Netflix’s Outer Banks Appeals to a Growing Teen Audience

By: Ranya Merchant (Correspondent)

Outer Banks recently debuted on Netflix , and the response has been astounding. In less than a month, the show has claimed the number one spot on Netflix in the US and is growing in popularity.

The plot follows four teens who live on the Outer Banks, a coastal community in North Carolina. Their neighborhood is split into two groups, “the kooks’ and “the pogues”. The kooks’ lifestyle is made up of lavish beach houses and boating on upscale yachts. On the other hand, the pogues spend their time working laborious jobs in their working-class homes, while attending keg parties with the local tourists.

Their socio-economical differences create an ongoing conflict between the two groups. The main character, John B, who has recently suffered the loss of his missing father, works with his three pogue best friends to navigate a thrilling treasure hunt filled with action, adventure, and romance. Along the way, they face discrimination and betrayal from the kooks who are set on ruining their plans.

“When I first started the show I thought it would be a quick summer romantic-comedy. What I soon realized is that the show is something quite different,” said sophomore Abha Chaudry. “Outer Banks is exciting, thrilling, and takes a very unexpected turn,” she added.

Freshman Olivia Leblanc said, “I really enjoyed Outer Banks because unlike a lot of shows on Netflix, it seemed to have a climax in almost every episode instead of just one thing throughout the season.”

“It’s super intriguing and hard to stop watching once you start,” said Freshman Aastha Patel. “I would love to be a pogue. It seems like so much fun,” she added.

SHS freshman Kendra Kodira says the show transported her to a whole new world. “Each character had a lot of unique personality traits and it was easy to relate to most of them. Especially during quarantine, the show causes you to feel like you were having a summer adventure alongside the characters.”

But the feedback on Outer Banks has not been all praise.

Wall Street Journal critic John Anderson questions the show’s storyline and appropriateness. “It’s not a kid’s show, really. Imagine the opposite of social distancing; there’s quite a bit of it going on. Likewise, copious drinking and some recreational drug use,” said Anderson.

“The 10-episode season is also a lot less plot-driven than it is attitude-driven. Characters spend a lot of time convincing us of their beautiful-loser bona fides. But, any dramatic shortcomings will be overlooked by those attracted to the show’s basic premise: attractive young people living unsupervised, on the margins of society, but who still get to behave like they have a team of lawyers on retainer,” he added.

Emma Stefansky, a writer for The Thrillist, a popular review website says that Outer Banks is extremely boring and unnecessarily “If everything about this show was just a little bit more engaging, or funnier, or more absurd, it would be actually fun to watch, but most of it is just so dreary. Despite the intriguing story, the characters are just not interesting enough for a standard-length Netflix season, let alone a multi-season show.“ said Stefansky.

Regardless, the general viewer reaction to Outer Banks has been largely positive. Many teens are using the show as a way to pass time while being stuck at home. 

“It was very dramatic and busy, which I can assume teenagers would enjoy as of right now, given our current boring situation,” said Leblanc

The show’s overall success will likely bring a new season sometime soon.

“ It doesn’t have much of a resolution by the end because it was clearly designed to run for multiple seasons, and it seems pretty clear that Netflix will indeed renew it, given its performance in the top 10 list so far,” said Forbes writer, Paul Tassi.

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