Spoiler-Free Review of “Stay Close” on Netflix: Harlan Coben does it again!

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

“Do they know who you were in your previous life?”

Harlan Coben’s Stay Close premiered on Netflix on December 31st 2021. The mystery thriller series features eight episodes available to stream now. It stars Cush Jumbo, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt, Sarah Parish and Bethany Antonia. Each episode runs for approximately 42-48 minutes.

As Megan prepares for her upcoming wedding, her dangerous past comes back to haunt her, connecting her to a mysterious murder while threatening her new life and family.

Here is the trailer:

Stay Close follows Harlan Coben’s compelling and addicting formula perfectly, but does this series do enough to keep up with The Stranger and The Innocent? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Netflix

An engrossing mystery…

I’ve come to expect this from the Harlan Coben mysteries, but this series is no exception. I was immediately pulled in right from the start and each episode did plenty to bring me back for more. This show was so much fun to binge-watch. It kept me guessing the entire time and did a great job of revealing just enough to keep the audience fully invested.

Images courtesy of Netflix

A final twist I didn’t see coming!

I’ve gotten pretty good at piecing together Harlan Coben mysteries, but there is always one final twist that throws me for a loop and this may be the best twist I have seen so far! I am still in shock over it!

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Netflix

A lot to keep track of…

If you’re used to Harlan Coben mysteries, then you already know that there will be plenty of sub-plots to make your head spin, but everything eventually connects in the end. I wouldn’t really say this is a con, but you need to pay attention to everything and even if some characters seem slightly ridiculous, they’ll start to grow on you…

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in 100 percent!!!

Stay Close is a fantastic mystery that will keep you guessing. I loved every second of it! I think it absolutely kept up with The Stranger and The Innocent, but it did something new and different as well! The mystery will keep you coming back for more, but this series has so much going for it and it is beyond worthy of your next watch!

Start the year off with an addicting thriller that will make you binge-watch to your heart’s content!

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

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 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!

Ranking my Top 20 Television Shows of 2021: Which Shows Made The Cut?

It’s that time of year again! As we get closer and closer to approaching 2022, I thought it would be the perfect time to count down my Top 20 TV Shows of 2021. 

While some returning shows continued strong, others fell off slightly. Meanwhile, some other new shows completely captivated my attention, paving their way into my top 20.

Without any further delay, let’s get to my list!

My Top 20 Television Shows of 2021 are:

20

Shadow and Bone

Image courtesy of Netflix

Based on the popular book, this fantasy series packed a punch in a good way. There was a lot to keep track of in this magical world, but plenty to be excited about, making this a great binge-watch with terrific characters.

19

The Sex Lives of College Girls

Image courtesy of HBO Max

 

This show was such a pleasant surprise. It had an unrated Mean Girls vibe and was actually really funny and charming. I am so thrilled that this show got picked up for a second season and I can’t wait to see more!

18

Kevin Can F… Himself

Image courtesy of AMC

 

One of the most unique shows I have ever watched! I really thought this show was genius and it had such an interesting and dark concept. If you are looking for something new and different, give this show a whirl. It’s worth it!

17

Panic

Image courtesy of Prime Video

 

I really loved this show so much. I thought it was going to be really gimmicky and instead it was so addicting! The dynamic between the characters was fantastic and there was a romance brewing to swoon over and then some! I’m really disappointed it wasn’t picked up for a second season, but I think things wrap up enough in the first season to satisfy fans for the most part.

16

Hawkeye

Image courtesy of Disney+

 

This show had the perfect mix of action and humor. This unlikely partnership was actually really sweet and I thought that the show had a nice wholesome vibe that is family friendly. Plus, the dog is awesome! What’s not to love?

15

My Name

Image courtesy of Netflix

 

One of the most powerful female characters I have seen on television in a long time! This revenge series was so gritty and consuming. It brought up so many emotions, but I was there for the journey and I’m really glad that I gave this show a chance!

14

Yellowjackets

Image courtesy of Showtime

 

Dark and twisted with a cast to die for! This series is very much LOST meets The Wilds, but it has a lot of reveals still remaining. The past and present collide in this addicting series and I’m excited to see what season two brings to the table as well!

13

Hellbound

Image courtesy of Netflix

 

This South Korean horror drama series may be one of the most disturbing things I have ever watched, brought to us from the director of Train to Busan. In a lot of ways, this show is about how dangerous misguided faith in the wrong hands can be, as it shows how easily humanity can fall apart when real fear comes into play.

12

Who Killed Sara? (Seasons 1 and 2)

Image courtesy of Netflix

 

This show is the definition of a guilty pleasure thriller. There is the perfect blend of soap-opera drama mixed in with a compelling murder mystery that will throw so many twists and turns at you, that you will completely dismiss how ridiculous some of them are and just enjoy the ride.

One of the most addicting series of the year for sure!

11

Dexter: New Blood

Image courtesy of Showtime

 

I didn’t really know what to expect with this new series, but wow it has been absolutely brilliant! The show managed to bring back the original vibe of the series while creating something new and relevant for Dexter without overdoing it. I’m completely hooked! 

10

You (season 3)

Image courtesy of Netflix

 

My favorite season yet! The move to the suburbs was the right call for our favorite serial killers. The dynamic between Joe and Love really made this season exceptional and I was invested the entire time! Talk about a binge-watcher’s dream!

9

Mare of Easttown

Image courtesy of HBO Max

 

Emotionally stirring, an out-of-this-world performance by Kate Winslet, a heartfelt partnership, and a compelling mystery. This show was so well made and really showed off Kate’s range in the best way possible.

8

Clickbait

Image courtesy of Netflix

 

Another really addicting show and premise! I was hooked from the opening episode and I could not stop watching this show. As soon as I thought I had figured something out about the mystery, I was thrown in another direction and the show did a really fantastic job of keeping you guessing right up until the very end!

7

The Witcher (season 2)

Image courtesy of Netflix

 

A fantasy adventure filled with gore, laughs, and epic moments! This season really found its way and the dynamic between the main characters really elevated this show in so many ways, making it the perfect show to binge-watch before the end of the year. I loved it!

6

Lucifer (Final Season)

Image courtesy of Netflix

 

It’s not easy ending a series and I thought that Lucifer managed to truly make a final season for the fans. The episodes were fantastic, the characters all got a chance to truly shine and that ending had me in tears in the best way possible! I will miss this show but I do think that it really stuck the landing, which is far from easy to do!

5

The Innocent

Image courtesy of Netflix

 

My favorite Harlan Coben series yet! This series was beyond addicting. It had so many moving pieces but when everything came together, I was so beyond impressed with this particular mystery.

4

Only Murders in the Building

Image courtesy of Hulu

 

This show was so much fun! It had a really great mystery at its core, but the interaction between the characters and the clues they uncovered kept me laughing as well. It had the perfect balance of quirky humor and murder mystery fun. This show was such a wonderful surprise and I can’t wait to watch the second season!

3

WandaVision

Image courtesy of Disney+

 

This show was so unique and interesting. At first, I was slightly confused by what I was watching and yet I was entertained all the same and I loved the TV nostalgia thrown in. The show quickly transformed into something so amazing over the episodes. I looked forward to every single episode and by the time I got to the end, I was so emotionally changed by what I had witnessed.

Perfection!

2

Midnight Mass

Image courtesy of Netflix

 

An interesting take on horror with a Stephen King vibe that just worked! This series was disturbing on so many levels, but it also brought us so many beautiful and poetic moments too. I thought that the performances were absolutely incredible, creating a chilling series worth talking about!

Drum roll please…

1

Squid Game

Image courtesy of Netflix

 

If you haven’t watched Squid Game yet, you are missing out! This show quickly became one of the most watched shows all over the world and with good reason! This show sucks you in right from the start. The premise may seem odd, but once you start watching, you quickly become immersed into this story with relatable characters and games that will keep you on your toes!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and comments about your favorite television shows of 2021. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

 

 

 

Spoiler-Free Review of “Hit & Run” on Netflix: Engrossing Binge-Watch!

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

“Sometimes the truth just ends up causing more pain…”

Hit & Run premiered on Netflix on August 6th 2021. The Israeli-English series features nine episodes available to stream now. It stars Lior Raz, Sanaa Lathan, Kaelen Ohm, Moran Rosenblatt and Gregg Henry. Each episode runs for approximately 45-50 minutes.

After a man’s wife is killed in a hit and run accident in Tel Aviv, he suspects that her death may not have been an accident after all, leading him to New York City to discover the dangerous truth.

Here is the trailer:

Hit & Run immediately gives off a Harlan Coben-esque vibe with a touch of Taken mixed in, making it difficult to step away from the screen. Does it do enough to find its own identity? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Netflix

Kick-ass action!

If you love movies like Taken, you will feel right at home with this one. Lior Raz is beyond brilliant as Segev. I was on the edge of my seat every single time he was on screen. I am also a huge fan of Sanaa Lathan and I thought she played her part extremely well.

While the show is centered around an addicting mystery of its own, the fight scenes and action really helped build up momentum at the center of the plot, which worked in the show’s favor.

Images courtesy of Netflix

The change of scenery worked.

The beginning of the series takes place in Tel Aviv. We got plenty of set-up and an initial horrific crime to hook us right from the start, but I really liked that this series decided to change things up and head to New York City. There was plenty going on in Tel Aviv, but I thought it really ramped up the mystery and brought more characters into play without ever skipping a beat.

Binge-watch friendly.

Each episode did enough to draw you in for more. Even though some episodes were longer than others, I kept finding myself pressing play immediately because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. We got bits and pieces of the puzzle with each episode and while there were some side plot-lines going on, they weren’t as confusing or as involved as some of the ones we see in the Harlan Coben mysteries.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Netflix

Slow moving at first.

Don’t get me wrong, the first episode starts off with a bang, but some of the initial set-up in the first two episodes dragged a little bit for me. That being said, once I got to episode three, I was completely hooked and the pacing changed drastically.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in 100 percent!

Hit & Run is beyond worthy of your next binge-watch. This show was so addicting in all the right ways. That cliffhanger left me wanting more so I hope we get to see a season two, but wow what a show!

If you enjoy Taken, The Innocent, and Who Killed Sara, you are in for a real treat! While there were some similarities, this show found its own groove and took us on a wild ride without holding back.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

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 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 Innocent” on Netflix: “The Stranger” has finally met its match!

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

“The first day of the rest of your life…”

Harlan Coben’s The Innocent (El Inocente) premiered on Netflix on April 30th 2021. The Spanish mini-series features eight episodes available to stream now. It stars Mario Casas, Aura Garrido, Alexandra Jiménez and Juana Acosta. Each episode runs for approximately 55-60 minutes.

After an accidental killing, Mateo Vidal is released from prison and thinks that he can start his life over when he meets the love of his life. Years later, a disturbing phone call tangles him in a dangerous and deadly web of deception involving the murder of a young nun.

Here is the trailer:

The Innocent immediately submerges us back into the brilliant and mysterious world of Harlan Coben, as his novel comes to life on the small screen. While many of his shows have delivered in the past, can any show measure up to The Stranger? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Innocent Spoiler Free Review 1

Images courtesy of Netflix

A captivating mystery that lures you in.

Harlan Coben is so talented at creating such a layered mystery and he does it over and over again with his books. In this latest adaption of his novel, we are immersed into this new mystery that immediately hooks us from the very first episode.

It was so engrossing and well done. Much like The Stranger, I was on the edge of my seat and I could not stop watching this series. It is that good!

Inspiring characters.

The characters were developed so well and as soon as I thought I had my mind made up about someone, something drastic would happen to change my mind completely. I became so invested in the well-being of each character and even the flashbacks were really interesting and held my attention the entire time.

The Cons:

The Innocent Spoiler Free Review 2

Images courtesy of Netflix

A lot of sub-plots.

This should come as no surprise because it is always listed as my con for any Harlan Coben series and at this point, I’m used to it. That being said, you have to invest a lot of time and energy into this series. If you stop paying attention, you will miss something important that will connect later on.

I also thought that the opening episode was so incredibly strong and then when we switched narratives in the second episode, it was really jarring and I almost thought I was watching a different show.

However, the payoff is worth it and I recommend that you stick around even if these initial subplots and narrative changes seem confusing.

So am I in or out?

The Innocent Spoiler Free Review 3

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in 1000 percent!!!!!

The Innocent is an engrossing mystery from start to finish. This series is so addicting and it will keep you guessing at every new reveal. I didn’t think that another Harlan Coben series could come close to The Stranger and The Innocent is giving it a run for its money. Wow!

It is the absolute perfect binge-watch and the show I have been waiting for!

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