Panic: Is Carp a Real Town in Texas?


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When you need a new teen-centric series to binge watch while you wait Outer banks back then panic Maybe for you. Based on Lauren Oliver’s bestselling novel of the same name, the Amazon Prime Video series is set in Carp, TX and follows a group of new high school graduates who take part in their city’s iconic (and deadly) annual games. not how Outer banks, the series isn’t actually set in a real location – and in fact the fictional city of Carp is in a completely different state in Oliver’s book.

During a June interview with CBR, Oliver explained why she had decided to move Carp’s location from Upstate New York to Texas for the TV adaptation. They said they started filming the pilot in Upstate New York in 2018, but had to stop production due to the terrible weather. It was then that they decided to move production to Texas. “There were tornadoes. There were thunderstorms. We were shut down. We only filmed half of the pilot, so it was a never-to-happen situation,” she said. “So when we moved to Texas … I really wanted to bring the Texas in because Texas … really has its own culture and tastes.”

For Oliver, Carp has always been more of a representation of small town life than an actual place. Apparently, Carp was even supposed to be in Oregon at one point (since Oliver lived there when she started writing panic) before settling in upstate New York for the book. “… one of the great things about carp is – again like an allegory – carp is in a lot of places, especially in this country,” she told CBR. “I mean, Carp are basically all of us who don’t live in a huge city or grew up in a huge or affluent neighborhood, right?”

Since Carp, TX actually doesn’t exist (and Richards County, where Carp is allegedly located, doesn’t exist either), most of the filming will be for panic took place in Smithville, TX, which is part of Bastrop County and just outside of Austin. Several other major productions were also filmed in Smithville, including in 1998 Hope floats and 2011 The tree of life. Shots of Smithville’s Main Street are often seen, although many of the storefronts were created for the series, including Dot’s Diner, Lile and Sons Pharmacy, and Dickenson’s Tools & Hardware. However, the Back Door Cafe is a real cafe. So, if you are ever in Smithville, you can get to know Carp (safe) life.


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Robert Dunfee