Ranking the top 5 TV Mean Girls of all time: “Stop trying to make Fetch happen!”

“On Wednesdays we wear Pink!” (Mean Girls) Well it is Wednesday, but I am sorry to say I am not wearing anything pink.  Due to the lack of new shows airing because of the holiday season, I thought it would be a good time to start diving deeper into the roles of some of my favorite characters on television.  While the good girl typically saves the day or solves the mystery in the nick of time, it got me thinking about the mean girls who sometimes end up in the background, no matter how much they try to hog the spotlight.

While the Mean Girls film is one of my absolute favorites, I started to think about some characters from television shows who could have easily been invited to sit at their table.  While these female characters put their best effort forward to look amazing and act fierce, they each have a likable quality as well, which goes to show that there is a lot more to them than initially meets the eye.  My top 5 TV Mean Girls of all time are:

5

Alison DiLaurentis from Pretty Little Liars.

“Friends share secrets.  That’s what keeps us close.” (Alison from Pretty Little Liars)

If you haven’t gotten a chance to binge-watch Pretty Little Liars yet, I absolutely recommend it.  Just when you think you have it figured out, there is a new twist or turn.  Please note spoilers are ahead as a warning.  In the beginning of the series, four friends are trying to figure out the mystery behind Alison’s disappearance and presumed death.  There are flashbacks from the past along the way which showcase how mean Alison was to those around her.

Alison had the gift of manipulation and spoke to others in such a condescending manner, that even adults feared her.  At this point in the show, it didn’t seem like Alison had any redeeming qualities.  She made Hanna feel bad about her weight and led Emily on, realizing that she was a lesbian without a care in the world.  She also strategically used the secrets of her friends against them and played them to her advantage.  However, later we learn that Alison is actually alive and the mysterious A is out to punish her along with her friends.

While Alison never really leaves her mean girl card behind, she does start to show signs of truly caring for others, especially Emily, as she does have romantic feelings for her.  When the series goes five years into the future, Alison is actually a school teacher and tries to pay it forward, but still refuses to allow anyone to step on her or get in her way.

4

Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl.

“Ladies you can give your tiny brains a rest.  Once again the world has proven that anything you can do, I can do better.” (Blair from Gossip Girl)

Blair is the image of perfection in Gossip Girl.  Her ensembles and make-up are always flawless and she even has minions who follow her around and follow her every demand, as if they were truly serving a queen.  Blair even refers to herself as the “Queen Bee” and her loyal subjects at her prep high-school in New York City don’t really challenge her on this.  Blair is infamous for her schemes and frequently feuds with her best friend, Serena.

While Blair is not afraid to fight dirty, she refuses to shatter her image of perfection in the process.  She is typically the master-mind behind the scheme and has others do her bidding, refusing to apologize for her actions.  While it seems that this mean girl is cold and heartless, Blair does have a loving side.  Her on and off again romance with Chuck Bass reveals her vulnerability, as she finds herself thinking with her heart before her head here, exposing that she does have goodness within.  Nevertheless, you certainly do not want to ever cross Blair because she will do whatever it takes to win.

3

Cheryl Blossom from Riverdale.

“You catatonic bimbos didn’t vote for me!” (Cheryl from Riverdale)

Cheryl has the mean girl act down pat for sure.  She doesn’t enter a room unless she has her perfect shade of dark crimson lip-stick flawless in order to match her hair.  Much like her hair, Cheryl is fiery and passionate.  She is not afraid to speak her mind and often says insensitive things without realizing it.  Cheryl is the head of the cheer-leading squad and treats the other girls like her subjects, completely appalled when she is voted out and Veronica becomes captain.

Cheryl is not just talk however; as her actions have proven to be very dangerous.  She even sets her house on fire with her mother still inside without thinking twice about it.  Cheryl does reveal glimmers of goodness along the way.  She was truly impacted by the loss of her twin brother, Jason and she does try to help Betty and the gang here and there to prove that she can be useful.  However, Cheryl is damaged by the deceit and betrayal of her family and it’s not so easy to turn off the mean girl vibe.  While I have hope for Cheryl, she is still a girl to watch out for.

2

Valerie Malone from Beverly Hills, 90210.

“I’m not Brenda.  I’m never going to be Brenda.  Don’t talk to me about Brenda!” (Val to Dylan in Beverly Hills, 90210)

Valerie Malone still deserves a spot toward the top of this list even after all this time.  Known for being a scheming femme fatale, she fools everyone when she arrives to town, appearing to be a sweet and innocent girl from the mid-west.  However, the characters from our favorite zip code are in for a rude awakening, as Val unleashes her street smarts and uses her powers of persuasion and manipulation to break apart this happy group of friends.

Val has romantic relationships with pretty much all of the main characters including Dylan, Brandon, David, and Steve.  As a result, she burns bridges fairly quickly with Kelly who becomes her main rival.  Val’s snappy one-liners and sneaky maneuvers prove that she is one to watch.  She has grown past the high school drama, however; and moves on to blackmailing and dangerous negotiations to help her become a successful business woman.  Talk about making a deal with the devil, Val doesn’t allow anyone to double-cross her.

Val is not all bad, however; as she has a very troubled past and does truly care for Brandon as if he were her own family.  Val tries to be a good person, but when the task becomes too difficult, she finds it easier to hide behind her bad girl image.

1

Cordelia Chase from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

“God! What is your childhood trauma? Excuse me, I have to call everyone I have ever met, right now.” (Cordelia to Buffy when she attacks her by accident)

So my number one pick for best TV mean girl has to go to the beautiful and hilarious, Cordelia Chase.  While Buffy and Willow tend to have most of the fan-base and get a lot of air time, one should not discount Cordelia.  She started out in a supporting role, playing the mean girl role to a tee, as if it was her calling in life to be unpleasant to those around her.  However, later in the series, Cordelia becomes a member of the Scoobies and does try to lend a helping hand…when it’s convenient for her.

One of my favorite episodes is when her and Buffy compete for Homecoming queen.  Cordelia is not about to just hand over the crown to Buffy and goes through great lengths to defeat her.  The two end up caught in a trap cleverly called “Slayerfest 98” where the vampires mistake Cordelia for Faith.  Nonetheless, the two have to make amends and put differences aside to stay alive, even if it means using a spatula as a weapon.

Cordelia does eventually grow into a caring person especially when she joins Angel in LA, but one cannot forget her witty come-backs and her unforgiving attitude.  She even tells a ghost off in Angel, proving that she is not going to let anyone step on her, supernatural or not.  Cordelia would probably end up leading the “Plastics” if she were in the Mean Girls film, proving to be a timeless mean girl that we still root for.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite TV mean girls.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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

“Shameless” Ranking the top 5 moments from Season 8 episode 5: 50/50

Happy Monday TV fans!  As you pour that second cup of coffee, get ready for another dose of the Gallagher family antics. After watching Showtime’s Shameless season 8 episode 5 last night, I feel the need to provide Debbie with some serious parenting tips.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, Fiona learns the valuable lesson of saying please and apologizing in an unconventional way, Carl tries to think of ways to earn money so he can go back to military school, and Ian is ready to make a huge investment.  Meanwhile, Lip is contemplating what matters most in life while Kev embraces his southern identity.  Svetlana teaches us basic math skills while Frank helps others see the problems with standardized testing.   My top 5 moments from Shameless season 8 episode 5 are:

5

Kev embraces his southern roots.  “Shift change!” Kev yells, as he enters the bar dressed liked a cowboy, informing the Russian population that they must leave and make room for his fellow Americans .  This of course leaves the bar practically empty while he is informed that there is a difference between being southern and western.  V had it right when she said that her husband is transforming into a “Kentucky fried red-neck.”  Kev even insists on practicing his common southern phrases and using them in everyday conversation to V’s dismay.  Kev may be back in Chicago, but he is not leaving his new found identity behind just yet.

4

Carl’s detox program for junkies is a success.  In the beginning of the episode, Carl has the junky he caught in last week’s episode tied up in his basement as he leaves him no choice but to get clean reluctantly so that he can be free and a more productive member of society.  As if this isn’t funny enough, at the end of the episode the former junky bursts into the Gallagher home and brings in his friend or girlfriend who also needs help from Carl.  He explains that no other rehab was able to help except for Carl’s method and he has brought lots and lots of cash for the results.  Maybe Carl has another calling besides the military.  Either way he has now successfully made enough money to return to school while making a difference in the lives of others…one junky at a time.

3

Frank convinces the parents to look further into the cultural interpretation of multiple choice and the dangers of standardized testing.  When he learns that Liam has failed his exam, Frank doesn’t take this at face value.  Rather, he goes through the questions and shares some concerns of his own.  For example, “how would Liam know what a foyer is?”  There is a fill in the blank question about glue and Liam crosses out the choices to write in “sniffing” which Frank explains is not necessarily wrong in that context.  While it may seem that Frank is just making excuses, he really inspires the other parents to get involved and to take measures against the testing to ensure that each child’s success is measured fairly.

2

Lip contemplates what life is really all about.  It’s been really great to see Lip stay sober and it is clear his sponsor has had a part in this and has truly helped him.  While Lip is continuing his affair with his co-worker, he is later seen gazing over at Sierra and wanting to hold his sponsor’s baby demonstrating his own desire to truly connect with someone and start a family.  While this may be a big epiphany for Lip or perhaps something that was there all along, it gets put on pause when his sponsor cannot handle the stress of being a new dad and winds up at the corner bar.  Lip tries with every effort to help him, but he doesn’t want it and speeds off drunk to Lip’s disappointment.  Will this set Lip back or motivate him to continue to stay strong?

1

Svetlana is back and is ready to teach us basic math.  It is great to see Svetlana back in the bar, but she is immediately ready for business and explains to V that profit should be 50/50 even though there are three parties involved.  V is not about to give up so easy, but Svetlana explains that she does the majority of the work and even shows her numbers that prove she makes the majority of the money during her shift.  When V is still not ready to budge, Svetlana decides to get her to sign the contract with her terms another way…with sex of course.  V is no match for Svetlana at this point and ultimately signs the contract.  Kev’s shock about what happened combined with detailed questions is hilarious as Svetlana proudly walks out of the house holding the contract.  50/50 wins after all.  It’s great to have you back Svetlana!

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Ranking the top 5 television series with numbers in the title: What’s your favorite zip code?

Happy Wednesday TV Fans!  As I am counting the days until the weekend and I am sure you are too, it got me thinking about numbers in particular on television.  I started to create a list of television series with numbers in the title and couldn’t believe how many there were over the years.  If you are bored at all throughout the day, I challenge you to create a list of as many number TV shows as you can without using the internet of course. 🙂  It’s actually really fun and you can post how many you were able to come up with in the comments.  Naturally, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to rank my top TV shows that fit into this category.  My top 5 TV shows containing numbers in the title are:

5) One Tree HillOne Tree Hill has always been a guilty pleasure of mine.  I used to watch Soapnet all day when I worked from home and this show came on quite a bit.  I was actually really disappointed that they took the show off of Netflix streaming because it is really addicting to watch.  While it may seem like your typical teenage soap centered on high school drama, the show does a good job of involving real issues as well.  There is a strong emphasis on family in the show and the narrator and main character, Lucas Scott, has a romantic view of the world, which elevates the show for me and ties in epic works of literature along with a lot of important thoughts that may have crossed our minds in different points in our lives.

4) 24.  While I have to admit, I have not gotten a chance to watch through this show recently, it is my mother’s absolute favorite and I thought very deserving of a spot in the top 5 even though it is not necessarily my top choice.  When this show aired on television, it had a quality that hooked the audience to watch the show live similar to The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones now.  You didn’t want to merely record 24 because you could miss something crucial or you didn’t want someone around you to spoil what happened.  The number 24 is significant in the series and not just merely in the title, as each season contained 24 episodes covering the 24 hours in Jack Bauer’s life.  All of the events happen in real time, which keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat seeing everything from Agent Bauer’s point of view.

3) 13 Reasons Why.  When this series streamed on Netflix earlier in the year, it was considered to be very controversial because of the subject matter and targeted audience.  As a result, it got mixed reviews.  After watching the first episode for myself, I found myself binge-watching the season all in one day.  While I am sure many of you have done the same, the show did an excellent job of drawing the viewer in wanting to unlock the real reasons why Hannah Baker decided to end her life and how her friend, Clay Jensen is involved.  Rather than leave a suicide note, Hannah records everything on 13 audio cassette tapes and has them delivered to the different people responsible so that they can hear the whole story.  While the show makes you want to dive deeper into truth, there is something very raw and painful about the emotions that are revealed along the way from each character who wronged Hannah and how they are dealing with the aftermath of her death along with issues in their own lives that they are facing.

2) The 100.  I have to admit that this is one of my favorite shows on television right now and I am counting the days until new episodes are aired.  The 100 reminds me of a futuristic version of Lost, revealing mystery after mystery where you truly can’t guess what is coming next.  The series starts off after earth has been destroyed by the nuclear war and the remaining survivors are living in a space station called the Ark.  However, air and supplies are running low and the leaders of the Ark make the decision to send 100 juvenile prisoners down to earth.  While it seemed initially that they were sending them off to die to sacrifice the few to save the many, earth is in fact livable again.  The prisoners are all trying to exist in a world without adults and laws, but find out that earth has many dangers, including other people who were already living there, “Grounders,” who are not looking forward to sharing their land with these invaders.  While each threat is dealt with, a new one emerges, forcing the Sky survivors to deal with betrayal, love, death, and war.

1) Beverly Hills, 90210.  It should be no surprise that my top choice takes place in our favorite zip code.  The show lasted for 10 years and even had a revival series done years later.  Many of us have grown up watching our favorite twins, Brandon and Brenda Walsh move from Minnesota to the very different and superficial Beverly Hills, California.  The soap-drama is a guilty pleasure of many and I recently watched through the entire series again over the summer.  Through all of the drama, this group of friends sticks together and grows up fast in a materialistic world only to realize that things don’t come as easily as they did in high school and that you can’t always buy your way out of everything.  While many of the plots are outrageous and over the top, there is a lesson in all of them, and we find ourselves rooting for each character who we have come to know well from years of watching them.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your comments below about any of these shows or some of your own favorites.  If you do complete the challenge, feel free to post how many shows you were able to come up with that do have a number in the title.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Ranking the top 5 television series based on movies: “If the apocalypse comes, beep me.”

So I’ve noticed that more and more remakes and adaptations from film are making their way to the smaller screen, which got me thinking about some of my favorites and how they compare to the originals.  While some television series go in a completely different direction, others attempt to be closer to the original but sometimes fail to capture the same allure, leaving fans disappointed or searching for more.  To me, what makes a television series truly stand out is if it takes on its own life and branches out into a new world of characters and stories.  Whether it is considered a prequel or another chapter, the series has to capture the interest of the viewer who tuned in and keep it.  Sounds like a difficult task especially when you add in an original film that the series is based on.  Some of the shows below do an excellent job of staying true to the original and respecting where the series comes from in terms of history and context.  At the same time, they are able to continue on with the story or shift into a new one without skipping a beat, keeping the original fans happy and bringing in new ones at the same time.  My top 5 television series based on movies are:

5) Teen Wolf.  Based upon the 1985 film of the same name starring Michael J. Fox, the series was created in 2011 on MTV.  Already this was a risky move, as the audience MTV was targeting might not have necessarily seen the original movie, although I hope so.  While the movie has a cheesy humor-like quality, the series follows the same premise of a teenage-boy realizing that he is transforming into a werewolf, only it embraces more of a horror genre approach.  Both characters are named Scott, only with different last names and have to deal with the consequences of being bitten by a werewolf while dealing with everyday teenage drama.  While the series is based on the movie, it really becomes something completely new and different, advancing the plot into something darker with touches of romance and terror, delving much deeper into the story.

4) Hannibal.  Based upon the films, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon, the series is a psychological thriller that dives into the relationship between FBI agent, Will Graham and Dr. Hannibal Lecter who will later become his nemesis.  While the television series had a lot to live up to from the books and films it was based upon, it proves to be a contender with excellent performances and a detailed plot, which keeps the viewer active and involved.  As a result, the audience becomes hooked and drawn to every horrible reveal.  While the films attempt to stay true to the books and showcase a simpler approach, the series is not afraid to break into new developments and jump head first into the darkness and insanity that is at the core of these characters.

3) Ash vs Evil Dead.  Based upon the franchise films, The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness, the series once again stars the very funny and brilliant Bruce Campbell as Ash or “Ashy Slashy” as fans know him by.  What is so great about this series is it is a true continuation of the films.  Bruce Campbell is once again the star bringing fans back to the originals.  Bruce Campbell has a true talent for bringing the campy horror-like genre a life of its own and I would have been disappointed if anyone had been casted in his place.  Once again, Bruce and his chainsaw arm need to fight the forces of evil and he recruits some new and fun characters to help along the way.  Lucy Lawless also joins the cast who did work with Bruce previously on Xena and fits in perfectly.  The series stays true to the campy-horror genre while keeping the comedy going strong.

2) Bates Motel.  Based upon the classic film, Psycho, the prequel follows the life of Norman Bates as a teenager and also introduces his mother, Norma Bates.  The acting in the series is so real and powerful, as each actor reveals to the audience vulnerability blended with insanity, hypnotizing us into wanting to watch more and more.  What’s truly impressive about the series is that the viewer becomes attached and fully invested into both Norman and Norma.  As Norman is losing control, you do feel bad for him and see that there are moments of goodness that do truly exist in him.  His unusual attachment to his mother seems harmless at first, but grows into something more and more dangerous, however.  The series does an excellent job of allowing viewers to see the man behind the monster and to understand that although darkness wins in the end, there is a grey area that exists, making it not so easy to merely write Norman off as a killer without a conscience.

1) Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Based upon the film of the same name, this television series is at the top of my list because it takes a superficial campy premise and turns it into something epic and memorable.  In the film, Buffy is very superficial and materialistic which creates some laughs and fun along the way, but there is nothing substantial about her character that makes her stand out.  When Joss Whedon decided to turn his movie into a television series, Buffy had now become a character that teenage girls could truly look up to.  She is a strong female who makes some bad decisions along the way, but this shows that she is human and she has to sacrifice a lot in order to save the world, growing up fast as a result.  The humor remains but is more subtle and witty in the series, embracing more of a romantic and darker idea about the world of vampires and truly recognizing that this is a lot of pressure to put on one teenage girl to fight them all and repeatedly save the world.  The series has the perfect blend of drama, action, comedy, and horror with terrific acting and entertaining villains along the way.  It has truly surpassed the film, but it’s fun to take a look back at the movie from time to time.

 

I hope you enjoyed the list.  Feel free to post your comments below on your favorite television series based on films.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Throw-back Sunday: Ranking the top 5 villains from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

It’s Throw-Back Sunday TV Fans!  For today, I have returned to one of my old favorites, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Buffy and her friends are a blast to watch and are always trying to ensure that goodness prevails in order to protect Sunnydale and the rest of the world.  But this would get boring if Buffy could always easily save the day against countless vampires.  What makes the show surpass this is the introduction of formidable foes that cross her path.  Ranging from the geeks she went to high school with to the first evil that existed in the world, there is a lot of evil and chaos thrown at the Scoobies.  Let’s not forget that some of Buffy’s closest friends have turned on her and mortal enemies have become great allies along the way.  Buffy is the Chosen One for sure, but these villains are not only worthy of an all out battle, they are more complex and smarter than your average vampire turned to dust.   Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the series yet. My top 5 villains from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are:

5

Drusilla

Drusilla was introduced to Buffy in season 2 along with her boyfriend, Spike.  When she first came to town she was weakened from a mob, but was revealed to possess psychic abilities.  When Drusilla is at her full strength she proves to be extremely dangerous and even kills another slayer who gets in her way.  What makes Drusilla such a stand-out villain is that she is completely insane.  She has an innocent girl-like quality at first and manipulates Spike to do her bidding, all while having a tea party with her dolls.  One of my favorite scenes with Drusilla is when she blindfolds one of the dolls and says she’s not allowed to watch with the rest, as she kills someone brutally in front of them.  There is a haunting quality about Drusilla that makes her beyond scary and a real threat to Buffy.

4

Glory

The best way to define her I suppose is if Cordelia had god-like powers with no sense of remorse.  Glory is revealed to be a god and Buffy’s sister, Dawn, is the key that she is desperately looking for.  In one of the first fights with Glory, Buffy is beaten not just badly, but to a bloody pulp, making fans wonder about how she would be able to defeat her.  Glory is an entertaining villain, keeping her manicure and lip gloss in check while continuing on her quest, refusing to allow anyone to get in her way.

3

The Master

The Master is introduced as the first main villain that Buffy must face in the first season.  His face has no humanity left in it, different from other vampires, because of his age.  There is a cringe-worthy factor here for sure, but the Master hasn’t left his sense of humor behind either.  He is ruthless and powerful and even is able to kill Buffy initially.  Thankfully Xander is able to revive her, but he proved to be a dangerous foe and an influence on other vampires nearby.

2

Evil Willow

Everyone loves Willow and she is a great friend to Buffy.  When she begins experimenting with witchcraft, it naturally seems like a great way to help Buffy fight the forces of evil.  But when Willow loses the love of her life, Tara, she is consumed by rage and evil magic corrupts her.  Willow becomes so powerful that it seems like no one will be able to defeat her.  If not for her best friend, Xander, who has no powers or supernatural strength, she would have been lost for good and the world might have been destroyed.  Xander uses love to remind Willow that he will always be there for her and it brings her goodness back to the surface.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Spike
  • Faith
  • The Mayor
  • The Judge
  • Mr. Trick
  • Anyanka
  • Darla
  • The First
  • The Gorch family
  • The Gentlemen
  • Kralik
  • Caleb
  • The Trio
  • Harmony

1

Angelus

Buffy and Angel’s love is so passionate and real throughout the beginning episodes.  There is something very romantic about the idea of a vampire with a soul and Angel has been trying to do good and make up for the monster he used to be.  However, when he is with Buffy, he loses his soul because he experiences true happiness, and Angelus is unleashed on the world once more as a result.  Not only is he a vicious killer, but he targets on Buffy’s weakness and mocks their love, making it seem like he did not care for her in the slightest.  He goes after her friends and family and toys with Buffy in a stalker-like way.  When Angelus unleashes a demon on the world to swallow it whole, Buffy knows that she must kill him to close the portal.  She has pushed her feelings aside and knows that she must defeat him for the greater good.  However, this becomes an almost impossible task when Angel’s soul is restored right at the moment she is about to kill him.  Buffy must follow through with this, sacrificing her love to save the world.  Her love for Angelus is what makes him such a dangerous villain.  Buffy is the Chosen One, but she is also human and a teenage girl with feelings.  Her strength is truly tested when Angelus is introduced, but she is able to do what is necessary to defeat him.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own favorite villains from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Thanks for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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Ranking the top 5 TV female characters who give Nancy Drew a run for her money: Solving one mystery at a time

Happy Saturday TV Fans!  I hope you are having a fabulous weekend full of shopping and binge-watching.  For today’s topic, I am going to be ranking the top 5 TV female characters who give Nancy Drew a run for her money.  Do you ever wonder how some of these characters solve the mystery in the nick of time while maintaining their grades, high school drama, and keeping up with the latest fashion trends?  For today’s ranking, I am only looking at female amateur sleuths.  If they work for any type of federal/government agency, they are not included since they are considered professionals.  My top 5 TV female characters who give Nancy Drew a run for her money are:

5

Dr. Joan Watson from CBS’s Elementary

While the original Dr. Watson from the classic Sherlock Holmes series is male, Lucy Liu proves that gender need not apply in order to have the smarts and wit to keep up with Sherlock Holmes himself.  While Dr. Watson does eventually consult with the police, she started off her career as a doctor and then shifted to helping others through addiction.  Even before Sherlock mentored her and taught her the ways of being a detective, her compassion for others and attention to detail made her a force to be reckoned with.  Joan is even able to get through to Sherlock and break through his shield of bottled emotions to help him cope with his own issues.  Through every test and case, Dr. Joan Watson proves to be a worthy partner of Sherlock’s and is capable of solving the mysteries on her own if needed.  But we love to see these two working together for sure.

4

Nancy Wheeler from Netflix’s Stranger Things

While a lot of the series centers on Nancy’s younger brother and his friends dealing with the threat of the upside down world, Nancy steps into the lime light herself to reveal that she is more than a stereotypical teenage girl.  When her best friend, Barb, vanishes, she is devastated but refuses to just accept it.  Nancy will stop at nothing to find out the truth about what happened to her and to make things right.  She finds herself in the middle of a love triangle, dealing with conflicting feelings for both Steve and Jonathan, but puts that on the back burner initially so that she can focus on the mystery at hand.

3

Betty Cooper from the CW’s Riverdale

Betty is pure of heart and has enough bounce in her blonde ponytail to bring school spirit to anyone even remotely close to her.  But that’s not what makes her so intriguing on Riverdale.  While she is concerned with doing the right thing and her image is close to perfection, Betty has some serious skills as an amateur sleuth and other characters on the show have even referred to her as Nancy Drew jokingly.  Unfortunately for Nancy Drew, she didn’t live in a world filled with technology at one’s finger tips and Betty uses this to her advantage.  She puts her family and friends above everything else and is great at analyzing the missing pieces of the puzzle to bring the truth to light.

2

Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily from Pretty Little Liars

While “A” has been revealed and the show is over, we can’t forget about the constant twists and turns these girls had to face.  The beginning of the series opens with their friend Alison’s supposed death and the girls are left to pick up the pieces and figure out what happened to her.  The fun doesn’t stop here; however, as someone going by the name “A” is after them and putting them through hell.  The girls don’t give in so easily, as they work together as a team to bring down “A” and figure out the mystery at hand.  Individually, each character has their own strengths, but together they are an unstoppable force and their bond and friendship keeps them from breaking along the way.

1

Veronica Mars from Veronica Mars

Following in the shadow of her father who is a private detective, Veronica is a high-school student who works closely with him and shows that she has just as much talent and a real knack for the business.  Her best friend was murdered and the series begins with her trying to figure out who did it by piecing together the evidence.  During this, she also takes on cases at school on behalf of her friends and classmates.  What’s so great about Veronica is that you almost forget she is a teenage girl.  Her wit and humor is hilarious and you find yourself rooting for her with each new case coming her way.  Veronica was once popular, but is now considered an outsider at school, but this doesn’t stop her from helping others and making a statement against bullies and other threats along the way.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post some of your own favorites below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl