Show Creators; Shannon Burke, Jonas & Josh Pete. Starring; Chase Stokes, Madelyn Cline, Madison Bailey. Rated TV-MA. Color. 20 Episodes.
To begin, I had no desire to watch a teeny-bopper show at my age. I did that in the 90’s growing up with “Saved By the Bell” or “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” or “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to name a few. But as an adult and also a critic, I always call it clean. For the target audience, mainly 15 to 25 year olds, I have to admit, “Outer Banks” is quality entertainment. There is a reason why this show is trending hard on social media, and I have no argument as to why it has become so popular. This series is about love and betrayal of course, but the big component is a hard to believe treasure hunt. The goal, once revealed, is certainly worth rooting for. Minor spoilers ahead…
Not all, but most classic melodramas or sitcoms have one key element, the love story. “Friends” had Ross & Rachel. “The Sopranos” had Tony & Carmela. And who could forget the legends from “The Simpsons”, Homer & Marge. “Outer Banks” introduces a new power couple that makes the show stick. Their names are John B (Chase Stokes) & Sarah (Madelyn Cline). Before we get to them, a little backstory on the overall plot.
John B is the leader of a rag tag bunch of poor kids known as ‘Pogues’ who live on an island off the coast of the Carolinas. This team of have nots includes Pope (J.D.), the smart one, J.J. (Rudy Pankow), the crazy one with serious home abuse from his father injected in, and Kiara (Madison Bailey), the one every boy in the crew has had a crush on for years.
Kiara is the most interesting one. She grew up as a ‘Pogue’ but now her parents have come up in the world and want her to accept living the rich life on the other side of the island. Live with what are referred to as the ‘Kooks’. The ‘Kooks’ seemingly have it all, first showcased with a tropical storm hitting the island that has the entire ‘Pogue’ side without power while the ‘Kook’ side has plenty of money for generators. The tension could not be hotter until the ‘Pogues’ stumble upon a once in a life time opportunity. There is gold. 400 million in bullion to be exact. It went down with a sunken ship that our lead crew discovers after a few lucky days. This gold could be real.
Turns out, John B’s father had been searching for this treasure before his sudden disappearance. Now the ‘Pogues’ have a life changing mission. The only issue, they need the help of a ‘Kook’ to ultimately get there. A ‘Kook’ determined to break out of the superficial lifestyle. That is where Sarah comes in.
Sarah is as ‘Kook’ as they come. Her family is rich beyond ones mind. Her father Ward Cameron (Charles Easton) is unbelievably schemey with most of the police force working for him. Papa Ward also has a reason as to why he has interest in the gold, but I will let you discover that. Sarah’s brother Rafe (Drew Starkey) is a coked out psycho who is completely off the rails, but money can cover up addiction of course. The young girl is also dating Topper (Austin North), the embodiment of a ‘Jersey Shore CHAD’. Sarah is also former best friends with Kiara, but something happened in the past that has them hating each other, causing a sticky situation for John B. Why?
John B was the first member of the crew to actually kiss Kiara. Not true love, just a “macking” session as they say. Once the treasure hunt is afoot, the crew runs into a wall until John B falls into the biggest clue of all at Sarah’s house. Sarah’s dad Ward had just fired John B because of her, but water under the bridge when it comes to 400 million. A discreet mission to the mainland between our two leads is when this show finally takes off. Flirting turns into true love.
John B and Sarah have that click thing I believe most of us have experienced a few times in life. The slowly permeating “I can’t be without you” thing. From clothes shopping to calling themselves false names, the two-day trip could not possibly end without a romantic kiss in the rain. And thus the drama begins. Will Kiara accept Sarah into the group, particularly knowing Sarah knows about the gold? Will princess Sarah be willing to leave her perfect life and join the ‘Pogues’? In the end, it doesn’t matter because true love will eventually prevail. The gold means nothing compared to that.
“Outer Banks” is not groundbreaking, but it does not have to be. It is a way above average television show full of intrigue and adult concepts the young adult crowd can actually take something away from. And I will say it again, the key is that they got the love story right. John B & Sarah have a beautiful journey so far. We will see what season three has in store. “Outer Banks” also reminds me of our personal crews coming up in high school together. That can always make for a good show.
Suck Factor; 2 Out of 7 (7 Means Your Movie Really SUCKS!)
The SUCK FACTOR. How it Works. We Have Flipped the Script on the Standard Ratings System. If You Make an all time Classic, Such as “The Godfather”, you Receive a Perfect 0 out of 7 SUCKS! If you Create one of the worst Films Ever, Say Anything by Michael Bay, You Receive a Straight 7. In Other Words, Your Movie Really SUCKS!