My performance of the week ending 8/3/19 on TV goes to…

The cast of  Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black season 7.  The cast of OITNB is so incredibly talented and I honestly cannot narrow it down to one standout performance.  I really can’t even narrow it down to a top 3 because they are all so compelling.  One of the reasons why I love this show so much is because it’s truly about the characters.  Everyone has a past and sometimes these characters learn from their previous mistakes and really grow, while others spiral out of control, but that’s what makes these performances so incredibly real and heart-wrenching.  **Please note that spoilers have been left out for your convenience so feel free to read on.

I have been a fan of the series for seven seasons and it’s honestly really difficult for me to say goodbye to it, but I think that these episodes will continue to stand the test of time.  Each reflection into a different character’s past makes you see them in a whole new light, as you start to really sympathize with characters that perhaps seemed horrible in earlier seasons and maybe you even start to root for them.

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Season 7 certainly jam-packs a lot into the final season of OITNB, as we get to see some favorite characters return and explore some new plot points as well.  Perhaps what I found the most interesting was seeing certain characters truly understanding one another and bonding now, where we used to witness some pretty ruthless feuds between them before.  In the earlier seasons, many of these characters were guarded and divided, but they are now all coming together, recognizing the importance of loyalty and friendship even when all hope seems lost.

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What’s next for the characters of OITNB?  Well not much since this is the final season of the show, but I am planning on re-watching the entire series in the near future because I was so incredibly moved by all of the performances and I really started to think about each individual journey.  It truly was amazing to see how much some of these characters have grown and how scary the world can be outside these four constricting walls.

Even though it seems like freedom is the obvious goal, some of our characters end up facing even more struggles outside of prison, reminding us that the journey of self-discovery is far from over, but it’s important to have the love and support of those around you, even though it may come from an unlikely source.  I fell in love with this show when it first aired and each season continued to inspire me.  We got a mixed bag of hilarious, heartbreaking, romantic, and tense moments, which kept us entertained until the very end.

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At the end of the day, it’s about each and every one of these characters…these strong women who have to continue fighting even when the world is against them.  Each character has so many layers and even if you think you have them figured out, they may surprise you, reminding us that it’s never too late to change and that it’s about the small moments in between that sometimes have the biggest impact on us in the end.

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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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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Ranking the top 5 moments from “Shameless” season 9 episode 5: “Going Fiona is Not a Thing”

Happy Sunday TV fans!  After watching Showtime’s Shameless season 9 episode 5, I learned that labels do not really matter when it comes down to it and that “you like what you like.”  While some of the Gallaghers have trouble defining who they are, others come to an epiphany at just the right time.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In tonight’s episode, “Black-Haired Ginger,” Fiona has trouble letting go and insists on getting involved in Ian’s trial.  Meanwhile, Lip finds himself restless when he gets an unexpected day off work, Liam has an encounter with a “trashy girl” and Carl meets a new potential girlfriend named Kelly, who will possibly have him saying Kassidi who?  No seriously where is Kassidi?  Is she really dead?  My top 5 moments from Shameless season 9 episode 5 are:


“I got nothin.”

After Frank passes out in the bathroom at the Alibi, Kev and V escort him to the hospital and he learns that he needs medication for his liver.  Frank doesn’t have insurance and is willing to compromise on most of the side effects of the cheaper medication option like temporary blindness, but has second thoughts when he hears that erectile dysfunction is one of them.  Frank panics and even runs up to a lingerie store window and screams out, “I got nothin!”  He tries watching porn on his phone and even fails to get it up with a prostitute.  V reminds Frank that he needs to make the right choice:  his liver or his penis and hopes that he makes the right one.  As fate would have it, Frank meets a woman at the hospital and he is back in business after helping her escape.  The mysterious woman is played by the absolutely fabulous Katey Sagal and I am excited to see her return next week.  Could she be a new romantic interest for Frank?  Here’s hoping!



Kev is impressing quite a lot of people and is now pretty much known as “the vagina safe guy.”  A lady representing the women’s equality and empowerment march pays him a visit and explains that they are very impressed with what Kevin is doing and that they would love for him to give a speech at the march.  Kev is absolutely honored to do so, but starts to realize that his speech has nothing on the women speaking before him, who are courageous enough to speak out about some of their traumatic experiences.  Kev begins to put things into perspective and even sings his daughters a “stay away from men” lullaby.  V tells him to cut it out and gives him a pep talk, but it looks like Kev is starting to finally get the big picture, as he truly sympathizes with everything these women have had to go through.


“You make me want cock again!”

In this episode, Deb is determined to win Alex back and prove that she can stick with being a lesbian.  She tells Alex, “I know I may be a new lesbian, but I think I can be pretty good at it.”  Fast forward to eight hours later after Alex has been talking non-stop about her “feelings” and Deb can’t take it anymore.  She hilariously yells out, “You make me want cock again” before she leaves Patsy’s Pies with Franny, completely frustrated.  Debbie later goes to visit Fiona’s lesbian tenants and asks them for advice.  Mel decides to make things very simple for Debbie and takes off her robe and asks her how she feels and then proceeds to kiss her and Debbie doesn’t mind whatsoever.  They then further explain to Debbie that “you like what you like and none of the rest of it matters,” which is actually spot on advice.  Be you Debbie!


“Going Fiona is not a thing!”

Fiona can be overbearing sometimes with her family, but that’s because she cares so much about them and wants what is best for them.  Only now they are almost all adults and perhaps she can finally let go a little bit.  Fiona goes with Ian to meet his lawyer and promises, “I’m just gonna listen,” but then proceeds to yell, “Are you kidding me?” when she hears something she doesn’t like.  Fiona wants Ian to plead insanity and doesn’t care how this impacts his “Gay Jesus” image.  She further explains that “nothing is bigger than family” and proceeds to go all Fiona on Ian’s supporter.  Debbie sheds some light on the situation and Fiona tries to say that “going Fiona is not a thing,” but starts to really think it over when Lip basically says the same thing to her.


“Whatever you want to do…I’m with you.”

After Fiona stands up Ford when she was preoccupied with looking for Ian, she starts to realize that maybe she does need to let Ian make his own decisions, even if she doesn’t necessarily agree with them.  Fiona clearly wants to still feel needed by her family and in a touching moment Ford asks, “Would it help if I needed you?”  Is anyone else shipping these two?  Ford may not be Jimmy/Steve, but he is being so supportive of Fiona and seems worthy for sure.  After dyeing his hair black and grabbing his clothes in a moment of panic, Ian realizes that he needs to face his crime head on.  When he comes downstairs before the trial, everyone is there to fully support Ian, even though they absolutely hate his hair.  Fiona finally lets go enough and tells Ian that she is with him no matter what he decides to do and Ian happily accepts her support…as long as she keeps her mouth shut of course.  During the trial, Ian takes full ownership of his crime, but also eloquently explains why he did what he did and ends up pleading guilty by insanity since he was off his meds.  I have to say that I was very proud of Ian in this moment and hopefully he can handle two years in prison.  Even though Ian may face never-ending days of boredom like Mr. Milkovich warned, at least he has his entire family waiting for him and always supporting him no matter what.  Stay tuned!

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


Amy Koto, 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!

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Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Affair” season 4 episode 3: “I’m your Boss”

Happy Monday TV fans!  After watching Showtime’s The Affair last night, I learned that sometimes the best thing we can do for someone we love is to merely be there to support them.  Even though we may want to immerse ourselves into their lives and their problems, we need to also recognize when to give the appropriate amount of space as well.  It’s not possible to control every situation even though we may want to.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.  In last night’s episode, “403,” Noah continues to try and make a difference with his students, specifically with Anton.  Meanwhile, Helen has trouble dealing with Vic’s diagnosis and clashes with his mother inadvertently.  My top 5 moments from The Affair season 4 episode 3 are:


“Please don’t pretend to be a real teacher.”

Part one of the episode opens up with Noah and we learn that he is still trying to make a difference with his students as well as with the administration at the school.  In a staff meeting, Noah brings up Anton and explains that he is worried about his life at home, but thinks that he has real potential.  We later discover that Anton is actually the principal, Janelle’s son, which puts Noah in an awkward position.  While the other teachers applaud Noah’s boldness, Noah goes to Janelle to apologize and explains that he didn’t know.  Janelle reveals her thoughts about hiring an ex-con at her school and sheds some light on what she has to deal with on an everyday basis.  After telling Noah not to pretend that he is a real teacher, Noah reveals how much he wants to be there and help Anton.  While these two are still clashing, sparks are definitely in the air and it’s only a matter of time before their passive aggressive comments lead to some passionate foreplay.


“I totally totally don’t.”

In part two, we see everything from Helen’s perspective and learn that Vic has been diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer.  Helen desperately wants to talk about a plan and all of her feelings, but Vic wants to focus on living out his life the way he wants to.  Helen’s neighbor, Sierra, interrupts a complicated discussion without realizing it and just really wants to get to know Helen and invites her to experience a kind of spiritual retreat.  Sierra represents the carefree California attitude that Helen is desperately trying to get away from and she ends up snapping at Sierra, revealing the true New Yorker within.  Sierra is surprisingly not offended by Helen’s quick dismissal and something tells me that she might be the key to opening up Helen to a whole new world whether she realizes it right now or not.


“Girl’s got a type.”

In the beginning of the episode, we are in present day time and Cole is with Noah and Anton in a car.  Anton hilariously tries to piece together their connection to Alison, which is laugh out loud funny.  Cole speaks to Alison’s mother, Athena, on the phone and learns that the last person she spoke to was Ben.  Cole mentions that Ben is married and Anton reminds them both that she certainly has a type.  While we still don’t know what has happened to Alison, it’s clear that Ben has something to do with it.  We’ll have to stay tuned for the mystery to continue to unfold, but I am loving the unexpected teamwork between Cole and Noah and Anton is lightening up the mood for sure.


“People in New York don’t take deep breaths.  They fight.”

After failing to get Vic to commit to getting a second opinion or treatment, Helen confides in her therapist about what is going on.  Rather than focus on her feelings, she tries to ask him about his connections in the medical field, desperately trying to find some way to help Vic.  Her therapist reminds her that perhaps what Vic really needs is for Helen to just love and support him, which is spot on.  Vic doesn’t want to rehash the diagnosis and he begs Helen not to tell his parents about him being sick.  After Vic is honored for his work, Helen confronts his mother in the bathroom and tells her what is going on.  Helen is shocked when his mother wants to leave and states that she is not feeling well.  Helen blurts out everything and Vic’s face is full of disappointment.  His mother leaves and tells him that she loves him and knows that he will figure out what to do.  Vic loses his temper with Helen and refuses to give her false hope, as he explains that his illness is very real and that he is going to die.  All Vic wants is to have a baby, but Helen feels almost like the walls are closing in on her when she sits in the doctor’s office waiting room and realizes that she is just simply too old for this.  Will Helen ultimately decide to go through with an unwanted pregnancy to give Vic what he wants or will she make the bold decision to follow her own path?


“I’m your boss.”

Noah continues to try and get through to his students and make them more engaged.  They are currently reading T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland,” and Noah introduces his students to the concept of “previewing.”  According to Noah, previewing is about “making intelligent predictions about what a book is based on first impressions.”  Some of his students participate and call out things like “creepy old white dude,” but Anton takes it a step further when he challenges the reading material and suggests that their curriculum include more relevant authors.  Noah is clearly impressed by Anton’s idea.  His students have been lately feeling like they are unheard and unfairly punished at school and Noah provides some inspiration for a walkout.  Whether it is intentional or not, Anton leads the class out the door and the walkout quickly escalates enough for the police to get involved.  When the media begins grilling Janelle about what is going on with her administration, Noah steps in and saves the day.  Only Janelle wasn’t really asking to be saved.  Later on, he sits with her at the bar and the two have a real and honest conversation.  When Noah walks Janelle out to the parking lot, the two share a passionate kiss, but Janelle quickly ends it and reminds him that she is his boss.  While I’m guessing this is not the last encounter we will see between Noah and Janelle, their relationship could become scandalous and have an impact on Anton.  We’ll have to stay tuned to see what happens next, but I have to say that I am loving the introduction of Sanaa Lathan’s character, Janelle on the show.  It’s about time someone truly challenged Noah and got him to see things from another perspective.

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


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl


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13 Reasons Why you should watch “13 Reasons Why” Season 2

If you’re a devoted television fan like me, then I’m sure you have heard of the Netflix show, 13 Reasons Why.  Last year I spent an entire day binge-watching the first season and I have to say that it had me laughing, crying, and shocked more than I thought possible.  I do recommend that you read the warnings before each episode, as some of the content can be emotionally disturbing.

Having said that, the characters on this show are so real and it’s hard not to connect to their stories and dive into their world.  Our hearts break for some characters and we find ourselves angry at others, but we learn that “everyone affects everyone” in some way or another and it’s up to us to decide how we are going to behave and who we are going to become in the process.  It may be difficult to step out of a label or an expectation, but doing the right thing and supporting the people around us is so much more important.

While season 1 focuses primarily on Hannah Baker’s story, season 2 gives us the chance to see what happened from other perspectives, as unlikely heroes emerge and second chances are presented.  Please note major spoilers are ahead.  My top 13 reasons to check out 13 Reasons Why season 2 are: 



Clay gets a tattoo.

In the beginning of season 2, Clay is still with Skye and we learn that it has been 5 months since Hannah committed suicide.  Clay decides to get a semicolon tattoo, but ends up passing out.  As a result, he has a “fucking comma.”  Skye has emotional problems of her own and ends up moving away, but is an important influence on Clay’s life.  At the end of the season, Clay returns to finish the tattoo.  The semicolon symbol is important, representing another way to continue a sentence, rather than end it simply with a period.  This can be true about a sentence, a story, and about one’s life.  Selena Gomez and several of the actors on 13 Reasons Why have gotten the same tattoo and have discussed its message and significance.  The tattoo marks the beginning of Clay’s new journey, as he tries to deal with his life without Hannah.  No one said it would be easy, but Clay is ready to move on.


“There’s always another side to every story.”

Part of what makes season 2 so great is that we get to see what happened from different perspectives.  In season 1, everything we learned was mostly through Hannah’s eyes.  However, season 2 allows us to explore more of that story and understand how her suicide has truly impacted those around her.  For example, we learn that Zach actually had a summer romance with Hannah and had real and true feelings for her.


Clay is still seeing Hannah.

It’s hard not to root for Clay and want the very best for him.  Clay’s world is still falling apart, even though he has tried to move on.  He begins seeing Hannah and even has full conversations with her throughout season 2.  Clay clearly understands that Hannah is gone, but his loneliness is sometimes too much to handle and it seems to bring him some sort of comfort to talk out loud to her.  While this allows us to see more of Hannah Baker, the real emphasis here is on Clay and him trying to make sense of his life and figure out a healthy way to move on and still get justice for Hannah.


“Feeling the pain and facing it.  That takes courage.”

Hannah’s mother, Mrs. Baker is dealing with quite a lot.  Her daughter is gone, her husband is filing for divorce, and she is consumed by the trial against the school.  It’s difficult to sit through the trial as some witnesses tell a truth that is difficult to hear, while others completely lie.  Later on we learn that Hannah was responsible for bullying a girl at her old school.  Hannah wasn’t perfect, but Mrs. Baker’s love for her is unconditional and like Clay, she desperately wants justice for her daughter.  Mrs. Baker does have a second chance to make things right, as she becomes an important influence for both Jessica and Alex.  While Mrs. Baker may not have been able to save Hannah, she has the opportunity here to make a real difference with two kids in pain.


Alex puts the pieces back together.

At the end of season 1, Alex shot himself in the head, but did survive.  It’s difficult for him to walk and he has lost huge chunks of his memory, but he is determined to put the pieces back together.  He even listens to the tapes again, which eventually Clay leaks out to everyone anonymously so that they can learn what truly happened.  In episode 11, a huge fight breaks out and Alex begins to remember things, like Monty’s part in all of this.  He refuses to sit by on the sidelines and becomes a character you can truly relate to.


“Love as infinity.”

In one of my favorite moments of season 2, Clay and Hannah are lying on the floor and looking up at the ceiling.  They discuss the concept of infinity and how to understand it and Hannah suggests that “maybe that’s how we understand it.  Love that goes on forever.”  In this moment, it’s like the entire world has stopped and it’s just Clay and Hannah.  Clay’s love for Hannah is beautiful and transcendent.  This is a memory he can always hold on to forever, suggesting that her words are actually spot on.


Unlikely heroes step forward.

Characters like Mr. Porter, Justin, and Zach all get second chances in season 2.  Mr. Porter breaks down in court and even though he did everything he could according to policy, he feels like he could have done more.  He ultimately loses his job, but his words are important and he tries to make a difference in as many lives as he can.  While he feels like he let Hannah down, he has a second chance to make it right.  Justin has been living on the streets and Clay finds him and lets him stay at his house secretly.  Justin has an addiction to heroin and has been dealing with quite a lot, but he is able to do the right thing and tell the court and the police what he saw Bryce do to Jessica.  While Justin has consequences of his own because of his involvement, he is willing to do the right thing and become someone to be proud of.  When Clay tells Justin that his family wants to adopt him, it looks like he can finally get the second chance he deserves.  Now he just needs to kick that nasty drug habit.  Zach is another character who becomes an unlikely hero.  Even when he was with Hannah, he was a coward and allowed Bryce and the others to make fun of her.  Zach finally breaks out of this and stands against Bryce.  In the huge fight in episode 11, he finally picks a side.  Zach is an important character because he reminds us that sometimes it’s easier to do nothing and stay quiet, but taking a stand takes real courage and can shape us into who we are meant to be.


“Some people will still blame others.”

While many of the characters are trying to pick up the pieces and move on, poor Tyler is having a rough go at it.  While it’s easy to dislike Bryce who refuses to believe that he is wrong, a character like Monty can be even more dangerous.  Monty’s actions are cruel and disturbing.  In a graphic sexual assault, Monty does the unthinkable to Tyler.  The rape scene in the bathroom is extremely difficult to watch.  Tyler is traumatized and is looking to take revenge against his classmates as a result of this.  Even though unlikely heroes have emerged, there are still bullies and villains present, refusing to take a hard look in the mirror to see what they have done.  Bryce and Monty have destroyed lives with their actions.  But will they ever truly try to make amends?


Justice for Jessica.

Jessica is having a very difficult time coping and is unable to name Bryce throughout most of season 2.  After Justin comes forward, Jessica is able to finally file a police report.  Even though Bryce gets off with 3 months probation, she no longer needs to hide from the truth.  Jessica learns how to live her life without being defined by something that happened to her and to step forward for those who can’t.  For example, Chloe has the opportunity to speak out against Bryce and can’t go through with it.  However, Chloe has another problem to deal with, as she confides in Jessica that she is pregnant.  Jessica is also able to get justice for Hannah in this moment as well, who never got the chance to speak out against Bryce.  Even though the trial ends with ruling in favor of the school, what happened to Hannah is not to be forgotten.  Jessica’s justice is also extremely important.


“I can love you and still let you go.”

Earlier in season 2, Skye leaves and says these words to Clay.  They are beautiful and meaningful and later when Clay speaks at Hannah’s service, he applies them to his love for Hannah.  The service allows everyone to finally say goodbye to Hannah and cherish her memory.  Clay’s eulogy is so real and heartbreaking.  While he will never forget Hannah, he is ready to move on with his life.


“The Night we Met.”

In the season 2 finale, Clay and everyone are at the school dance.  “The Night we Met” song comes on again, which is the song he danced with Hannah to.  Clay’s emotions begin overwhelming him and Tony immediately goes to find him when he hears the song.  In a beautiful moment, Tony and all of his friends surround Clay and sway back and forth to the music.  All of these characters have come together to be there for Clay.  He is no longer alone and these characters are now linked forever.  In season 1, they were all brought together by terrible secrets, but in season 2 they are brought together to honor Hannah and to support each other no matter what comes their way.


“What do we do?  Do we look the other way or do we help them?”

When Clay discovers that Tyler is on his way to the school with an assault rifle, everyone suggests that they call the police and get out of there.  Clay refuses to run away, however.  He knows that Hannah would want him to step in and help.  It’s never too late and Clay risks his life trying to tell Tyler this.  Tony gets Tyler out of there in the nick of time, while Clay is left standing outside holding the gun.  In this moment, Clay is beyond courageous, but he has a lot to explain once the police show up.


“But no matter how many reasons there might be why, there are always more why not.”

This is probably the most significant moment for me.  Mrs. Baker finds Hannah’s list of reasons and discovers that she made a list of reasons why not.  Clay and “Helmet” are on there, which reveals how important he truly was to Hannah.  Mrs. Baker tries to tell him that she left so many reasons out and that there are always more reasons why not, reminding us that living is what’s important.  Clay and the other characters are ready to finally start living.  The tragic moments are always going to happen and we can’t always control that, but we can control what we do afterwards.  It’s what makes us who we are; who we can still become.

 I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on 13 Reasons Why in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading and happy viewing!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl


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