This is a spoiler free review.
Following a rough beginning, “Outer Banks” picks up pace and delivers an entertaining treasure hunt adventure that makes quarantine a little more entertaining.
“Outer Banks” follows John B and his three best friends as they search for John B’s missing father. As they learn more about the disappearance, they also uncover hidden secrets in their town.
I had been anticipating the release of “Outer Banks” for weeks. It’s my family’s favorite vacation place and the trailer looked promising. After I watched the first episode, I was ready to write a terrible review.
Main character John B, played by Chase Stokes, introduces all the characters and themes with unneeded narration. This immediately reminded me of “Riverdale,” but worse.
At least Jughead’s narration in “Riverdale” is a stylistic choice that makes sense in the context of the plot (since his character is an author). In “Outer Banks,” the only reason for John B to narrate the exposition is lazy writing.
From the beginning, the show emphasizes the tension between the working class and the upper class. The conflict between the hard working Pogues and the snobby Kooks was a realistic theme that was actually interesting. The Outer Banks is a tourist destination and even during my time there I could see the separation of socioeconomic groups.
Besides a few more wildly unrealistic details, my main reason for disliking the beginning was that I had no connection to any of the characters. They seemed to be acting without motive, their interactions seemed staged, and I frankly couldn’t care less what was happening to them. I wasn’t buying it.
This all changed during the fourth episode of the series. The characters split up, and suddenly gain real personalities. Now, the interactions between characters feel genuine and the viewer learns more about who they are as people. This dramatic shift was enough to keep me hooked.
Of course, this is not to mention the completely insane events occurring in the character’s lives. The first episode opens with a destructive hurricane that takes out power for almost all of the ten episodes. This hurricane is the least crazy thing to happen in the series.
The show does a great job balancing the crazy and the believable. Especially when the show is considered a teen drama, that balance can be very difficult to achieve.
I’ll again compare this show to “Riverdale,” “Thirteen Reasons Why,” “Pretty Little Liars.” The infamous genre of crazy things happening to teenagers, played by actors that are definitely too old to be playing teenagers.
However, “Outer Banks” is just crazy enough that you are hooked in the adventure, but not so crazy that it becomes completely unbelievable.
The semester is coming to an end and “Outer Banks’” ten-episode Netflix series was a great escape from my stress. If you can look past the slow beginning and the few unrealistic details, you won’t be able to stop watching.
“Outer Banks” has not been renewed for a second season, but there is a strong likelihood that it will be renewed soon.