Review: “Outer Banks” makes us nostalgic for pre-quarantine days

The promotional image for the Neflix Original series,

Photo credit: Netflix Media Center

The promotional image for the Neflix Original series, “Outer Banks.” The series is a coming of age story following a group of kids dubbed the “Pogues.”

By Allie Worchell

“We’re the Pogues, and our mission this summer is to have a good time, all the time,” John B. (Chase Stokes), the protagonist in “Outer Banks,” said in the opening scene. One of the biggest Netflix original hits to date, “Outer Banks” has taken over the screens of thousands of teenagers. While stuck in quarantine, everyone needs a hunt for buried treasure, a love story and a mystery all wrapped in one. 

Released on April 15, the 10-episode original soared to the number one most-watched show on Netflix a week after its release. The series creators — Josh Pate, Jonas Pate and Shannon Burke — said they had wanted to write “Outer Banks” for over 20 years. 

“Outer Banks” follows protagonist John B. and his three friends, dubbed the Pogues, as they hunt for legendary treasure linked to his father’s disappearance. Set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, filled with surfing, boat life and small-town familiarity, the series made me nostalgic for a time before quarantine.

The show is not just a murder mystery — it is also a commentary on the class system. The town consists of two distinct groups of people: The Kooks and The Pogues. The Pogues, “the working class,” “throwaway fish” constantly feud with the Kooks — the wealthy, “second-homer” kids. 

The story really begins when John B. tries to find his father, who went missing while trying to find long lost treasure. After the disappearance of his father, he is without guardianship and living in his childhood home. Yet he has the support and company of his three best friends: J.J. (Rudy Pankow), the troublemaker, Pope (Jonathan Daviss), the intellectual and Kiara (Madison Bailey), technically a Kook who hangs around the Pogues. 

Another major character and member of John B.’s pack is Sarah Cameron (Madelyn Cline). Sarah Cameron becomes John B.’s love interest. Not a normal Kook, she seeks adventure and has a pure heart. Throughout the series, we see her battle to choose between family and the boy she loves. 

Outer Banks follows John B. and his group of friends as they embark on a journey to find the treasure his father was after supposedly buried on the ship, The Royal Merchant.  

As I watched, I gripped my seat wondering what would happen next. Would they find the treasure or be left in never-ending mystery?

The cast has become famous overnight. Before the show aired, the actors had less than one hundred thousand followers. Yet, within weeks both Cline, Pankow and Stokes have over 1 million followers on Instagram. 

The chemistry between actors is so natural — I genuinely believed they had been best friends for years. Each character has interesting motives, belief systems and senses of humor which makes the viewers trust the characters as if they were real people. 

Not only was the casting on point, but so is the costume design. Whether its Sarah Cameron’s effortless surfer girl sleek-look or John B’s beachwear accompanied by a bandana, the costumes are becoming their own pop culture phenomenon. Even on Tik Tok, creators are re-enacting scenes with similar costumes. 

Some describe “Outer Banks” as if  “The O.C.” met “The Goonies.” But the binge-worthiness of this show surrounds the freedom of the characters and the well-thought-out plot. Not one main character is seen holding an iPhone or any technology-related device. Even the cinematography is amazing. Whether it be perfect sunsets or ever-clear water, all I wanted to do was live in the world of the Outer Banks. 

The only problem I had with the show was that I felt some plot points did not go into as much depth as I would have liked. For example, John B. abruptly kisses Kiara before realizing that he has misinterpreted her intentions. This scene felt unnecessary and confusing. The two remain friends and the kiss is never brought up again.

Luckily, we might see some clarification on some confusing plot points because while nothing is confirmed, creator and showrunner Jonas Pate told Entertainment Weekly that Netflix greenlit the team to write season two scripts before season one debuted.

After finishing this show in less than two days, I can wholeheartedly say that I am obsessed. I want to go to the Outer Banks and experience the sunsets, the water and the break from city life. Watch “Outer Banks.” Watch it in two days or watch it in one. Savor it. Enjoy it. After all, it is called Paradise on Earth for a reason. 

“Outer Banks” is available to stream on Netflix. 

  • Story
  • Acting
  • Technical Quality
  • Enjoyment
  • Impact
4.2

Summary

A group of teenagers from the wrong side of the embark on a journey to find lost treasure and the secrets that come with it.