Outer Banks – TV Show Review

By Ella Algar and Olivia Emmerson

*Spoilers*

Outer Banks debuted on April 15, 2020. Created by Josh Pate, Jonas Pate, and Shannon Burke, Outer Banks has already been nominated for several awards and has won three so far, namely the MTV Movie + TV Award: Best Kiss, People’s Choice Award: Favourite Drama TV Star, and People’s Choice Award: The Bingeworthy Show of 2020. It takes place in the Outer Banks of North Carolina however, it was filmed in Charleston, South Carolina.

In the Outer Banks, the community is split into two groups, the Kooks and the Pogues. Kooks are those who are wealthy and privileged, they often live on the Northside of the island, a.k.a. Figure 8. The Pogues are those with less money, they are the lowest members on the social ladder and they live on the Southside of the island, a.k.a. The Cut. Though the two groups can be divided by location and wealth, that is not the only reason someone can be a Pogue or Kook. Kiara, for example, lives in Figure 8 and has a decent amount of money, but her indifference towards certain Kooks and carefree personality sets her apart from them.

The show follows a tight group of Pogue friends. John B Routledge is the main protagonist. He is the leader of the Pogues and is portrayed by Chase Stokes. His love interest is Sarah Cameron, nicknamed the Kook Princess by various Pogues. She is portrayed by Madelyn Cline. JJ Maybank is the loose cannon and trouble maker of the Pogues. He is John B’s best friend, but he gets along fairly well with all of the Pogues. He is played by Rudy Pankow. Kiara Carrera (Kie) is also a Pogue, but she is a Pogue by choice. She comes from a Kook family but chooses to hang out with the Pogues. She is portrayed by Madison Bailey. Pope Heyward is the brains of the Pogues, he is portrayed by Jonathan Daviss. Throughout the show, the Pogues face many issues, ranging from relationships to survival.

At the beginning of the first season, we discover that John B’s father had been missing at sea for nine months after he went looking for a shipwreck called the Royal Merchant. Since his father is missing, John B is living alone and has to evade child protective services to stay at his home. Although chances of his father being found were slim, John B had hope and would not stop until he was found.

While his father is missing, John B continues searching for the Royal Merchant in hopes of finding his father. The Pogues then come across a sunken boat which they find a compass with Big John’s (John B’s father) writing engraved onto it. The writing leads them to documents displaying the possible location of the Royal Merchant shipwreck. After locating the wreck, the Pogues realize that the gold is not on the ship. John B then decides to work with “Kook Princess”, Sarah Cameron, and they find out that there was a survivor from the Royal Merchant shipwreck named Denmark Tanney. They then discover his past and a letter he wrote, and it finally leads them to find the gold.

Soon after they had retrieved the treasure, an upcoming antagonist, Sarah’s father, Ward, steals it from them, only after threatening John B and talking about his father, making him a suspect in Big John’s disappearance. Ward proceeds to try and get away with the gold but gets stopped and in a twist of events, someone ends up dead. To make things worse, John B is framed for the murder, so he and Sarah are forced to go “on the run”. After a disaster, they were presumed to be dead, but they survived and made it to the Bahamas, which is where Ward flew the gold to. 

The second season starts with the Pogues mourning for John B, who they believe to be dead. Little do they know, Sarah and John B are alive and well, living on a boat. That is, until the captain realizes who they are and the $50,000 finder’s reward he can get from turning them in. After a narrow escape and long chase, Sarah and John B get away from the captain and the police, only for John B to almost get caught breaking into the Cameron family’s Bahama house. The Pogues back in the Outer Banks go on an adventure as well and witness someone else get murdered. They attempt to report it but the evidence has been erased and no one believes them.

A new antagonist believes that Pope is in possession of the Denmark Key, and attempts to harm the Pogues. As they are on the run, John B and Sarah are back in the Outer Banks and are also running, fleeing from someone they had just stolen from. After reuniting and escaping their pursuers, the Pogues relax and party, until they go to the beach and John B is caught and arrested.

Later on, the police realize who one of the actual murderers was, and let John B out. The Pogues then find the gold, but, to help one of their own, leave without realizing it will be stolen right after. After a series of twists and turns, the group, along with Cleo who was seen earlier in the Bahamas with Sarah and John B, sneak onto Ward’s ship to help Sarah, who had been drugged and kidnapped and to get the gold. Afterwards, the Pogues fight for their lives, and Pope makes a tough decision. The season ends with the Pogues and Cleo escaping on a lifeboat and getting stranded on an island together which they named “Poguelandia”, and surprising information on a character is revealed, leaving the show on a cliffhanger.

Recently, Outer Banks was renewed for a third season. This will likely include the Pogues returning to the Outer Banks from the island they were deserted on and John B discovering some new information about a loved one that we saw as a cliffhanger at the end of season two.

Outer Banks is rated TV-MA however we believe that it is good for teens. It has a mature rating because they use some strong language, there are some violent scenes, and there is the use of drugs and smoking. There are also some scenes with kissing and making out, but that is really as romantic as it gets. So if drug use, frightening, or gory scenes make you uncomfortable, this might not be the show for you. 

In our opinion, Outer Banks is an amazing show. It is a teen drama, action-adventure, mystery, and thriller show. It also displays friendship and loyalty. You will be hooked from the first episode! We would give this show a 5/5. The rotten tomatoes score was 78% and the audience score was 79%. It is additionally rated 7.6/10 on IMDB and can be watched on Netflix.