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Outer Banks Struggled to finds its Identity Outer Banks Struggled to finds its Identity


‘Outer Banks’ Struggled to Find Its Identity

Credit: Outer Banks/ Netflix



Many people enjoyed Netflix’s Outer Banks, but I didn’t. Not initially, at least. 

I wasn’t drawn into the teen drama or hooked by the mystery and romance the way I had been with other shows I’ve binge-watched in the past (Money Heist had me glued to the TV screen for days on end).

It was surprising considering Outer Banks had all the characteristics of the type of show I would enjoy — it was a teen drama, a murder mystery, and a treasure hunt all wrapped up into one. 

Despite my disinterest following the first episode, I proceeded to click the “next episode” and strapped in for the ride. Why? Mainly because I’m the kind of TV watcher who has to finish anything she commits to, but also because I’d heard some rave reviews of the show from some friends whose opinion I trust when it comes to television. 

So, there I was watching Outer Banks every evening for a straight week, and it wasn’t until about the sixth episode when the action began to pick up and pique my interest. Six episodes.

Still, even then, I couldn’t pin down what bothered me about the series, so I coasted along through the 10-episode run until it finally dawned on me — the series was a cluttered mess… more cluttered than John B’s man-cave/humble abode. 

Outer Banks Netflix

Credit: Outer Banks/ Netflix

The show lacked identity and direction; Outer Banks didn’t know what it wanted to be, and, as a result, it tried to be everything all at once. 

The series was supposed to focus on a legendary treasure hunt that linked to the disappearance of John B’s father, but the treasure hunt fizzled out quicker than it started and played like a secondary plot to other, less appealing, storylines. It was overshadowed by melodramatic teen romances reminiscent of the WB days unfolding between many of the characters. There’s nothing wrong with a love story — TV shows are fueled by young love and more importantly, the oft exasperated love triangle, but these romances stumbled, felt forced, and made the series, a series that had the potential to distinguish itself from all the teen-soaps, lose focus.

There were so many plot avenues — the series was about teens from the wrong side of the tracks, but it was also about teens looking for one last summer hoorah before reality (and adulthood) set in. There was the class clash between the haves and the have nots aka the poor kids, the Pogues, and the rich kids, the Kooks. On top of that, there was John B’s desire to avenge whoever wronged his father and a C-plot with a classic camp horror villain that wasn’t well crafted at all. 

There were bits and pieces of many TV shows and movies you’ve seen before and a blend of varying genres in an attempt to invoke some kind of feeling of nostalgia or familiarity (or possibly, to appeal to a wide variety of audiences), but they all kept getting in each other’s way and cutting each other off in a way that prevented storylines from exploring their full potential. 

The phrase “quality over quantity” comes to mind here as the series would’ve flowed better if it was oversimplified and lax — just like the attitude of the Pogues. If there had been less moving pieces, the series could’ve honed in deeper on story progression and character development, the latter which truly suffered.

One thing became evident — Outer Banks was a series about misfit genres that banded together just like the Pogues that ran the show set in the coastal island of North Carolina. 

That lack of direction trickled down to the characters, many of whom were one-dimensional. Aside from JJ (Rudy Pankow), the characters didn’t drive the plot, but were instead driven by the plot.

Pope (Jonathan Daviss) simply kept reminding everyone that he needed to stay out of trouble because of his scholarship, while Kiara’s (Madison Bailey) spunky, rebellious and independent streak fell flat when she was reduced to being the object of desire for the dudes.

And don’t get me started on the Cameron family, which was basically non-existent sans for Sarah and Ward. Sarah was bearable with charm and personality, but Ward was the one that disappointed me the most.

Played by Nashville’s Charles Esten, he was easily the most recognizable face on the cast, and if his character had been stronger, he could’ve rivaled Hiram Lodge for “TV villain.”

But there was only so much Esten could do and despite his thrilling performance, it was hard to get past the fact that his character lacked any depth — he was a villain because the plot called for it, but there wasn’t much thought behind what made him as evil.

The series didn’t try attempt to paint Ward in an innocent light, so when he was unmasked as not only the man responsible for the murder of John B’s father but also, the one targeting John B and his friends to get to the treasure, it wasn’t shocking or surprising. 

His actions were clear, but his motivations were murky, which isn’t something you want for a TV villain. Bad guys succeed and lure in audiences because they are nuanced and have harrowing backstories. They are layered, bruised, and broken, and even then, they usually have a shred of humanity — something redeemable to hang onto even if they don’t make a full twist to “good guy” by the time the show has finished. 

Ward had none of that. He was simply a bad dad who did bad things, tried to cover them up by doing more bad things, showed no remorse, and went on with his life like it didn’t matter. 

Since the series stretched out the action and finished on a cliffhanger for season 2, maybe the series will dig deeper into Ward’s character in the next go-around?

But hopefully, Outer Banks season 2 won’t feel as though you need John B’s treasure map to make sense of what’s happening and which plot is taking precedence.

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.


When Is Season 3 of ‘Ginny and Georgia’ Coming Out?



When Will Season 3 of Ginny and Georgia Premiere

Ginny & Georgia centers on the heartwarming yet extremely complicated bond between a mother and her daughter after they put down roots in a New England town. 

With so many compelling storylines and incredible characters of all ages, it’s no wonder that the coming-of-age drama has become a fan favorite among Netflix audiences. 

And that’s why fans can get excited as the streaming giant renewed the series for two additional seasons—yes, that’s right, season 3 and 4 are officially happening. 

The cast of the series took to Instagram to announce the good news:



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The second season of Ginny & Georgia premiered on Jan. 5, 2023, which means that a third season is likely far off, especially considering Brianne Howey, who plays Georgia, just announced her first pregnancy, which will possibly delay filming.


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As for a premiere date, well, there isn’t one just yet. With the writers’ strike ongoing, it may be a bit before production begins so it’s difficult to come up with a date for new episodes. The season could likely arrive in February 2024 if we’re looking at the previous premieres for both seasons 1 and 2, which both debuted at the start of 2021 and 2023, respectively.

But with Howey’s pregnancy thrown into the mix and the writers’ strike, that could delay things a bit, and it wouldn’t be the worst thing if the series returned during the summer when there’s a lull in content and fans are seeking out something to binge-watch and get invested in. 

You can also see more of our content about the final seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Riverdale, and Firefly Lane

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Who Is Rhys Montrose on ‘YOU’ Season 4?



You Season 4 Episode 6 Review Best of Friends

YOU Season 4 introduced a plethora of new characters as it revamped the series with a murder mystery format. 

*Warning – stop reading if you haven’t finished YOU Season 4 – Spoilers Ahead *

The shakeup made sense considering Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) uprooted his life following the fiery events in Madre Linda that killed Love Quinn and started over in London, assuming the identity of Professor Jonathan Moore. 

Rather quickly, he got pulled into an elite group thanks to his co-worker and neighbor, Malcolm Harding (Stephen Hagan), who was the season’s first victim. Joe/Jonathan naturally despised Malcolm’s group, though he did find Rhys Montrose (Ed Speleers), an author running for Mayor of London, to be a bit of a kindred spirit. They came from the same broken background and shared many of the same views.  

As the first half of the season unraveled, Joe sought out advice from Rhys on a handful of occasions, engaging in plenty of long heart-to-hearts with him, so it was kind of shocking when it was revealed that Rhys, as audiences have come to know him, was never real.

Rhys Montrose existed, yes, but he was never friends with Joe, nor was he the Eat the Rich Killer. The version of Rhys that Joe bonded with was a hallucination conjured up by his subconscious to protect himself and eliminate his darker, more deranged thoughts. 

YOU Season 4 Finale Episode 10 Review The Death of Jonathan Moore

You. (L-R) Ed Speleers as Rhys, Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg in episode 410 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

For much of the season, we saw Joe desperately trying to set himself free from Rhys’ grasp. At first, he saw him as public enemy #1, who somehow figured out Joe’s real identity and roped him into a murder spree by threatening to frame him for the deaths if Joe refused to participate. 

However, once Joe realized that Rhys was a figment of his imagination, he began to look for ways to silence the evil little voice forever, while also trying to figure out a plan to cover up the death of the real Rhys Montrose. 

Joe was tasked with killing the mayoral candidate, who he assumed at the time was the Eat the Rich Killer, by Kate’s (Charlotte Ritchie) father, Tom Lockwood. When he arrived at Rhys’ secret countryside hideout and tied him up, he was infuriated that Rhys claimed not to know who he was, nor would he admit to kidnapping Marienne (Tati Gabrielle). Eventually, Joe’s rage and anger took over, and he “accidentally” killed Rhys, which is when fake Rhys showed up and revealed that Joe was having a semi-psychotic break. 

In the end, Joe’s suicide attempt ensured that his hallucinations were forever gone, though he did embrace the darkness he was trying so hard to snuff out, making him more dangerous than ever.

As for the real Rhys Montrose’s killer, he pinned it all on poor Nadia (Amy-Leigh Hickman), a fan of Rhys’s from the beginning, who flew too close to the sun in her attempts to bring down Joe Goldberg. If only she just listened to Marienne’s advice.

A huge congrats to the YOU team for pulling off yet another jaw-dropping twist, and to both Badgley and Speleers for completely immersing themselves in their dual characters. 

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YOU Review – Best of Friends (406)



You Season 4 Episode 6 Review Best of Friends

Just when you thought you figured out where the season was headed, YOU pulls out the rug from under you yet again.  

I’m definitely starting to feel the whiplash that Joe/Jonathan must be feeling right about now. 

Things have gone from crazy to crazier rather quickly, as Rhys unveiled his true plan—along with how Joe is involved—while Joe came out victorious in front of the elite group once again, and all while a new suspect started piecing things together and realizing that Joe knows way more than he’s led on. 

While Joe spent numerous hours trying to figure out a plan to get close to Rhys, Rhys just appeared at Joe’s place one night without so much as lifting a finger. Joe may think he’s the invisible one in the city, but for a man who’s so well-known and loved, Rhys seems to get around without anyone noticing. 

And he made the rules of the game very clear—either Joe finds someone to frame for all the deaths or he goes down as the Eat-the-Rich killer, which isn’t exactly ideal. A little incentive goes a long way, so while Joe tried to distance himself initially, he couldn’t shake the desire for self-preservation and took the bait. He took the task rather seriously as it was either kill or be killed; he knew someone had to go down for it, but it had to be the right person.

With time running out, he genuinely began to consider Connie, but despite being an irrelevant character, he couldn’t justify pinning it on someone who was struggling with addiction and trying to turn their life around.  Connie wasn’t a threat to anyone, except for maybe himself, so Joe couldn’t justify destroying his life. 

But Dawn, well, she fell right into his lap. The few times we saw her snapping photos of the elite, and focusing on Joe–including when she spotted him at Rhys’ mayoral rally—I was convinced that she recognized him from his previous life. And that seems to be what the series wanted me to think so that they could pull a fast one on us because when Dawn pulled Phoebe aside to a “safe room” to keep her protected from the killer, it was revealed that Dawn was just an obsessive stalker who was connived that she was friends with the elite, Phoebe in particular. Dawn was a threat to a lot of people, so Joe took advantage of it. He framed her by planting Simon’s ear in her belongings, and since no one would ever believe a word she said over Phoebe’s accounts of what happened, Dawn couldn’t prove her innocence. Plus, she made an ideal suspect since she was at nearly every single event where a murder occurred as she was stalking the group. I mean, it couldn’t have been any more perfect if Joe had tried to plan it himself. 

You Season 4 Episode 6 Review Best of Friends

You. Ed Speleers as Rhys in episode 406 of You. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

However, his heroics did raise some questions from Nadia, his student and the lover of all murder mysteries. She noticed that Jonathan seemed to be at the center of every single scenario, oftentimes being championed as a hero, though he’s not actually connected to any of these people in any meaningful way. It’s a dangerous thing to play detective, especially when you’re setting your sights on Joe Goldberg.  Jonathan seems to like Nadia, but if she threatened him, I don’t think Joe would hesitate to take her down. Self-preservation is his M.O., remember?

Once Joe thought he finally got Rhys off of his back by framing Dawn, he decided to give into his desires and pursue a relationship with Kate. Honestly, Kate makes some really poor decisions, starting with just accepting Jonathan for who he is now and promising never to ask questions about his past. She wants someone to see her for who she is in the moment so badly that she’s letting logic take a backseat. Why would someone want to deny their past so badly unless they did something truly unforgivable? Kate wants to shed her past because of her connection to her father and she thinks that makes her and Jonathan equal, but they are not the same. 

By the time she realizes the truth about who Joe is, it might be too late.

As for Rhys, did Joe think he was really going to get rid of him that easily? Rhys has always wanted a friend to help him get to the finish line so to speak. He believes that they are the same, so he wasn’t going to just let Joe slip away.

And while his motive wasn’t evident at first, he seems hellbent on taking out those who don’t deserve their success and wealth. The three victims, Malcolm, Simon, and Gemma, all threatened his mayoral run in some way, so they were taken care of, and now, he’s setting his sights on the ultimate villain–Kate’s father. She may have a complicated relationship with her tycoon dad, but I don’t think Kate would ever want to see anything bad happen to him, let alone at the hands of the man she’s in love with. 

However, Rhys doesn’t seem to give Joe much of a choice as he still holds all of the cards. One might think that Joe could just handle this in the same way he always does, but well, you can’t just try to kill a killer. He’d see that coming from miles away. Joe needs to be strategic and deliberate in his plan, so for now, he has to play along. I, for one, am curious to see what all the hubbub is about Kate’s father–is he really as terrible as she makes him out to be?

As for Rhys, what is the catch? Fans were disappointed with the first half of the season since his reveal as the killer was obvious—and his motives, including his desire to kill Kate’s father–are exactly shocking or game-changing. What are we missing?

What did you think of the episode?

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