Spoiler-Free Review of “A Discovery of Witches” season 1: To Stream or not to Stream

“It begins with absence and desire.  It begins with blood and fear.  It begins with A Discovery of Witches.”  Based on the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness, the television series follows Diana Bishop, played by Teresa Palmer, an alchemist and a reluctant witch, who comes across “Ashmole 782,” which is a mysterious text that has been missing for quite some time and is desired by many witches, vampires, and demons.  After discovering the text, Diana crosses paths with a vampire named Matthew Clairmont, played by Matthew Goode.  Can you guess what comes next?  Of course there is a love story, which makes things complicated, as witches and vampires are forbidden from being together.

So am I in or out?  I was initially very excited to watch this show, which is now available to stream all 8 episodes on Sundance Now and Shudder.  I have read the trilogy and I absolutely adored the first book in particular.  When I started the television series, I felt that it had a lot of potential.  However, the series can be slow moving at times and other characters are introduced a little bit too much, which caused me to continue to go back to see who everyone was and why they were there.  So to stream or not to stream?  If you are a fan of Twilight or The Originals, you will enjoy the series.  There are only 8 episodes, but I felt like things didn’t really get going until episode 6.  The love story is moving enough, the acting was impressive despite some empty conversation starters, and there were even some formidable villains.  You will most likely connect more with Matthew than Diana.  Think Mr. Darcy if he were a vampire.  I was also very impressed with Satu played by Malin Buska, who was absolutely brilliant.

I very much enjoyed the history of the witches and Diana discovering her powers along with the introduction of dark magic, but I would have liked to see a better balance here.  I understand the need to focus around the love story, but I think this might actually turn some fans away, as it is somewhat similar to Twilight, which could be off-putting, even though I ship Diana and Matthew a lot more than Bella and Edward.  When I read the book series, I fell in love with the creepy library atmosphere and the mystery behind discovering the text, which was glossed over very quickly on the show.  The series has gotten a lot of attention in the UK and has already been renewed for seasons 2 and 3, which opens the door to more time walking and more magic.  If you are a fan of the book series, I think you will enjoy the show and appreciate how much they try to incorporate everything, but if you are a casual fan, it may miss the mark for you.  Overall, I think that the show is worth a stream if you find yourself craving a good supernatural love story.  However, if you are looking for something dark and disturbing, this may not be your cup of tea.

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

**I would love it if you would take a moment to check out my Whizbuzz Book page via the link below for everything you need to know about my new book, The Search for Alice, including my author bio page and links to my website and social media sites!  Thank you!

My Whizbuzz Book Page

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!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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

I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

When Kallie Bennett, a jaded teenage girl plagued by her alcoholic mother and her peers molded out of sheer bubble gum perfection, chases after Alice in Wonderland herself, she ends up lost in her own version of Wonderland, which forces her to face her utmost fears and introduces her to familiar characters with a dark twist. Among these characters is Ches, a gorgeous vampire with a conflicted conscience, who becomes Kallie’s guide and blossoming love interest. She also crosses paths with Queen Hartley, a manipulative witch who has the power to strip away one’s memories and imagination, which brings a bone chilling new meaning to “off with their heads.” In The Search for Alice, Kallie starts to realize that her Wonderland is just as frightening as her own reality and that she cannot always run away from her problems. She must figure out a way to defeat Queen Hartley and return home before it is too late, but she soon learns that escaping Wonderland means leaving Ches behind forever.

Want to read more?  You can click the link directly below for a free preview.  Thanks for your support!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover

 

 

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Ranking my top 5 Male Vampires from TV: “I’ve Always Been Bad”

Happy Tuesday TV viewers!  When you think of vampires, what comes to mind?  There is that overwhelming sense of darkness and desire that is beyond dangerous.  And yet, you still find yourself intrigued by their existence.  Whether it’s about blood or lust, there is something beyond mesmerizing about vampires.  While many vampires have entertained us in film, books, and television, there are some characters that truly stand the test of time, inviting us into their world of darkness.  For today’s list, I am going to be looking at male vampires from television.  Whether the vampire is considered the “big bad” or is on a quest for redemption, there is something undeniably hypnotizing about their existence.  These vampires are not just about the kill.  They are complex and unique and we often find ourselves rooting for them above all others…and maybe even swooning over them from time to time as well.  Please note some spoilers are ahead.  My top 5 Male Vampires from TV are:

5

Klaus Mikaelson from The Originals & The Vampire Diaries

Klaus vampire collage

“You know, over the years, I’ve had my share of friends, enemies, lovers, losses, and triumphs. With time, they all begin to run together, but you will find the real moments are vibrant. The rest just fades away. Your pain will fade.” 

When I first saw Klaus on The Vampire Diaries, I was instantly intrigued.  He basically stole the show for me and I was beyond excited when I found out that the spin-off series, The Originals, would focus around him and his family.  Klaus is dangerous and a formidable foe that you do not want to cross.

Klaus gif

He has a quick temper and a monstrous quality, but he also has an artistic side to him and possesses wisdom beyond his years.  He reveals glimmers of goodness along the way, especially when it comes to Caroline, Camille, and Hope.  Klaus is the epitome of the “bad boy” on television, but he is so classy about it as well, which makes him the perfect anti-hero.

4

Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries

Damon vampire collage

“If you’re going to be bad, be bad with a purpose or else you’re not worth forgiving.” 

When we first met the Salvatore brothers on The Vampire Diaries, Damon easily became my favorite.  While Stefan is conflicted and brooding, Damon just wants to have fun.  Although his idea of fun often involves killing and torture, there is just something so charismatic about Damon.

Damon gif

Like Klaus, Damon’s character shifts toward redemption, as he falls desperately in love with Elena.  Damon’s actions become selfless and pure, which really elevates his character even more.  While I enjoyed seeing the growth of his character, I do prefer his bad boy charm, as he really shows off his flair for being evil with style.

3

Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel

Angel vampire collage

“She made me feel like a human being.  That’s not the kind of thing you just forgive.”

The vampire with a soul who had us falling desperately in love with him, along with Buffy Summers, absolutely deserves a spot on this list.  Angel is cursed by gypsies and has to live as a creature of the night with a conscience.  While Angel initially shies away from society because of this, he eventually finds his purpose when he meets Buffy.

Buffy gif.gif

Angel tries to help Buffy, but ends up falling in love with her, which becomes beyond complicated when he loses his soul after experiencing a “moment of true happiness” with her.  When Angel’s soul is gone, he reveals just how dangerous he is by torturing Buffy and her friends, proving that he truly relishes in watching others suffer.  Angel’s soul is later returned, but he ends up leaving Buffy to give her a real chance at happiness and to further his own quest for redemption on a spin-off series.

2

Eric Northman from True Blood

Eric vampire collage

“Death is scary.  I’ve been avoiding it for a thousand years.”

This list would not be complete without including Eric Northman.  Like many of the other characters on this list, Eric has the bad boy charm act down pat.  Eric possesses a regal and elegant quality, while also being vicious and dangerous.

Eric gif.gif

He proves to be truly ruthless on the show and a formidable villain, but also reveals some humanity within him as well.  While he falls in love with Sookie, his relationship with Pam is also something that should be noted.  Eric is almost like a father figure to Pam and he truly does care about her, proving that bad-ass vampires can have feelings too.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Marcel from “The Originals”
  • Benny from “Supernatural”
  • Stefan from “The Vampire Diaries”
  • Eichhorst from “The Strain”
  • Roman from “Hemlock Grove”
  • Elijah from “The Originals”
  • Cassidy from “Preacher”
  • Bill from “True Blood”
  • Barnabas from “Dark Shadows”
  • John from “Being Human”

1

Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Spike vampire collage

“That’s right.  Big Bad’s back and lookin for a little death!”

So my number one pick has to go to William the Bloody, aka Spike, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  When Spike first showed up with his crazy girlfriend, Drusilla, back in season 2, I was hooked on the show for life.  Spike just screams bad boy and he has this sexy and dangerous quality to him, which makes you almost feel wrong about rooting for him so much.  Almost.  Spike is absolutely hilarious and even probably tops Buffy with some of his puns, which are laugh out loud funny. 

Out for a walk spike.gif

Spike proves to be a threat to Buffy and the Scoobies over and over, but eventually gets a chip in his head that prevents him from harming humans.  Spike tries to fit in with the Scooby gang, but continues to go back to his evil ways whenever possible.  Later on in the series, Spike develops real feelings for Buffy and eventually earns back his soul.  Whether Spike is evil or good, you can’t help loving him.  His presence elevates the show and he reminds us that it’s never too late to try and do the right thing, even if you have been evil for over a century.  Spike will always be my favorite vampire of all time and will continue to be the “Big Bad,” even when reciting some of his “bloody awful poetry.”

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite male vampires from TV.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**I would love it if you would take a moment to check out my Whizbuzz Book page via the link below for everything you need to know about my new book, The Search for Alice, including my author bio page and links to my website and social media sites!  Thank you!

My Whizbuzz Book Page

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

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

I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

When Kallie Bennett, a jaded teenage girl plagued by her alcoholic mother and her peers molded out of sheer bubble gum perfection, chases after Alice in Wonderland herself, she ends up lost in her own version of Wonderland, which forces her to face her utmost fears and introduces her to familiar characters with a dark twist. Among these characters is Ches, a gorgeous vampire with a conflicted conscience, who becomes Kallie’s guide and blossoming love interest. She also crosses paths with Queen Hartley, a manipulative witch who has the power to strip away one’s memories and imagination, which brings a bone chilling new meaning to “off with their heads.” In The Search for Alice, Kallie starts to realize that her Wonderland is just as frightening as her own reality and that she cannot always run away from her problems. She must figure out a way to defeat Queen Hartley and return home before it is too late, but she soon learns that escaping Wonderland means leaving Ches behind forever.

Want to read more?  You can click the link directly below for a free preview.  Thanks for your support!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover

Ranking the top 5 moments from “Younger” season 5 episode 1 season premiere: “My Feelings are There and they’re Real”

Happy Saturday TV fans!  So I finally got the chance to binge-watch the first four seasons of TV Land’s Younger on Hulu and I have to admit that I’m absolutely hooked.  If you haven’t gotten a chance to watch the show yet, I absolutely recommend it.  It kind of has a romcom feel, but goes so much further than that.  You will absolutely fall in love with every character on the show and the episodes are a little over 30 minutes each so you can get through full seasons rather quickly.  Sutton Foster is absolutely fabulous as Liza Miller.  You may think you know what the show is about after seeing some of the previews or commercials on Hulu, but I have to say that the show went far beyond my expectations.  While the love triangle between Liza, Josh, and Charles is addicting enough, what sets this show apart is its ability to redefine labels and stereotypes in a world focused on social media and appearances.  It may seem slightly far-fetched that Liza is able to fool almost everyone into thinking that she is 26 years old, even though she looks amazing for her age, but somehow it works.  Her continuation of her new identity allows her to reinvent herself, but not without making mistakes along the way.  Now that I am finally caught up, I was excited to watch the season premiere of season 5 on my DVR.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.  In last night’s episode, Liza comes back from Ireland and tries to tell Charles how she feels, but is interrupted by an HR convention on sexual harassment.  Meanwhile, Kelsey and Zane try to balance their feelings for one another, while maintaining an even playing field at work.   My top 5 moments from Younger season 5 episode 1 season premiere are:

5

“Do you want to say something Liza?  Could destroy the company but we’ll support you.”

When Zane joined Empirical, he brought back one of the top selling authors, Edward L.L. Moore, who is beyond eccentric and extremely creepy when it comes to his advances toward Liza when she is dressed up as “Princess Pampam.”  While this seems like a huge win for Empirical, Moore is accused of inappropriate behavior, which could bring more trouble than he is worth.  Charles tries to speak openly to Liza about Moore’s past behavior toward her and Diana impatiently waits for a response.  Miriam Shor is absolutely hilarious as Diana, as she combines the perfect blend of unaware rudeness with a get-to-the-point attitude.  While she may come across harsh sometimes, she has displayed some wonderful moments with Liza as well, proving that she does care about others after all.  Diana basically says everything that you may be thinking, but shouldn’t really say out loud, but she refuses to apologize for this and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  After watching the previews for upcoming episodes, I’m excited to see that her mystery construction man will be making another appearance, which may finally give Diana a chance at some real adventure and love.  Maybe she’ll even bring back the jeans into her wardrobe.

4

“I think he’s making a mistake but I’m the last person who could tell him that.”

Liza and Kelsey rehash what happened in Ireland and are shocked by Josh’s impetuous behavior.  After putting his feelings out there for Liza the night before his wedding, Josh ultimately decides to go through with it, crushing my hopes and dreams for these two to get back together.  Even though Josh, played by Nico Tortorella, is charming and absolutely swoon-worthy, his immaturity often gets the best of him, causing him not to always make the best decisions.  While Josh hasn’t returned just yet, I can’t imagine that the drama is over between him and Liza.  We’ll have to stay tuned to see how long he actually stays married to Claire, but I’m going to give it three weeks top.  After all, that will match the actual time they have been together.

3

“You’re so desperate for my approval.”

So I am absolutely shipping Kelsey and Zane.  I am a big fan of Charles Michael Davis from The Originals and it’s nice to see him put the blood-lust on the back burner while he shows off his immaculate suits and irresistible charm on Younger.  Kelsey has not had the best luck with men.  I am still beyond shocked over her fiancé, Thad getting crushed by construction debris earlier in the series.  I mean I was not a fan of Thad at all or Chad for that matter, but that was not what I had in mind for his exit from the show.  I definitely did not like the hinted vibes between Josh and Kelsey after they became roommates and was thrilled to see the introduction of Zane’s character in season 4 to steer away from this.  Zane is the perfect match for Kelsey and I think that if they ever moved in together, they would have the most amazing wardrobe between the two of them.  While Kelsey seems hesitant about moving forward with Zane, it doesn’t look like he is giving up on her just yet.  But will their competitiveness at work block all possibilities of a stable relationship?

2

“What happened in this office was incredible.  My feelings are there and they’re real.”

When Liza comes face to face with Charles again, her feelings come rushing to the surface as well.  Josh has moved on and put a “ring between them,” but Liza realizes that a relationship with Charles would be beyond complicated.  Especially since she has gotten so close to his wife, Pauline, which would make things very messy.  When Liza tells Charles how she feels, he awkwardly explains that he is asking Liza about what happened with Edward L.L. Moore and they are then interrupted by Diana before they can discuss their feelings any further.  I have gotten used to the unresolved tension between Liza and Charles and it seems like the timing is never quite right, but it seems like everything is about to change.

1

Edward L.L. Moore tells Charles the truth about Liza.

At the end of the episode, Charles announces that they are postponing Moore’s books because of the allegations against him.  Moore is not about to go quietly, however; as he pays Charles a visit.  He reveals that he has files on all of the women involved, including Liza.  He tells Charles about Liza’s real age and that she is a divorced housewife from New Jersey.  Charles is beyond shocked, but can’t dispute the evidence in front of him, especially when he sees the marriage certificate.  I have to say that it is about time Charles found out the truth.  We know that Liza’s deception had damaged the relationship between her and Josh and her friendship with Kelsey in the past, but this discovery is something earth shattering.  Charles is Liza’s boss and he also has very real feelings for her.  Even though they haven’t gotten a chance to see their story through, what will happen now that Charles knows the truth?  Stay tuned!

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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

 

Ranking the top 5 spin-off television series of all time: Can a spin-off surpass an original?

Is it possible for a spin-off series to surpass the original?  Perhaps not in most cases, but that doesn’t mean that the spin-off can’t branch out into something entertaining and epic on its own.  Creating a spin-off series is always a gamble.  You are relying on the fans from the original series to follow the show and create a fan base with its own separate identity as well.  While many spin-off series have failed to capture this difficult standard, there have been some that are so memorable that you almost forget that there was an original series that started it all.  This really got me thinking about my own favorite spin-off series and why they stand out above the rest.  My top 5 favorite spin-off television series of all time are:

5

The Originals.  This show is a spin-off series of the CW’s successful hit, The Vampire Diaries.  Klaus Mikaelson and his family of original vampires are introduced as dangerous and worthy villains, but their history is so rich and intriguing, not leaving The Vampire Diaries much room to explore it among its own plot.  The Originals is set in New Orleans and fans were pleased to see the Mikaelson family as the center of it all, while introducing new characters as well with just as much complexity.  The Originals does not shy away from its roots and all fans know where it started, however; it takes a darker and more historical approach to vampires, allowing viewers to see the full picture of how everything started.  After years of watching both series, I came to ultimately prefer The Originals because it was fresher and explored darker elements.  Klaus, who was previously shown as a ruthless killer with no remorse, now shows a glimmer of a soul and reveals to us how he became so broken in the midst of family and romantic betrayals.

4

Melrose Place.  This show is a spin-off series of one of my all time favorites, Beverly Hills, 90210.  90210 was such a success and targeted a teenage audience who craved a drama with more depth and complication than your average soap opera.  Some fans don’t remember that the very entertaining Melrose Place was actually a spin-off of 90210.  Jake is introduced as an old friend of Dylan’s and has a fleeting romantic moment with Kelly, only to decide to ride his motorcycle off to a new town to discover a life of his own.  The opening episodes of Melrose Place even feature Kelly coming to find him to see why he had broken their relationship off, strategically hooking in viewers from 90210.  While a lot of the love triangles, betrayals, and outrageous plots seem familiar to 90210, Melrose Place did a good job of capturing an old generation of viewers as well, breaking out of the mold of a high school drama and paving the way for many more shows to come.

3

Angel.   A spin-off of the hit TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon recognized that Buffy and Angel’s story was over…or at least put on pause, leaving fans wondering where Angel would go after Buffy graduated and went off to college.  Lucky for us, Angel was not done with his destiny just yet, traveling to LA with fan-favorite, Cordelia, to help innocents along the way and even start his own business while doing so, taking on one evil lawyer at a time.  In Buffy, Angel’s back story is briefly explored, but his own show allows us to truly see and understand every aspect of his origin.  Also, Angel was not able to shine as much in Buffy since he was obviously not the center of the show.  Angel’s personality and potential were often stifled in Buffy because the focus was on more of the romantic relationship between them, rather than who Angel truly was or meant to be.  This spin-off series did have a strong following and it was lined up right after Buffy on the same night of airings, but Angel did have its own identity and voice, proving that a supporting character could become a principal hero after all.

2

Better Call Saul A spin-off of the hit series, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul is a prequel to the beloved series, focusing primarily on our favorite scheming lawyer, Saul Goodman.  This spin-off is one of the most successful ones I have watched and I adore both series.  What’s so great about the show is that it introduces important elements and characters that fans recognize from Breaking Bad, giving us a chance to further dive into how everything started in Breaking Bad.  However, this does not outshine the incredible acting by Bob Odenkirk who does an excellent job at truly embracing his character.  While fans are pleased with his wit and schemes along the way, we begin to fully learn about his past life and what lead him to the decisions he made later in Breaking Bad.  Saul demonstrates his work ethic and how much he wanted to be a lawyer and prove to his brother and girlfriend that he is capable of being a good man.  This becomes difficult to maintain later on, but it is clear that Saul’s character is deeper and more complex than anyone could have imagined on Breaking Bad, creating something unique and separate from the series it came from.

1

Xena:  Warrior Princess.  Who could forget the fabulous and beautiful Xena, played by the brilliant and gorgeous, Lucy Lawless?  While fans remember that it is a spin-off of Hercules, this series surpasses it in my opinion.  Xena paved the way for strong female leads such as Buffy, proving that a female warrior can be just as dangerous as any man.  Xena fights warriors and gods along the way, refusing to back down.  Her iconic battle cry is still memorable along with her heart-warming and controversial friendship with her side-kick, Gabrielle.  While Xena did air directly after Hercules in the lineup, fans became more excited and hooked by Xena.  I did watch both shows and have to admit that once Xena came on, all bets were off.  While the show was darker and more violent than Hercules, it was the character of Xena that drew me in.  She wasn’t just a hero; she was jaded, and searching for forgiveness.  She masked her vulnerability and weakness behind her sword, but the humanity in her provided viewers with a true connection to her character.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your thoughts and comments below along with some of your favorite spin-off television series of all time.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl