I wrote a post a while back on Netflix titles that turned out to be such a pleasant surprise. I have more to share, but I also wanted to throw in some recent book titles and TV shows that have treated my brain well lately. So I'm slamming them together in one, big master post. Let's go.


Time Lapse (2015) - This is about a group of friends who stumble upon a vintage camera that takes photos of the future. The plot starts to play out how you think it will, and then things get interesting. I enjoyed it mainly because it took a different route to tell a familiar story. That's all I'll say about it, because it's hard to expound any further without giving details away.
Horns (2013) - Netflix has been suggesting I watch this movie for months, and I finally gave it a try. It's... interesting. One day, the main character (that guy who played Harry Potter) wakes up to find he's developed a pair of horns on his forehead. Those horns make whomever he comes in contact with confess all their deepest, darkest, and truest feelings. Also, the whole town believes he killed his girlfriend. He didn't. The plot kinda lost me toward the end, but the fact that I had to find out who the real killer was kept me watching, and I guess that's the whole purpose of a movie creator, right? To keep your audience watching.
The Human Experiment (2013) - This one's a documentary about the harsh and harmful chemicals we encounter everyday, and how they are seriously taking a toll on the general health of the population. It explains how autism rates, infertility rates, cancer rates, and more have all gone up, exponentially, in the past couple decades, and the stuff we put on our body (lotions, deodorants, etc), the stuff we clean up with (bleach, ammonia, all-purpose cleaners, etc.) and other newly-introduced environmental toxins may very well be the culprit. As documentaries tend to be, it was very eye-opening. Last week I went out and had my own little cleaning product haul, and I'm slowly replacing them with all-natural brands like Mrs. Meyers, Method, and Honest. A full post on my efforts soon come, but I can already tell a difference in the way my house smells and feels.
Burying the Ex (2014) - If you like stories about the undead (I don't), you'll like this one, and if you're like me, you'll probably still like it. The main character is so likeable, but he's too afraid to break up with his overbearing and controlling girlfriend. When she suddenly dies, he's finally free, until she shows back up at his front door with a "terrible headache." 
November Rule (2015) - I always have high hopes for films featuring people of color. Like Viola Davis recently touched upon in her Emmy Acceptance Speech, we don't get enough quality opportunities, and sometimes (read: often times), we get stuck with the low-budget productions with the lackluster scripts. Such was not the case for this film. It was cute, somewhat-predictable, but thoroughly enjoyable, and I was glad to see Tatyana Ali in a lead role again.  
Teeth (2007) - This one's about a girl living with vagina dentata. She's a virgin, and that's by choice, but she seems to attract men who want to take advantage of her, sexually. That's where the dentata part comes in. This film moves slow, but it's got a big payoff - a great pick for you indie-film lovers.


The Blacklist - my new favorite show. I binge watched seasons one and two as they became available on Netflix, and I had serious withdrawal once I finished the episodes. What I love about this show is that it really sticks to the episodic format. Every week there's a new name from the blacklist of criminals to catch. The underlying storyline of the main characters runs pretty deep, so deep it's taking forever to give the viewing audience some real answers, which is a bit offputting, but the criminals are just so bad... making the show too good to pass up, even if it comes on at the same time as Scandal.
Nashville (ABC) - This show has always been on my hit list. The music is good, the characters are well-written and portrayed, and the city itself has always been deserving of its own tv show. I'm hoping to make it a weekend trip soon. It's only a short, 4-hour car ride away from Atlanta.
Blackish (ABC- I was worried when I first heard about this show. I was scared it would try too hard to be "real," but as I mentioned above, I always have high hope for us, especially in a network primetime slot. I was pleasantly surprised to find this show does not try too hard to be real, it does this effortlessly. I have also gotten many style and makeup ideas from Tracee Ellis Ross' character.
The Carmichael Show (NBC: full episodes here) - See explanation above for why I decided to check this one out. Thank GOD I did. It's officially my new favorite sitcom, purely because of David Alan Grier's (remember that cop from Jumanji? Him) performance. Loretta Devine complements him very well, and I would happily watch them on my small screen every week.
Jane the Virgin (CW) - I've just started watching this one last week, and I'm glad to report it's extremely binge-worthy. It's an american adaptation of a Venezuelan telenovela, and I loooooove telenovelas. This one reminds me of Ugly Betty. The main character is so endearing, and she grew up saving her virginity for marriage (as you may have gathered from the title) My only problem with this show it that I didn't start watching it sooner. Season one is currently available on Netflix.
Once Upon a Time (ABC- This one's an old favorite, but it had gotten dull in recent seasons. They weave all your favorite fairytale characters into modern-day suburbia. Snow White, Prince Charming, Red Riding Hood and more are all mainstay characters, and other fairytale favorites drop in every week. Last season they managed to work in Elsa and Anna from Frozen, and that's where it got dull for me. They're re-invented the script this season, and I'm enjoying it... so far. *Fingers Crossed* Seasons one through four are available on Netflix.
Scream Queens (FOX: full episodes here)- Listen. I knew I'd probably like this show, but I did not expect to enjoy it nearly as much as I am. This is what I'd call a millennial-style satire, and it's good to see Jamie Lee Curtis in front of the camera again. 


Trust No One by Paul Cleave - Currently reading, throughly enjoying. It's about a 40-something year old crime writer who's overcome with early onset Alzheimers. The dementia sets in quickly, and suddenly things get blurry. Has he just been writing about those murderous crimes all these years, or did he actually commit them? So far everyone is taking his senile confessions with a grain of salt.
The Circle by Dave Eggers - You know how The Devil Wears Prada is said to be based on Anna Wintour and the way she ran Vogue magazine (maybe you don't, but that's the word on the street)? Well, this book is supposedly based on Google, and there are some striking similarities. It really made me think. In our social-media-obsessed culture, is all this "sharing" really a good thing?

*Shark Jumpers*

Scandal - Oh, Scandal. You've had a nice run, but unless Ms. Pope is solving a new political scandal every week, I see no point in watching. Go back to the episodic format, please. Please.
How to Get Away With Murder - This one's in the early stages of jumping the shark, but again, bring back the weekly murder cases - PLEASE.
Empire - Empire is all over the place lately. Everyone is feuding with each other, and that's what families do, I get it. But at least last season there was an end game: who's going to takeover the empire? Now? Not really sure where they're going. 
House of Cards - two major spoilers are involved with my reasoning for no longer watching this one, and I don't want to give a single thing away because the first season is solid. Season two started to loose me about four episodes in. I was all the way gone by the season two finale.
That's all for now. 
Anyone have some new titles for me to consume? Share the goodness!
Also on The Active Spirit: The Netflix Recommendations Series