Outer Banks season 1: Why you should watch Netflix’s addictive new teen drama

OUTER BANKS - Credit: Jackson Davis/Netflix
OUTER BANKS - Credit: Jackson Davis/Netflix /

Netflix has a new teen drama called Outer Banks, staring 4 teens, and four hundred million dollars worth of gold! But is it worth watching? 

Netflix’s new teen drama Outer Banks centers on John (Chase Stokes), a young man who is determined to find out what happened to his dad and if the legendary gold he set out to find is real. With help from his three best friends JJ (Rude Pankow), Kiara (Madison Bailey), and Pope (Jonathan Daviss) — or The Pogues as they call themselves — John sets out on an adventure of a lifetime.

When I first saw Outer Banks pop up on Netflix’s “Coming Soon” tab, I wasn’t sure it was worth watching. On the surface, Outer Banks looks a tad bit boring. The cover art, which is usually my first big “oh I’ve gotta see this” moment, didn’t intrigue me.

I also didn’t watch the trailer before watching the entire series. After taking a look at the trailer post-watch, I’m glad I didn’t as it makes Outer Banks look like a cheesy, kids show, with a few bad guy moments.

It also doesn’t look quite as exciting as some of the other teen dramas Netflix has recently released such as Locke and Key. There are no superpowers or monsters involved, just a few friends on the poor side of town, searching for answers and a ton of gold. But you know what they say about judging a book by its cover.

Should you watch Outer Banks on Netflix?

Yes, absolutely!

If you’ve been on the fence about whether you should start watching Outer Banks this week, then take this as a sign and start watching. Outer Banks is more than just a few teens looking for some gold, it’s actually a pretty intense drama, and these kids end up dealing with a whole lot more in one summer, than some of us do in an entire lifetime. It almost reminds me of season 3 of On My Block.

I was hooked from the moment I started. I went from worrying about John becoming a foster kid, to worrying about if one of The Pogues was gonna shoot someone (or get shot themselves). To worrying about who was gonna kill who first: JJ or his drunk of a dad. There’s definitely more action-packed into this show than it lets on. I was on edge the entire time. Don’t even get me started on the rich kids literally almost drowning John B to death.

With so much going on, I didn’t even have time to worry about if they’d find the gold or if John B’s dad was still alive. I just wanted The Pogues to stay alive.

Oh, and unlike Locke and Key, with each new episode, the writers unraveled a new piece of the puzzle, and after a few episodes, I was starting to feel like we needed to find this gold before one of the kids ended up dead. Yes, I said we.

Outer Banks also really showcased what it’s like to be a teenager. Whether you’re poor, or rich, as a teen, you’re still faced with challenges every day, despite adults thinking you’re “just a kid” without a care in the world.

John B was literally running from ACS (the Administration for Children’s Services) so he didn’t get thrown into the foster care system while looking for his dad who everyone proclaimed was dead without ever finding his body. At one point I thought JJ telling someone his dad hit him again, was just a silly joke he used to evoke pity out of the guy so he’d let him go, but then quickly regretted that thought afterward.

Then there’s Pope who’s on the way to getting a scholarship for college but is torn between nailing his interview and helping his friends find the gold. This seems trivial to an adult, but to a teen, this decision isn’t so black and white. And Kiara’s the rich girl who just doesn’t fit in with the other rich kids, like Sarah – the girl she used to be friends with before they parted ways.

Outer Banks could easily be one of those hidden gems on Netflix if it weren’t already No. 3 on Netflix’s Top 10 list because it’s so much better than what it seems. If you’re looking for a thrill this Summer, instead of cracking open a book on the beach, try watching Outer Banks on Netflix.

I can’t wait for season 2! It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but I just know it’s coming. All 10 episodes of Outer Banks season 1 are now streaming on Netflix. 

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