Netflix Debuts Original Series: “Outer Banks”

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Charlotte Clarke, Graphics Editor

During this period of social distancing due to COVID-19, many have turned to streaming services like Netflix to provide them with much needed entertainment. Towards the start of quarantine, “All American” was taking the nation by storm. However, on April 15, it was dethroned as Netflix released it’s latest original series, “Outer Banks,” which has become all the rage, and is currently in the top three most popular Netflix series in the country.

“Outer Banks” follows a tight-knit group of teenagers from the wrong side of the tracks, John B (Chase Stokes), JJ (Rudy Pankow), Kiara (Madison Bailey) and Pope (Jonathan Daviss), who have deemed themselves the “Pogues.” “Outer Banks” follows their rivalry with the “Kooks,” or the wealthy teenagers, while they embark on a treasure hunt to find the Royal Merchant gold that John B’s missing father had devoted his life to discovering. This series explores the dynamic between the wealthy and the less fortunate who live in close proximity on the same island. The tension between the “Pogues” and the “Kooks” provides a look into class differences between the two groups and the entitlement of the wealthy. Additionally, this show follows the love story between John B, a “Pogue,” and Sarah Cameron (Madelyn Cline), a “Kook,” which provided another layer to the power struggle between the groups. 

However, what makes “Outer Banks” stand out from the typical teenage drama is that it goes beyond the relationships of the teenagers themselves. The treasure hunt that is a prevalent part of this series brings in aspects of murder, undermining of the law and true danger that typical teenagers are not faced with. “Outer Banks” manages to not only create characters that the audience can connect with, but also provides a layer of mystery and danger that keeps the viewers on the edge of their seat. With the way that Netflix constructed this show, it is almost difficult to identify the events by episode, as each of the ten episodes seamlessly flows into the next as one intense story making it difficult not to binge watch in one sitting.

One of the major critiques from viewers of “Outer Banks” was that the series was not truly filmed in the Outer Banks in North Carolina but actually in Charleston, South Carolina. However, this was for good reason. Show runners moved production out of North Carolina in response to the HB2 Transgender Bathroom Bill that is in place in North Carolina. But despite this one upset, “Outer Banks” has been doing quite well with a 90 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Overall, “Outer Banks” has managed to find impressive actors and actresses whose first big break is this Netflix Original, making the audience wonder why they have not seen them in the media before. The talent these actors have in successfully portraying all relationships and the intensity of the story itself is what makes “Outer Banks” so successful.