Arts and Entertainment

A Treasure Hunt in the “Outer Banks”

“Outer Banks” is the newest Netflix hit that follows four teens on a hunt for treasure.

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Netflix’s newest release, “Outer Banks,” is a whirlwind of ‘80s nostalgia. The show was inspired by classics like “The Goonies” (1985) and “The Outsiders” (1983), as well as modern-day teen dramas like “The O.C.” (2003-2007). Through just 10 episodes, we follow a group of teenagers embarking on a treasure hunt for a hectic summer adventure.

There are four key members of the Pogues, another name for the poor kids in the Outer Banks, a group of islands just off the coast of North Carolina. Kiara (Madison Bailey), is wealthy, though she feels disconnected from the rich kids, called the Kooks. She cares about the environment and social injustice and finds the Kook life pretentious, leading her to hang out with the Pogues instead. As the only girl in the group, the guys all have a crush on her, including JJ (Rudy Pankow), who’s initially hard to read. He is abused at home by his father and isolates himself from others as a result. Viewers, however, have come to enjoy his presence on screen due to his perfectly timed one-liners and his willingness to do anything for his friends. Pope (Jonathan Daviss) is the genius of the group and his incomparable intelligence adds to the comedic relief. Pope’s ingenuity comes in handy in assisting the leader of the group, John B. Rutledge (Chase Stokes), in solving the mystery of what happened to his father.

John B.’s father went missing at sea but left behind clues for his son to finish his mission. His father was searching for the Royal Merchant, a ship that went missing in the 17th century, along with $400 million worth of gold. But the Pogues aren’t the only ones after the treasure. With numerous eyes on the prize, the Pogues are put in serious danger during their quest. Regardless, John. B and his crew continue to work together to finish what his dad started.

The characters are all unique and make the overall story of the show memorable and entertaining. Though they all carry different defining qualities, all four characters demonstrate compassion and selflessness. We see the teens take the blame for one another in situations when it isn’t their fault. In life or death situations, the friends care for one another. While the characters are bound to get into arguments with one another given their strong personalities and opinions, their concern for each other overrides any conflict. In a world full of evil and avaricious people, these teens are there for each other no matter the circumstances, reinventing the meaning of true friendship.

Such fun and genuine friendships are enhanced by the nonexistent usage of technology in the show. The Pogues spend most of their time hanging out with one another without the presence of the internet or social media. The core four only use their phones in the first few episodes and are able to have fun without technology, which is refreshing to see. Watching them enjoy their lives without phones compared to our technology-centered society makes you envious of their position.

Even with all the positive aspects of “Outer Banks,” some parts can be cliche. The show follows a lot of old patterns seen in movies and shows before the 2000s, such as class tensions between the rich and poor, and to some, these recurring themes can become repetitive. Iconic movies from the ‘80s and ‘90s are classics for a reason, so it’s not bad to be inspired by them. The stereotypes don’t take away from the overarching story, and minor cliche elements don’t hinder the enjoyment of the show.

Many say that the show is underdeveloped due to the fast pacing. The romantic relationships are certainly rushed, as someone will confess their feelings to another and start dating by the next episode. Other small conflicts are also resolved without sufficient explanation. Despite this, each episode is filled with a mix of intense and comedic scenes that will keep you on your toes. Every episode engages the viewer with a new twist and shocking event, making “Outer Banks” the perfect show to watch during quarantine.

So, looking for a new TV show to binge-watch? With just the first episode, you are bound to become hooked.