I was really intrigued by Netflix’s “Outer Banks” when I heard about it. For those reading who have not watched it yet or do not understand the premise, it is about a boy named John B who is searching for a missing treasure connected to his missing father with the help of his three best friends. I myself live in eastern North Carolina so a show about my own backyard and treasure hunting sounded like something right up my alley. It is 10 episodes long and I finished it in a matter of days. It had both good and bad elements which I breakdown below.
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I really like the cinematography utilized in the show. The settings used practically anywhere outside are all really nice. I love the marsh and being out on the water so I have a soft spot for things like that. The characters themselves are for the most part well written. Each one of them have their own subplots which explore their character and give them a three dimensional shape. For example, one of them is normally very confident and wily but you see him very emotionally exposed and vulnerable around his abusive father. I think that is an important aspect to give everyone space to grow and not focus too much on just the main character, which even great shows like The Office are guilty of. The adventure and treasure hunting parts of the show are pretty well done in the aspect that it is hard to predict where the show is going. The villains are not who you think they are and you see some characters become better people, and in other cases go to rock bottom, which gives some realism. The show also has some pretty clever moments with how the good guys get out of predicaments (if you watch the show you’ll know which moments I mean).
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For a show about the Outer Banks written by people who grew up around here, they really did not seem to know what Outer Banks culture is like. Perhaps “Kook” and “Pogue” are used in other areas where I have not been, but where I am I have only heard Kook used every so often (and never in reference to how rich someone was) and I had to look up Pogue because I never heard that one before. They go too much for class warfare between the rich snobby Kooks and the poorer working class Pogues. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a class divide like that but the rich people don’t just go around beating up the poorer people because they are poor like what happens in the show occasionally. They also try to portray the location where this is happening as North Carolina but they did all their filming in Charleston SC. I have heard that was in response to HB2 (NC law about people going to their assigned genders-at-birth bathrooms in public places) and so they filmed in SC. Which is hilarious when you think about it because SC is much more conservative than NC is. Some of the plot is also forced due to how many coincidences happen one after another. Sometimes it’s believable but other times it is just downright laughable.
The show has some promise. I don’t want to explain too much my problems with the series because that would go into spoiler territory. Some of what happens does not make much sense (such as how scubaing at 4 feet to the surface does not make any bubbles, or how they take a ferry to Chapel Hill). The cast clearly has good chemistry and when the writing doesn’t get in the way they make it work. Some of the conflict is too forced and unrealistic but I suppose that is to be expected. While I do not think it is that great of a show it is still addicting for me to watch, and as I said earlier it is pretty hard to predict what will happen next. Overall 6.5/10.