Meditate on these mystery shows this weekend

I love a good conspiracy — especially when there’s murder involved, of course. It suits my innate cynicism toward large systems in general. But, while I’m not not inclined to believe in an old fashioned,  X-Files-style government cover-up, let’s just say that it hits too close to home these days as we’re all patiently waiting for Mueller to drop some super juicy conspiratorial revelations IRL. 

I’ll be real with you, though. My disdain for the current administration’s misdeeds, both known and alleged, pales a little bit in comparison to my fears about the entities in the background that give them power:

The Corporations.

Why? Because it turns out that our favorite, friendly megalomaniacal profit machines don’t exactly have their customers’ best interests at heart, even though we give them our money. (Shockingly, I typed this on an iPhone. I like to think I can at least be self-aware about my slavery.) 

A lot of people, and I think many Americans in particular, tend to tell themselves that their life is the result of their own making, shaped by their own choices and within their control. Because if they maintain that they have control over their fate, for both better or worse, then they don’t have to face the reality that the choices they decide between were shaped by forces they are helpless to fight, change or resist. Admitting how powerless the average person is: terrifying.

And if those absurdly wealthy forces that run our economy and manipulate our politics and infiltrate all areas of our lives also happen to be hellbent on raking up profits at the cost of human safety, or even human lives…what’s scarier than that?

Get ready to open your mind 🌀

On that premise, here are some freakily fantastic watches that fit the bill. I’ll try not to say too much about them, for the sake of mystery and all.


Futuristic pharmaceutical trials are prime conspiracy/mystery fodder, which is why I was so excited to binge Maniac the same day it debuted on Netflix, and why I felt compelled to write about it here despite the general lack of murder (oops, spoiler).

Possibly my favorite character.

If you liked that one, then you’ll definitely love….


I really enjoyed the first two seasons of Mr. Robot, (also a great addition to this list!) and creator Sam Esmail’s distinct cinematic style gives me happy tingles. Stephen wasn’t a fan of his quirks at first when we watched this show together (“It feels so seventies”), but Esmail’s visual motifs slowly grew on him: the typographical charm, the long expository wide shots, the aggressive close-up angles. Every visual choice contributes to the overhanging sense of deception. 

Perhaps things are not as they seem?

Intense vibes all around.

If you like unreliable narrators, Julia Robert’s character Heidi should be right up your alley. And if you like gregarious cocky assholes, Bobby Cannavale will delight you throughout the 10-episode season.

With most episodes running at 30 minutes or less, Homecoming is ideal for a quick weekend binge. If it weren’t for football season, Stephen and I would have finished it in two days. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the ending though, I’m still not sure how I feel about it and I’m eager to discuss.

Sorry To Bother You

After reading reviews about this film, I eagerly anticipated the absurd characters and surreal visuals and bizarre plot twists. As I had hoped, Sorry To Bother You does not disappoint for weirdness.

It’s certainly a lighter watch than Maniac or Homecoming. The mystery/conspiracy aspect of the plot doesn’t surface right away, and the darkly comedic skewering of capitalism will have you laughing until the final act, which – *SPOILER* – is bananas.

Truly though, the late plot twists threw me for a loop that I could never have seen coming. All I could think was, “Holy shit, how did Boots Riley keep this spoiler off the internet for so long???” I’d been wanting to watch this movie since July, and even in November my spoiler-laden keyword searches return zero spoiler Google Image results…

On that note, I’m trying really hard to not ruin things for people who haven’t seen them, so trust me when I say you have to just watch this zany movie for yourself. If the story’s despairingly satirical critique of post-modern capitalism isn’t enough to entice you, at least do it to watch Armie Hammer snort a footlong line.

His character is like Jordan Belfort mashed up with the twins he played in The Social Network.

Also: for Tessa Thompson’s character’s earrings. I insist that you read them all.

How on-brand!

Bonus: If you require another hellish dystopian noir set in a technofuture ruled by corporations, go for Altered Carbon. It’s totally what if phones, but too much.

When you’re done, let’s swap fave conspiracies!! (Mine is hands-down lizard people.) Which ones do you believe? The truth is out there….

Do you like conspiracy/mystery-driven stories? Which have you enjoyed lately?