Outer Banks S1
IMDb rating: 7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 69%
For some, “escapist TV” means a show that is warm and kind and easy to watch. For others, it means settling in for a deep binge into the most ridiculous world you can find.
So says Maggie Fremont, in her review on Vulture.
This is an accurate summation of Netflix’s new teen soap (calling it a drama is a stretch, and a parody is perhaps a little cruel), Outer Banks.
It’s set on an island off North Carolina, which is divided into the rich (the Kooks, who live in the “figure eight” area) and the poor (the Pogues, who live in what is known as The Cut). It’s not only about the haves and the have-nots, but also the adolescents who inhabit those spaces, sworn rivals by birth and circumstance.
The heroes of the story are John B (Chase Stokes), Pope (Jonathan Daviss), JJ (Rudy Pankow), and the beautiful semi-tomboy Kiara (Madison Bailey), with whom all the boys are secretly in love. Kiara, bless her, refuses to get involved with any of them. This group of stars is so unknown, none of them has a Wikipedia biog link.
After a long, narrated intro so we all know who is who, a hurricane hits the island and a string of events unfolds which, in a nutshell, is the search for a $400-million treasure trove that no one has been able to find for about 200 years. Gold of course.
“Set against a coastal Carolina backdrop, this show’s too-big swings are often offset by some knowing, easygoing spins on a sunny formula,” writes Indiewire’s Steve Green.
Maggie Fremont pitches up again with another review on TV Guide, where she describes the kind of series she’s looking for at the moment: “Something that would make me yell ‘What in the actual hell?’ at my screen multiple times, something that would make me howl with laughter over the absurdity and gasp with shock over delightfully insane plot twists. And that, my friends, is how I ended up completely devouring Netflix’s new teen soap Outer Banks in a few both blessed and harrowing days.”
Want more teen drama and escapism? Try these: