Spoiler-Free Review of “Panic” on Prime Video: Let the Game Begin

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

“Every small town has a secret…ours has a game.”

Panic premiered on Amazon Prime Video on May 28th 2021 with ten episodes available to stream now. The series stars Olivia Welch, Ray Nicholson, Jessica Sula, Mike Faist, and Camron Jones. Each episode runs for approximately 40-45 minutes. 

After graduating from high school in a small Texas town, the seniors compete in a secret dangerous game to score a chance at a competitive cash prize that will grant them an escape from their boring lives. The series is based on the book of the same name by Lauren Oliver.

Here is the trailer:

Panic may initially appear to be a standard YA series filled with tropes and drama, but the show manages to hook its audience with the very first episode, reeling us in for more and more as the clever plot reveals the secrets and mysteries behind the game. Is Panic worthy of your next binge-watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Panic Spoiler Free Review 1

Images courtesy of Prime Video

Draws you in with adrenaline filled episodes.

This show was very effective at maintaining a fast pace even with some of the drama and set-up sprinkled in. I was invested from the start and by the time we got to the explosive end of the first episode, I needed to know what happened next and this continued to happen with the remaining episodes.

The episodes are only about 45 minutes in length but I often felt like I was only watching for five minutes because I was so drawn in. 

Addicting premise with characters to root for.

The game itself is actually really interesting and intense. I found myself playing along with the characters, but it also helped to have really interesting characters to root for. I thought that each character had a lot to offer, but Heather, Ray, and Natalie were my favorites and I wanted each of them to succeed for different reasons.

The Cons:

Panic Spoiler Free Review 2

Images courtesy of Prime Video

Predictable teenage drama.

This is a YA series and we do get quite a lot of teen drama sprinkled into the mix. There is the obvious love triangle, the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, the girl who is trying to do right by her family, and the supportive best friend. There was nothing truly unique or extraordinary here, but I kind of dug some of the drama and it wasn’t enough to overshadow everything else going on.

Also, it seemed like the cops were just really dumb in this show. It’s a small town so it shouldn’t be this hard to crack the case, but as long as you go into this show expecting to see some tropes and unrealistic moments, you will still be highly entertained.

So am I in or out?

Panic Spoiler Free Review 3

Images courtesy of Prime Video

I’m in 100 percent!

I went into this show thinking I was going to get a watered down version of The Hunger Games and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I became obsessed with this show. This show is absolutely worthy of your next binge-watch and I think that Prime Video is really stepping up its game with YA thrillers. After the success of The Wilds, I am hoping that people will enjoy Panic also because I would love to see a second season…especially after that ending!

This show was so entertaining and really addicting. If you’re looking for a fast paced show with lots of twists and reveals, you are in the right place. 

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

THIS COMPETITION IS KILLER…

Scream Hunt Coming Soon

When former friends, Shay and Adriana team up to participate in a Halloween scavenger hunt with a cash prize, they temporarily put their differences aside to outsmart their opponents. However, they soon start to realize that a dangerous threat is playing their own version of the game, stalking them during each hunt.

Winning is now a necessity as their lives are at stake. As old wounds and memories re-surface, Shay and Adriana attempt to unmask the threat before the night is over, but soon learn that Scream Hunt is not done with them just yet…

My new young adult horror thriller comes out October 7th 2021! I hope you enjoy!

Scream Hunt is available here!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Cruel Summer” on Freeform: Mean Girls with Bite

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

“Who do you believe?”

Cruel Summer premiered on Freeform on April 20th 2021. The series is set to air ten weekly episodes. It stars Olivia Holt, Chiara Aurelia, Harley Quinn Smith, Michael Landes, and Froy Gutierrez. Each episode runs for approximately 50 minutes.

The events we witness take place over three summers in the 1990’s as a teen goes missing and another girl mysteriously takes her place.

Here is the trailer:

Cruel Summer adapts a typical teen thriller formula into something different by presenting us with three timelines that jump back and forth. It’s something bold and unique, but does it get in the way of this already entertaining plot? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Cruel Summer Spoiler Free Review 1

Images courtesy of Freeform

Mean Girls meets Single White Female.

Sure, it’s been done before, but this is a formula for success. I really loved this vibe and I was drawn into the plot and mystery completely. I can’t predict what is going on and I am actually really excited to see what happens next.

I also really like that I’m not sure who to root for just yet. The opening two episodes present us with different perspectives and of course things are not as they seem.

The performances are actually pretty on point and I thought that Kevin Smith’s daughter, Harley Quinn Smith was really great and I’m excited to see her in this role.

Cruel Summer Spoiler Free Review 2

Images courtesy of Freeform

90’s nostalgia.

Much like Little Fires Everywhere, this show is also bringing us some 90’s nostalgia with the fashion and music soundtrack. I’m not sure it was truly necessary for this show, but it’s an added bonus and I am enjoying the throwback so far.

The Cons:

Cruel Summer Spoiler Free Review 3

Images courtesy of Freeform

Trippy time jumps.

While I appreciate that this show is trying to do something different, the trippy time jumps become really confusing and distracting. I actually think that the show is really good without these flashes every few minutes and while the actresses do a great job of reminding us which Jeanette and Kate we are dealing with, my head started to hurt after a while.

So am I in or out?

Cruel Summer Spoiler Free Review 4

Images courtesy of Freeform

I’m in!

Even with the trippy time jumps, this show is really addicting. I think that it might quickly become one of my favorite shows and I am really excited to see the mystery unfold over the next several weeks.

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

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Who Killed Sara?” on Netflix: A Steamy Murder Mystery

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

Revenge can be a powerful motivator.

Who Killed Sara? premiered on Netflix on March 24th 2021 with ten episodes available to stream now. The series stars Manola Cardona, Alejandro Nones, Carolina Miranda, Ximena Lamadrid and Eugenio Siller. Each episode runs for approximately 40 minutes. 

The Mexican crime series, ¿Quién mató a Sara? centers around Alex, who was wrongfully framed for his sister’s murder. Eighteen years later, he is determined to get revenge and expose the real killer, as family secrets are exposed and new alliances are formed.

Here is the trailer:

Who Killed Sara? may initially seem like a soapy guilty pleasure drama and there is plenty of that to go around, but does the murder mystery measure up? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Sara 1

Images courtesy of Netflix

The murder mystery is a good one.

The series starts off with a bang. We are immediately brought into the center of the horrific flashback, which presents us with a horrible crime, setting up the motivation for our main character to get justice for the murder of his sister.

The murder mystery kept me invested the entire time. There are plenty of twists thrown our way to keep us guessing and I thought that the show did a good job of presenting us with multiple suspects without giving too much away.

The overall pacing of the show worked really well. The episodes are short and the flashbacks were actually relevant and furthered the plot along.

Sara 2

Images courtesy of Netflix

Characters to root for.

There are some really awful characters in this show, but the main characters have complex stories and layers. I felt the chemistry between them and I also wanted to know more about each and every one of them. As secrets and dark pasts are revealed, you start to piece together the mystery at the center of it all, which worked well.

The Cons:

Sara 3

Images courtesy of Netflix

Unnecessary and outrageous subplots.

There are a lot of characters and a lot of subplots to keep up with. Plus, we get a lot of unnecessary and extra sex scenes that pushed this thriller over to the soap opera side, but I thought we were reeled in enough by the mystery to prevent this from overpowering the show.

However, I thought some of the dialogue and references seemed outdated and ridiculous. If we start to map together how our main character is figuring this all out and how others are getting away with things, everything starts to become a bit silly, but as long as we manage our expectations, the guilty pleasure mystery is enough to keep us entertained.

So am I in or out?

Sara 4

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in!

Yes, the show can be borderline outrageous and ridiculous, but it also delivers a well thought out mystery that keeps you wanting more. This show is the definition of a guilty pleasure binge-watch. If you enjoy the UK Harlan Coben mysteries and shows like The Undoing, you will feel right at home.

Who Killed Sara? was thoroughly entertaining and it kept me guessing until that cliffhanger ending. Wow! Luckily, Netflix has already confirmed that we can expect to see a second season in the future. Phew!

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My new supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen 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 “Tell Me Your Secrets” on Prime Video: Lily Rabe puts forth a Valiant Effort

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

“It’s dangerous to be afraid…”

Tell Me Your Secrets premiered on Prime Video on February 19th 2021 with ten episodes available to stream now. The series stars Lily Rabe, Amy Brenneman, and Hamish Linklater. Each episode runs for approximately 50 minutes. 

The series follows Karen/Emma, who was romantically involved with a serial killer. She is released from prison and goes into witness protection, but the mother of one of the victims is determined to get some answers about where her daughter is and resorts to working with a former criminal to do so.

Here is the trailer:

Tell Me Your Secrets has a talented cast while giving us vibes of Big Little Lies and The Undoing, but you have to wonder why TNT passed on the show a few years ago. The show has a lot of potential, but sometimes less is more. Does Tell Me Your Secrets do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Tell Me Your Secrets Lily Rabe

Images courtesy of Prime Video

Lily Rabe is brilliant.

I was already a fan of hers from American Horror Story, but she really is such a talented actress and I hope to see her in more and more. She really breathed so much life and depth into her character and she kept me coming back for more.

The rest of the cast is fantastic too although I think Amy Brenneman might have over-done it a little bit. Either way, I witnessed some incredible performances despite the lacking plot.

The Cons:

Tell Me Your Secrets 2

Images courtesy of Prime Video

Too many sub-plots.

I understand that the show was attempting to link three characters together, but it felt like there were way too many plots going on and I didn’t have the energy to keep up. It’s actually really frustrating because I think that if this show had just focused on Lily Rabe’s character and her chance to start over, it might have been a lot more entertaining.

It just got over-complicated and the pacing really dragged for me.

Heavy and depressing.

I really enjoy mystery thrillers, but this particular one felt so dark and depressing. I just couldn’t get in the right frame of mind to watch it. Even the music was so strange and it didn’t do the show any favors. 

So am I in or out?

Tell Me Your Secrets 3

Images courtesy of Prime Video

Unfortunately I’m out on this one…

I really think that Lily Rabe did a great job and was probably the only saving grace of this show. There were some interesting things going on in the show, but my focus was split too much and I couldn’t connect to the other story-lines. If you are looking for a thought-provoking thriller, I recommend watching The Undoing instead.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My new supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen 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 “A Discovery of Witches” Season 2 on Shudder: Let’s do the Time Walk again

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

“Wherever they are, they can’t stay gone forever…”

A Discovery of Witches season 2 premiered on Sky TV, Sundance Now, Shudder, and AMC plus on January 8th 2021 with the first episode available to stream now. There will be ten episodes in total that will air weekly. The series stars Teresa Palmer, Matthew Goode, Malin Buska, and Owen Teale. Each episode runs for approximately 45 minutes. 

Picking up right where we left off at the end of season one, A Discovery of Witches season 2 seems to be following the second book in the All Souls Trilogy series. Diana Bishop is a witch and a time walker, which allows her and Matthew the chance to travel back in time to find the lost text that everyone is desperate to get their hands on.

Here is the trailer:

A Discovery of Witches season 2 has the opportunity to really pick things up, but it looks like the plot may be straying slightly off course from the beloved book series. Will it measure up? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

A Discovery of Witches Diana Bishop

Images courtesy of Shudder

Visually stunning and gorgeous costumes.

The change in time and scenery really helped this show stand out visually. I almost felt like I was watching several paintings come to life through each transition and it looks like Teresa Palmer will be getting quite the wardrobe while stuck in the late 1500’s.

Intriguing plot.

The second book of the series is my favorite so I am very excited to see how the show measures up. So far the premiere is off to a good start, leaving us with a cliffhanger ending and some dark theories potentially tainting the love between Diana and Matthew. Deborah Harkness has posted that there will be some differences between the book and the show, which could be a very good thing. I often like to see a good balance between the two and so far the show has been succeeding with this.

The Cons:

A Discovery of Witches season 2

Images courtesy of Shudder

Slow pacing.

Much like the first season, the second season is already moving at a slower pace. This isn’t necessarily a con because I think it has a Gothic romance type of feel in many parts, but I’m ready for Diana to unleash some crazy power already. We have a ways to go with season two and I’m hoping we will reach that point, but I don’t want the episodes to feel overly long at only 45 minutes each.

So am I in or out?

A Discovery of Witches season 2 2

Images courtesy of Shudder

I’m in!

I am a devoted fan to this book series and I was satisfied with season one. I’m looking forward to the change in time and scenery for season 2 and I am confident that we will see Diana start to tap into more abilities to liven things up.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on A Discovery of Witches (season 2) in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My new supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen 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 “The Wilds” on Prime Video: So Much More than a “LOST” Rip-Off

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

“We should have died, but we didn’t…”

The Wilds premiered on Amazon Prime Video on December 11th 2020 with ten episodes available to stream now. The series stars Sarah Pidgeon, Mia Healey, Sophia Ali, Reign Edwards, and Rachel Griffiths. Each episode runs for approximately 50-55 minutes. 

The show is about a group of teenage girls who end up stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes.

Sound familiar? Well, it certainly screams LOST with its premise, but the twists and reveals lead us down a unique path that begs to be explored.

Here is the trailer:

The Wilds attempts to find a balance between mystery and survival while exploring the past of each stranded girl with flashbacks. While I can’t dismiss the similarities between both shows, does The Wilds do enough to stand apart from LOST? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Wilds Prime Video Spoiler-Free Review 1

Images courtesy of Prime Video

Believable characters with layers.

When I first started watching this show, I was worried that these girls would quickly blend into uninspiring stock characters. The party girl, the Christian girl, the athlete, the outcast…

The list seemed to be all there and yet each and every one of these characters took that stereotype and stomped on it completely, revealing what truly makes them tick. Each character has struggled in some way or another, but their journey really helped shape them into characters to root for, which is important in a show like this.

The Wilds Prime VIdeo Spoiler-Free Review 2

Images courtesy of Prime Video

Quickly forms its own identity with addicting and intense reveals.

While the first episode will really make you think of LOST and Lord of the Flies, the show quickly finds its footing and actually lures us into an enticing mystery that is very different. The twists were well placed and each reveal pulled me in that much more, which made this binge-watch friendly.

The episodes were almost an hour and I didn’t even mind because I was so hooked.

And that ending…wow!

The Cons:

The Wilds Spoiler Free Review 3

Images courtesy of Prime Video

The trailer doesn’t do this show justice…

From the trailer, I thought that I was going to watch a LOST rip-off with a lot of teenage melodrama. Instead, I got a thought-provoking emotional thrill ride that may have been one of the best things I have watched in a long time.

This show could have easily gone a different way and instead it really surprised me. If you were thinking about skipping the show from the trailer alone, you should give it a try because it exceeded my expectations and then some.

So am I in or out?

The Wilds Spoiler Free Review 4

Images courtesy of Prime Video

I’m in 100 percent!

This series was so addicting, but it also really dived deep into some emotionally stirring moments that created important layers for the show. Similar to why I love LOST so much, this show was about so much more than being stranded on an island after a plane crash. It was about character connections and moments of both strength and weakness colliding. 

I loved this show so much and I am beyond excited that it already got picked up for season two because I need to know what happens next after that major cliffhanger! 

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My new supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen 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 “Saved by the Bell” Reboot on Peacock TV: Bayside Gets a Reality Check

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

It’s alright because Bayside is back! Well…sorta.

Saved by the Bell (2020) premiered on Peacock TV on November 25th 2020 with ten new episodes available to stream now. While the Peacock app is free, you need a premium subscription to watch the show for reference. The reboot sitcom stars Haskiri Velazquez, Mitchell Hoog, Josie Totah, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, and Mario Lopez. Each episode runs for approximately 25-28 minutes. 

Based on the original sitcom, which aired from 1989-1993, the reboot of the beloved iconic 90’s show brings us back to Bayside, but things have certainly changed. Zack Morris is now the governor (still married to Kelly), Jessie is the guidance counselor, and Slater is the gym teacher.

We get a brand new set of students, which include Zack and Kelly’s son, Mac, and Jessie’s son, Jamie, along with a group of students from the other side of town that were recently displaced from their own high school. The students will now all attend school together, which shakes up the Bayside self-absorbed bubble quite a bit.

Here is the trailer:

Saved by the Bell (2020) has the chance to give fans some nostalgia while creating something new and different for a new audience, but does it still capture the charm of the original series while finding its own identity? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Saved by the Bell Reboot Review 1

Images courtesy of Peacock

Welcomed nostalgia.

 The gang is back! Well, most of them anyway. While some of our favorite characters only return for cameos, Jessie and Slater have recurring roles throughout the series. While a lot of the references were kind of forced upon the audience, I thought that episode 8 was absolutely fantastic and the best episode by far.

If you have mixed thoughts about the reboot, I recommend that you at least check out this episode. It really was a lot of fun!

Saved by the Bell Reboot Review 2

Images courtesy of Peacock

A reality check for Bayside.

When I go back and watch the old episodes, Bayside almost seems like it is completely displaced from actual reality. Real issues are discussed, but a lot is sugar-coated. I thought it was really smart to have the new students attend Bayside, shattering the self-absorbed normalcy some of the characters had while keeping everything fresh and relevant for its new audience.

In a way, the show playfully makes fun of itself, but in a good way.

The Cons:

Saved by the Bell Reboot Review 3

Images courtesy of Peacock

Trying a little too hard.

While the reboot has a fresh and new take on things, it tries a little bit too hard to force some of the references on the new audience. I loved the change up with the iconic “Time Out” scenes, but I also thought that a lot of things might be totally lost on the new audience.

There needed to be more of a balance between the nostalgia and the new plot and the opening episodes were almost painful to watch because of this.

Having said that, each episode actually got better as the show went on and I think that’s because the show settled down on its identity and just had fun with it.

Lacking laughs.

As cheesy as it was, the original episodes always made me smile, chuckle, or laugh. While some of the jokes did land, I thought that the majority of them missed the mark. I also felt that Zack’s son was slightly obnoxious and lacked the charisma of his father.

Sure, Zack Morris was a schemer and he made a lot of wrong calls throughout the show, but his son’s character didn’t really have any redeeming qualities and I thought that layers were missing for many of the new characters. We saw glimpses here and there, but I honestly wanted more from them.

Our new principal was the perfect choice, however! 

So am I in or out?

Saved by the Bell Reboot Review 4

Images courtesy of Peacock

I’m in about 75 percent.

I’ll be honest. I was initially not feeling this show at all. The first two episodes really didn’t grab my attention and I didn’t connect at all. However, I stuck around (mostly because I just got this subscription to Peacock) and I’m glad I did.

The show eventually did find its identity and also gave us some welcomed cameos and nostalgia to balance things out. There were enough entertaining moments to keep you invested and intrigued.

I would recommend giving it a chance even if you absolutely hate the first two episodes and at least check out episode 8!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Saved By the Bell (2020) in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

 

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My new supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen 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 “Big Sky” on ABC: Highway Thrills and Spills

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

Beware the open road…

Big Sky premiered on ABC on November 17th 2020. The series will feature 10 weekly episodes. It stars Katheryn Winnick, Kylie Bunbury, Ryan Phillippe, and Brian Geraghty.

Based on the novel, “The Highway,” this new David E. Kelley series follows a small town kidnapping mystery, revealing character connections along the way.

Here is the trailer:

Big Sky may be the new roadside thriller we need, but does it do enough to keep us invested? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Big Sky ABC 2

Images courtesy of ABC

Enough twists to keep you coming back for more.

I wouldn’t say that this thriller is delivering anything new, but it’s just what I need right now. I want to know more and the twists grabbed my attention. That will at least have me coming back for two more episodes to see what is going on here.

There are some creepy and intense moments sprinkled in as well, but we need more!

Big Sky ABC 1

Images courtesy of ABC

Supporting characters steal the show.

There are plenty of familiar faces in this series and I was excited to see Ryan Phillippe back on the small screen. I’m a huge fan of Cruel Intentions and I Know What You Did Last Summer, but I really enjoyed his performance in the suspense series, Secrets and Lies that came out a few years ago.

However, I have to give props to some of the minor characters who managed to keep this show alive in the midst of some lacking performances. The potential victims are a lot more interesting than some of the obvious stars and I want to know more about them.

The Cons:

Big Sky ABC 3

Images courtesy of ABC

The sub-plot is lacking…

I mean, really lacking. We jump into these soap-opera-esque cat fights filled with bad dialogue and acting. I was honestly ready to turn the show off during several points because of this. The mystery is enough to keep me invested for now, but that can quickly change.

Weird mentions of the pandemic.

I don’t know if this was meant to be intentional because of the timing of this release, but we get a few misplaced mentions of the pandemic. Only we don’t see anyone wearing masks and there is little context here.

I’m not sure that this was really necessary and it didn’t do the show any favors.

So am I in or out?

Big Sky ABC 4

Images courtesy of ABC

I’m about 50/50 on this one.

The acting and writing is lacking in a lot of areas and it may be enough to make you tune out on this one for good, but if you enjoy guilty-pleasure thrillers, there is enough happening to keep you coming back for more.

I have to admit that the twist at the end of the pilot episode changed my tune and now I want to see what happens next. Either way, I’m in for a little bit more, but I’ve definitely lowered my expectations.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My new supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen 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 “Helstrom” on Hulu: Where’s the horror?

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

“I’m not here to hold hands or save a cat from a tree or respond to false alarms….”

Helstrom is a new superhero horror series on Hulu, which premiered as part of their Huluween line-up on October 16th 2020 with 10 episodes available to stream now (approximately 55 minutes in length). It stars Tom Austen, Sydney Lemmon, and Elizabeth Marvel.

Based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe character, Daimon Hellstrom (Son of Satan), the series follows siblings, Daimon and Ana Helstrom. The estranged siblings possess supernatural abilities that aid in their quest to exorcise demons and eliminate threats, while they come to terms with their dark past.

Here is the trailer:

A horror superhero series could be filled with lots of potential, but it’s concerning that Marvel removed its name from the title. Either way, I went into this show hoping for some welcomed dark horror, along with some new unique characters. But does Helstrom do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Helstrom Elizabeth Marvel

Images courtesy of Hulu

Elizabeth Marvel is bloody fantastic!

I was a fan of hers already, but wow does she play this part well. She is the mother of Daimon and Ana and is showing signs of being possessed by a demon. We’ve seen show after show featuring some kind of demon possession, but I have to say that she frightened me and in a very good way.

Ana’s wardrobe is to die for.

Helstrom Ana

Images courtesy of Hulu

Every single time she made an entrance, I was drooling over her wardrobe and then some. Ana was the stronger character for me throughout the series, but her amazing outfits definitely helped capture my attention.

The Cons:

Helstrom on Hulu

Images courtesy of Hulu

Slow, unfocused, and sloppy.

I really had high hopes for this show and the cast had the potential to really bring it to life, but the execution did not translate well. The pacing is extremely slow, the reveals are not rewarding enough, and the characters don’t have enough layers to keep you invested. 

There have been plenty of shows about demonic possession and jaded antiheroes reminding us of the good vs. evil premise that just do this better. Shows like Lucifer, Constantine, Outcast, and Supernatural come to mind.

Unworthy of the horror label.

I was actually really excited to watch another horror superhero premise. There is something to be said about the dark line between right and wrong and the darkness that lurks beneath the surface of humanity.

Unfortunately, Helstrom never really earned its horror badge. There were a few cringe-worthy scenes that were displeasing to the eye, but that’s about it…

So am I in or out?

Helstrom on Hulu 2

Images courtesy of Hulu

I’m in for the fashion, but unfortunately I’m out on this watch.

The show fell into the forgettable limbo of overdone demonic possession shows for me. The pacing was slow and there were a lot of missed opportunities. 

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Lovecraft Country” on HBO: Jaw-Dropping Terror

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

“Stories are like people…you just try and cherish them and overlook their flaws but their flaws are still there…”

Lovecraft Country is a new series from executive producers Misha Green, Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams. The show premiered on August 16th 2020. It will feature 10 episodes, airing weekly (approximately 55-60 minutes in length). The show stars Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, and Courtney B. Vance.

Based on the novel by Matt Ruff, Lovecraft Country introduces us to Atticus Freeman, a former African-American soldier who is on a quest to find his missing father during the 1950’s. His uncle and former childhood friend agree to help him, as they encounter threats involving racism and the supernatural along the way.

Here is the trailer:

Lovecraft Country starts off with an out of this world opening that will immediately have you questioning reality. While the show brings us some frightening horror that will leave goosebumps on your flesh, the real terror is embedded within the racism and white supremacists, reminding us that monsters and evil can come in many forms.

But, has Lovecraft Country done enough to continue capturing our attention week after week? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Lovecraft Country HBO 1
Images courtesy of HBO

A talented cast with lots of potential.

The characters are intriguing, but we have a lot to learn about them. However, I can say that the performances are already beyond brilliant. I just hope that we get the character development we need because these three actors are so incredible and I want to continue watching them shine across the screen.

Lovecraft Country HBO 2
Images courtesy of HBO

The last thirty minutes of the pilot episode are beyond terrifying.

My attention may have been wavering throughout the setup of the episode. The pilot is actually quite long, but when I got to the last thirty minutes, it was like time stood still. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and there were some moments that actually truly frightened me. I definitely felt the J.J. Abrams vibe here, but it worked. More please! Although…I might have to watch with the lights on.

Lovecraft Country HBO 3
Images courtesy of HBO

Visually breathtaking.

The lighting and the colors used were just stunning. I also thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack. It really helped transport me somewhere else without overdoing it.

The Cons:

Lovecraft Country HBO 4
Images courtesy of HBO

Slow moving at times.

It felt like there was a lot of setup throughout the episode, but almost for the wrong things. I wanted to know more about our main characters, but my attention began to trail off several times and this was a long episode.

I’m not really sure what this show wants to be.

While I knew that there would be several genres blending together in this show, I was a little lost at the end. There are elements of sci-fi, horror, and drama, but I’m not sure if the show has necessarily claimed its true identity just yet. However, I’m still invested enough and I would like to find out more.

So am I in or out?

Lovecraft Country HBO 5
Images courtesy of HBO

I’m in about 75 percent! The last thirty minutes changed my tune quite a bit. The show reveals a lot and really exposes the horror of Sundown towns and extreme racism. There is enough going on to give this show the potential to become something truly magnificent. However, I’m hoping that its wavering identity doesn’t get in the way because this talented cast deserves an entertaining story. Either way, I’m planning on watching the remaining episodes and I have high hopes.

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

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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!