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

Maura Tierney as Helen Solloway on Showtime’s The Affair.  Helen has always been a fantastic supporting character on the series, but a lot of the attention has previously centered around Alison, Noah, and Cole. With the opening of the final season of the series, Alison and Cole are no longer on the show and I was worried that we would feel a void without them.

Fear not; however, as Maura Tierney reminded us just how compelling and real Helen can be and it’s about time she got her moment in the spotlight.  Please note some spoilers are ahead if you are not up-to-date on the series.  After watching the season 5 premiere, I was left in tears and then some.

Both Ruth Wilson and Joshua Jackson were able to bring tears out of me last year as well with their beyond heartbreaking performances, but there was something so incredibly real and honest about Maura Tierney’s portrayal of Helen in the premiere.  Grief is something that is not easily portrayed.  Sometimes it feels over-the-top and sometimes it feels disingenuous, but somehow my heart was completely breaking for Helen and that was mostly because of how well Maura Tierney performed here.

Helen is used to speaking her mind and she doesn’t care who she offends when she does, which is part of what makes me like her so much.  In fact, some of my absolute favorite moments featuring Helen involve her saying something blunt, but she always comes pretty close to the truth.  In season 4, Helen has this revealing conversation with Alison and I really stopped to think about what she said and how spot on she was with her advice.

When Noah tells Helen that she is resilient in the season 5 premiere, Helen tells him that she had to be because she didn’t have a choice.  But the truth is, Helen is more than resilient.  Through it all, she has been strong, loving, and funny.  She’s a mother of four and she has had to deal with so much after finding out about Vic’s illness, which would probably push anyone over the edge, but somehow Helen is able to keep going, refusing to give up.

Helen has had some hilarious moments on the show, singing loudly and drinking wine in her bedroom and getting pulled over with her foils still in her hair, but in the season 5 premiere, there is this moment of silence where Helen just simply lets go, allowing her thoughts to drift.  This moment of self-reflection is when Helen starts to truly contemplate what has happened and where she is in her life, which was an extremely powerful and heartbreaking scene to watch.

What’s next for Helen?  We’ll have to wait and see, but it looks like she may have a new romantic interest in the near future who Noah will not approve of.  Even though it seems like there is still a connection between Noah and Helen, I feel like Helen is so above him at this point.  Noah doesn’t deserve Helen and I truly hope that she is able to find true happiness because she constantly puts others before her own needs and I just want her to experience a real moment for herself.  How will it all end?  I’m excited to find out and I can’t wait to see what Helen does next!

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!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Slasher: Solstice” Season 3 on Netflix: Gore and Gratuitous Sex Scenes Galore

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

“We all hate someone.  We just need to find someone who hates enough to kill.”  Well sure…that makes sense.  But it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to pinpoint the killer in Slasher: Solstice, as Netflix has finally released season three.  So who is the Druid Killer?  Think you already have it figured out?  Maybe not, as season three genuinely keeps you guessing until the very end.  If you are craving some slasher happy fun, you are in the right place.  

Slasher is a horror anthology series.  Each season follows a different killer and premise, but many of the actors take on different roles in each season, giving you an American Horror Story feel, while channeling I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream.  While the show is still far off from these slasher films, it does provide horror fans with plenty of creative kills and gore.

Season three features 8 episodes, all streaming on Netflix as of May 23rd 2019.  It stars Dean McDermott, Joanne Vannicola, Baraka Rahmani, Mercedes Morris, and Salvatore Antonio.  The opening episode starts off at some kind of Solstice rave and we cut right to the chase and witness a brutal murder by the Druid Killer.  One year later, the Druid Killer returns and begins targeting the initial victim’s neighbors from the apartment building.  Everyone is a suspect and no one is safe, as each episode reveals bits and pieces about their linked past, reminding us that standing by and doing nothing can have severe consequences.

The Pros:

Slasher 2
Image courtesy of Netflix

Season three keeps you guessing until the very end.

If you’re like me, you immediately start playing Nancy Drew to discover who the killer is.  I have to say that every time I thought I had it all figured out, my suspect would be killed and I would have to start all over again.  One of the reasons why I enjoy this show is because every season keeps me guessing.  The ultimate twists are not obvious and are satisfying enough to keep your attention.

The gore is extreme.

If you don’t like to watch horror and gore, this show is definitely not for you and I was even turning my head away after several of the kills, as I think this season has provided us with the most gore by far.  Some of the kills are so outrageous that you will begin laughing, but each kill is more extreme than the next and some of them will genuinely make your skin crawl.  I personally like my fair share of gore and season three didn’t disappoint with this.

The acting is decent enough.

I thought that the performances were solid enough in season three and I was interested in several of the backstories of the characters we meet.  Standout performance goes to Baraka Rahmani, who plays Saadia.  She had enough layers to hold my interest, as the story continued.  I have been impressed with the cast each season and it was fun to see some of the actors from previous seasons play completely different roles.

The Cons:

Slasher 3
Image courtesy of Netflix

The borderline soft-core porn sex scenes are unnecessary.

Season three seemed to go completely overboard with the gratuitous sex scenes.  It was almost to the point where I could count to three and see another sex scene if it had been a few minutes since we witnessed our last brutal murder.  These scenes took away from the show and made it obvious that they were completely filler.  I would have rather had shorter episodes, as this almost ruined the season for me.  Luckily, the reveal of the killer was interesting enough, but it seemed like every single time I went to grab a snack, I walked in to another pointless sex scene, which just made the show seem desperate.

The underlying themes hit you over the head.

While I was intrigued by the idea of punishing those who do nothing, the show also dealt with racism, stereotypes, and the dangers of social media.  It just seemed like the show didn’t know which message to focus on and was trying to do too many things at once.  I think that if the show had subtly introduced these issues, while focusing on how to be a good neighbor, it might have delivered the message a little better.

So am I in or out? 

Slasher 1
Image courtesy of Netflix

I am a huge fan of the series even though I much prefer season one.  Seriously, The Executioner still gives me nightmares and I thought that season one gave me a true I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream nostalgia.  I love slasher films and I was genuinely excited when I first learned about this series.  Season two fell short for me and had more of a contrived And Then There Were None approach, but it still had enough redeeming moments. 

I personally enjoyed season three more than season two, but it still didn’t live up to season one for me.  If the Druid Killer reveal wasn’t as satisfying, I probably would have been completely out, but this saved it for me.  If you are a horror fan and love your fair share of gore, you will enjoy this, but if you don’t like this genre, I would say to pass on it.  Overall, I was underwhelmed by the season, but I got through the 8 episodes very quickly and now is the perfect time to watch, since so many other programs are taking a break from new episodes.

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

**Goodreads Giveaway currently going on for Book Two, Embracing the Looking-Glass (100 copies available) from 5/29/19-6/21/19 Enter Goodreads Giveaway 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!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

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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!

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Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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

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