Saturday, October 1st

Binge Watching

This post is part of my ongoing relationship with Netflix as a Stream Team partner.

Sunset Drive

Another busy month in our household. Chris changed jobs and I started looking for a full time job again. Violet’s having a blast at school and we’re enjoying the camera access to her classroom. I check in and watch her eat lunch, settle in for a nap, or just toddle around with her classmates. They are all so cute and tiny!

We were able to get away to the coast for a weekend. It was our first time at Port Aransas and Corpus Christi and Violet’s first time in the ocean. We loved the charm of the Texas coast and we’ll definitely head back as soon as we can.

In her first official modeling gig, Violet had a photo shoot for an upcoming book by my talented friend Mary Makes Good. It was a fun day of outfit changes and baby wrangling. I’ll be sharing links when the book publishes and you can also pick up a copy of her gorgeous natural beauty book here.

Photo Shoot

And here’s a glimpse into our Netflix watching of late:


Limitless TV show

I didn’t watch Limitless when it was on CBS but I binged through it on Netflix. It’s an offshoot of the movie and Bradley Cooper does make appearances, although the likable Jake McDorman carries the show. Really, it’s just another FBI crime show. But it’s smartly written and the complex story is gripping. It sucked me right in. There are rumors that they are shopping it around for another network to pick it up, as it was canceled after the first season. Fingers crossed that Netflix takes it!

Everything Before Us

Everything Before Us

My weird pick for the month is Everything Before Us. Now I’m not saying it’s great, because it’s not. But it was compelling enough to leave me thinking about it for a few days. It’s a story about love, with two couples of different ages, living in a world where relationships contribute to emotional intelligence scores that carry as much weight as credit scores and criminal records. Breakups can lead to loss of jobs and social status, so if you’re bad at love you’re also bad at life.

The Get Down

The Get Down

I’m not finished The Get Down yet, mostly because it’s way too long. It’s a colorful telling of the birth of hiphop and is part musical, part kung fu, and part coming of age story about talented teenagers looking to make leave their creative mark on the world. I was hoping to really fall in love with this and maybe I still will, but so far it feels a bit self indulgent.

Have you seen The Get Down? Do I need to stick it out?

The big Netflix news is that they are now streaming Disney movies. They already have Tarzan, The Finest Hours, Holes, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Mulan II, and Robin Hood.

Friday, July 29th

Hot and Streamy

This post is part of my ongoing relationship with Netflix as a Stream Team partner.

July was a good month. Violet celebrated her last official month of infancy by eating (and rejecting) many new foods, growing two and a half teeth, skinny dipping, playing peek-a-boo, and giving lots of wet kisses and snuggles. She grabs my iPhone and holds it up to her ear like she’s talking and can be bribed back to sanity with peanut butter during fussy times. Every single day is wonderful. Look at those chubby arms!

Fish Cake

Barbecue giggles


Skinny dipping


So here’s what we’ve been watching lately:

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

ANDATORY CREDIT; NO ARCHIVE; NO SALES; NORTH AMERICAN USE ONLY Crazy Ex-Girlfriend -- "Josh Just Happens to Live Here!" -- Image CEG101_0022 -- Pictured: Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch -- Photo: Eddy Chen/The CW -- �© 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

At first I thought the campy comedy might be too silly for me, but by the second episode I was completely hooked on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and am now a Rachel Bloom fan for life. The musical numbers are brilliant and elevate the simple story to something special. The cast is an off-beat, charismatic gang of weirdos, other than Josh, the main love interest. Josh is boring, but the show is anything but.

Fun fact: Rachel Bloom and Broad City’s Ilana Glazer were once roommates.

Degrassi: Next Class

Degrassi Next Class

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m a huge Degrassi nerd. Excepting the original run in the 80s, I’m well versed on all things Degrassi and can speak with authority on all characters and storylines from about 15 seasons of the show. The show stays current, and this new class is all about social media and fluid sexuality. Boldly tackling serious topics, this season gets into racism, cultural appropriation, and mental health. The current cast has few standout actors, most are quite terrible, but some cameos from former students make it worth the watch. (Sorry, no Drake!)

2 Days in New York

An NYC indie starring Chris Rock and is half in French? I loved this 2012 movie and am so glad I randomly stumbled upon it. I thought about it for a few days after seeing it. Man. Chris Rock is so great. I might need to watch Top Five again. I need to go back and watch the first one, 2 Days in Paris, which starred Adam Goldberg alongside Julie Delpy.


BoJack Horseman

BoJack Horseman

I haven’t finished the third season of BoJack Horseman yet because I like to take my time and savor it. This is one of my favorite shows of all time. I’m a sucker for the easter eggs and bottomless pool of actors they get to voice the human and animal characters. It kind of reminds me of The Simpsons (way back when it was good) and how each episode pushed the envelope little further. The animated series is hilarious, but also so sad and dark. It might be Will Arnett’s best work and is a nod to his own demons.

What have you been watching? What do I need to add to my list?

Sunday, May 29th

There’s an Ep for That

This post is part of my ongoing relationship with Netflix as a Stream Team partner.

We’re at the end of May and in the midst of a long-awaited holiday weekend. Last year Chris’ had to go into the office on Memorial Day. We were still unpacking and doing major renovation in the new house, plus I was in my third trimester. It was a real bummer.

So having that extra day off right now feels positively glorious! We still have some work to accomplish, but our projects are of the small variety: yard work, laundry, cleaning. But we can balance that with some fun, along with grateful reflection on the many who gave their lives for our country. It’s good to have a day to feel patriotic during a gross election year. Is there anything worse than a presidential campaign? Ugh.

Violet is really on the move these days! She’s unbelievably fast at crawling, gleefully using our shiny concrete floors to her benefit. We’re having so much fun with the walker, too, and I think she’ll be walking unassisted before we know it.

Baby girl wearing pink tutu

Smiling baby wearing Run DMC onesie and red pants

A photo posted by Kristin Sheppard (@madbettyatx) on

Now let’s talk Netflix! As most network TV shows are done for the season, I expect many of you will be increasing your steaming. I’d love to hear your recommendations on what to watch. Here’s what we’ve been watching lately:

Lady Dynamite

Lady Dynamite on Netflix

Maria Bamford is one of those likable yet polarizing comedians. She’s intelligent, funny, weird…but it’s her voice that many people can’t get past. Lady Dynamite acknowledges this by incorporating it into a storyline, along with her many other hangups like insecurity, bad decision-making, and severe Bipolar II disorder. I’ve watched the ranking of this show fall steady, but I give it a solid four stars. It almost crosses the line into being completely ridiculous, but doesn’t annoy me in the least. And it’s worth checking out for the cameos alone.

Grace and Frankie

Speaking of annoying, I’m slogging through the second season of Grace and Frankie at a snail’s pace. It’s a gorgeous show to watch and full of actors I love, but somehow…I just don’t like it. Am I alone here?

Promised Land

Matt Damon in Promised Land

Although it’s from 2012, Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land was new to me. It’s a fairly uncomplicated and well-told story of a small town divided on the subject of fracking. Matt Damon carries the movie, supported by the wonderful Frances McDormand, John Krasinski, and Rosemarie DeWitt.


Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler seems to be able to do whatever she wants. I was not much of a fan of hers until I read a few of her books, which showcases her deadpan snark and intelligent humor maybe more so than her TV persona does. Her documentary series Chelsea Does was somewhat enjoyable and Chelsea the talk show feels like an extension of that in bite-size pieces. Netflix releases three new episodes a week, which is a new approach to their streaming TV shows.

Tuesday, April 19th

Stream Queens

This post is part of my ongoing relationship with Netflix as a Stream Team partner.

We’re just coming out of a month that was so incredibly busy that we’re finally just getting our bearings again. Normally I’d block off a little recovery time after SXSW, but we had no such luxury this year. We had back-to-back visits from my parents and Chris’ dad, both of which were wonderful. We took a road trip to Fort Worth and went to a wedding, the zoo, and Cane Rosso for dinner. Then last weekend was AFBA’s Colossal Curry Cook-off, which was a huge success!

Violet with Nana and Pop-Pop in Bluebonnets

Violet and GrandDad

Violet and GrandDad

Violet and Elephants at Fort Worth Zoo

Violet’s getting so big. She races down the hallway in her walker, babbles away, and tries to put her pacifiers in our mouths. So far, she’s really not digging solid foods much, but we keep trying a little everyday. My mom brought her a whole bunch of CDs and it’s so fun to watch her recognize the music and try to sing along. Sesame Street is her favorite, especially the songs sung by Grover.

We haven’t had much free time to watch TV, but I’ve relished those rare moments when I could relax on the couch and decompress with some entertainment. What we’ve been watching lately:

Meet the Patels

Meet the Patels

I enjoyed this so much I watched it twice. The light-hearted documentary focuses on Ravi Patel (who you may recognize from Master of None) and the cultural pressure to get married. It was impossible not to fall in love with his whole family.

F is for Family

This is decidedly NOT kid-friendly, but F is for Family is a cartoon worth watching. Bill Burr, Laura Dern, and Justin Long anchor this series that’s filled with recognizable voices. It’s some good clean 70s fun. BoJack Horseman is still my favorite though.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I haven’t quite finished the newly released second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but thought it was worth mentioning. Ellie Kemper is adorable.

Sensitive Skin

I’d watch Kim Cattrall in just about anything, but this was hard to get through. It’s highly stylized and on the surface, sophisticated, but also…really annoying? Cattrall is just fine. It’s Don McKellar, the male lead in season one, who rubs me the wrong way. But I’ll persevere and give the second season a chance.

What are you guys watching? Leave me a comment so we can discuss. Having trouble deciding what to watch? Make a fortune cookie!

Netflx Fortune Teller

Thursday, March 31st

South by South Baby

This post is part of my ongoing relationship with Netflix as a Stream Team partner.

We’ve been busy over here, with work and life and SXSW. We were those crazy people who brought a baby into the heart of Austin’s craziest scene! Our plans were to not go at all this year and we didn’t have badges. But once the parties and invites rolled in, there were a few events we couldn’t resist.

South by South Baby #SXSW #sxswi

A photo posted by Kristin Sheppard (@madbettyatx) on

One of those events was the premier of Pee Wee’s Big Holiday. It was Violet’s first movie and while she didn’t grasp the plot, she loved sitting in an audience of laughing people. She also chewed on her little red Pee Wee bow tie! We mingled with the cast and crew of the movie at the intimate afterparty. Paul Reubens was kind enough to let us snap a photo with him. The whole evening was a blast!

A dark photo, but that’s us and Paul Reubens. #peeweeherman #sxsw

A photo posted by Kristin Sheppard (@madbettyatx) on

Violet was a popular little guest no matter where we went and was in good spirits. She loves being out and about, so we take her as many places as we can. I was surprised by the dozens of people who approached us and expressed admiration for bringing her along. Most had babies themselves. She had her photo taken by lots of people and loved the attention. We made some great memories.

As we cherish all these special moments, we look forward to all the fun things that lie ahead. Netflix sent us some LEGO sets for the launch of their new LEGO shows and I can’t wait for Violet to get into all these fun toys I have stocked away for her. I’ll gladly invest in some LEGO slippers to spare my feet!

LEGO Slippers

So here’s what we’ve been streaming lately:

Documentary Now!

Documentary Now!

The IFC series features the brilliant Fred Armisen and Bill Hader in parodies of classic documentary parodies like Grey Gardens and The Thin Blue Line. It’s hilarious and smart. Here’s a guide to every documentary mocked.

Top of the Lake

Top of the Lake

The dark and disturbing series just announced that they are filming the second season, so I thought it time to finally get around to watching the first season. Elizabeth Moss carries the drama set in New Zealand, proving her acting chops go far beyond Peggy Olson.



It’s been questioned whether Will Arnett can carry a series and Flaked doesn’t really provide an answer. The slow-moving series is mildly appealing and Arnett is always likable, but this could have been better. I almost didn’t stick with this one but there was a satisfying payoff in the end. It’s just a little arduous getting there. Also, I can’t stress how much I loathe the opening credits.

What have you been watching lately?

Saturday, February 27th

Nights at Home

This post is part of my relationship with Netflix as a Stream Team partner.

She’s only six months old, but Violet has a more active social life than many adults I know. Chris and I commit to a lot of social events and, so far, it’s been relatively easy to bring Violet to most things. Having a baby hasn’t slowed us down much yet, which is why those rare nights at home are so special.

When we stay at home I cook a simple meal and we’ll play settle in to play with Violet. She’s actively rolling around, playing with toys, and vetoing the food we give her. Those nights are filled with giggles and baby sighs and something fun on Netflix. Sometimes we’ll opt for a movie, other times we’ll watch a few episodes of a series.

Live Oak Brewery, Austin, Texas

Southwest Pediatrics, Austin, Texas

Baby food

Of course, the series everyone is talking about this week is Fuller House. The beloved family show is back after 21 years for a sentimental revisit of the sappy, silly show I loved as a kid. The cast aged well and it’s a great bit of nostalgia to see them back, laugh track and all.

Here are a few things I’ve watched lately:


Luther starring Idris Elba

Luther is a must-see for anyone who is debating giving in to a full-blown Idris Elba obsession. Just give in. The British cop show is the oft-told tale of a troubled cop who doesn’t play by the rules but it’s SO MUCH MORE! Unlike our American cops shows, this one is disturbing as hell. It’s not a show I can binge watch because it’s so dark, but it’s simply fantastic.


Netflix series Love

Sigh. I really, really loved this show, you guys. Love is a binge-watcher for sure and feels made for that purpose. Each episode picks up right where the last leaves off. It’s a ten-episode tale of two people, a hot mess of a woman and a slightly less messed-up dork. We watch them meet, see them interact with each other and with friends. It’s not exactly the romantic comedy the name implies. A+ to Judd Apatow.

The Tiger and The Monk

I was so enthralled with The Tiger and The Monk that I watched it twice. The 50-minute documentary from 2007 is a glimpse into the idyllic Tiger Temple, where monks and tigers live in harmony together. I was actually coming up with a plan as to how we could make a trip to Thailand to see it in person. But in recent weeks, extremely distressing news has come out about the temple. My heart is broken. Watch it before reading this.

What are you guys watching? What do you do on your nights at home?

Tuesday, December 22nd

End of the Year Netflix Binge

We’re approaching the holiday in mere days. Hopefully that means some time off for most of you and in between gifts and lovely meals and family hugs and puppy snuggles and taking those giant bows off your brand new cars, you’ll have some downtime. (And my, don’t you all have such idyllic lives?) I’ll be hitting the Netflix pretty hard in my downtime, and I can’t wait. I think I’m going to pick one series to binge watch. What should it be?

I’ve been keeping up with my streaming of new and old things so that we could discuss them here. Leave me a comment and let this ole Stream Team gal know what else to watch. Here’s what’s been keeping my eyes company lately:

Master of None

Master of None starring Aziz Ansari

I’ve always been on the fence about Aziz Ansari, unsure if I really liked him or not. But after watching Master of None, I am 100% TEAM AZIZ. The ten-episode season is among the best shows of 2015 and instantly garnered tons of attention. The premise of a single Indian actor living in New York is somewhat autobiographical in nature and his character’s parents are played by his actual parents. Although funny, the show tackles some deep subject matter and left me thinking about it for a long time.

Bonus for Adult Swim fans: H. Jon Benjamin and Eric Wareheim play two of his friends.


Laid TV Show

Aaaaaahhh! I love this show. Laid is an Australian comedy that was tragically put down after two six-episode seasons. I almost hate to tell you about this show because it’ll break your heart to only have a dozen episodes, but it’s too good not to share.

The premise: Woman realizes that everyone she’s ever slept with dies! The second season digs deeper and gets a little poignant on us, but by and large this is a hilariously dry comedy. NETFLIX! PLEASE BUY THIS SERIES AND MAKE MORE EPISODES.

Related: If you watch Laid Netflix will recommend a movie called The Little Death. This one is also completely worth your time. I watched it twice, actually.

The Little Death

Call the Midwife

With four seasons streaming on Netflix and no sign of BBC calling it quits (they just announced Season 6) Call the Midwife is a solid bet for hours of entertainment. It’s joyful, incredibly sad, and so very touching. It’s a story where people are good and kind; poverty is the villain.

Demetri Martin: Live (At the Time)

Demetri Martin: Live (At the Time)

Demetri Martin looks like a little boy from the seventies and is one of the smartest comics out there. He went to Yale and then blew off Harvard to study law at NYU, which he also blew off…for comedy. Lucky for us. If you like stand up, don’t miss this one.

Okay, my Netflix people. Tell me what you’ve been watching. And have a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, August 5th

Summer Movie Round-up

I don’t let too much time pass between seeing movies. The Alamo Drafthouse is a second home to Chris and I; we keep them in business. The heat of summer gives us even more reason to retreat to the cool, dark theaters and it’s one of my very favorite things to do. Here are a few movies we’ve seen lately:


Trainwreck movie poster

By far, the most humorous movie we’ve seen this summer is Trainwreck. Already a huge Amy Schumer fan, I’ve really grown to love movies written by comedians. For one thing, they are funny. And another? Comedians look out for each other which means there are always lots of good cameos. (See Chris Rock’s Top Five.) If you indulge me in one more comparison to Top Five, standup comedy often walks on the dark side with depression, addiction, and general dysfunction at its core. Rock overtly explored these themes, as Louie CK regularly does on his eponymous show. While Schumer’s fictional tale doesn’t delve into the underbelly of the standup world, it doesn’t shy away from dark themes of dysfunction and a life not lived to its fullest. She’s clearly seen plenty of sadness and isn’t afraid to go there.

A well-rounded cast that most notably included LeBron James playing a highly likable version of himself, perhaps to keep this from being a “girl” movie. Rich in both character development and jokes, Trainwreck is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.


Amy Winehouse

There’s been plenty of buzz about Amy, the documentary about deceased singer Amy Winehouse. Chris and I went to a morning screening and downed coffee and French toast while I tried not to cry. We were (are) big fans of Winehouse and I was deeply saddened by her passing four years ago. Her talent was often overshadowed by her troubled life, so well-documented by the tabloids. Much of the footage in the documentary came from home movies and that same tabloid footage, with interviews all taking the form of voiceovers.

My favorite moments were seeing her live performances, least favorite thing was watching her go from young and healthy to a ghostly drug-addicted shell of a person. For me, this was very difficult to watch. Apparently her father didn’t like the way he was portrayed and will put out his own film to set the record straight. We’ll see about that.

Jurassic World

Jurassic World starring Chris Pratt as the dinosaur whisperer

For me, Jurassic World goes does down as the biggest disappointment of the summer movies. A fan of the original Jurassic Park, I was happy to see nods to the 1993 classic, in small references throughout as well as the opening music. I also really like Chris Pratt and am thrilled to see his career has taken him so far. Well, I should advise fellow Pratt fans to stick to Guardians of the Galaxy if you like plot, character depth, and satisfying story development. If you like a couple screaming hours of dinosaur chasing and little else, then you’d probably like Jurassic World. But I thought it was terrible.


Aloha Movie Poster

Speaking of terrible, Aloha was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Early buzz was not good, but we chose to see it because 1) I wasn’t paying attention to the buzz, 2) it had a good cast, and 3) a Cameron Crowe movie should at least have a killer soundtrack. Would that I could get those hours of my life back, they’d be better spent doing literally anything else.

Aside from the offensive whitewashing, etc, this was a piece of garbage on every level. A week after seeing it, Chris and I were still talking about how awful it was. He said, “I just can’t get it out of my head…how BAD it was. I feel traumatized!”

Inside Out

Disney Pixar's Inside Out

There’s little risk involved in seeing a Disney Pixar film. While I’m not exactly a hardcore Disney buff by any means, I appreciate the movies and how much talent and work go into each one. The writing, acting, and animation are always superb and Inside Out was no different. Plus, Amy Poehler as the lead voice? YES, please!

What I didn’t expect was how much I’d cry. I’m quick to cry in a movie anyway, so this isn’t a foreign concept to me. But I didn’t think I’d sob quite this much. Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones. Maybe I was tired. Maybe the movie stirred up some deep mourning of childhood happiness and innocence. Either way, I’d recommend tissues.

People Places Things

People Places and Things movie starring Jemaine Clement

People Places Things opens at Alamo Drafthouse on August 14th. I watched an early press screener so that I could report back to you and am happy to say, it was fantasticFlight of the Conchords fans will love Jemaine Clement in this role of loving father, teacher, and graphic novelist. It’s funny, heartwarming, a bit melancholy…everything you’d want in a charming indie dramedy. I’ll watch this one again.

What have you seen lately? Any recommendations for me?

Monday, April 13th

Advanced Screening: The Age of Adaline

The Age of Adaline movie poster featuring Blake Lively and Harrison Ford

The Age of Adaline comes out next Friday, April 24th, but you and a friend can get a free early preview. Have you ever gone to an advance screening of a movie or TV show? It’s exciting to be part of a small, select group of passionate pop culture aficionados who get early access. Once I got a taste of these early previews, I’m always going back for more. Those of us who live in Austin are so lucky because the Alamo Drafthouse does these cool things frequently.

For the first time ever, I’m able to share my early access credentials with my readers! On Wednesday, April 15th there will be a special advance screening of The Age of Adaline. Watch Blake Lively portray a beautiful ageless character who embarks on a romantic journey that changes her course forever. Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn, Michiel Huisman, and Kathy Baker round out the fantastic cast in this touching story.

To sign up for the screening visit the Lions Gate Screenings page and click Redeem. Your code is MADBETTY. I have 50 pairs of tickets to give away and they are first come, first serve. Make sure to reserve yours today!

Screening Details

Film: The Age of Adaline

Date: Wednesday, April 15th

Time: 7:30 PM

Location: Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar

Friday, August 15th

South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse Reopens

Alamo Drafthouse and The Highball, Austin, Texas

Tomorrow the long-awaited South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse officially opens. The redux is substantially larger, with nine theaters and an increase of almost 20,000 feet, nearly doubling it in size. There’s a parking garage (and a couple more being built) that will hold 700 cars or so. So, yeah, our little neighborhood theater is a behemoth. But Austin is crowded and we need more parking, more seats, more everything.

I’m thrilled that while there are lots of digital upgrades and the like, the spirit of the old Drafthouse lives on in the decor. The old metal spaceships and planes dot the ceiling of the lobby, along with a new zeppelin. And it seems like a silly thing to be attached to, but I always loved the whimsical hot dog in the original theater and am happy to report they brought him back.

South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse, Austin, Texas


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The hallways feature vintage horror posters with a bit of a freak show element. Think Mr. Bungle at the movies.

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Attached to the theater is The Highball, which also features decor and furniture from the old one. You can’t bowl there anymore, but the wood from the lanes is everywhere from the floor of the top of the bar, the ceilings and benches. It’s smooth and shiny and feels like home. A point of pride with the cocktail program is that the staff (all from the original Highball) create the drink menu themselves. In addition to the 22 craft beers there are two cocktails on draft, all of which will rotate regularly. And mixed drink bottle service is a new feature, which is perfect for the karaoke rooms. You’ll be able to get a large bottle (enough for six) of Moscow Mules and other cocktails for $45. Very convenient.

Speaking of the karaoke rooms, they are the real draw. Each of the seven private rooms is done in a fun theme and all are spectacular. I won’t show but a couple photos, because the real magic is being surprised by the details yourself. Needless to say I was blown away and especially loved Truly Outrageous, done in a sparkly Jem and the Holograms theme and The Fifth Dimension, a black lit Twilight Zone room.

Truly Outrageous, Jem earrings

The Fifth Dimension Twilight Zone

The Fifth Dimension Twilight Zone

I’m not even into karaoke but I think I’ll be changing that. And I can’t wait to resume my regular trips to my favorite location to see movies. Welcome back, Alamo Drafthouse. It was a long year and a half without you.

Alamo Drafthouse

1120 South Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704