My performance of the week ending 10/5/19 on TV goes to…

Kaitlyn Dever as Marie Adler on Netflix’s Unbelievable.  So, I heard really great things about this limited series on Netflix, but it’s not something I would normally watch.  It deals with some difficult subject matter and I typically have to make sure that I am in the right state of mind to watch something like this.  That being said, I am really glad that I gave this show a chance because it was absolutely captivating and thought-provoking.  Please note major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.

The performances from the entire cast were beyond incredible, but I was mostly impressed with Kaitlyn Dever’s performance.  I could really believe her and there was something about her subtle indifference that really spoke to me, reminding me that we all handle trauma in different ways and sometimes we just need that one person fighting in our corner to bring out the spark within us that has dimmed so many times before.

It’s not always easy to believe in ourselves, but when someone else finally does, it reminds us that we do matter, helping us re-discover our own self-worth.

The show moves really quickly and I found myself addicted to binge-watching it right after the first episode.  It really draws you in and part of that is because of Dever’s portrayal of Marie.  Sometimes it’s more about the characters that don’t have that apparent strength you often see that truly resonate with you.

I actually prefer seeing characters who are broken and defeated, watching them grow and learn from their mistakes, while they try to pave their own path.  Maybe it’s the right path or maybe it isn’t, but that’s what makes these characters so real and interesting to me.

I really connected with Marie’s character and I was constantly rooting for her even when I was not sure if she was making the right call or telling the truth.  The other performances on the show are also really compelling and I really dove into the investigation as well, as you almost feel like you are along for the ride with the detectives because you want some kind of real and deserving justice for the victims.

There’s something to be truly said for a performance that can stay with you for quite some time and I really think that Dever achieved that in this role.  This role had to be incredibly difficult to play and I feel like another approach might not have struck the same chord with me.  Dever’s portrayal was so real and magnetic and she gave me chills.

I absolutely recommend this show, but please pay attention to the viewing warnings displayed because some parts are very difficult to watch.

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Have a performance on TV that you think is simply outstanding? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Blog

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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 the top 5 moments from “The Affair” season 5 episode 6: “I Think He Killed Her”

Happy Sunday TV fans!  After watching Showtime’s The Affair season 5 episode 6, I learned that there can be an ongoing game of tug of war between resilience and trauma.  Is it possible to channel trauma to become even stronger or are we destined to be broken, repeating the fate of our parents?  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.

In tonight’s episode, “506,” Joanie meets a man named EJ, who has been studying the Lockhart family history for quite some time.  As Joanie uncovers new information behind her mother’s suicide, she begins to realize that perhaps there was more to it.  My top 5 moments from The Affair season 5 episode 6 are:


“If you touch me, I’ll stab you.”

Part one of the episode follows Joanie and I was really happy that part one lasted for the entire episode, as Joanie has deserved some screen time for a while now.  We catch up with Joanie in the cemetery and she meets a stranger named EJ.  After being momentarily creeped out by his staring, EJ offers to give Joanie a ride and she hesitantly accepts.

EJ studies family histories and is very interested in the Lockhart family tree, explaining that he has a theory on trauma running in families.  When he finds out who Joanie is, he is starstruck for sure, but Joanie doesn’t seem to be too interested in what he has to say just yet.  That is, until she finds out that she is taking samples at the place where her mother died.


“There’s no way she could have drowned herself in water that shallow.”

After parting ways with EJ temporarily after viewing some old police records, EJ calls her and says he has something to show her.  The two watch a breathtaking super moon in the sky, which ends up triggering something within Joanie.  Joanie brings up the data on the super moon from the night Alison drowned and realizes that the water where she drowned was extremely shallow, like a bathtub.

This brings up some questions about her death, but Joanie doesn’t seem quite ready to process it, as she decides to sleep with EJ, trying to turn everything off.  EJ questions her about her fetish for being choked and becomes a little bit too talkative, which prevents Joanie from truly losing herself…but perhaps she needed this to actually start dealing with the emotions swirling around inside of her.


“Are you sure it was suicide?”

Joanie returns home the next day, but seems extremely irritable and distracted.  Joanie’s mom comes to visit and we learn that she is referring to…Luisa!  Remember her?  Even though I was never a fan of Cole and Luisa’s relationship, I was happy to discover that Luisa remained in Joanie’s life even after she and Cole split up because Joanie needed a lot of support.

Luisa tells Joanie that Cole was the most determined person she ever met and that Joanie reminds her of him in so many ways.  Joanie proceeds to tell Luisa that she feels like Alison ruined everything, but it’s clear that she is unable to process the grief that is taking over right now.


“He could do anything.”

After having a meltdown over her oxygen garden failure, Joanie panics and tells her husband, Paul, that she has been cheating on him for years.  Paul tells her to get out and Joanie ends up on EJ’s doorstep.  She opens up to EJ about her father and we learn that Cole died of a heart attack at age 72.

Joanie blames herself because she thinks that if her father was not alone, he would still be alive.  EJ tries to get Joanie to talk about her father, recognizing that she is not allowing herself to feel anything and she tells him that Cole could do anything, bringing up some touching and heartwarming memories.


“I don’t know who the hell Benjamin Cruz is…”

EJ shows Joanie Cole’s box of letters, which he rescued from the trash, and shows Joanie some newspaper clippings about Benjamin Cruz.  Joanie initially doesn’t recognize him and I was laughing at EJ’s theory about him being Cole’s lover, but Joanie has a memory about the day she met Ben Cruz, as we see a flashback accompanied with Alison’s voice over.  Joanie wakes up suddenly and tells EJ that she remembers that Ben Cruz was her mother’s boyfriend and says, “I think he killed her,” as all of the pieces start to come together now.

Will Joanie be able to uncover the truth?  I can’t wait to find out!  I’ve been waiting for this episode since the new season started and I thought that it was brilliantly done, giving us the chance to truly understand Joanie and allowing Alison and Cole’s memory to still be present and relevant.  Joanie’s coming for you, Ben!  Look out!

Justice for Alison Bailey!

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


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Blog

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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!

13 Reasons Why you should watch “13 Reasons Why” Season 2

If you’re a devoted television fan like me, then I’m sure you have heard of the Netflix show, 13 Reasons Why.  Last year I spent an entire day binge-watching the first season and I have to say that it had me laughing, crying, and shocked more than I thought possible.  I do recommend that you read the warnings before each episode, as some of the content can be emotionally disturbing.  Having said that, the characters on this show are so real and it’s hard not to connect to their stories and dive into their world.  Our hearts break for some characters and we find ourselves angry at others, but we learn that “everyone affects everyone” in some way or another and it’s up to us to decide how we are going to behave and who we are going to become in the process.  It may be difficult to step out of a label or an expectation, but doing the right thing and supporting the people around us is so much more important.  While season 1 focuses primarily on Hannah Baker’s story, season 2 gives us the chance to see what happened from other perspectives, as unlikely heroes emerge and second chances are presented.  Please note major spoilers are ahead.  My top 13 reasons to check out 13 Reasons Why season 2 are: 



Clay gets a tattoo.

In the beginning of season 2, Clay is still with Skye and we learn that it has been 5 months since Hannah committed suicide.  Clay decides to get a semicolon tattoo, but ends up passing out.  As a result, he has a “fucking comma.”  Skye has emotional problems of her own and ends up moving away, but is an important influence on Clay’s life.  At the end of the season, Clay returns to finish the tattoo.  The semicolon symbol is important, representing another way to continue a sentence, rather than end it simply with a period.  This can be true about a sentence, a story, and about one’s life.  Selena Gomez and several of the actors on 13 Reasons Why have gotten the same tattoo and have discussed its message and significance.  The tattoo marks the beginning of Clay’s new journey, as he tries to deal with his life without Hannah.  No one said it would be easy, but Clay is ready to move on.


“There’s always another side to every story.”

Part of what makes season 2 so great is that we get to see what happened from different perspectives.  In season 1, everything we learned was mostly through Hannah’s eyes.  However, season 2 allows us to explore more of that story and understand how her suicide has truly impacted those around her.  For example, we learn that Zach actually had a summer romance with Hannah and had real and true feelings for her.


Clay is still seeing Hannah.

It’s hard not to root for Clay and want the very best for him.  Clay’s world is still falling apart, even though he has tried to move on.  He begins seeing Hannah and even has full conversations with her throughout season 2.  Clay clearly understands that Hannah is gone, but his loneliness is sometimes too much to handle and it seems to bring him some sort of comfort to talk out loud to her.  While this allows us to see more of Hannah Baker, the real emphasis here is on Clay and him trying to make sense of his life and figure out a healthy way to move on and still get justice for Hannah.


“Feeling the pain and facing it.  That takes courage.”

Hannah’s mother, Mrs. Baker is dealing with quite a lot.  Her daughter is gone, her husband is filing for divorce, and she is consumed by the trial against the school.  It’s difficult to sit through the trial as some witnesses tell a truth that is difficult to hear, while others completely lie.  Later on we learn that Hannah was responsible for bullying a girl at her old school.  Hannah wasn’t perfect, but Mrs. Baker’s love for her is unconditional and like Clay, she desperately wants justice for her daughter.  Mrs. Baker does have a second chance to make things right, as she becomes an important influence for both Jessica and Alex.  While Mrs. Baker may not have been able to save Hannah, she has the opportunity here to make a real difference with two kids in pain.


Alex puts the pieces back together.

At the end of season 1, Alex shot himself in the head, but did survive.  It’s difficult for him to walk and he has lost huge chunks of his memory, but he is determined to put the pieces back together.  He even listens to the tapes again, which eventually Clay leaks out to everyone anonymously so that they can learn what truly happened.  In episode 11, a huge fight breaks out and Alex begins to remember things, like Monty’s part in all of this.  He refuses to sit by on the sidelines and becomes a character you can truly relate to.


“Love as infinity.”

In one of my favorite moments of season 2, Clay and Hannah are lying on the floor and looking up at the ceiling.  They discuss the concept of infinity and how to understand it and Hannah suggests that “maybe that’s how we understand it.  Love that goes on forever.”  In this moment, it’s like the entire world has stopped and it’s just Clay and Hannah.  Clay’s love for Hannah is beautiful and transcendent.  This is a memory he can always hold on to forever, suggesting that her words are actually spot on.


Unlikely heroes step forward.

Characters like Mr. Porter, Justin, and Zach all get second chances in season 2.  Mr. Porter breaks down in court and even though he did everything he could according to policy, he feels like he could have done more.  He ultimately loses his job, but his words are important and he tries to make a difference in as many lives as he can.  While he feels like he let Hannah down, he has a second chance to make it right.  Justin has been living on the streets and Clay finds him and lets him stay at his house secretly.  Justin has an addiction to heroin and has been dealing with quite a lot, but he is able to do the right thing and tell the court and the police what he saw Bryce do to Jessica.  While Justin has consequences of his own because of his involvement, he is willing to do the right thing and become someone to be proud of.  When Clay tells Justin that his family wants to adopt him, it looks like he can finally get the second chance he deserves.  Now he just needs to kick that nasty drug habit.  Zach is another character who becomes an unlikely hero.  Even when he was with Hannah, he was a coward and allowed Bryce and the others to make fun of her.  Zach finally breaks out of this and stands against Bryce.  In the huge fight in episode 11, he finally picks a side.  Zach is an important character because he reminds us that sometimes it’s easier to do nothing and stay quiet, but taking a stand takes real courage and can shape us into who we are meant to be.


“Some people will still blame others.”

While many of the characters are trying to pick up the pieces and move on, poor Tyler is having a rough go at it.  While it’s easy to dislike Bryce who refuses to believe that he is wrong, a character like Monty can be even more dangerous.  Monty’s actions are cruel and disturbing.  In a graphic sexual assault, Monty does the unthinkable to Tyler.  The rape scene in the bathroom is extremely difficult to watch.  Tyler is traumatized and is looking to take revenge against his classmates as a result of this.  Even though unlikely heroes have emerged, there are still bullies and villains present, refusing to take a hard look in the mirror to see what they have done.  Bryce and Monty have destroyed lives with their actions.  But will they ever truly try to make amends?


Justice for Jessica.

Jessica is having a very difficult time coping and is unable to name Bryce throughout most of season 2.  After Justin comes forward, Jessica is able to finally file a police report.  Even though Bryce gets off with 3 months probation, she no longer needs to hide from the truth.  Jessica learns how to live her life without being defined by something that happened to her and to step forward for those who can’t.  For example, Chloe has the opportunity to speak out against Bryce and can’t go through with it.  However, Chloe has another problem to deal with, as she confides in Jessica that she is pregnant.  Jessica is also able to get justice for Hannah in this moment as well, who never got the chance to speak out against Bryce.  Even though the trial ends with ruling in favor of the school, what happened to Hannah is not to be forgotten.  Jessica’s justice is also extremely important.


“I can love you and still let you go.”

Earlier in season 2, Skye leaves and says these words to Clay.  They are beautiful and meaningful and later when Clay speaks at Hannah’s service, he applies them to his love for Hannah.  The service allows everyone to finally say goodbye to Hannah and cherish her memory.  Clay’s eulogy is so real and heartbreaking.  While he will never forget Hannah, he is ready to move on with his life.


“The Night we Met.”

In the season 2 finale, Clay and everyone are at the school dance.  “The Night we Met” song comes on again, which is the song he danced with Hannah to.  Clay’s emotions begin overwhelming him and Tony immediately goes to find him when he hears the song.  In a beautiful moment, Tony and all of his friends surround Clay and sway back and forth to the music.  All of these characters have come together to be there for Clay.  He is no longer alone and these characters are now linked forever.  In season 1, they were all brought together by terrible secrets, but in season 2 they are brought together to honor Hannah and to support each other no matter what comes their way.


“What do we do?  Do we look the other way or do we help them?”

When Clay discovers that Tyler is on his way to the school with an assault rifle, everyone suggests that they call the police and get out of there.  Clay refuses to run away, however.  He knows that Hannah would want him to step in and help.  It’s never too late and Clay risks his life trying to tell Tyler this.  Tony gets Tyler out of there in the nick of time, while Clay is left standing outside holding the gun.  In this moment, Clay is beyond courageous, but he has a lot to explain once the police show up.


“But no matter how many reasons there might be why, there are always more why not.”

This is probably the most significant moment for me.  Mrs. Baker finds Hannah’s list of reasons and discovers that she made a list of reasons why not.  Clay and “Helmet” are on there, which reveals how important he truly was to Hannah.  Mrs. Baker tries to tell him that she left so many reasons out and that there are always more reasons why not, reminding us that living is what’s important.  Clay and the other characters are ready to finally start living.  The tragic moments are always going to happen and we can’t always control that, but we can control what we do afterwards.  It’s what makes us who we are; who we can still become.

 I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on 13 Reasons Why in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading and happy viewing!


Amy Koto, 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 moments from “Fear the Walking Dead” season 4 episode 2: “No one’s gone till they’re gone”

Happy Tuesday TV fans!  After watching AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead season 4 episode 2, I learned that a baseball stadium can actually serve as the perfect place for survival in the zombie apocalypse.  After all, you have a field for crops, a PA system to warn you of oncoming attacks, and showers.  Did I mention showers?  I have to admit that out of all the places we have seen the characters from The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead hold up in; this settlement really seems the most promising.  Time will tell if it will last, however.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.  In last night’s episode, “Another Day in the Diamond,” we learn that Madison and the gang found the baseball stadium and decided to turn it into a settlement after everything they went through.  While we are still missing a chunk of time and don’t know exactly all of the details that led to this, we do get some flashes, reminding us that these characters have survived quite a lot and are still standing.  Meanwhile, Madison risks her life to save a stranger, a child is not who she says she is, and we meet the people responsible for the numbered flags, who seem to be the new big bad in town.  My top 5 moments from Fear the Walking Dead season 4 episode 2 are:


Nick tries not to let his fear get the best of him.

Nick has always been one of the strongest and most resourceful characters on the show.  When the going got rough, he would head off on his own and face unthinkable threats.  He learned to adapt to his surroundings and make hard choices, but he always radiated an inner strength.  At the end of season 3, Nick made a difficult choice and attempted to sacrifice himself on the bridge and blow it up to protect his family.  Throughout the episode, Nick had several flashes back to this event and it clearly traumatized him into a stagnant fear.  Nick never leaves the baseball stadium and has anxiety when he tries to head off into the parking lot.  Although Nick is clearly making an effort to get over what happened, his inner demons won’t go away just yet.


“No one’s gone until they’re gone.”

Madison has fully embraced her role as leader and is trying to help everyone in her settlement.  She has really connected with a young girl named Charlie and desperately wants to help her find her family.  When they go out looking for answers, Madison crosses paths with a survivor named Naomi who is played by Jenna Elfman.  Naomi pulls a gun on Madison, but is quickly surrounded by Alicia, Luciana, and Victor.  She tries to escape but falls into some sort of oil tank.  She is surrounded by walkers and it seems like she is out of luck, but Madison risks her life to jump in and help her.  We know that Madison is never afraid to get dirty and proves to be an unstoppable force, even covered in oil and gunk.  Madison brings Naomi back to their settlement and we learn that she used to be a nurse which will certainly come in handy.  Madison has a genuine conversation with Naomi and reveals that she almost lost her family because of the decisions she made before.  Madison is always moving and doing something, as if she’s almost afraid to be alone with her thoughts and memories, worrying that they could break her down.  Like Nick, Madison has been traumatized on some level, but decides to keep busy and help others to numb the pain. 


Charlie is not who she says she is.

Throughout the episode, I found it interesting that there seemed to be a lot of focus on this little girl, but the Clark family has clearly taken her in under their wing.  Nick even asks Luciana to find her another book so that she has something to pass the time with and Madison attempts to build her a bedroom.  Even though Madison and the others have been betrayed before, they open their settlement and heart to Charlie, trusting in the innocence of a child.  We later learn that Charlie is part of the “Vultures” group which has come to take over the settlement from Madison.  Charlie has been providing them with intel and they even know who Nick is and about the turnips going bad.  While Charlie remains quiet when she joins her “family,” it’s clear that no one saw this coming.


Meet Mel.

In episodes 1 and 2, we see numbered flags along the way.  Mel and his group drive up to the stadium and demonstrate how they handle walkers.  While Mel does not seem like a forceful threat, he does want something and is willing to wait patiently to get it.  He tells Madison that he wants them to listen.  He proposes that they give them their stuff and live or that they can wait for them to die and take it anyway.  While we don’t know much about Mel just yet, he seems very calm and rational.  He pulls up a chair in the parking lot and seems to think he’s right about everything.  The threat is a real one however; and Madison must decide carefully what to do next.


“We’re not going anywhere.”

After listening to Mel, Madison confidently stands up to him and lets him know that they worked hard to build up their settlement and they are not going to just hand it over to him.  Mel tells her that they will be tested, but Madison is a very capable and strong leader.  We know that she will do anything to protect her own, but is she ready for a new threat?  At the end of the episode, we finally catch up to present day and the end of episode 1.  Alicia initially thinks that Morgan, Al, and John are working with the Vultures, which is why they hold them at gun point.  After they clear up this misunderstanding, Alicia demands that they show them where they found the “51” flag.  While we don’t know how much time has passed between then and now, we know that the Vultures have got everyone on edge.  Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on Fear the Walking Dead in the comments section below.  Happy viewing!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl