Newly-released Netflix series ‘Outer Banks’ brings forth relatable characters but a typical storyline


Maya Kornyeyeva

"Outer Banks" follows the story of four teens from the wrong side of the tracks, and the obstacles they overcome during the ultimate treasure hunt.

This review contains spoilers

“Outer Banks,” the new teen drama series on Netflix, was released on April 15, 2020, and has quickly climbed up the Top 10 list and onto the recommended page of many teen viewers.

The 10 episode mystery is set in the outcropping of islands on the shores of North Carolina, a distant place with nothing but swamps and mansions—or so it seemed. The story follows the Pogues, a group of four teens with either money issues or family issues, and more often than not, both.

The leader of the quartet is John B, played by Chase Stokes, who was left as a practically homeless fugitive after the disappearance of his father and the arrival of foster care services. JJ, played by Rudy Pankow, and Pope, played by Jonathan Daviss, and the other boys in the quartet, seem to balance each other out: JJ being hot-tempered and suffers abuse from his father and Pope being more logical and the pride of his family. Kie, played by Madison Bailey, is the only girl Pogue and a restless climate activist, who finds little comfort in her family’s financial security and social standing.

Outer Banks by Maya Kornyeyeva

Aside from the constant run-ins with the Kooks, the wealthy residents of Outer Banks, the four teens get involved with an on-and-off treasure hunt for the Royal Merchant, a shipwreck containing 400 million dollars in British gold. Along the way, they find not only love but also their archnemesis Ward Cameron, played by Charles Esten. In a gripping adventure, the directors Shannon Burke, Jonas Pate, and Josh Pate weave a classical hero’s journey.

Despite the constant surprises and plot twists, the best element of the series is by far the characters. The peaceful scenery and warm moments between them are often overshadowed by unnecessary thrillers, making some viewers tired of the constant agitation.

The timeless rendering of the setting joined with their portrayal of relatable teenage hardships, is the best card that the filmmakers play. Their blatant representation of drug use, alcohol consumption, and swearing mixed ever so slightly with their original portrayal of intimacy issues sets the more or less repetitive elements of the series apart from its like.

No matter if it took place in the 1980’s or 40 years later, the carefree feel of the show is what makes it so easy to binge. The hazy, sunlit atmosphere and the contrast of dark and soulful nights keep the show from losing its intrigue, while the developing main characters hold together the various assemblage of typical plot points.

Whether it was JJ overcoming his fear of his father, or Pope sacrificing his scholarship interview for his friends, the characters take incredible steps against the worst parts of themselves and come out all the better. By the finale, viewers will be on the edge of their seats, hearts racing as they follow the adventures of four friends who, despite not fitting in, have found solace in each other’s company and peace with themselves.

In the end, “Outer Banks” is sure to keep you in the least occupied during quarantine, and at most thirsting for the arrival of Season Two and obsessing over the debuting actors.