Mistakes were made, North Carolina
Want to show that you're a geographically out-of-touch TV producer or movie director? We've created something that can help.
Back when I worked at a TV station in West Virginia, a guy used to call and email regularly to inform us of all the mistakes we were making. For example: I ran a short, 20-second clip of a car chase from Los Angeles one night, and within minutes, I got an email from this guy, telling me that, actually, that particular car chase started within Los Angeles proper but ended up moving into La Jolla at some point, a fact that I had oh-so-conveniently neglected to point out. I do not know how he knew this. I, sadly, never asked this man about his specific credentials. But every mistake our station made, no matter how small, would generate some response from this man. He was fond of saying “If it’s not 100% right, it’s dead wrong,” usually followed by “I am available to take over as your station’s news director at 9 a.m. tomorrow.”
I’m not excusing mistakes. Despite our best, earnest efforts, we make them in nearly everything we do. This newsletter will have at least one error in it (see also: Typo Bounty). Everything I’ve ever written has at least one mistake in it, probably more. It’s not always a factual mistake. Maybe my logic isn’t airtight. Maybe I inferred something tonally that I shouldn’t have. Perhaps the mistake is ignoring an argument I should have included, or focusing on something that isn’t totally representative of the community or person I was trying to present. Some errors don’t even reveal themselves until years later, when I go back and read something and cringe.
All of this is to say that we all make honest mistakes when we’re trying our best. While people can rightfully point them out, it also helps to convey that, by pointing them out, you are not necessarily discrediting the larger thing as a whole, or inferring that you could do a better job. Hence, when I mentioned a glaring geographical error in an episode of Outer Banks, as I did last week, I was not saying that things would improve if I immediately took over as the show runner. I genuinely enjoy Outer Banks, and I am eager to learn what happens to Sarah and John B. after they ended up in the Bahamas. I haven’t watched the second season yet so please, NO SPOILERS.
In short: I have come here to praise Outer Banks, not to bury it. (I know, this is the inverse of what Brutus said about Caesar in the Shakespeare play, but I like to imagine that there is an good version of Brutus that exists just for this purpose, sort of like Wario. Wutus, perhaps.) I wish all of the producers, directors, actors, and crew members nothing but the best.
I say all of that to give me to cover to say this: I have created an Outer Banks Fictional Transportation Generator, which you can use to create your own preposterous ways to move around this great state of ours:
I encourage you to screenshot/download/save/Instagram/tweet/TikTok/etc. this. Spread it around. Tell folks about your preferred — if not unorthodox and improbable — mode of travel across North Carolina. I, for one, just love to take a miniature horse from Dunn to Morganton. Just a lovely way to travel.
And now, your favorite North Carolina-related television and movie mistakes!
From M. Crawford:
Outlander season 5 episode 1. Outside wedding, supposedly in mountains of NC, near Grandfather Mtn. (Actually filmed in Scotland) Filmed when no leaves on trees. Added Spanish moss to the largest tree for filler..NO!
From Robin Woodie Williams:
Apparently according to Where the Crawdads Sing, one can pop over to Asheville from the coastal NC marshes like it’s not an 8-9 hour drive.
From Val Edwards:
I watched S2 E1 last night. They talked about Masonboro Sound. Masonboro is off the south end of Wrightsville Beach; its nowhere near the OBX. Peasants
From Tim Whitmire:
This is NC-adjacent, but the geography of the lyrics in the NC-beloved "Wagon Wheel" drive my wife crazy. It defies physics that someone who's south of Roanoke, Virginia, and headed for Raleigh would encounter a trucker heading west from the Cumberland Gap (which is well west of Roanoke) and bound for Johnson City, Tennessee (which is also west of Roanoke).
For me it's an episode of X-files where a Haitian refugee camp is located at the back of Camp Lejeune near Folkstone and people spend all their time walking back and forth to the NC Port.
From Christopher Corcoran:
there is some movie that had a scene where there is a person calling into a tv show and says he’s from Charlotte, North Carolina. And he has the biggest red neck voice you’ve heard. And the question he asks is dumb as hell. I think it is the Truman Show.
From Christopher Corcoran (19 hours later):
It is the Truman show. I found a copy of the screenplay and it says the caller from Charlotte NC. But it appears that they changed the question. They made him say an even dumber question like “how many of those dadgum cameras do y’all have in there”. I couldn’t find a clip on YouTube easily. Feel free to post about it wherever lol
And finally, let’s complete the circle:
Thank you for all of your comments, tweets, and emails, and thanks for your support of the North Carolina Rabbit Hole.