Straight from my notes app, this was my unfiltered stream of consciousness as I watched Netflix’s Outer Banks for the first time…enjoy.
Ah. Another shitty yet fun, nostalgia-baiting teen drama masterpiece from Netflix.
My dumb ass spent the first half hour thinking it was set in the 70s and just had really bad period piece discrepancies.
This John. B guy looks like T.K from Shortland Street’s pakeha cousin. He also looks like we would have been a famous Vine fuckboy in 2014.
The beach fight scene has Luke Ward vs. Ryan Atwood ‘Welcome to The O.C bitch!‘ vibes. I can’t fault Outer Banks for having good referential taste.
This whole show reminds me of that Miley Cyrus x Liam Hemsworth film The Last Song and I’m not sure why. It’s probably the Nicholas Sparks-y Carolina Coast setting and the blonde bro best friend (who’s entire personality at the beginning of this show is standing at the prow of the boat, holding a Bud Lite and saying shit like ‘Come on, man! Don’t be a pussy, bro!’). Also, the turtles hatching gave me flashbacks to Ronnie’s dad collapsing on the beach in The Last Song…be right back, gonna go cry in private.
Kiara would be a more compelling eco warrior if she said way less forced lines about how she’s an environmentalist. Love the intention, cringing slightly at the execution.
I know there’s an incredibly outdated caste system in this town but what is a Pogue? What is a Kook? They never explained where these fucking weird names came from. Also rich girl Sarah’s boyfriend is called Topper…and Sarah has a plain name, however her brother has the name Rafe. I would like an explanation.
I think it’s really funny how the working class Pogue guys have been dirtied up as if they can’t afford to shower. I guess being constantly covered in a semi-sheer layer of dirt is a prerequisite for every adventurous, free spirited beach-bum teen with chill vibes. However, as I was typing this, Kiara’s dad literally said to her ‘you hang out with trash, you’re gonna get dirty‘. Outer Banks is so meta and self aware.
I wanted to sob when those Chads attacked Pope. Leave him alone! They are literally the definition of Chads though. Their shoes aren’t in frame, but loafers are there in spirit:
Why are John, JJ, Pope and Kiara just laughing casually after they nearly got fucking murdered by two grown men with semiautomatic weapons?
I’m still processing the fact that his name is John. B. I don’t know of anyone under the age of 40 that is called John.
This goofy treasure hunt reminds me of The Famous Five. Enid Blyton is so jealous.
Do these children go to school? Or is that an inconvenience to the plot? Summer vacation simply cannot go on for this long.
I really want to own the Kook’s Playboy boat.
The title font is like a surf brand logo from 2004. I love it.
Sarah is dating a guy that looks exactly like her brother. I keep getting confused about who is who. Sigmund Freud is thrilled I bet.
I love that 2010 Forever 21 sponsored this show. Kiara is literally wearing a top that says ‘happiness comes in waves’. Why is Netflix always at least 5 years behind fashion trends?
‘Did you just yeet over that chain?’
John. B tripped on a chain. Sarah just deadpan said that. Which out of touch 40 year old wrote this show.
As we progress, so does the banter between the characters. It improves the show a lot.
I have never been more stressed in my entire fucking life than during the scene where John. B is down in the well and the blind old lady is trying to kill them all.
‘Look, love just walked in, okay!‘
I hated this line so much. That’s the worst way I’ve ever heard someone tell someone else that they love them.
(In hindsight, I can’t find any evidence that this was ever said on the show. I don’t even remember who said it. Perhaps I made it up, but I wrote it down at the time of watching, so it must be real).
Kiara just slapped John. B and he slapped her right back. Feminism. Burn the patriarchy. Equal rights for all.
‘This summer was meant to be legendary!‘
This line was to be expected, as it is featured in every single American high school movie ever, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t annoy me to hear it. No modern teenager has ever said anything of the sort in real life, because they know holidays are strictly for being bored, wallowing in self pity and having absolutely no one ask you to hang out…but these are Netflix teenagers written by middle aged people, so I can understand and forgive.
‘What’s up Country Club! Wassup!‘
But this menacing line from the drug dealer is amazing. It’s true, if Rafe was to have any other name, it would be Country Club.
John. B and Sarah just had sex to musical backdrop of The Raft by Fat Freddy’s Drop. This is incredibly exciting, not because I am particularly invested in their relationship, but because New Zealand music is so fucking underrated.
Personally, I love this OTT hot tub scene. Took his sweet time, but at this point JJ has finally become quite layered and intriguing.
John. B literally fell off a giant structure and only got a broken wrist. John. B also shoved Sarah’s dad into a couch cushion during a life or death fight thinking that would sufficiently disarm him, and made a break for it…whilst on a boat, with no where to run to except the ocean. Hilarious. There is no plausible reason that this boy is still alive.
I know that ‘Pogue’s can’t mack on other Pogues‘ (questioning this show’s tendency to use 90s slang one minute and 2019 internet meme slang the next) but earnest and sensitive Pope deserves someone more respectful than Kiara! Her tirade about how she is destined for bigger things, aka Antarctica and Camel rides (a true eco warrior would not condone abusive animal tourism activities) really pissed me off. JJ and Kiara actually make a lot more sense to me, with their obvious sexual tension, argumentative banter and that lovely hug in the spa pool. Here’s a compilation of their rapport, and a shitty fan video dedicated to their ship that uses my favourite Timbaland song:
I love the ska background music in this show.
I think they took who shot the sheriff? a bit literally, but the way they kept slipping that line into the dialogue was funny. They make it seem like Sheriff Peterkin was going to survive as she was being wheeled into hospital. I was optimistic. Her true fate is not mentioned for ages, we just randomly find out like 20 minutes later that she died. No big deal.
Why is Ward wearing the exact same blue shirt in every scene despite time jumps? You’d think with all that money he’d have a more diverse wardrobe.
Rafe is actually a really brilliant actor! A truly believable toxic asshole.
One big question: How did Scooter’s wife know John. B’s dad died on the island, when her husband didn’t even survive the journey home to inform her of this?
Finished the finale and I was still wondering why none of them had school to go to, even though they mentioned it was summer vacation millions of times. That one’s not Outer Bank‘s fault, that one’s on me.
Unfortunately, my insightful and gripping commentary stopped here.
It took me a while to work this out, but I finally know how to describe Outer Bank’s thematic/aesthetic essence: The O.C, meets Dawson’s Creek, meets The Last Song, meets The Famous Five, meets Bloodline (Bloodline-esque purely for the location). During the 3 days it took me to consume the entire season, I was very invested in this corny, fun, ridiculous genre-fusing teen drama. Endure a few clumsy episodes. It’s crazy but it starts to find its feet, and all of the chaotic elements begin to gel together a bit more. Any teen drama veteran should add Outer Banks to their repertoire, even if it’s just to have a laugh.
Overall, it’s a worthy distraction.
Here’s a video that breaks the whole thing down a way better fashion than I did though: