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

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‘Outer Banks’ Struggled to Find Its Identity

Credit: Outer Banks/ Netflix

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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. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_d1lxPJ8XR/

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.

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Who Will Die On ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4B?

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Who Dies on Stranger Things Season 4B?

Stranger Things Season 4 was quite a bloodbath, but we haven’t seen anything yet.

While Vecna claimed a handful of victims in the first eight episodes of the season, none of them were part of the core cast. 

That’s all about to change come Season 4B, which does not go easy on our Hawkins best and brightest. 

The final two episodes — both feature-length in duration, clocking in at over two hours a piece — have been teased by Joseph Quinn (Eddie Munson) as absolute “carnage.”

Noah Schnapp (Will Byers) has been doing the press rounds and hinting at a major character death, and truthfully, all signs point to Steve Harrington. 

Think about it: His death would have the largest emotional impact. He’s a fan favorite, he’s the “dad” of the group often taking on the protector role and keeping the kids safe when their parents are literally nowhere to be found, he’s an overall good guy, and he has so much momentum and chemistry with Nancy right now, it’s insane.

Per Insider, Joe Keery’s character wasn’t supposed to survive the first season in the Duffer Brother’s original plan, but they simply couldn’t let him go. 

And it’s exactly why his death would destroy a whole fandom, crumbling them at the core. It’s a death that will hit both fans and characters equally as hard. Some might argue that Steve is the glue that holds it all together, never taking himself too seriously but also going boldly right into the danger zone.

Matt Duffer didn’t exactly confirm that Steve would be the big death of the season, but he also didn’t deny it either.

“If he’s going to die, it’s not going to be from the bat bite,” Matt told Variety, which is almost reassuring. He did acknowledge everyone is “worried about Steve,” so maybe his death is too obvious.

If we’re all prepared for it, it won’t be as effective, right?

Who Dies on Stranger Things Season 4B?

STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Eduardo Franco as Argyle, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, and Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

In that case, could it be Nancy Wheeler? At the end of season 4, Nancy is stuck in the Upside Down in a trance as Vecna explains his origin story to her. It’s unclear why he chose to be honest with Nancy, but that’s a good journalist for you — getting the story even when it could cost her her life.

Of course, Steve is in the Upside Down with Nancy, so I don’t think she’ll die there just yet. There’s no way he’d leave her behind without bringing her to safety. But if Nancy is already connected to Vecna, that means she’s running out of time and unless she can find a foothold in the real world to keep her safe a la Max’s “Running Up That Hill,” she might just be his next victim.

Other possibilities:

Dr. Benner or Dr. Owens — Both of them care for Eleven and want to help restore her powers so that she can defeat this evil once and for all. But the FBI is coming for them, and they don’t take kindly to betrayal. I can see them sacrificing themselves to help Eleven escape for the greater good. Owens would be slightly more upsetting because Brenner might just deserve it.

Eddie — Eddie is a fan favorite, and if look at the show’s track record of killing off the lovable, new guy, well, it doesn’t bode well for the newcomer. He’s already been to the Upside Down, and based on the teaser, we know he returns there for some epic guitar solo. Maybe that’s his triumphant moment before death?

Jonathan — The only way that Nancy and Steve could work is if Jonathan is out of the picture. And while it’s cruel to kill him off for the sake of another relationship, there’s also not much that Jonathan is actually contributing to the storyline anymore aside from getting high with his friend Argyle. His death, however, would shake the core group as he’s Will’s brother and rock.  

Eleven — It’s unlikely that the series would risk killing their biggest asset, but she is gearing up for her biggest battle yet. It’s going to take everything that she has. Some might say, you don’t make it out alive after using up all that power. And Eleven loves her friends deeply, so we know she would sacrifice everything for them.

Who Dies on Stranger Things Season 4B?

STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Tom Wlaschiha as Dmitrti, Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman, Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, and David Harbour as Jim Hopper in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Joyce, Murray, Dmitri, and Hopper are in a dangerous situation in Russia, but considering that they’ve managed to survive a plane crash, Siberia, imprisonment, and a Demogorgon, I have full faith in them! 

Who do you think is going to die on Stranger Things Season 4B?


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Fans React to Chilling Netflix Doc ‘Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey’

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Fans Recall Feeling 'Sick' After Watching Chilling Netflix Doc 'Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey'

The latest true-crime series on Netflix that’s gripping/disturbing audiences everywhere? Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey

The four-part series is based on the polygamous religious section known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). It examines the rise of leader Warren Jeffs, who, at one point (prior to his arrest), had about 69 wives, some as young as 12.

If you find the synopsis disturbing, you’re pretty much on the same page as viewers who recalled feeling quite “traumatized”  and “sic” after watching the show. 

Here are some of the tweets and reactions about Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey:

https://twitter.com/Rachel_Andrews/status/1534644130634244099?s=20&t=mGy6HiJYfutUpVJ-y_4Mgw

https://twitter.com/SpaaceWitch666/status/1534952940695437319?s=20&t=mGy6HiJYfutUpVJ-y_4Mgw

https://twitter.com/ClaretteWaithe1/status/1534545816442097665?s=20&t=mGy6HiJYfutUpVJ-y_4Mgw

https://twitter.com/KimMannix/status/1534947655909904384?s=20&t=mGy6HiJYfutUpVJ-y_4Mgw

https://twitter.com/oucrimsongirl/status/1535261255686148098?s=20&t=mGy6HiJYfutUpVJ-y_4Mgw


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WATCH: ‘Manifest’ Season 4 Sneak Peek

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WATCH: 'Manifest' Season 4 Sneak Peek from Geeked Week

The fourth and final season of Manifest is on the horizon! 

As part of Geeked Week, Netflix gave fans a first look and the upcoming season.

The clip features Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh), who takes an unsolicited trip to the docks to locate a shipping container decked out in images of cherry blossom.

The shipping container that she needed to locate is glowing, so it’s likely that a vision brought her here.

But when she opens that bad boy up, it doesn’t seem like she knows what she’s looking for at all. In fact, she’s terrified to find a hand reaching for her. The man, who doesn’t seem to be doing well at all, has “Stone 828” carved into his hand. I really hope they aren’t introducing zombies into the mix. 

Netflix knew that they would pique our interest with this snippet, but since we have no other context about the scene, there’s not much to theorize or go off of in terms of what’s happening. 

All we truly know is that the Stone family is doing their best to crack the mystery of what happened to Flight 828 before time officially runs out. 

What do you think about the sneak peek? 

There is no season premiere date just yet, but according to Netflix the final season is “coming soon.” And it was confirmed that it will be released in two batches of 10 episodes. 


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