5 Reasons why you should watch “Castle Rock” on Hulu: “It wasn’t me…it was this place.”

“It wasn’t me…it was this place.”  If you are a devoted television fan like me, then I’m sure you have heard of the Hulu show Castle Rock, which premiered earlier this summer on July 25, 2018.  While the episodes aired each week, all episodes have now officially been added for season one so this is the perfect time to binge-watch the entire season.  The season features 10 episodes and it has been confirmed that the series has already been renewed for season 2.  To give you some background, the series can best be categorized as a psychological horror show with just the right amount of mystery mixed in.  The series is based on the settings and characters from Stephen King and the executive producer of the show is J.J.Abrams.  The show focuses primarily on the small fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine, emerging us into a dark world filled with unexplained deaths, paranormal occurrences, and the elaborate intertwining of characters.  From the moment you watch the first few minutes of episode 1, you are completely hooked and drawn in to the masterful storytelling, which will have you on the edge of your seat at all times.  While there is quite a bit of set up, the episodes are fast paced and move the plot along seamlessly.  The acting and writing is so real and moving that you will find yourself contemplating the moments you see portrayed even after you are done watching.  This is a must watch show and I have quickly become a big fan.  Please note some spoilers are ahead, but major ones have been left out for your convenience.  My top 5 reasons to check out Castle Rock season 1 are: 

5

Stephen King & J.J. Abrams.

Stephen King is a master at creating a story that is so real and haunting that you find yourself walking along the same path as the characters you are reading about.  King is wonderful at creating vivid images that you can visualize across the page, proving that words can be just as compelling as anything we see on the big or small screen.  Sold already?  So am I.  However, let’s combine that with executive producer, J.J. Abrams, who brought us my favorite show in the world, Lost The world we see on television is so convincing and intricate, which really does King’s stories justice, giving us the chance to get to see these characters and setting come to life right before our eyes.

4

Episode 9:  “Henry Deaver.”

While every episode stands out in its own way, episode 9 did the unthinkable.  It completely blew my mind and immersed me into something so mysterious and compelling.  While I had questions the entire time I watched this episode, I refused to pause it for even a moment.  It’s that good.  I don’t want to give anything away because I want you to truly enjoy the experience for yourself, but episode 9 basically takes everything you think you know about Castle Rock and throws it out the window.  You are basically left in a whirlwind of confusion that will have you glued to the television screen, unblinking.  While it may seem that I am going overboard, this episode truly captured what it means to give the audience answers without every really answering anything concretely.  Sure it sounds confusing, but there is something so magnetic about this episode in particular that it will have you completely mesmerized.

3

The twist and mystery is not completely obvious.

Even though I love a good twist or mystery, I always find myself trying to figure it out the entire time.  Whether it is from a book, movie, or television series, I really enjoy playing Nancy Drew.  In Castle Rock, we are presented with several mysteries and you can’t help trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.  However, I never saw the twist in this show coming.  While I came close with some theories, the show does an excellent job of keeping you in the dark for just the right amount of time, while sending clues your way to keep your interest.  If you are able to figure out what’s going on, I absolutely commend you because I was shocked and that much more intrigued once it was revealed.  Even with the twist revealed, there are still so many questions left unanswered.  I’m assuming we will get to this in season 2 so that is even more of a reason why I appreciated it so much.

2

The cast.

The acting on this show is so incredible.  The regular cast stands out on its own with amazing performances from André Holland, Melanie Lynskey, Bill Skarsgård, Jane Levy, and Sissy Spacek.  While I expected the main cast to be great, I didn’t expect for every single guest star to be unbelievably amazing as well.  In particular, the performances by Terry O’Quinn, Scott Glenn, Noel Fisher, Chosen Jacobs, and Lauren Bowles were outstanding.  Every performance is so real and believable that you really think these people are the very characters they are portraying.  You find yourself sympathizing with them and wanting to know everything about them.  Even characters that show up later in the series still spark an interest, as you find yourself trying to figure out how they come into play.  The intertwining of characters is absolutely spell-binding, bringing Stephen King’s creations to life with new vigor.

1

Episode 7:  “The Queen.”

While I would normally focus on a season finale for my top reason to watch a show, episode 7 is something so incredibly powerful and it deserves every amount of praise possible.  This episode would not have been so amazing without the talented Sissy Spacek, who gave us a performance that was so incredibly heartbreaking that you could almost feel your own heart beat out of its chest just from watching.  During the series, we learn that Sissy Spacek’s character, Ruth, suffers from dementia.  The earlier episodes allowed us to see her from the perspectives of other characters, but in episode 7, everything we see is completely from Ruth’s perspective.  Timelines shift around and we see Ruth combining the past and present, but the episode is executed so well that you don’t lose track of what is happening.  The ending moments of this episode are so heart wrenching.  This episode in particular was probably one of the most incredible episodes I have ever seen on television.  I’m ranking it up there with “The Constant” from Lost, “Salud” from Breaking Bad, and “Becoming Part II” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  If you have seen any of these episodes, then you know that I am not giving out this title lightly.  “The Queen” is out of this world and it elevated Castle Rock to an entirely new level.  Ready to watch? Stay tuned!

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

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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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

 

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Ranking the top 5 moments from “Riverdale” season 2 episode 17: The Wait is Over!

Happy Thursday TV fans!  After watching the CW’s Riverdale season 2 episode 17 last night, we learned that new alliances have been formed, which bring together former enemies and divide other families even further than Shakespeare could have thought even possible.  While the line between blood and loyalty has blurred almost into non-existence for some, others have put aside their selfish needs to do what is right for everyone.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “Chapter Thirty:  The Noose Tightens,” the car in Swedlow Swamp resurfaces, causing new enemies to come to town and pushing Alice to the breaking point.  Meanwhile, Betty wants a serpent tattoo, Archie continues to act first and think later, and Veronica and Toni team up to rescue Cheryl from the “Sisters of Quiet Mercy.”  My top 5 moments from Riverdale season 2 episode 17 are:

5

“No need to become the Montagues and Capulets just yet.”

It’s all out in the open now that Fred Andrews is running for mayor against Hermione Lodge and it’s about time someone took a stand to protect the town of Riverdale.  When the Andrews family comes face to face with the Lodge family, you can cut the tension with way more than a knife.  Veronica and Archie immediately detect that this is only going to get worse and Veronica tries to make light of it with some Shakespeare humor.  However, we all know that Romeo and Juliet was a tragedy and that the young lovers are the ones who get caught up in the cross fire.  Can the same be said for team Varchie?

4

Nothing stays hidden for long.

Alice is shocked to learn that the car belonging to the man Chic killed, Dwayne, has re-surfaced in Swedlow Swamp.  Alice sits down with FP, Jughead, and Betty to come up with a plan and FP reminds them of the importance of laying low and acting normal in the meantime.  However, Betty even admits that “normal is investigating when the world says they shouldn’t.”  Our favorite detective team, Bughead enlists the help of Kevin to get more information and is shocked to learn that the stolen car has been claimed by the owner.  Chic involves himself further than he should and contacts Darla who is the ex-girlfriend of Dwayne.  As if right on cue, Darla shows up at the Cooper house and tries to blackmail them for $10,000.  Alice is more than happy to give her the money and wipe her hands clean of this whole mess, but the drama isn’t over just yet.

3

“Who are you Archie?”

An excellent question from his mother and Archie should really take some time and look in the mirror to figure it out.  Archie continues to make the wrong decisions and is losing his temper more and more.  Archie even threatens some of Mr. Lodge’s criminal business associates without blinking an eye, which even has Mr. Lodge reminding him that he shouldn’t pick a fight he can’t finish.  After the Lodge family discovers that “Agent Adams” has double crossed them, they are not sure what the long term plan is.  The Lodge family is currently in danger, but Archie will stop at nothing to protect him.  Rather than show up to support his father announcing his intent to run for Mayor, Archie sets the “Dark Circle” loose on their enemies, which leads to him getting a thank you car from Mr. Lodge.  Archie is creating an even bigger divide between him and his family without realizing it, which has us wondering, is all of this really worth losing your soul over?  A Faustian deal comes to mind, especially when we can easily imagine Mr. Lodge as the devil, signing contracts in blood.  Will Archie be able to come back from this?  Will his family be able to forgive him?

2

Alice makes the right decision.

When Betty goes to retrieve the $10,000 from the bank, the man who was Chic’s “manager” shows up as well and it’s clear that the Cooper family is in a lot of trouble again because of Chic.  Luckily, the Serpent gang shows up as back-up to help them.  Darla and the manager leave for now with the cash, but it’s still very dangerous that they know more than they should.  After all, secrets never stay buried for long in Riverdale.  Alice is beyond grateful and makes an announcement to the Serpents that she is done attacking the South Side.  She makes the difficult decision to ask her son, Chic to leave since he has put her family in danger twice now and then shows up later on FP’s doorstep.  Are Alice and FP back together?  Will Chic really stay away?

1

Toni rescues Cheryl.

Fans were more than disappointed after the interrupted first kiss between Choni, but fear not, love is still blooming in the air.  Toni enlists the help of Veronica and Josie to help find Cheryl, as she knows that there is no way that she is being held in a boarding school, especially since her social media account has been dead silent.  The girls go and confront Mrs. Blossom who is armed and ready.  She tells them that Cheryl is mentally ill and even shows Josie the picture that Cheryl sketched not too long ago of the two of them, revealing that Cheryl was the one who was threatening and stalking her.  Josie is out, but Veronica and Toni are not about to completely abandon their friend.  Nana Rose makes the right call and tries to help Toni find Cheryl but is rudely interrupted by Uncle Claudius.  They then learn from Kevin that the “Sisters of Quiet Mercy” practice gay conversion therapy and that there is a secret tunnel that can lead them to Cheryl.  Toni and Veronica put on their fantastic spy-like outfits which have just the right amount of flair and break in.  Cheryl is stunned when she sees Toni and the two share a swoon-worthy kiss in front of the film screen.  The cheers for Choni should be deafening as this kiss was well worth the wait.  Veronica and Toni successfully rescue Cheryl who is surprisingly not broken from this ordeal.  Rather, she says that “revenge is a dish best served cold,” and informs Kevin that she is ready to take on the lead of the school play, which is none other than Carrie White from Stephen King’s classic.  While I’m sure that Cheryl can pull off anything, including being covered in pig’s blood, her family better watch out for sure since Cheryl is no stranger to making things in her way burn to the ground.  Stay tuned!  New episodes return on April 18th!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Riverdale below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl