Spoiler-Free Review of “Black Summer” on Netflix: More than a Prequel to “Z Nation”

“You can’t be immortal if you ain’t alive.”  A valid point for sure, but how is one actually defined as a member of the undead these days?  While we are all used to the slow moving walkers in The Walking Dead universe, the infected we see in Black Summer sort of have a 28 Days Later vibe, as they move much quicker, which may have you contemplating your own cardio workout to stay prepared.  So are they actually zombies or are they something else?  Either way, if you are craving some zombie apocalypse fun, you’re in the right place.  Black Summer has been advertised as a prequel to Z Nation, but the show actually can stand on its own and that’s how I plan on reviewing it.

The show currently features 8 episodes, all streaming on Netflix as of April 11th 2019.  It stars Jaime King, Justin Chu Cary, Christine Lee, Sal Velez Jr. and Kelsey Flower.  We follow these survivors and witness what occurs after the zombie apocalypse first takes place, as they all desperately try to make it to the stadium to find missing loved ones and some kind of sanctuary.  However, the threats keep coming, as our characters are tested again and again while the undead continues to threaten their survival.  But we also find that these characters have to watch out for each other as well, as it’s difficult to earn one’s trust during the zombie apocalypse.

The Pros:

Black Summer Sun

The episodes are the perfect length. 

The beginning episodes start out at about 40-45 minutes and as we move through the show, they actually shorten to 30 minutes and even 20 minutes, which makes binge-watching this show very feasible.  I watched the first episode on Thursday night and I finished up the show the following night with very little effort.

The transitions between characters are clever and well done.

Another viewer mentioned to me that these transitions sort of reminded them of Pulp Fiction and I tend to agree.  Credit on that goes to @NerdswithFriend on Twitter.  We have seen so many shows and movies that feature a zombie apocalypse and it’s difficult to stand out and truly make a story unique.  However, the clever fade-ins and transitions allow us to easily see things from different perspectives and it also helps quicken the pace of the show.

Some of the characters are absolutely fantastic.

While I was annoyed by some characters on the show, there are some standout performances.  Christine Lee as Sun is truly amazing and you will root for her even more than the main billed cast.  You may find yourself trying to determine who is going to make it and who will bite the dust, so to speak, but I will say that I was pleasantly surprised that so many of the characters did not just mold themselves into the stereotypical roles we sometimes see.  Some characters that you assume will make it, don’t, and others that seem so incompetent actually manage to scrape by, but I think that makes the show that much more entertaining.

Bone-chilling and terrifying moments.

There are some genuinely scary moments on this show and I found myself on the edge of my seat, not knowing what to expect.  Sometimes the moments come out of nowhere, but I think that makes them even more brilliant.  Maybe you will see some of the moments coming, but I think that they deliver and I still have been replaying some of them in my mind, as I have just created a whole new set of nightmares for myself.

The Cons:

Black Summer

The moments following the zombies around.

So I appreciate that the show is doing something different with these zombies, as they sprint after you as soon as they are turned, grunting and moaning.  However, the noises are kind of jarring and distracting, as I found myself actually laughing several times when we followed around a zombie who was looking for their kill.  The show is meant to be serious so I know that this was not intended, but I just couldn’t take some of these zombies seriously.  I don’t know if it was the acting or if was the amount of time we spent actually following them, which made me focus on this so much more, but it was slightly underwhelming and it took away from some of the initial scares.

The fluff in between the terrifying moments.

I’m all for character development and I’m not saying that the show needs to be jam-packed with zombies attacking, but I often found myself bored in between these moments.  Some episodes are much better than others, but I think that the lack of background music during these moments really made this worse.  Don’t get me wrong, I thought that the lack of background music was brilliant during the moments where the characters were under attack, but how long do we need to follow someone walking in silence?

There are major plot holes.

I know that this a prequel, but I found several plot holes throughout the show and I was hoping to get some answers, but I realized that this was not going to happen once I got to episode 6, which was slightly disappointing.

So am I in or out? 

Black summer 6

I was initially very excited to watch this show because I absolutely love anything with zombies.  However, after watching the first episode, I was slightly disappointed.  Fear not, as I give all shows three episodes to start making a real assessment and the show did get better with each episode.  However, I think that the show had a lot of potential to be absolutely brilliant, but it decided to settle comfortably as a standard zombie apocalypse show instead.  I’m not really sure if this show truly separated itself or provided us with anything new about the apocalypse, but it definitely had some terrifying and compelling moments. 

If you love shows about zombies, I definitely recommend it and even if you don’t, you may find yourself intrigued for a quick binge-watch.  However, I wouldn’t say that you need to move it to the top of your watch list, but the show had a lot of redeeming qualities and captured enough of my attention to make it an entertaining watch for sure.

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

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, 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!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

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

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!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

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5 Spoiler Free Reasons why you should watch “Santa Clarita Diet” Season 3 on Netflix: ‘Til Death and then some”

“We’re like a cult…but without uniforms.”  So what happens when your wife dies and then comes back to life as a zombie?  Do you run away screaming or are you all in to support your family until the very end?  Joel Hammond has to deal with this very important dilemma in Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet, but lucky for us, this adventure comes with a lot of laughs.  Please note that major spoilers have been left out for your convenience so feel free to read away!  My top 5 reasons to check out Santa Clarita Diet Season 3 are: 

5

This show is just laugh out loud funny.

When I first started binge-watching this show, I didn’t really laugh that much in the beginning of season one.  Maybe I was trying to get used to the premise or maybe the jokes weren’t really landing, but something magical happened in the second half of the first season and for seasons two and three as well.  The dark horror comedy just works.  Maybe it’s the dynamic between the characters or maybe they just started being a little bit more comfortable with the humor, but I found myself constantly laughing out loud while watching this show.  Horror comedies are hard to come by now and I have to say that I absolutely love this show and hope that it continues to be picked up because it is really something fun and light to watch in between other series.

4

Abby has become a bad-ass character.

In season one, I didn’t really connect with Joel and Sheila’s teenage daughter, Abby, played by Liv Hewson.  However, I started to like her more and more in season two and she is absolutely fantastic in season three.  I love how she is the voice of reason and it often seems like she is the one playing parent to her own parents, which is funny on its own.  In season three, more of Abby’s potential is unlocked, as she starts to help out a lot more, proving to be someone you don’t want to mess with.  I also enjoyed more of the chemistry between her and Eric, played by Skyler Gisondo, which was actually adorable and not at all nauseating.  I hope that her character continues to grow more in future seasons if we get them and I would love to see her become some kind of slayer of the undead.

3

The guest stars are absolutely fantastic.

I love seeing unlikely guest stars on a show and Santa Clarita Diet continues to deliver on this.  I had so much fun seeing Joel McHale in season two as a competitive realtor, but this season we get a lot of fun from Ron, played by Jonathan Slavin, Tommy, played by Ethan Suplee, and of course Gary continues to be a standout character, played previously by Nathan Fillion and now by the amazing Alan Tudyk.  The list goes on and on, as the supporting cast does an amazing job of keeping the humor going and giving us some really interesting character dynamics.  It looks like we might even get our own team of evil fighters, now complete with uniforms.  The show doesn’t take itself that seriously, but that’s what makes it so incredibly amazing.  These characters just elevate the show that much more and provide us with a lot of entertainment along the way.

2

A major cliffhanger.

Season three allowed us to advance the Knights of Serbia plot, which was fun for sure, but we are left with a huge cliffhanger at the end of the season so we better get a season four to explore this more.  Each season gave us something more to look forward to and season three is no exception.  If you thought Joel and Sheila’s adventures were crazy and dangerous before, it looks like it is only going to get more complicated now.  I honestly can’t wait to see what happens next!

1

Joel and Sheila Hammond’s chemistry.

I dedicated a previous blog to Joel and Sheila Hammond’s relationship, but it really is the core of the show.  Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore are absolutely fantastic together.  Their relationship is so real and sweet and you can’t help falling in love with them.  I mentioned in my previous blog that they may be my new favorite couple on television, as they are there for one another every step of the way.  Their love is beautiful and passionate, but they also have a strong friendship going and I love how they truly know each other.  They have inside jokes and they bounce ideas off one another that truly make you smile if you have someone like that in your life who just simply gets you.  These two are absolutely amazing and the show would not be as entertaining without them.  It looks like their marriage is going to be tested once again, but I am confident that these two will come out even stronger.  They make me really believe that true love does exist even if you have to deal with some messy drama along the way.  And it’s really, really messy!  I hope you enjoy season three as much as I did and I absolutely recommend it.  Ready to watch?

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

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, 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!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

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

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!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

My Ship of the week ending 4/6/19 on TV goes to…

Joel and Sheila Hammond on Santa Clarita Diet.  So I recently binge-watched the first two seasons of this show on Netflix and I’m about to finish up the third season and I fell in love with Joel and Sheila.  They may be the cutest couple I have seen on television in a while.  Their chemistry is amazing and they are absolutely hilarious together.  I almost feel like they could be married in real life because they are so in sync with one another.  Their marriage is far from perfect, but it becomes so much more complicated when Sheila becomes undead.  You would think that Joel would take his daughter and run for the hills, but he is there for Sheila every step of the way.  They are the perfect partners in crime and they keep the laughs and passion going.

I constantly root for these two and I think that they represent what a true marriage or partnership is all about.  They are willing to take the fall for one another and they even take their vows to the next level.  I mean, until death do us part could get Joel out of this contract, but he’s not going anywhere.  His love for Sheila is beautiful and unconditional and I absolutely love watching these two go on crazy adventures together.  They balance each other out perfectly and they further their friendship as well.  Their relationship continues to be tested over and over, but they stay strong and keep their family together.

What’s next for Joel and Sheila?  We’ll have to stay tuned to find out, but it looks like Joel has a very important decision to make about his future.  Even though it seems like new threats are being thrown their way constantly, I know that Joel and Sheila’s love will never burn out, as they truly represent an epic ship for me, proving that anything is possible when you have the person you love beside you.

Stay tuned for a recognized Ship on TV each week!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Have a Ship that you think is absolutely swoon-worthy? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, 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!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

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 Walking Dead” season 9 episode 16: “The Storm”

Happy Monday TV fans!  After watching AMC’s The Walking Dead season 9 episode 16, Ezekiel reminded us that “things fall apart.”  However, “it’s knowing when to keep fighting and knowing when it’s over.”  But is it ever really over?  The threats continue to pour in and our characters are tested again and again, but somehow they continue to survive even when it feels like the entire world is against them.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “The Storm,” winter is the real enemy, but the walkers are not really up for a snow ball fight either.  Meanwhile, Lydia gets up close and personal with a walker, Dog goes missing, Carol tries to cope with her loss, and Negan is finally let out of the cage.  My top 5 moments from The Walking Dead season 9 episode 16 season finale are:

5

“You don’t have to protect me.”

In the beginning of the episode, the characters start to flee or prepare for the brutal winter storm that is headed their way.  We get to listen in on some chatter on the way and find out that apparently we need to send a raven in order to get a response from Maggie, but I appreciate that they are trying to keep that story-line open.  Lydia is not really a welcomed guest, but Daryl refuses to let anyone talk to her with disrespect.  Lydia feels extremely guilty and tells Daryl that he doesn’t have to protect her, but Daryl reminds her that “it’s their problem, not yours.”  I love that Daryl is looking after Lydia here because he obviously wants to do something nice for Henry, but I think Daryl also sees a lot of himself in Lydia as well.  Daryl believes that she is a good kid and is willing to help her, but Carol is having a tough time, as she explains, “Every time I look at her, all I see is him.”

4

“It’s like Christmas to me.”

Back in Alexandria, the characters realize that they need to find a suitable place to get warm, but Gabriel recognizes that they have to let Negan out or he will freeze to death.  Finally!  Negan does not disappoint, as he hilariously comments on the “hot little quadrangle” we have to entertain us, which doesn’t really amuse Rosita and her suitors.  Negan takes it one step further and tells Gabriel, “Your girl’s doc is also your girl’s baby daddy,” but refuses to have his comments be called predictable.  He later says, “Father…not the Father” to keep the laughs coming for us, which reminded me why I love Negan’s character so much.  He may not have too many fans in Alexandria, but he absolutely kept me entertained.

3

“You’re not weak.”

Lydia’s guilt is overwhelming her and she ends up getting up close and personal with a walker stuck in the snow.  Lydia closes her eyes and starts bringing her arm toward its mouth, but Carol interrupts this before anything can happen.  Later on, Lydia tells Carol that her son is dead because of her.  In a heartbreaking moment, she says, “Henry said I was a good person, but he was wrong.”  She asks Carol to kill her, hoping to fix everything.  Carol’s grief has been consuming her and it was beyond heartbreaking to watch her go through Henry’s box of things.  However, Carol knows that Henry truly cared about Lydia and is still a good person.  Carol doesn’t grant Lydia her request and simply tells her, “You’re not weak,” which I thought was a really important moment between these two.  Carol and Lydia may never really form a close bond, but they both have a shared love for Henry, which is a link that will never be severed.

2

“I feel like I’m losing myself again.”

Carol continues to lean on Daryl’s shoulder, but Ezekiel is not exactly pleased.  He later approaches Daryl and asks him not to continue on to Hilltop with them once they are out of the storm.  Ezekiel explains that he is not trying to be the bad guy, but that he wants to give Carol and him a fresh start after everything they have been through.  Daryl doesn’t give him an answer, but he does later ask Carol what she wants him to do.  The bond and friendship between Daryl and Carol is so strong, but Daryl is willing to walk away if that’s what Carol needs.  Daryl and Carol have been through a lot together so it’s understandable why Carol is leaning on him so much, but it doesn’t make it any easier for Ezekiel.  At the end of the episode, Carol decides to go to Alexandria and gives Ezekiel back his ring.  Ezekiel tells Carol that he’ll never stop loving her and Carol says, “I’ll never regret the fairy-tale,” which broke my heart.  Carol has been through unimaginable horrors and I just want her to have something good, but I think it will take a very long time before she is able to open up her heart again.  Carol needs to heal, but she has to do this on her own so that she doesn’t lose herself again.

1

“Thank you for saving her.”

We get some action during the episode, as the walkers begin popping out of the snow while Daryl and the others cross into Alpha’s territory to get to safety.  Daryl even cleverly uses an icicle as an interesting choice of weapon.  Meanwhile, Judith also gets herself into trouble when she runs after Dog in the middle of the storm.  Negan rushes after her and tells her, “You’re just trying to get a little extra Negan time.”  I mean, we’ll take all the Negan screen time we can get.  Negan saves Judith and Dog, but has injured his leg severely.  Luckily, they make it out OK and Michonne later approaches Negan to thank him for saving his daughter.  This is a very big moment, revealing that perhaps Negan can make a difference after all, even though Michonne has had a hard time accepting this.  Does this mean that Negan will be out in the open from now on?  I really hope so because I think that he can truly prove his worth in Alexandria.  Negan also leaves us with a very important observation.  Michonne risked a lot by cutting into Alpha’s territory, but will there be consequences?  Negan explains that “no one ever thinks that they’re the evil one” and he’s spot on.  We cut to Alpha briefly who says, “I’ll need to be stronger for what comes next,” as Beta begins whipping her arm.  No wonder Lydia has so many issues.

So what exactly is coming next?  It certainly gives us some setup for season 10, but we’ll have to wait to find out.  We are also left with a mysterious voice coming over the radio at the very end.  So who is on the other end?  Is it an old friend or a new potential ally?  It sounded like a female.  Is it possible that this is a crossover from Fear the Walking Dead? Maggie? Someone connected to Rick?  I’m not sure, but it definitely keeps my interest invested, as I am looking forward to finding out more.  Overall, the episode provided us with a nice balance of setup and action.  Nothing was going to compare to the shock of episode 15, but I still thought that the season finale had a lot of important moments and it really gave us a chance to connect with some of our favorite characters even more.  Stay tuned for season 10 and don’t forget that Fear the Walking Dead begins June 2nd!

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

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, 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!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

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

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!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Walking Dead” season 9 episode 15: “The Calm Before”

Happy Monday TV fans!  After watching AMC’s The Walking Dead season 9 episode 15, I remembered that if you witness a happily ever after moment on TWD, it’s probably too good to be true and it means that something is coming.  Something shocking, horrifying, and heartbreaking.  While you may think you’re ready, it’s amazing how much a certain reveal can impact you.  However, it’s important to keep going and to remember the good.  There is always still a glimmer of hope remaining and sometimes it appears in the most unexpected places.  Please note MAJOR SPOILERS are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “The Calm Before,” the fair is underway, as everyone tries to participate in the fun.  Meanwhile, Daryl takes a group out and is surrounded by threats and Alpha is ready to make a deal, but not before proving just how ruthless she can be.  My top 5 moments from The Walking Dead season 9 episode 15 are:

5

“Let the fair of new beginning begin!”

In the beginning of the episode, Ezekiel addresses the fair and tells everyone, “We’ve always been bound to each other…we always will be.”  Ezekiel mentions sacrifice and specifically brings up Rick, Carl, and Jesus, while also having a replica of his tiger next to him, which was truly touching to see.  Jerry’s title for the fair is shot down and we are welcomed into the fair of the new beginning.  It looks like everyone is ready to join in on the fun and come together to celebrate, but we know that the Whisperers are still lurking around, waiting to make their next move.  I’m not sure that anyone was truly ready for what was about to come next, however.

4

“I have just the thing.”

Carol is ready to go off after Henry, but with perfect timing, Daryl and the others return to The Kingdom.  Carol tells Henry that he can never run away from her again and we also get to see Michonne reunited with her old friends.  Everyone is very receptive to Michonne even though she has been gone for quite some time.  Carol asks Judith if she remembers her and Judith explains that she has been drawing pictures of them since she was little.  Tara breaks up the party; however, when she spots Lydia, recognizing the danger here.  After some discussion, a pact is made between all four communities, as Ezekiel is more than eager to whip out the treaty he has been holding on to for all this time.  Although, I kind of liked Tara’s idea to “spit and shake” on it or to have a blood oath.  All of the communities have now come together, as Rick’s vision for the future is not completely lost, but can the communities still stay strong after tragedy?

3

“You guys are adorable.”

The fair is underway and it seems like love is in the air on TWD.  Carol and Ezekiel get to meet Lydia and Ezekiel says, “Our son is taking a girl on a date to the movies tonight.”  I guess it would be a step up from dining on bugs together.  Henry’s annoying friends try to mess with Lydia and make her jealous, but Henry tells Lydia that he really likes her, which is genuine and somewhat sweet.  We also get to see Enid and Alden confirm their relationship status, Rosita and Eugene have a heart-to-heart talk and we witness a kiss between Magna and Yumiko.  However, perhaps the sweetest moment for me was when Daryl asks Connie to feed Dog while he is gone, which I thought was adorable.  But why are we taking all this time during the episode before the season finale to devote to us shipping these characters together?  While all of this was going on, I knew that it meant that something big was about to happen.  Someone is definitely going to die and seeing them happy and together will only make us that much more heartbroken later.  I almost wish I wasn’t right here, but we aren’t watching a Rom-Com.

2

“I don’t know if there’s a happy ending here.”

You’re absolutely right, Carol, as Daryl takes out the A team to investigate things further.  Daryl is with Carol, Michonne, and Yumiko, but they are quickly surrounded by walkers and then come face to face with an overwhelmingly large group of the Whisperers.  They fight valiantly, but they are outnumbered here.  Daryl sees Beta again, who tells him, “You just had to give me the girl…now that deal is done.”  After watching a lot of setup and Rom-Com moments, I thought that this was the major plot point before the storm hits in the season finale, but nothing could prepare me for what came next.

1

“I want to tell you a different story.”

So, we are now at my top moment and I want to remind you again that major spoilers are ahead.  While the fair is going on, Alpha uses her freshly made skin mask to fit in and walk around.  She ends up even conversing with Ezekiel and is quite convincing and later sits down next to Lydia at the movies, motioning for her to be quiet.  We then go back to Alpha approaching Daryl and the others, as she tells Daryl to come with her.  Alpha recognizes what it means to talk to someone leader-to-leader and she sees that within Daryl.  Alpha shows Daryl a huge horde of walkers beyond the cliff and tells him that she has let his people live all this time.  Daryl asks Alpha if she killed Lydia, but Alpha doesn’t directly answer this.  She tells Daryl that she wants his people to stay on his side of the border and that he will know it when he sees it.  Ominous, right?  Alpha also tells Daryl that she doesn’t think he can protect her daughter, but she hopes that she is wrong, which reveals the tiniest sliver of humanity within Alpha.  When we see Alpha crying after Lydia has told her to leave, Alpha kills the Whisperer who witnesses her displaying human emotion.  Even if humanity exists within Alpha, she is not about to compromise her position as the leader.

Daryl heads off with Michonne, Carol, and Yumiko, and they stumble across Siddiq, who has clearly been taken or attacked.  As they begin to approach the border, you can see stakes lined up from far away.  The stakes are decorated with the decapitated re-animated heads of ten victims, but of course, we need to get a little bit closer and zoom in on each and every one of them, to truly feel the impact here.  So who didn’t make it?  Here is the complete list for your reference:

The Highwaymen’s Ozzy and Alek:  I was just starting to like them too.

D.J. and Frankie:  Former saviors that I almost forgot about.  I’m still glad that you were able to at least try and protect members of the community.

Tammy Rose:  I found it interesting that Tammy Rose was up here, only because we watch Alpha take a moment to look at her and the former Whisperer baby, which had me thinking that perhaps this selection wasn’t random?  Either way, I feel really bad for her husband.

Rodney and Addy:   I almost forgot about these characters, but they were Henry’s annoying friends and they did converse with Lydia, so is that why they are up here?  I also think it’s important to note that Alpha is not above selecting children to die.  Did she determine who was weak or was this just the luck of the draw?

Enid:  So here come some of the bigger characters.  We get a glimpse of Alden looking for Enid while he is performing and my heart sank.  Enid has not really had too much screen time lately, but this was still awful to see.

Tara:  I was not prepared to see Tara up here and I immediately started crying.  I have a soft spot for Tara because she is goofy and just true to herself, reminding me a lot of myself sometimes.  Tara was also the first LGBTQ character on the show and she has grown so much as a leader and a friend.  In the comic series, it was Ezekiel up here, but a major leader from a community needs to go.  I’m just really sad that it was my girl, Tara, who deserved better.

Henry:  As much as I have complained that Henry is such a pointless and annoying character, he didn’t deserve this fate.  However, Lydia kind of sealed this outcome for him by defying her mother.  You really didn’t think that Alpha would let Lydia live and keep her new boo, right?  What really got me here was Daryl trying to protect Carol from seeing this, as he repeats, “No, just look at me.”  My heart truly went out to Carol in this moment.

Siddiq is left alive and explains that Alpha told him to talk about what happened, mostly to drive them apart and scare them, but Siddiq stands before everyone to tell them a different story to inspire them.  Siddiq tells them about their friends and family coming together one last time to fight for their lives with honor.  They became real heroes and Siddiq explains, “We have to keep going for them and for all of us…we need to honor them and remember these friends…our family, died as heroes.  That’s the story that I want to tell you and for us to remember.”  This moment was truly powerful and it proved that hope can still exist even in the worst of times.  In the beginning of the episode, the couple traveling to the fair are murdered, but are carrying H necklaces, which represent Hilltop or Home, but they also represent hope.  Daryl takes Lydia out to the spot where Henry died and she leaves one for him and I don’t think that she will ever forget what Henry did for her. 

Overall, this episode initially gave us a lot of setup for what’s to come, but it also provided us with one of the most shocking moments of the entire series here.  After the episode, I could not stop thinking about what happened and that image of all ten re-animated heads on the stakes, marking the border.  It was beyond disturbing and so heart wrenching, but we know that no one is every really safe on this show.  That doesn’t mean that it makes these moments any less tragic; however, as we connect so much with these characters and continue to root for them to prevail.  Winter is coming in true GOT fashion, but our favorite characters will need to keep fighting.  Will this tragedy inspire strength and community?  Let’s hope so, but I also think we need Negan at this point.  Maybe let him out of the cage already, Michonne?  Stay tuned for the season finale!

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

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, 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!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

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

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!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Walking Dead” season 9 episode 14: “We Have To Protect The People We Love”

Happy Monday TV fans!  After watching AMC’s The Walking Dead season 9 episode 14, I remembered that scars are not always on the outside.  Sometimes the scars we can’t forget run past our flesh, screaming on the inside, refusing to be tamed.  They are a constant reminder of something, but they can also be a badge of courage, pushing us forward and giving us strength.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “Scars,” we get an important glimpse into Michonne’s past and finally learn the truth about the “X” marks.  Meanwhile, Lydia continues to make a great impression wherever she goes and Negan sheds some light on his unconventional friendship with Judith.  My top 5 moments from The Walking Dead season 9 episode 14 are:

5

“What about her?”

Daryl arrives at Alexandria’s gates, looking for some help from Michonne, as Henry is badly injured.  However, Lydia’s presence does not make things easy, as Michonne and the others do not trust outsiders.  Daryl vouches for Lydia and says that she is with them, but can they really trust her?  Michonne explains that she does trust Daryl and allows them to pass through, but she’s definitely keeping her guard up.

4

“Think about that.”

The gross ship between Henry and Lydia continues, as Lydia tells Henry that she will never forget what he did and starts touching his scar, explaining that she likes it.  Michonne interrupts this stomach-turning love connection to have a talk with Lydia.  She sits next to her on the stairs and says, “To save my people, I’ve had to risk others…it’s what I had to do.”  Lydia listens intently, as Michonne further says, “If I could just walk away and take all the risk with me…think about that.”  Michonne walks away without letting Lydia respond to this, but her message is pretty clear and to the point.  Is Lydia strong enough to do the right thing here and walk away?  Lydia cares about Henry, but she is constantly putting her new friends in danger by being with them.

3

“So now you’re curious.”

I love how Negan is now the constant voice of reason, as Michonne confronts him when Judith goes missing.  Michonne wants to know more about their friendship and thinks that Negan is feeding Judith bullshit to earn her trust.  However, Negan gently reminds Michonne that Judith can “smoke out the bullshit.”  He tells Michonne that Judith likes hearing stories about her father and brother, as Negan tells her about some bad-ass moments featuring them, which brings her closer to her family.  Negan says that he shoots it straight with Judith and Michonne asks him if he told her about what he did to Glenn and Abraham.  Negan surprises her by saying that she has heard those stories too, but Michonne has heard enough and tells him, “You don’t get to talk to me about Carl…she is my daughter!” 

Judith is Michonne’s daughter and Negan reminds her that she acts a lot like her mother sometimes, which is actually really great advice and ultimately points Michonne in the right direction so that she can find Judith before anything happens to her.  Michonne has been trying to protect Judith’s innocence for so long, but perhaps it is time for her to start treating her like the strong young woman she is becoming.

2

“Children are capable of anything.”

During the episode, we flash back to Michonne’s past when she was pregnant with R.J.  Michonne gets a blast from her past, as she crosses paths with her old friend, Jocelyn, played by True Blood’s Rutina Wesley.  Michonne is so happy to see her and welcomes her, agreeing to help her save her group of children.  Jocelyn explains that none of the adults in her group made it, but that children can be capable of anything, as she has become a den mother of sorts to them.  However, everything is not as it seems, as Michonne discovers that they have raided their supplies and left Alexandria, taking Judith and some of the other kids with them. 

Michonne and Daryl rush off after them and are caught, as we watch the horrifying act of the children branding both Michonne and Daryl with the “X” marks under Jocelyn’s instruction.  Michonne manages to break free and refuses to leave her daughter behind, as she shows just how far a mother will go to protect her child.  Michonne kills Jocelyn and tries to get through to the children, but they are too far gone to know what is right and wrong at this point.  Michonne’s stomach is slashed by one of the children, which was horrifying to watch.  I seriously could not believe that Jocelyn and the children could be this cruel and merciless, but we are living in different times now.  Judith’s life is threatened and Michonne does what she must do to protect her daughter.  She kills the children in her way and saves her daughter and she’s had to live with this choice for all this time.  No wonder she does not trust anyone at this point.

1

“We have to protect the people we love and we will.”

Negan is not the only one to give Michonne some advice, as Daryl suggests that Michonne tells Judith about that day as well.  After tracking Judith down and stopping the walkers in her way, Michonne tells Judith that she has to tell her something.  Judith actually remembers that day and explains that she initially did not recognize her mother because she was covered in blood.  She didn’t talk after it happened because she thought it made her mother sad, which furthers this loving bond between Michonne and Judith.  Michonne chose to be Judith’s mother, but it has not been easy, especially since Rick is gone.  However, Michonne does the best she can to protect her family, but she recognizes that it is time to finally confide in her daughter and tell her the truth.  Michonne takes Judith to the spot she buried, which is where Michonne made the promise to never bury another child again.  Judith understands where her mother is coming from and this is a really important moment for these two.  Michonne agrees to help Judith track down Daryl and the others, as they approach the Kingdom together, but we learn that the Whisperers are lurking in the bushes, ready to inform Alpha about this place.

Overall, this episode provided us with some really important information and shocked us with horrible truths and realities.  The dead have not been the main threat on this show for quite some time, as we witness how dangerous humanity can be.  We don’t always see betrayal coming, but sometimes we have to take a risk and trust someone to protect the ones we love.  I was impressed with the performances and even though it was more of a transition episode, I thought that it was necessary and important, revealing so much about Michonne’s character and reminding us that each decision can have a consequence, which makes leading extremely difficult.  Is Michonne ready to take on Alpha?  We’ll have to see, but it looks the Whisperers are done waiting in the shadows.  Stay tuned!

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

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, 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!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

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

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!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Walking Dead” season 9 episode 13: “I’ll Kill Him First”

Happy Monday TV fans!  After watching AMC’s The Walking Dead season 9 episode 13, I realized that negotiations during the zombie apocalypse are not always that difficult.  If at first you don’t succeed with offers of trade and safe passage, why not try again with a movie?  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet. In last night’s episode, “Chokepoint,” Ezekiel and Carol receive a letter from the group with the mysterious symbol.  Meanwhile, Daryl and Connie continue to make an amazing tag team, as Beta shows off just how dangerous he can be.  My top 5 moments from The Walking Dead season 9 episode 13 are:

5

“There’s no way in hell I’m letting you run away with this one.”

After Daryl gets Henry and Lydia to temporary safety, Daryl tells Lydia to go back to the Whisperers, but Henry wants to keep running and thinks that he can fix everything.  Daryl is worried about Hilltop, recognizing that Alpha will go after them first.  Henry continues to think with his heart before his head and Daryl reminds him to think about his mother.  I’m still excited to see Carol’s reaction to all of this, as I don’t think Lydia will get embraced by her with open arms.

4

“If they don’t listen, then kill them.”

Jerry and some of the others are robbed by the new group with the symbol and they give him a letter.  Ezekiel and Carol read the letter, as we are introduced to the Highwaymen.  Carol points out that they could have killed Jerry, but they sent a letter instead and it was grammatically correct, which suggests that these people are civilized.  Never underestimate the power of good grammar!  Ezekiel still wants to gather the troops just in case, but Carol continues to show off her impressive leadership skills, as she thinks that they should try talking to them first.  Either way, I was excited that the group behind the symbol has already been revealed, as TWD can sometimes drag out story-lines.

3

“Because I care about you.”

Henry continues to be Henry in this episode, as Lydia tells him that coming after her was a stupid thing to do.  Go Lydia!  Lydia demands to know why Henry came after her and he tells her that he cares about her.  Just as we are about to get another nauseating kiss between these two, Daryl interrupts and cock blocks Henry, which had me laughing uncontrollably.  Sorry Henry, maybe next time.

2

“And Jerry would like his sword back.”

So, as we got to meet the Highwaymen, I almost felt like the channel changed to an old Western movie, complete with the music soundtrack and everything.  The Highwaymen initially laugh at Ezekiel’s proposal to give them access to the Kingdom and the fair, but Carol sweetens the deal.  Carol offers the Highwaymen the chance to see movies and they jump at the opportunity.  But, let’s not forget that Jerry would like his sword back as well, which gave us some welcomed comic relief during the episode.  The Highwaymen show up to help Tara and the others and accept this new job opportunity to keep the roads safe, but what else do we know about them?  Are they friends or foes?  We’ll have to wait and see, but so far I am liking this new group.

1

“I’ll kill him first.”

Daryl is sick of running, as Connie suggests that they get to higher ground and enter an abandoned building that she has used previously.  There are some supplies and several areas have already been blocked off, which could give Daryl and the others an advantage.  Lydia tells Daryl that Alpha will send Beta to take them out, but Daryl is not intimidated.  Daryl and Connie continue to make a great tag team, as they eliminate the threats that come after them and I have to give a special honorable mention to Dog, who was not afraid to jump in the fight either.  The fight between Daryl and Beta had me on the edge of my seat and it ended with Daryl pushing Beta down an elevator shaft.  However, things are not always that simple, as we learn that Beta is still alive at the end of the episode.  Something tells me that this guy is not that easy to kill, so Daryl Dixon better watch his back.  Stay tuned!

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

**Goodreads Giveaway currently going on for The Search for Alice (100 copies available) from 2/21/19-3/14/19. Enter Goodreads Giveaway Here!

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, 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!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

The Search for Alice is available here!

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

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!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals!