Spoiler-Free Review of “The Nevers” on HBO Max: Steampunk Buffy

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

“We’re meant to be as we are…”

The Nevers premiered on HBO and HBO Max on April 11th 2021. The series is set to air six weekly episodes for part one and then the remaining six episodes of part two will air at a later date. The series stars Laura Donnelly, Ann Skelly, Olivia Williams, and James Norton. Each episode runs for approximately 50-55 minutes.

The latest series created by Joss Whedon is set in Victorian times, following a group of women who are “touched” with special abilities. Our main characters run an orphanage and try and protect other women with these unique abilities from unknown threats in this fantasy steampunk-esque new world.

Here is the trailer:

The Nevers may seem extremely similar to Whedon’s other shows at first glance, but it does have a new unique setting to explore with a mysterious plot tangled in a tale of female empowerment. Does it do enough to stand out from its predecessors? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 1

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Leading ladies worth our time.

The dynamic duo of Amalia True and Penance Adair is a dream come true and these two won me over immediately. They have great chemistry together and will immediately give you some Buffy and Willow nostalgia. 

Amalia is very much like Buffy in a lot of ways with her quick wit and fighting skills while Penance’s quirky humor and strengths involving technology scream Willow. While many critics see this as as a con, this formula works.

I did see the similarities which helped me connect with them as a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I am confident we will be able to peel back more layers of each character as the episodes air and hopefully we will get to see what truly makes both of these ladies tick and how their abilities work.

Either way, we’re off to a good start because if I don’t care about the characters, it’s hard to keep me invested.

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 2

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Fun fight scenes with flair.

I’m all for a well thought out fight scene and some clever puns and maybe that’s the Buffy fan in me, but it makes for some pretty entertaining television.

The fight scenes were really fun and I loved the costumes and setting. This show could have easily fallen into the trap of too much talking and fluff in Victorian times like The Irregulars, but there is already more action and humor embedded in to balance things in a better way.

The Cons:

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 3

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Villain rip-off.

I didn’t mind a lot of the similarities I saw during the show. I’m all for a show about female empowerment and the quirky friendship already felt authentic to me just from the pilot episode.

That being said, I thought the new villain, Maladie was a bad rip-off of Drusilla, who is one of the most iconic villains in television history for me. It just felt overdone and stale and I expected a lot more here.

Messy start and a bad rep.

There’s a lot going on in the opening episode which left me confused about a lot. We are introduced to a lot of characters and this show can easily lose focus if it isn’t careful. I think that as long as it focuses on the main characters and the mystery behind the “touched,” it will do enough each episode to keep us coming back for more.

I want to judge this show on pure entertainment value, but there are already a lot of unfavorable reviews and a lot of discussion involving Joss Whedon, who created the series. Even though he left the project and we will have a new showrunner for part 2, the show feels very much like a Whedon show.

Olivia Williams appeared in Dollhouse, Jane Espenson was a writer on Buffy, and the themes and characters follow a Whedon formula so it will be hard to separate him from it completely. 

So am I in or out?

The Nevers Spoiler Free Review 4

Images courtesy of HBO Max

I’m in!

There will certainly be a lot of talk about this show for a while, but I’m going to give it a chance because I think there is enough substance there. The characters are really likable and I kind of really dig the steampunk Victorian vibe. 

The show started off a little bit messy and all over the place, but I think once it finds its groove and settles into its main plot, it can be pure magic. The ending of the pilot episode had me on the edge of my seat and I immediately wanted to watch the next episode. 

I think that as long as you go into this show with an open mind, you will be entertained.

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

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Ranking my top 5 moments featuring Buffy and Spike from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Happy Wednesday TV fans!  As I near the end of my Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-watch, it really got me thinking about how many epic moments there are between Buffy and Spike.  While I tend to prefer Buffy and Angel together romantically, I cannot ignore the spark between these two and I’m sure that Spuffy fans would agree.

For today, I am going to be ranking the top 5 moments featuring Buffy and Spike.  I was having a little bit of trouble deciding because there are so many outstanding moments and I did ask for input from Spuffy fans on Twitter as well.  Thank you so much for your help and participation!  I’m glad to know that I was not the only one having trouble with this, but I think that really proves that all of these Spuffy moments truly stand the test of time.

Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the full series yet. 

My top 5 moments featuring Buffy and Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are:

5

Porch scene

The porch scene (Moment from “Fool for Love” season 5, episode 7).

Front porch.gif

During this episode, Buffy seeks out Spike’s help after she is almost killed by a vampire.  Spike has killed two slayers in his lifetime and Buffy is looking to find out more about this.  We get to see a glimpse into Spike’s past and learn that he was previously a “bloody awful poet” before being turned into a vampire.

During present day, Spike has the chip in his head and is beyond furious with Buffy after she tells him that he is beneath her, which is what Cecily said to Spike so many years ago.  Spike decides that he is going to kill Buffy to even the score, but has a sudden change of heart when he sees her crying on the porch.

Buffy has just found out that her mother is extremely sick and she takes a moment outside to try and deal with this.  In a beautiful and selfless moment, Spike simply asks Buffy “what’s wrong” and sits next to her on the porch in silence.  Buffy may not be ready to talk about it just yet, but this gesture is very much appreciated and reveals that Spike is capable of friendship and goodness even before his soul is returned.

4

Intervention

Buffy kisses Spike as “Buffybot” (Moment from “Intervention” season 5, episode 18).

During this episode, Spike’s “Buffybot” is both hilarious and slightly disturbing.  Spike’s infatuation with Buffy has reached a new level, as he “role plays” with Warren’s creation.  Glory’s minions notice that “Buffybot” is protecting Spike as if he were “precious” and mistake him for the key.  Glory tortures Spike badly, but he refuses to give Dawn up because he knows that it would destroy Buffy.

At the end of the episode, the real Buffy pretends to be “Buffybot” to find out what Spike said.  After Spike reveals that he did not tell her anything, Buffy kisses him.  This is the first “real” kiss between these two.  Buffy does it to thank him, but Spike is beyond shocked by this act and I was pleasantly surprised myself.

3

I love you buffy

Buffy tells Spike she loves him right before he sacrifices himself (Moment from “Chosen” season 7, episode 22).

In the series finale, Spike sacrifices himself to destroy the hellmouth.  Right before he dies, he tells Buffy that he can feel his soul.  Buffy holds his hand, which begins to burst into flames and tells Spike that she loves him.  Spike says, “No you don’t.  But thanks for saying it.” 

While this moment is absolutely heartbreaking, Spike’s purpose has now been fulfilled.  He saves the world and protects Buffy, truly earning the title of a “champion.”  Buffy recognizes his sacrifice and tells him that she loves him because he deserves to hear it.  Whether she means it or not, this moment truly touches my heart and soul.

2

Musical

Buffy and Spike kiss at the end of the musical (Moment from “Once More, with Feeling” season 6, episode 7).

You can’t help singing along to the musical episode of Buffy.  Or maybe you can, but I absolutely know all of the words and I’m not ashamed to admit that.  There have been undeniable sparks between Buffy and Spike leading to this moment and at the very end of the musical episode, Buffy and Spike share an epic kiss.

It’s like you can see the fireworks going off at this moment, as these two finally begin a romantic relationship.  While their relationship has many ups and downs, this kiss is beyond swoon-worthy.  Most fans voted for this particular moment as their favorite and I have to admit that I was pretty torn as well, but I ultimately decided that there was one more moment that really showcased the love between Buffy and Spike even more.  At least for me.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one moment featuring Buffy & Spike are:

Buffy drinking.gif

  • Spike takes Buffy out drinking (Moment from “Life Serial” season 6, episode 5).
  • Spike proposes to Buffy after Willow’s spell goes wrong (Moment from “Something Blue” season 4, episode 9).
  • Faith in Buffy’s body teases Spike (Moment from “Who Are You?” season 4, episode 16).
  • Buffy learns that Spike’s soul has returned (Moment from “Beneath You” season 7, episode 2).
  • Buffy & Spike take down a building (Moment from “Smashed” season 6, episode 9).
  • Buffy tells Spike that she was in heaven (Moment from “After Life” season 6, episode 3).
  • Spike tells The First that Buffy believes in him (Moment from “Bring on the Night” season 7, episode 10).

1

Touched 5

Spike tells Buffy that she’s the one (Moment from “Touched” Season 7, episode 20).

After re-watching the series, this moment still remains as my absolute favorite for Buffy and Spike.  Spike’s speech to Buffy is so real and perfect.  He tells her how he feels with every part of his being and speaks from the heart.  Buffy is feeling lost and confused and Spike reminds her that she is a “hell of a woman” and “the one.” 

Later in the episode, Buffy and Spike just hold each other, which is truly something magical.  This simple expression of their love is so pure and perfect.  Their relationship has transcended into something beyond epic in this moment and I wouldn’t have it play out any other way.

Later in the series, Spike even tells Buffy that it was the best night of his life and it’s definitely my favorite moment for these two!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own comments and thoughts about your favorite moments featuring Buffy & Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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

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

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

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

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover