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.
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.
‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ Review – A Murder Mystery Within a Murder Mystery
If you’re a murder mystery fanatic who enjoyed the original Knives Out, you’re likely looking forward to what Rian Johnson has in store for you this time around.
And you’re probably wondering—can the second installment capture, bottle up, and sell the essence of the first film once again? Unfortunately, it cannot.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery takes a stab at it—yet misses the mark, though not entirely. If you ordered a margarita, this would be a watered-down margarita–slightly less potent but still enjoyable enough.
The first film was a smashing success mainly because it delivered the eerie vibe of an old-school whodunit. However, the classic elements that made the first one so great are no longer present in the sequel. It’s glitz, glamor, and gadgets, first and foremost. With a heavy tech focus and set amid a backdrop of a luxury private island, it doesn’t necessarily align with what fans may be expecting, nor does it benefit from falling under the Knives Out umbrella. In fact, I think labeling it as a Knives Out mystery may have led to the confusion since tonally, it feels more adjacent to Death on the Nile.
That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed Death on the Nile, so once I came in with an open mind, Glass Onion turned out to be a thrilling journey from beginning to end. The pristine locations, top-notch action, and eccentric characters all lent themselves to the wonder.
We’re not playing your mom’s version of Clue as the film bypasses the typical murder mystery aesthetic, which becomes evident almost immediately, however, it’s crafted with just as much, if not more, love from Johnson, who knows he has to live up to some pretty high expectations.
The second film is ambitious, serving up multiple murder mysteries in one. The murder mystery within a murder mystery makes it difficult to have any plausible theories until about halfway through when the film starts walking the storyline back and peeling the layers of the very complex onion.
And while I personally thought the murderer’s identity was far too obvious—isn’t that always the case? Isn’t the killer always starting your right in the face?—it was still a satisfying resolution. The clues are all there from the beginning if you dare pay close attention…and it’s that attention to detail and intricacies that make the Knives Out franchise such a hit.
The writers managed to trip audiences up with an added plot twist so well crafted, it could shock even the sleuthiest of sleuths, including Benoit Blanc.
Daniel Craig’s gentleman detective is the only familiar thread between the two films, and it’s comforting to hear his Southern drawl once again, because this time, you know exactly what to expect from him. You’ve seen him in action and you know how his mind works, so even if it doesn’t seem like he has a handle on the situation, he knows more than he’s letting on.
He has a pulse on the new mystery, coming in knowing more than anyone on the island—or the audience—knows, but at times, it sure does seem like he’s lost his edge. And that’s the point… the minute you let your guard down, and when you think the game has gotten away from him, he cracks the case most brilliantly.
I didn’t think we’d see Craig headline another franchise after Bond, but here we are, and having a damn good time at that, especially as the film takes on a more comedic tone. The laid-back nature of the film allows Benoit to have some fun and not take himself so seriously– he doesn’t need to prove himself this time around—and fans can let loose and get lost in the plot without feeling too bogged down by the murderous twists, of which there are plenty.
The new group of suspects—because let’s be honest, that’s what they are—is a group of old friends who refer to themselves as the “disruptors.” However, the only thing being truly disrupted is their fun murder mystery party on the island when a real-life murder occurs and sends their little getaway into disarray. Through this real-life murder, we begin to unearth a little more about each character, learning their motivation and relationship with the victim(s) play a crucial role in solving this mystery. And though I found it slightly difficult to connect with any specific character on a deeper level, or even feel any empathy for them, the variety of personalities, backgrounds, and social statuses, makes them all worthy suspects.
Knives Out capitalized on a star-studded cast the first time around, and Johnson somehow managed to once again pull off bringing so much talent into one room, nabbing a cast that holds a candle to the original, including Edward Norton as tech guru Miles Bron (the owner of the Glass Onion), Kathryn Hahn as governor Claire Debella, and Kate Hudson as a carefree socialite named Birdie Jay, to name a few. There might not be a Chris Evans sweater moment, but they’re a good bunch that fit the tone of the film.
My biggest complaint isn’t even a complaint, but rather, an observation of how easily I was distracted by the name Andi, which should never be used for another character in a movie starring Hudson. True fans of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days will understand the sheer confusion of a movie referencing Andi but not actually referring to Hudson. That was a mystery in itself.
And just when you thought there couldn’t be more star power, there are plenty of Easter eggs and unexpected guest appearances—we’re looking at you, Hugh Grant.
The bottom line is that if you go in with zero expectations stemming from the first film, you won’t be disappointed. The films are distinctly different, but they’ll both make you put your detective skills to use.
It’s a worthy sequel that allows Johnson to flex his funny bone while doing what he does best—crafting a mystery that will keep you on your toes from beginning to end. He proves that there isn’t one way, or a right way, to do a murder mystery, and what makes them so enjoyable and enticing every single time is that they are one giant game for everyone involved.
Where Can I Stream Knives Out?
The first Knives Out film is currently not streaming on Netflix, and there’s no word if the streaming giant will be able to acquire rights before the second film premieres.
Knives Out 2 Cast?
Here’s a breakdown of the Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery cast:
- Daniel Craig As Detective Benoit Blanc
- Edward Norton As Miles Bron
- Janelle Monáe As Cassandra “Andi” Brand
- Kathryn Hahn As Claire Debella
- Leslie Odom Jr. As Lionel Toussaint
- Kate Hudson As Birdie Jay
- Jessica Henwick As Peg
- Dave Bautista As Duke Cody
- Madelyn Cline As Whiskey
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Release Date
The second installment in the Knives Out franchise was released on November 23 for a limited theatrical run for about a week. It will now debut on Netflix on December 23, 2023, which is perfect for your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day viewing.
Freddie Prinze Jr. Is Back! Everything We Know About the ‘Christmas With You’ Heartthrob
Freddie Prinze Jr., the ’90s heartthrob, is back on our TV screens in Netflix’s newest holiday rom-com, Christmas With You.
In the film, Prinze Jr. stars as a Latino single father, Miguel Torres, who teaches music class at his daughter Cristina’s (Deja Monique Cruz) school when his path unexpectedly crosses with Angelina (Aimee Garcia), a burnt out popstar looking for her next Christmas hit.
The actor, who starred in hits like She’s All That and I Know What You Did Last Summer, admitted he felt pretty nervous getting back into the swing of things, but thankfully, it seems to be paying off as the film is being well-received by audiences for it’s heartwarming and important message.
And now, we’re answering some of your burning questions about the leading man!
What Ethnicity is Freddie Prinze Jr.?
Since Prinze Jr. stars as a Hispanic father, the question of his ethnicity has come up quite frequently. The star reportedly embraces his Latin ancestry as his paternal grandmother was Puerto Rican, from Boquerón, so he is fluent in Spanish. His mom is of Italian descent, along with German, English, and Irish.
Does Freddie Prinze Jr. Have Kids?
Prinze Jr. shares two children with his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar—13-year-old Charlotte Grace Prinze and 10-year-old Rocky James Prinze.
In fact, the actor told TODAY that his return to acting has a lot to do with his daughter, stating, “My daughter has taken an interest in acting and performing, dance and things like that. So both my wife and I wanted to take a more active role to show her the way, so to speak, because we have very different processes (with) the way we deal with success and failure, rejection and acceptance and all those things.
“We wanted to give her an opportunity to see that it’s not just being famous, limousines and millions of dollars and all that. It requires a lot of sacrifice and a lot of hard work, time away from the people you love,” he added.
Freddie Prinze Jr. Age
Since many of us grew up watching Prinze Jr. in the ’90s and early ’00s, we still think of him as this teen actor, but the truth is that he is 46 years old.
Freddie Prinze Jr. Wife
As mentioned before, Prinze Jr. wed his Scooby-Doo co-star, Sarah Michelle Gellar, in 2002. In fact, the couple met on the set of 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer, but didn’t start dating until a few years later in 2000.
They recently celebrated their 20th anniversary together, with Gellar sharing a sweet photo from the nuptials in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Instagram.
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Who Plays Freddie Prinze Jr.’s Love Interest on Christmas With You?
Aimee Garcia, best known for her role as Jamie Batista in Showtime’s Dexter, takes on the role of Prinze Jr.’s love interest and pop sensation Angelina Chavez Torres, who visits the small town where Prinze Jr’s character, Miguel, lives with his daughter, who is preparing for her quinceanera. Her big holiday wish? To meet the pop star who remains the only connection to her late mom.
Christmas With You is currently airing on Netflix.
Virgin River Season 4 Episode 1 Premiere Review – All Is Not Calm In This Scenic Town
All is not calm in this scenic town, but you already knew that?
However, if you didn’t know what to expect when Virgin River Season 4 returned to your screens, you probably didn’t anticipate the first episode to kick off with a very pregnant Mel walking with Jack. You assume you’re getting a glimpse of what’s to come, but suddenly, Mark, very much alive, comes their way as a debate erupts over who the father of the child actually is.
Thankfully, it’s just a nightmare (though, Mel might see it as a dream), and a peek into Jack’s current mental state when it comes to how he’s coping with the pregnancy news.
It doesn’t take long before the series dives right in where we left off dishing out the expected dose of drama, feel-good moments, and that gorgeous, picturesque scenery.
Mel and Jack arrive at the doctor’s office where she’s classified as a high-risk pregnancy because of her previous stillbirth. Jack continues to worry about Mel throughout the episode, which isn’t helping her since she doesn’t want to make a fuss about it. She informs him that when she was expecting with Mark, they did everything by the book and still lost a child, so her plan is just to live her life this time around and hope for the best. It’s not an easy thing to accept, but who can blame Mel for not wanting to worry when anything can go wrong regardless?
A new doctor blows into town, and since he’s a young, good-looking man, it stirs up a lot of gossip! Not only is Dr. Cameron Hayek a looker, but he’s also a great guy! But he’s no competition for Jack, even if the town’s people are hoping for some kind of love triangle strictly for their own entertainment.
Jack asks Mel not to tell her sister, Jo, about the baby as he wants to keep it a secret for a little longer, but Joey knows something is up when she calls Mel. When breaks the news to her, she informs her that she’s not sure who the father is. Either way, Joey is thrilled and knows this is what Mel has always wanted.
Jack continues to worry about Mel throughout the episode, which isn
Anette O’Toole is back as Hope, but this isn’t the snappy and spunky woman we’ve come to know. Hope is recovering from a traumatic accident that led to a brain injury, so she’s not feeling like herself. Everyone is kind of tip-toeing around her as she deals with her new reality, particularly when it comes to Lily. Hope asks Doc if Lily is mad at her because she’s not returning her calls. Her brain blocked out the information that Lily passed away, and Doc does his best to avoid the topic at all costs because he doesn’t want to inhibit her recovery in any way. When Lizzie volunteers to take care of Hope, she accidentally reveals that Lily is dead. Once she realizes Hope doesn’t know, she panics and calls Doc who comes to inform Hope that she knew about Lily’s death and was actually on her way to the funeral when she got into the accident.
As Doc deals mostly with Hope’s memory loss and recovery, he’s shocked to hear that there has been a young man looking for him claiming that he’s his grandfather. Obviously, since he had no children, he doesn’t really believe it. But at the end of the episode, Denny arrives on his doorstep and informs him that Rose Miller gave him Doc’s information. Doc recognizes Rose’s name immediately, but he also thought she died 49 years ago. The fact that he remembers how many years have passed means that she meant a great deal to him. Will Rose somehow be involved in the series?
Her appearance is brief, thankfully, but she does divulge that she’s expecting boys, a secret she’s conveniently keeping from Jack. I just feel bad for the kids because she clearly doesn’t value Jack as their father and is going to make being in their lives as hard for him as possible.
Preacher doesn’t have much action in the first episode, but considering the nature of his storyline, I’m sure it will change soon enough. He’s worried that he hasn’t heard back from the PI about Vince after he kidnapped Christopher. He considers taking the whole thing public but decides against it because he doesn’t want to spook Vince into hiding. Eventually, he’ll slip up and they’ll be able to find Christopher safe and sound. Hopefully.
Brady is in jail, which is quite a scary place to be when you’ve betrayed a whole gang and are responsible for the raid that landed them all in prison, including Jimmy. He keeps trying to reach out to Brie and even requested a bail hearing, but things are moving pretty slowly. Jack suggests that maybe Brady was framed. He notes that Brady is a lot of things, but dumb isn’t one of them, so the chances of him driving around with the gun in his Jeep are slim.
Brie goes on a job interview as she hopes to stay in Virgin River and make a life for herself here. After everything that transpired between Brady and Jack with the arrest, she chooses to ignore her former lover’s calls from prison. Will she eventually hear him out and let him explain his side of the story?
Hope is still in such a fragile place — how will she react to the news that Doc had a son and is a grandfather? Gossip travels fast in town, so it’s best if Doc tells her before she hears in the same way she found out about Lily.
Who do you think the father of Mel’s child is? It’s such a unique situation, and she’d likely be happy with either outcome. How will her pregnancy affect the storyline moving forward? Is the new doctor hitting on her or is he just super friendly?
Is Charmaine out of line? Will Brady survive in prison?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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