Ranking the top 5 couples from “Once Upon a Time”

“I’m a fan of every part of you” (Hook to Emma).  Happy Saturday TV fans!  I invested quite a bit of time over the years into watching ABC’s Once Upon a Time and one of the main reasons why I love the show so much is because I fell in love with the characters and found myself constantly rooting for different ships to make it against all odds.  OUAT does an excellent job of providing us with nostalgia from some of our favorite fairy-tales, but the writers were never afraid to shake things up and present us with a ship that we may have never predicted or some that initially seemed unconventional.  However, once we detected the undeniable sparks between some of these characters, it was quite easy to imagine their stories intertwining.  Villains got their first glimpse at what true love looked like and learned that it was never too late to change and that it was possible to still achieve a happy ending.  While some ships supported each other no matter what, others had to face many trials and obstacles, testing their love for one another constantly.

Some of our favorite ships have been ripped apart brutally and while some were lucky enough to experience their happy ending together, others were not able to do so, but their love still remained unchanging, teaching them to hold on to the goodness still within them and to open their hearts to everyone around them.  An OTP or one true pairing is difficult to find, but these characters below certainly achieved this title, making us believe that true love is possible but it is far from easy to hold on to.  These characters learned never to take their love for granted and would do anything for the other.  Their love for one another helped shaped them into who they were meant to be, inspiring hope throughout their epic stories.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the series yet.  My top five ships from Once Upon a Time are:

5

Rumple & Belle

Ship name:  Rumbelle

Rumbelle 6 16 1

“But that monster is gone. And the man beneath him may be flawed… but we all are. And I love you for it. Sometimes the best book has the dustiest jacket. And sometimes the best teacup is chipped.”

When I first learned that Rumple was also the “beast” in Belle’s story, I was not sure how I felt about this.  Rumple had already been presented as a major villain and it made sense that he would also fit right in as a “beast” or a “monster” in another story or realm, but I wasn’t sure if Rumple would truly be able to shed his wicked ways and learn to love Belle.  However, I changed my mind when I saw Belle looking at Rumple with pure love and acceptance.  When they danced together, it was like the story of “Beauty and the Beast” opened up a new chapter filled with a chance at redemption.  Rumple was one of the most devious villains on the show and somehow Belle was able to get through to him and show him that there was a different path that he could take; a path that led to love and a family, even if they had a rocky journey ahead of them.  Belle always saw the good in Rumple but was hurt many times by him as well when he allowed the darkness to consume him, putting his agenda above his love for Belle without always realizing it.  In season 7, Rumple was desperately trying to rid himself of the Dark One’s dagger and get back to Belle so that they could be together, but ultimately realized that this might never happen and sacrificed himself to save his friends and family.  Rumple’s actions were truly selfless and he was greeted by Belle in limbo so that they could finally be together always and forever.

4

Snow & Charming

Ship name:  Snowing

Snowing 6 16 1

“True love isn’t easy, but it must be fought for because once you find it, it can never be replaced.”

This list would not be complete without including Snow White and Prince Charming.  When the series first began, there was a lot of focus on these two and it was adorable to see their “meet cute” when Snow got caught in the net by Charming.  Out of all of the ships on the series, Snow and Charming are the most stable and constant.  No matter what was thrown at them, they always found their way back to one another and they never gave up on each other.  Even when Charming didn’t remember Snow in Storybrooke, their love was able to seep through, ultimately reminding them that they did belong together.  Emma is the daughter of Snow and Charming and their unconditional love for her made them even stronger.  While their story was often presented as less complicated than some of the other ships on this list, their love was selfless, kind, and unwavering.

3

Regina & Robin

Ship name:  Outlaw Queen

Outlaw queen 6 16 1

“Our story was so short.  Doesn’t make it any less epic.”

Out of all of the ships on this list, I have to say that I was initially rooting for this couple above all others.  Regina started out as an evil queen with only coldness and revenge in her heart.  However, her feelings for Robin were beautiful and heartwarming.  They were never lacking passion and it seemed like Robin was the absolute perfect match for Regina.  It was predicted that Regina’s true love was a mysterious man with a lion tattoo and when this was revealed as Robin, it was impossible not to root for these two to end up together.  Robin was able to see that Regina had clearly changed and was ready to become a good person.  Robin sacrificed himself to protect Regina just shortly after they talked about their future together, which made this moment even more heartbreaking.  Even though Regina and Robin did not end up together, Robin was always with her in her heart.  In the series finale, Regina was dreaming and Robin visited her.  She told him how much she missed him and explained she may be joining him.  Regina clearly remembered being a villain and started to think that maybe this was what she deserved.  However, the goodness in her was articulated by Robin, who told her that she was able to move her dark actions to the light and that was all because of her.  He told her that “her life is proof that no one’s path is set.” Robin provided Regina with the strength she needed when it seemed like the world was against her.  When he revealed to her how epic their love was, this was one of the most beautiful moments on the show.  While it seemed beyond unfair that these two could not be together, we know that Robin would always be in Regina’s heart, reminding her that her new path is one of goodness and love.

2

Alice & Robin

Ship name:  Mad Archer

Mad Archer 6 16 1

“I told you we’d always know each other.”

Alice and Robin, also known as Tilly and Margot, possessed a pure and beautiful love.  Fans could not help falling in love with these two, as they reminded us what true love is all about and fans are still talking about them now.  Fan fiction and requests for a Mad Archer spin-off are everywhere and I have to say that I absolutely agree.  There is just something about Alice and Robin that bring us right back to the first moment where we may have experienced love ourselves.  I’m talking about those over-the-top feelings of butterflies in your stomach and smiling constantly for no reason at all.  When Robin/Margot awkwardly asked Alice/Tilly out on a date and explained she was wearing lip gloss, it was impossible not to identify with these lovely ladies.  Their shyness and awkwardness made them even more lovable and it’s like we were along for their journey, as they tried to get to know one another and shared their dreams and secrets.  Both Alice and Robin had a strong sense of doing what’s right and supporting family and friends no matter what, which made their relationship that much more powerful.  As individual characters they were remarkable, but as a team they were truly something special.  When they finally remembered each other and shared a passionate kiss, it was like you could see the imaginary fireworks going off around them, as fans everywhere cheered.  While we know that they are engaged at the end of the series, their story is far from over and it would be amazing to see a wedding between these two.  After all, Nook should get the chance to walk “Starfish” down the aisle.

1

Hook & Emma

Ship name:  Captain Swan

Captain Swan 6 16 1

“When I win your heart Emma, and I will win it. It won’t be because of any trickery. It will be because you want me.”

 My number one ship has to go to Hook and Emma.  When the devilishly handsome Captain Hook sailed into our hearts on OUAT, he initially was out for revenge.  While Hook innocently flirted with Emma from the start, his love for her allowed him to grow as a character and to learn from his wicked past.  Hook was always used to taking the easy way out and making decisions based on how well it suited him.  Emma changed this perspective, however; proving that he could be a selfless man.  When Hook realized his strong feelings for Emma, he even backed down and explained that she should be with Neal so that Henry could have his family all together.  Hook truly loved Emma at this point, but was willing to sacrifice this so that she could find happiness.  Later, when they did end up together, Emma consumed the power of the Dark One and evil corrupted her heart.  The only thing that could bring her back to goodness was Hook’s love for her and his willingness to sacrifice himself to save her.  Emma and Hook had one of the most beautiful relationships on television and their wedding at the end of season 6 was touching and heartwarming.  Hook’s love for Emma transformed him from a villain into a hero one can be proud of, who would never stop fighting for the one he loves.  In the series finale, we finally got to see Hook and Emma again along with their beautiful baby daughter, Hope.  The name of their child is absolutely perfect, symbolizing what kept them going strong all this time.  Emma and Hook never lost hope in each other and it’s wonderful to see that they are starting the next chapter of their lives together.  And so they lived happily ever after…

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own thoughts and comments on your favorite ships on OUAT.  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! 

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Ranking the top 5 villains from “Once Upon a Time”

Happy Saturday TV Fans!  For today, I started to really think about all of the heroes and villains on Once Upon a Time.  One of the reasons why I truly love this show is because it redefines these roles from traditional fairy-tales.  Heroes we root for are far from perfect and villains transform into unlikely heroes, rewriting their own stories in the process.  Who says that villains can’t achieve a happy ending?  It’s never too late to change and embrace the goodness within that has been stifled by past actions and circumstances.  While some villains are never able to redeem themselves, others have surpassed our expectations, sacrificing everything for the greater good.  Over the seven seasons of OUAT, we have witnessed some of our favorite heroes fall from grace and some of the most notorious villains accept their true destiny, saving the day and reminding us that we all have the potential to do the right thing.  Even though some of their roles have been redefined, one cannot forget how truly “wicked” they once were, proving to be formidable foes who threaten to extinguish all of the good in Storybrooke and other realms.  Whether they possess dark magic, a knack for manipulation, or an impressive evil cackle, these villains have paved their way into my top 5, refusing to make it easy for the good guys.  After all, where is the fun in that?  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the series yet. My top 5 villains from Once Upon a Time are:

5

Captain Hook

While most of us will think of Captain Hook as a hero, we can’t forget how he started out on the show.  Captain Hook was a villain who was purely out for revenge.  The “crocodile” is none other than Rumplestiltskin and is responsible for cutting off Captain’s Hook hand and for killing his love, Milah.  Milah was married to Rumplestiltskin, but we learn that she and Captain Hook were lovers, which only enraged Rumplestiltskin even further.  Captain Hook started off as a pirate looking for adventure.  He may have had selfish tendencies, but he didn’t truly become a villain until he became obsessed with his quest for vengeance.  Captain Hook teams up with Cora, but soon learns that there is more to life than revenge.  While it’s difficult for Hook to let go of this, his growing feelings for Emma show him that perhaps he can go down a different path…or sail down a different coast.  Captain Hook is redeemed by his selfless and pure love for Emma.  He becomes a hero one can be proud of and sheds his treachery in the process.

4

Zelena

Otherwise known as “The Wicked Witch of the West,” we learn that Zelena is Regina’s half-sister.  Zelena was abandoned when she was a child and never really found anyone who could truly accept her.  Rumplestiltskin taught her how to channel her rage and magic, which turned her into a powerful witch.  Zelena’s wickedness comes from her jealousy.  When she goes to see the wizard, she sees Rumple stating that Regina is his best student and her jealousy escalates so much that it turns her skin green with envy.  Zelena is a primary villain for most of the show, but she eventually forms a sisterly bond with Regina and learns what love is.  Even though Zelena is able to redeem herself, her side comments and puns still have a “wicked” quality that make fans adore her even more.  Zelena may be fighting on the side of good now, but that doesn’t mean she needs to suppress her opinions and sense of humor in the process.

3

The Evil Queen

After watching the entire series, it’s difficult to lump Regina Mills with the Evil Queen, especially since her evil half gets separated from her later on.  However, everyone has a past and Regina definitely has done her fair share of evil.  The Evil Queen focused most of her revenge on Snow White and made it a priority to become the most powerful of all.  She is known for ripping out the hearts of her enemies to control them, proving to be ruthless and coldblooded.  In Storybrooke, Regina is the mayor and is not afraid to showcase her “power” for all to see.  However, Regina’s love for her adopted son, Henry, teaches her that unconditional love is possible.  While her romantic love interest, Robin is killed, Regina is still able to hold on to goodness because of her family.  At the end of the series, “The Evil Queen” has transformed into the “The Good Queen,” and is actually elected by everyone in Storybrooke to lead them.  This is a pivotal moment for Regina because she spent most of her past forcing others to follow her commands.  However, she is now fully accepted as a hero and is trusted because of her goodness and courage.

2

Dark Emma Swan

Emma Swan is known as “The Savior” and the main protagonist on the show.  Even though she had trouble believing, she always tried to do what was right and when she becomes “Dark Emma Swan,” it was completely shocking.  The twist was a role reversal for our favorite hero, which kept us on the edge of our seats.  Emma’s actions were to protect Regina from darkness, as she consumes the magic of “The Dark One.”  Emma’s hair is now an icy white, as the darkness within her corrupts her, turning her into a fear-provoking villain.  Emma is still conflicted, as she clearly cares about her loved ones, but she recognizes how strong the darkness is.  She plans to sacrifice herself, but Hook intervenes and takes her place to save her. 

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Ingrid, the Snow Queen
  • Peter Pan
  • Black Fairy
  • Mother Gothel
  • Maleficent
  • Cruella De Vil
  • Cora Mills
  • Hades
  • Drizella
  • Doctor Facilier

 

1

Rumplestiltskin

It should be no surprise that my favorite villain has to be Rumplestiltskin.  Insert his classic creepy laugh here “dearie.”  Rumplestiltskin enjoys making deals and gaining power as a result.  He always has something up his sleeve whether you are aware or not.  If we look at a lot of the other villains mentioned, Rumple has played a role with almost all of them in some form or another.  While he is consumed by the power of “The Dark One,” Mr. Gold is no stranger to concocting his own schemes as well to further his agenda.  What makes him a truly great villain is that he often goes unnoticed.  However, he is the master puppeteer in many instances, which proves how powerful and dangerous he can be.  While it initially seemed like Rumple could never be redeemed, his pure love for Belle changes his tune.  Belle sees the good in him even when others see him as a monster or a “beast.”  While Rumple does disappoint Belle along the way by giving in to the darkness, he desperately tries to be the man she wants him to be.  However, Rumple does not fully redeem himself until the end of the series.  Up until this point, we have seen signs of goodness within him, but he has always been too afraid to fully commit.  Even in his past, he was called a coward and it seems like this has always come back to haunt him.  At the end of the series, Wish Rumple threatens everyone and Rumple finally realizes that he may not be able to be with Belle again after all.  He puts aside the one thing he cares about more than anything in order to help his family and friends.  When he sacrifices himself and gives his heart over to Nook, he has finally embraced the goodness that has been trying to surface for so long.  Rumple’s act is out of pure goodness and friendship and he can now finally earn the happy ending he has been searching for.  In the afterlife, Rumple and Belle are together and will never be apart again.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own thoughts and comments on your favorite villains from Once Upon a Time 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! 

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: 

 

13

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.

12

“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.

11

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.

10

“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.

9

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.

8

“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.

7

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.

6

“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?

5

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.

4

“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.

3

“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.

2

“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.

1

“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!

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 moments from “Once Upon a Time” season 7 episode 21: “We Don’t Negotiate with Villains”

After watching ABC’s Once Upon a Time season 7 episode 21 last night, Henry talks about the importance of finding one’s happy ending the right way.  Unfortunately not everyone shares this belief, which we quickly learn during the first half of the series finale.  While sometimes patience, hope, and good deeds can be enough to fulfill our days, some characters are not able to overcome the overwhelming sense of defeat and loneliness within them.  Perhaps we all have the potential to become a villain, only we surround ourselves with people we love and things that make us happy to remind us to stay on a good path.  It’s hard not to be sympathetic to those who wander off the path, however, which can lead to darkness.  While these villains may not realize the damage that they are causing before it’s too late, it’s up to the heroes still existing to fight for good to prevail.  And it’s also important to know when to ask for help, as none of us are in this alone.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “Homecoming,” wish Rumple pays Henry a visit and offers him a deal.  Meanwhile, Rogers/Nook promises Tilly/Alice that he will find a way for their own curse to be broken, Tiana/Sabine has doubts about her purpose, and Rumple takes on the greatest enemy he will ever face…himself.  My top 5 moments from Once Upon a Time season 7 episode 21 are:

5

Wish Rumple threatens Henry.

Just as the curse is broken and everyone’s memory is restored, it seems like our happy ending is right around the corner.  Only there is one more test that everyone must face in order to obtain it.  Henry is beyond happy to be reunited with his wife, Ella and his daughter, Lucy, but wish Rumple takes advantage of his love for them and traps them in the wish realm.  He threatens Henry and explains that he will destroy his family unless he retrieves the Dark One’s dagger and brings it to him.  Henry finds reinforcements when he goes to Regina, Rumple, and Nook for help.  Regina reminds him that “we don’t negotiate with villains” and talks about the importance of sticking by your family and protecting it no matter what.  They decide to go into the wish realm to save Ella and Lucy, using Alice’s cracked looking glass as a portal.  While they do not really know what to expect on the other side of the portal, they are ready to face whatever or whoever gets in their way, including some familiar faces.

4

Old friends and enemies return.

In wish realm, Henry and the others come across several familiar faces that will have OUAT fans everywhere cheering.  While the end of the show is near, it’s important that we look back on all of our past friends and enemies who have shaped the show and made it what it is today.  While Nook gets some help from our old friend, Ariel, other not so friendly faces are lurking behind the corner.  Peter Pan warns them as soon as they get to wish realm and Cruella holds on to her fur coat, but not her hair color unfortunately, as Henry later strips the black from her hair, which is the ink he needs for the Author’s Pen.  While we know more familiar faces will be surfacing in next week’s series finale, these characters are not to be forgotten, as they provide us with a reminder and a sense of nostalgia of the earlier days of Once Upon a Time.

3

Rumple vs Rumple.

Rumple decides to have a talk with himself.  He explains that he doesn’t want to force the dagger on an innocent and is happy to hand it over to him.  He thinks that wish Rumple could be the loophole he has been searching for all along.  But is he really ready to make a deal with his darker self?  Rumple explains that the one enemy he can never defeat is himself and is ready to get the happy ending he has been searching for.  However, Rumple has a trick up his sleeve, as he uses the squid ink Ariel gave them to trap him.  Rumple is ready to defeat his alter-ego, but Regina walks in and wish Rumple escapes.  While we know it can’t be that easy to defeat wish Rumple, it’s important that our Rumple is taking the necessary steps to finally do the right thing after repeating his mistakes over and over.  Rumple truly loves Belle but is willing to sacrifice reuniting with her if it means saving his family.  This transformation reminds us that it’s never too late to do the right thing and that having people in our lives who support us can make all the difference.

2

“None of my wishes came true.”

Like our version of Rumple, wish Rumple has not revealed his true intentions up front.  We learn that he has another agenda and it involves Henry.  Henry’s emotions are running high, as he is worried about the safety of his family, clouding his good judgment in the process.  He makes the rash decision to obtain the Author’s Pen and is warned by the author to use it to record, but not create.  Wish Rumple has been after the Author’s Pen this entire time and uses wish realm Henry as his instrument of destruction.  Even though our version of Henry turned down Rumple’s deal, wish realm Henry never had a single wish come true and is broken from this.  He is desperate enough to make a deal with wish Rumple and to rewrite history.  We know this can be extremely dangerous and it’s up to our favorite heroes to put a stop to this before all of their stories are rewritten.  After all, words are very powerful, but the intent behind them is what gives them their true meaning.

1

Tilly and Margot are ready to save the day.

Tilly/Alice gets a pain within her and recognizes immediately that something has gone terribly wrong.  She and Margot/Robin go to Tiana for help.  Tiana has been having doubts about her new role as a queen, but puts this aside when she stands in front of her people and asks them for help.  Her words are inspiring and remind us that you don’t always have to possess magic in order to make a difference.  Tiana’s words are enough and a magic bean is turned over to help Tilly and Margot get to their friends to save the day.  Only they need to make a quick stop first to get some help from some friends.  Next stop Storybrooke!  I am beyond excited for the conclusion of the series finale next week, especially since some of our favorite characters will be returning.  While it’s bitter sweet to see the ending finally arrive, I cannot wait to see how it all unfolds.  How about you?  Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Once Upon a Time in the comments section below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

Ranking the top 5 moments from “Once Upon a Time” season 7 episode 19: “Flower Child”

After watching ABC’s Once Upon a Time season 7 episode 19 last night, Tilly got it absolutely right when she said that “it’s cruel really to be so close to happiness and kept so far away from it.”  Revelations are finally breaking through the curse, however; but will our favorite characters get their chance at a happily ever after before the witches cast their spell?  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “Flower Child,” we learn about Mother Gothel’s past and her motives.  Meanwhile, Tilly finds out the truth about who her parents are and Lucy desperately looks for something that can save her father and bring her parents back together again.  My top 5 moments from Once Upon a Time season 7 episode 19 are:

5

“Now you are the Mother.  Remember what you were destined to blossom into.”

While it didn’t initially seem like Mother Gothel had any redeemable qualities, this glimpse into her past actually revealed a heartbreaking story filled with betrayal and loss.  We learn that Gothel is a tree nymph and comes from a magical grove, but she is curious about humanity and wants to know what it’s like to be mortal.  Gothel envies the pretty dresses the girls get to wear and the freedom they can explore, but lets her guard down when she is invited to teach some of her new mortal friends how to do magic.  Gothel’s naivete prevents her from seeing the cruel and wicked intentions of her new “sisters,” who tell her she is an “abomination” and destroy her grove.  Gothel is horrified to find her family dead and no longer feels like she belongs in any world.  Gothel is not able to take her mother’s advice and turns her destiny of being the “Mother” of nature into a quest for vengeance against humanity.  She recruits the first true member of her coven and it’s clear that she will not be finished until all of humanity pays for what they have done.  While we know that Gothel must be stopped, this glimpse into her past allows us to understand why she became so cold and broken along the way, making her story that much more complicated.  While we have seen other villains choose the path of good, Gothel only seems interested in furthering her revenge and confuses her coven with “family,” not fully grasping what this term actually means.

4

Lucy visits Dr. Facilier.

Lucy is not about to give up on her parents even though the magic that Dr. Facilier gave to Regina is gone.  She asks if there is any more magic to help her father and proves to be “quite the blackmailer,” which amuses Dr. Facilier.  He agrees to help her and explains that the first step is for her to find a symbol of Henry and Jacinda’s love.  Dr. Facilier is not helping Lucy out of the mere goodness of his heart, however.  He reveals that “a storm of witches is brewing” and that they will need magic to survive.  Whatever his intentions are, he is willing to help and Lucy sets off to find a symbol.  She goes through boxes of Jacinda’s old things and finds one box labeled “BL,” which means “Before Lucy.”  In the box, she finds a bag from Granny’s Diner and for a minute I was worried that she might find some rotten food that Jacinda forgot about, but the broken glass slipper is inside, shocking both Jacinda and Lucy.  While Jacinda tries to grasp the reality that she really is Cinderella, Lucy rushes off to Dr. Facilier so that her father can be saved.

3

“No matter how crazy…we’ll figure it out together.”

Gothel approaches Tilly and tells her that she is her mother.  Tilly doesn’t welcome her with open arms, however; and tells her “you’re either a liar or a monster.”  Gothel tries to feed her a story about wanting to change and looking for forgiveness, but Tilly walks away from Gothel and her false promises.  She goes to the only real “family” she knows right now and Rogers/Nook tells her that they will figure it out together.  Meanwhile, Gothel pays Margot a visit and takes some of her blood, refusing to abandon her plan now that she knows that Tilly contains the magic within her that will complete her coven.

2

“When I met you I loved you immediately…maybe because I already loved you.”

Henry and Jacinda have been getting closer and closer after realizing that Henry’s book might be real after all and that they did meet in another world in a fairy-tale.  It’s surprising that these two haven’t shared a kiss yet, but they do hold out with perfect timing, as Dr. Facilier breaks the curse on Henry.  The two finally kiss but Lucy is beyond disappointed when it doesn’t break the curse.  Has Gothel’s magic interfered with true love’s kiss?  Is there another way to break the curse and wake everyone up?

1

Tilly learns that Rogers is her father.

After Gothel takes some of Margot’s blood, she captures Rogers/Nook and lures Tilly to her.  She tells her that she is her real family, but Tilly will not help her.  She finally reveals that Rogers is her real father and offers her a choice.  Tillly can join the coven or watch her father die.  Even though Rogers tries to do the noble thing and tells Tilly not to give in, she cannot live in a world without her father.  Tilly has felt alone and unwanted up until now and she finally has a chance at new love with Margot and old love with her father.  She reluctantly joins hands with the coven and the spell is cast.  Did she make the right decision? What has the coven unleashed?  Will anyone be able to stop Gothel?  Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Once Upon a Time in the comments section below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

Throw-Back Thursday: Ranking the top 5 episodes of “Charmed.”

It’s Throw-Back Thursday TV Fans!  For today, I am going to be counting down the top 5 episodes from Charmed Out of the 178 episodes of the series, it was extremely difficult to narrow this list down to just 5 episodes.  Over my many re-watches of the show, these episodes have stood the test of time.  As I re-watch the series each time, I find myself looking forward to them because they truly make an impact with me.  There have been different points in my life where many episodes of Charmed have gotten me through some really tough times and that just goes to show you how amazing this show is.  It’s not just about witchcraft and magic.  It’s about family, loyalty, and how to deal with the everyday demons in our lives, not just the supernatural.  The entire series is filled with great episodes, all connecting to create a believable story and providing us with some great entertainment, while keeping our favorite characters real, empathetic, funny, and significant in the process.  It’s hard not to feel like part of the Halliwell family when you invest so much time watching these powerful and amazing women.  These stand-out episodes below take it a step further, however; surpassing our expectations as fans and surprising us with unforgettable moments.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not yet watched the series.  My top 5 episodes from Charmed are:

5

“From Fear to Eternity.” (Season 1, episode 13)

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“Prue.  Prue. You must face your fears, Prue.  You must trust in the greatest of all powers.  Love.” (Patty Halliwell)

So for me this episode has to be the one that hooked me onto Charmed for good.  This episode was in the middle of the first season and really elevated the show to an entirely new level.  It’s Friday the 13th and we are first introduced to one of the greatest villains on the show, Barbas, the Demon of Fear.  I have to say that it was very clever to have episode 13 be the Friday the 13th one, which really made this episode that much more haunting.  The Demon of Fear has to murder 13 witches before midnight so that he can be freed, which is alarming enough for those of you who are superstitious.  What makes Barbas so frightening is that he brings a victim’s greatest fear to the surface.  The victim appears to die from a heart attack and their hair turns bright white from fright, which gets the police involved, but there is something so bone-chilling about this.  Just imagining this happening makes my skin crawl, which is why Barbas was such a genius villain and so difficult for the sisters to face.  This episode stood out to me as well because the sisters could not just rely on their magical powers to defeat him.  Phoebe is held captive by him and he lures Prue to the scene to get two witches for the price of one.  We learn in the episode that Prue is very fearful of drowning, as Barbas initially attacks her in the shower.  When Prue is in the pool, the spirit of her mother, Patty appears before her and tells her to trust in the power of love.  Prue is able to overcome her fear, which banishes Barbas.  It took Prue conquering her inner demons to be able to defeat this one and it finally allows her to open up to her sisters and let them into her heart, while still having plenty of room to remember and love her mother.

4

“Chick Flick.” (Season 2, episode 18)

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“You’re my hero Billy.”

“And I think you’re swell, Sally Mae.”

My top 5 list would not be complete without including “Chick Flick.”  I typically refer to this episode as “Kill It Before It Dies,” which is the old movie that Phoebe is obsessed with, currently playing down at the local theater.  In this episode, the Demon of Illusion flees from the Charmed ones and hides right in the movie.  The demon is not afraid to change the script and even recruits other psycho killers from different movies to attack the sisters.  Phoebe’s dream man, Billy, comes out of the movie and is still in black-and-white.  Phoebe is beyond thrilled and bonds with Billy.  I mean how many times have we thought about hanging out with one of our favorite characters?  Phoebe actually gets to do this which is beyond cool.  The sisters team up with Billy to fight the Demon of Illusion, but not before they get trapped in the film.  The Demon of Illusion explains that if they are stuck in there when the movie ends, they will never get out.  Luckily, Prue is quite the photographer and is able to rewind the film and vanquish the Demon of Illusion by leaving his frame under the light for too long.  Phoebe is forced to say goodbye to Billy, but is thrilled when she gets her own copy of the movie.  “Kill It Before it Dies” actually appears in three episodes of Charmed and even Cole tries to give her a message through the movie.  I mean you can’t knock him for lack of effort.  Either way, this episode is absolutely hilarious and fun.  If you’re having a bad day, I strongly recommend you grab your popcorn and watch this one.  And whatever you do…don’t hide from a psycho killer in the shower like poor Piper.

3

“The Seven Year Witch.” (Season 7, episode 16)

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“Leo and Piper’s love, it’s epic, it’s massive.  It’s Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra, Brad and Jennifer.”   (Drake)

There are a few reasons why I absolutely adore this episode.  First off, my absolute favorite character, Cole Turner is back.  Well not back to the land of the living, but he does act as a sort of mentor and guide for Piper who is currently trapped in limbo.  Meanwhile, the elders decide to test Leo and strip him of his memory and leave him out on an abandoned highway so that he can choose his path once and for all.  The path is not so clear-cut, however; as the elders do try to manipulate him by focusing on his love to help others.  Cole finally gets through to Piper and she realizes that she must let go and die and call out to Leo in order to reach him and the plan is a success.  While Drake should have probably picked couples in history that actually ended up together…or ended up surviving, the intent is there.  When I think about epic couples, Piper and Leo always come to mind and it’s because of moments like this.  Piper and Leo’s love transcends everything else around them and they are able to fight for each other and support each other through it all.  At the end of the episode, Drake’s life ends at midnight when he says, “Alas…pumpkin time.”  Fans learn that Cole sent him there to help Phoebe believe in love again, which is absolutely swoon-worthy.  Even though Cole can’t be with Phoebe, her happiness is all that keeps him going in the other plane and he will forever love her.  Phoebe even feels his presence in the house, which proves that they are still connected on some level.  Now that’s romantic.

2

“Centennial Charmed.” (Season 5, episode 12)

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“We’ve been through so much together…haven’t we?  Our love’s so strong, nothing can destroy it, not even this.  We’re meant to be together.” (Cole)

So even though Phoebe says, “I don’t think so,” it’s hard to fully believe this can be true.  I absolutely believe that Phoebe and Cole were meant to be together, but unlike Piper and Leo, they are unable to defeat everything that gets in their way.  Cole’s path toward self-destruction is beyond difficult to control and Phoebe will always choose her family over her love for him simply because she is selfless.  It’s a sacrifice and something that will always be with her, but it’s hard to agree that their love was not meant to be.  While I do think that her love with Coop later on in the series is a healthy and stable relationship for her, it comes as a close second to her passionate and messy romance with Cole.  This episode is the 100th episode of the show and I think that they really hit home with it.  Cole has been vanquished before, but he always finds some way back.  However, this time is different.  Cole reveals that it is his birthday but all he wants is a chance at love and happiness, which is heart-breaking and empathetic.   The Avatars approach Cole, which prove to be a greater threat later down the road with Leo, and Cole decides to use his new powers to cast a spell to alter reality so that he can win Phoebe back.  Only this has unforeseen consequences, as Phoebe does not love him in this reality anymore than she does now.  Cole’s plan back-fires when Paige sneezes and orbs out when the spell is cast, as he had anticipated her being dead in this reality.  Paige is able to convince Piper to help her, which is no easy task and the power of 3 is alive again.  Cole is not indestructible in this reality and when he is vanquished, it’s for good this time.  The end of the episode is bitter sweet, as Cole’s place is found empty and abandoned, revealing that he’s not coming back anytime soon.  Paige wishes him a happy birthday before she exits, which always brings me to tears.  The sisters did not want to vanquish Cole, but he made it impossible for them to live in a world with him.  Perhaps his path could have been different or perhaps it would end just the same, but it’s clear that he impacted more than just Phoebe, which makes his departure from the show that much more heart-breaking.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one episode of Charmed are:

  • “The Wendigo”
  • “Is There a Woogy in the House?”
  • “Déjà Vu All Over Again”
  • “P3 H20”
  • “Ms. Hellfire”
  • “Awakened”
  • “The Good, The Bad, and the Cursed”
  • “Just Harried”
  • “All Hell Breaks Loose”
  • “Brain Drain”
  • “A Paige from the Past”
  • “Charmed and Dangerous”
  • “Marry-Go-Round”
  • “Long Live the Queen”
  • “The Day the Magic Died”
  • “Sense and Sense Ability”
  • “Witchstock”
  • “The Courtship of Wyatt’s Father”
  • “Hyde School Reunion”
  • “Witch Wars”
  • “Charmageddon”
  • “Show Ghouls”
  • “The Torn Identity”
  • “Kill Billy: Volume 2”

1

“Forever Charmed.” (Season 8, episode 22)

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“And although we certainly had our struggles and heart aches over the years we’re a family of survivors and we always will be.  Which is why we’ve truly been Charmed.” (Piper Halliwell)

So I absolutely have to give the series finale of the show the number one spot.  Mostly because it truly sums up everything the way I would have liked.  I would say that the only thing missing was the presence of Prue but they did mention her.  The episode focuses on Piper using Coop’s ring to travel through time to save her sisters, which allows some of our favorite characters from the past and future to get involved to help save the day.  When the threat is over, we get a glimpse into the future of the lives of our favorite Halliwell sisters and everything is as it should be.  Piper’s words to her future grand-daughter remind us what the show is all about.  While the Halliwell sisters are powerful witches, they are much more than that.  They are survivors and they are a family that sticks together no matter what.  It’s hard not to fall in love with this show and every time I watch the series finale, it inspires hope and love.  While it’s always hard to say goodbye to the Charmed ones, you can always start the series over again, but knowing that they obtained the future that they deserved provides us with closure and satisfaction.  “The power of 3 will set us free!”

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post some of your own favorite episodes from Charmed below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

Ranking the top 5 moments from “Once Upon a Time” season 7 episode 11: Love is Stronger than Magic

So I am thrilled that ABC’s Once Upon a Time has finally returned from its long winter hiatus, bringing us new episodes.  While it was recently announced that this will be the final season for OUAT, it really gives the show the opportunity to sum up its new story line.  When fan-favorite characters left the show and we found out about that season 7 would focus on a new story with only some of our favorite characters still sprinkled in to keep us hooked…pun intended, I had some doubts about how much longer the series would last for.  Now that we know the series is ending, however; this could actually be a great thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore this show and will miss it, but I’d rather see it go out strong than continue to grasp at straws and unconvincing story-lines just to be able to produce new episodes.  Either way, I’m looking forward to see how it all ends and I hope the Lost Easter eggs keep coming!  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “Secret Garden,” Zelena learns a hard lesson about parenting from Hook, Henry refuses to sit by without trying to help Lucy, and Regina opens her heart to her sister.  Meanwhile, Mother Gothel has her own agenda and Victoria/Lady Tremaine makes the ultimate sacrifice.  My top 5 moments from Once Upon a Time season 7 episode 11 are:

5

Lost Easter Egg:  The Apollo Bar.

So my top 5 moments would not be complete if I didn’t dedicate one to our favorite candy bar, the Apollo Bar.  For those of you who are Lost fans like myself, I am sure you jumped out of your chair with this Easter egg.  While the Apollo Bar has made appearances before on OUAT, I was thrilled that it was actually in a hospital vending machine this time.  In Lost, Jack is seen getting an Apollo Bar from the hospital vending machine and fans swooned over the “vending machine scene” featuring Juliet and Sawyer reuniting in the series finale.  It was great to see our favorite candy bar make another appearance, keeping fans satisfied with a much needed sugar rush.

4

“Test me too.”

After watching the mid-season finale of OUAT, it was clear that Henry was in great pain over Lucy’s condition.  While he hasn’t made the connection yet that he is her real father, he is not about to just sit around and pray that she gets better.  When Lucy’s parents are blood tested, Henry asks the doctor to test him too.  While she explains that the match would be much higher if he was blood related to Lucy, Henry is willing to try anything, even if there is the slightest chance that he could help her.  Little does he know, his test results prove that he is a match to Lucy, bringing to light his relation to her.  When the doctor looks over the results, an unknown threat poisons her and takes the results along with a lock of her hair.  While we don’t know who is behind this just yet, I’m thinking that Rumpel has to be involved somehow.  We’ll have to stay tuned to find out more, however.

3

“We’re going to do it together.”

We’ve seen so many ups and downs for our favorite sisters, Zelena and Regina, but it looks like Regina is ready to put all of their differences aside for good.  When she suggests that they team up to take down Mother Gothel and help Lucy and Henry, Regina suggests that they do it together.  Zelena says “wicked and evil,” but Regina corrects her with “no…sisters.”  These two are a powerful force and now that they have truly embraced their sisterly bond, there will be no stopping them.  Mother Gothel is no match for them, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy to take her down.  When Mother Gothel approaches Zelena, she asks her to bring her the resurrection amulet, but Zelena immediately recognizes that there will be a catch.  Mother Gothel will certainly not go down without a fight, but let’s hope Zelena and Regina’s bond doesn’t shatter like the sign of their bar.  They need to stick together and fight the good fight.

2

“Piss off Nook.”

Zelena finds an unlikely source of help in Hook…or “nook.”  She comically comments on how she forgets that there are two Hooks and gives him her new nickname, meaning “new Hook.”  Zelena is distraught over her daughter, Robin’s decision to go to Mother Gothel to learn about magic, but Hook reminds her not to give up.  He tells her that love is stronger than magic and he is absolutely right.  Even though Zelena initially claims that “I don’t need a parenting lesson from a pirate,” she quickly realizes that her unconditional love for her daughter is the only thing that can save her.  Hook tells Zelena that her love for her daughter makes her “so daring, so brave, so utterly fearless,” and I can’t think of a better description for our former wicked witch.  Zelena is able to save Robin by taking her place as the sacrifice, allowing Robin to truly see that her mother cares for her.  It looks like Zelena has found a calling far greater than ultimate magic and power.  Good thing she had Hook…or Nook along to help her see it.

1

Victoria/Lady Tremaine redeems herself.

While it initially seemed like Victoria/Lady Tremaine was a villain without a soul, we now get to see her walls come down, as she finally does the right thing.  She has a lot to make up for and even tries to come clean to Anastasia with all of her horrible deeds.  The truth hurts, but Victoria knows that she needs to make amends, especially after what she did to Lucy.  She refuses to let Mother Gothel keep her held captive, using her Louis Vuitton shoe to get her out of the well.  Who said that fashion couldn’t be useful?  When the power of the resurrection amulet is unleashed, Victoria quickly learns that the sacrifice is now her other daughter, Ivy/Drizella.  Victoria makes the same decision as Zelena and takes the place of her daughter, sacrificing herself in the process to save her.  This act of kindness and unconditional love is truly touching.  Even though one cannot deny all of the horrible things Victoria has done in the past, her sacrifice shows her daughter that love can conquer evil.  Let’s hope that this is enough to bring Ivy/Drizella to the side of good.  We’re going to need all the help we can get against Mother Gothel.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Once Upon a Time below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl