette French does not initially seem to be intimidated by Beth, but she is not an ordinary teenage girl.  There is clearly this jealousy and rage brewing inside of Beth, but she is able to appear so calm and in control on the surface.  Sometimes, that can be even more dangerous; however, as Beth even keeps certain secrets from her best friend, Addy.  Beth is manipulative and calculating and yet we can’t turn away from her.

Marlo Kelly fearlessly embraces this beautiful dark role with perfect poise.  She is a scene stealer for sure and the main reason why I keep coming back for more every single week.

What’s next for Beth?  Well, there is this mystery unfolding slowly week after week and you have to wonder if Beth is behind a possible crime, but is she the obvious choice?  Beth has already demonstrated that she is not afraid to break the rules to get what she wants, but how far will she go?

I can’t wait to find out!  

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

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Final Chapter Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pros:

You Netflix 6
Images courtesy of Netflix

Strong supporting characters that steal the show.

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

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

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

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

Really great twists.

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

The Cons:

You Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

Less kills than season one.

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

Can’t escape that Lifetime feel.

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

So am I in or out?

You Netflix 5
Images courtesy of Netflix

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

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

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

My performance of the week ending 12/14/19 on TV goes to…

Lizzy Caplan as Annie Wilkes on Hulu’s Castle Rock season 2.

As soon as I started season 2, I was completely mesmerized by Lizzy Caplan’s portrayal of Annie Wilkes.  Her performance was so real and compelling each week and she had this wild eyed stare that would certainly make Kathy Bates proud.

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

While this story of Annie Wilkes is not necessarily a prequel to Misery, it does provide us with some fun Easter Eggs throughout the season leading up to the season finale.  Lizzy Caplan is able to show off the psychotic sides of Annie with accuracy, but she also somehow makes this character real and sympathetic, as you start to root for her as an anti-hero on the show.

Annie’s darkness comes in and out, but her daughter, Joy, is her one shining light, constantly motivating her to be good and to be better.  While Annie may not be able to overcome the darkness within her ultimately, she continues to fight and struggle, which is no easy task, especially after we are introduced to a Salem’s Lot inspired group to shake things up.

I thought that from start to finish, Annie was such an intriguing character with many layers.  My favorite episode was “The Laughing Place” (season 2, episode 5).  I thought this particular episode was so interesting because we got to explore Annie’s past to understand her a little bit more, but her younger self was played by another actress, who somehow managed to be just as brilliant as Lizzy Caplan.  This really elevated her character that much more for me, as we continued with the rest of the season.

While the show started to get off track with some of the Salem’s Lot drama in later episodes, the end of the season was able to come full circle, allowing us to truly see Annie’s character development toward the character we all know in Misery, but the writers didn’t hit us over the head with this, which I appreciated.

Everything was subtle and well done, which really made me want to re-watch Misery that much more, but I also felt like I was introduced to a completely new side of Annie Wilkes, as her character came alive across the screen.

What’s next for Annie?  Well, it looks like we will be closing the book on her chapter for season 2, as we will most likely explore a new character/plot if Castle Rock is renewed for season 3, but I may have just become Lizzy Caplan’s “number one fan.”  She immersed herself into this role with disturbing perfection and I loved every minute of it!

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Dreaming of Wonderland Holiday 1

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

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

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

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

My performance of the week ending 10/12/19 on TV goes to…

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman on Netflix’s El Camino:  A Breaking Bad Movie.  So, Breaking Bad is in my top 5 series of all time and part of the reason why is because of the character of Jesse Pinkman, played brilliantly by Aaron Paul.  Sure, he brought so much humor to the show (Magnets!), but he also tapped into something so real and heart-wrenching.

Jesse’s journey had so many ups and downs and his father-son-like relationship with Walter White had this incredible dynamic, but I always wanted more from the ending of the series.  Even though we end with Jesse driving off, sensing that he is finally free, what happens next?  Well, thankfully we got the El Camino movie to find out!  Please note major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.

I thought that the movie was the perfect addition to this show.  Jesse’s journey was necessary and important and it also brought us some cameos along the way, but they weren’t forced or over-the-top.  There was something about them that just worked naturally.  I loved filling in the blanks from some of the questions I had over the years, but the main focus was Jesse, which was really nice to see.

Throughout the series, we fell in love with the dynamic between Jesse and Walt, but sometimes other things happening with Walt’s family took up a lot of screen time.  Not to say that they weren’t important or relevant, but I thought this focus on Jesse now was welcomed and earned.  Jesse finally got his time to shine, while discovering what his next path would be and I thought that his performance was still so real and inspiring.

It can’t be easy returning to a character that you haven’t played in many years and yet Aaron Paul does it so well, making you truly believe that we are picking up with Jesse Pinkman exactly where we left him in the present.

There are a few beautiful moments with Jesse, where we get to witness some compelling flashbacks and I thought it truly gave the audience a chance to see Jesse’s journey come full circle.  He has made so many mistakes along the way and there is always that “what if” question still lingering, but this movie allowed him to truly think about his past, while deciding what to do now in his present.

Every single action will impact his future, but Jesse continues to try and tap into his inner strength, which is beyond difficult to do after witnessing some of what he had to deal with, but he continues to fight and I think that he will always carry his past with him, but that doesn’t make him a failure in the present.

That just means that he is far beyond a character on a show.  His character is so real and and remarkable.  Aaron Paul brings a mind-blowing component to his character, presenting us with a captivating performance that will never be forgotten.  So glad I took the time to watch this!

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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! 

**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!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Final Chapter Blog

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 10/5/19 on TV goes to…

Kaitlyn Dever as Marie Adler on Netflix’s Unbelievable.  So, I heard really great things about this limited series on Netflix, but it’s not something I would normally watch.  It deals with some difficult subject matter and I typically have to make sure that I am in the right state of mind to watch something like this.  That being said, I am really glad that I gave this show a chance because it was absolutely captivating and thought-provoking.  Please note major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.

The performances from the entire cast were beyond incredible, but I was mostly impressed with Kaitlyn Dever’s performance.  I could really believe her and there was something about her subtle indifference that really spoke to me, reminding me that we all handle trauma in different ways and sometimes we just need that one person fighting in our corner to bring out the spark within us that has dimmed so many times before.

It’s not always easy to believe in ourselves, but when someone else finally does, it reminds us that we do matter, helping us re-discover our own self-worth.

The show moves really quickly and I found myself addicted to binge-watching it right after the first episode.  It really draws you in and part of that is because of Dever’s portrayal of Marie.  Sometimes it’s more about the characters that don’t have that apparent strength you often see that truly resonate with you.

I actually prefer seeing characters who are broken and defeated, watching them grow and learn from their mistakes, while they try to pave their own path.  Maybe it’s the right path or maybe it isn’t, but that’s what makes these characters so real and interesting to me.

I really connected with Marie’s character and I was constantly rooting for her even when I was not sure if she was making the right call or telling the truth.  The other performances on the show are also really compelling and I really dove into the investigation as well, as you almost feel like you are along for the ride with the detectives because you want some kind of real and deserving justice for the victims.

There’s something to be truly said for a performance that can stay with you for quite some time and I really think that Dever achieved that in this role.  This role had to be incredibly difficult to play and I feel like another approach might not have struck the same chord with me.  Dever’s portrayal was so real and magnetic and she gave me chills.

I absolutely recommend this show, but please pay attention to the viewing warnings displayed because some parts are very difficult to watch.

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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! 

**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!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Blog

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 Ship of the week ending 8/31/19 on TV goes to…

Justin and Jessica on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why season 3.  So normally when I do these posts, there is something really swoon-worthy, passionate, or epic between a ship and I fall head-over-heels in love with them, but I am honestly really conflicted about this ship, but I still think it is worth a mention and perhaps a deeper discussion.  Please note major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.

In a lot of ways, Justin and Jessica have a toxic relationship and I didn’t really want to root for them after what was uncovered in season 1.  In season 3, Jessica is really finding her voice as a survivor and she is trying to get others to accept change, but she is also exploring her own sexual identity again, which is not easy to do. 

Jessica knows that it is wrong to be with Justin because she initially wants to keep their relationship a secret.  That being said, these two have some beyond sexy moments in season 3 and it’s hard to ignore the passion that has been sparked between them.

As season 3 continues, Justin even starts to recognize that perhaps Jessica is better off without him.  Justin is an addict and they are both broken so this thought process actually makes sense to me, except perhaps throw in a little open honesty.  Jessica continues to stand by Justin’s side and tells him, “Your shit is my shit.”  Perhaps she could have chosen some other words here, but she gets her point across, reminding Justin that she has his back always and Justin would do anything for Jessica.

At the end of season 3, I was left wondering if this ship truly has the potential to make it and I’m honestly not sure.  I personally think that Justin needs to actually deal with his addiction and recover from that before he can even attempt to be in a relationship.  Jessica is strong and powerful, but she is also still broken in a lot of ways and will she every truly be able to get over the past when she looks at Justin?

What’s next for Justin and Jessica?  I’m honestly not sure what season 4 holds for these two, but I am trying to keep an open mind.  I guess what I actually ship here is the potential for something real in the future rather than the present state of their relationship.

Maybe it will never happen and maybe it’s not meant to, but I can’t ignore the chemistry and friendship between these two and they do have some really adorable moments together.  I just think that they both need to find out who they are apart…and if their paths cross again in the future and they are ready to give it a try, perhaps this can be the start of a beautiful relationship.

What are YOUR thoughts on Justin and Jessica?  Toxic and unstable or charming and sweet?

Stay tuned for a recognized Ship on TV each week!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Have a Ship that you think is absolutely swoon-worthy? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

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!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Blog

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 8/24/19 on TV goes to…

Alisha Boe as Jessica Davis on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why season 3.  One of the biggest character transformations on the series belongs to Jessica Davis.  While Jessica was already making such an impact on me in season 2 with her courage, she is not holding anything back in season 3.  Please note major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.

While I am only three episodes into the new season, Alisha Boe is already impressing me with her realistic and heart-wrenching performance as Jessica.  Jessica is absolutely a girl with so much untapped power and strength within her and she is now demanding change at her school.  When she runs for class president, it’s about more than being a leader or doing something that looks good for college applications.  Jessica wants to bring about real change in the students there and she is willing to fight for what is right.

Ani, the new character on the show, notices the power surging within Jessica from her first real encounter with her, informing her that she is a woman with power who finally knows what to do with it.  Jessica is also exploring her sexual identity further, learning how to love herself again after her traumatic experience, which is far from easy to do.

There is a moment of sheer vulnerability when Jessica undresses in front of the mirror.  While she is hesitant about what she sees in front of her, Jessica tries her best to love and appreciate her body.  With each day, she is getting stronger and stronger and she is inspiring others around her.  Jessica has been broken for so long, but the woman I see in season 3 is strong and fearless.  She may not be making all the right calls, but she is no longer staying quiet and I think that is extremely powerful.

What’s next for Jessica?  We’ll have to wait and see, as I still have 10 episodes left of season 3 to binge-watch and I have already seen some interesting theories floating around.  I’m trying not to spoil anything for myself, but I’m hoping that Jessica can continue to channel her inner strength.  Has her search for power gone too far?  I’m not so sure, but I absolutely admire her for being courageous enough to stand up for herself and other victims and I’m truly hoping she hasn’t made an irrevocable mistake.

So far it’s an interesting start to season 3 and I am still adjusting to the narration from new character, Ani, as I have a feeling we have a lot left to uncover about her as well, but I am continuing to root for Jessica and I hope that she learns to truly accept the love around her because she deserves it and is beyond worthy.

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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! 

**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!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Blog

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!