“Outer Banks,” the Netflix original series that ranked No. 1 last week and currently sits at No. 2 on the site’s most popular list, is a teen adventure about an unsolved disappearance and a sunken treasure ship.
I had heard rave reviews about the action and suspense, but unfortunately I didn’t find it engaging until halfway through the 10-episode series. If you can get through the first five episodes, the last five are much more intense, with twists and turns as characters reach their breaking point.
The story follows a group of less fortunate kids living on an island off of North Carolina, where a ship had sunk 150 years earlier with an estimated $400 million in gold on board.
The lead character John B. takes on his father’s hunt for the treasure after his father has been lost at sea and presumed dead for nine months. His band of friends, the “Pogues,” join in his quest, but they are not the only ones looking for the gold.
The main conflict throughout the show is the rift between the Pogues and the rich kids on the island, or the “Kooks.” A love triangle forms when one of the Pogues falls for a Kook, and neither of the social groups is happy about it, naturally causing fights back and forth.
All of these kids are 16 to 19 years old, yet they seem to have extremely easy access to drugs and alcohol, and run around doing whatever they want all day and night with little discipline from their parents. Most of them, rich and poor, also have boats, motorcycles and cars so they can roam wherever they please. If the Pogues can’t afford something, they simply steal it. This unrestricted lifestyle is certainly convenient for a band of kids who are spending their time searching for buried treasure.
A group of attractive kids, living on an island and partying to their hearts’ content, while always being able to dodge the authorities, is the dream for most teenagers. Maybe that fantasy is part of the show’s attraction to some viewers but it seems a tad unrealistic.
The Pogues are fearless and always charge headfirst into their plan no matter the danger and it usually works out for them. They can outsmart and outrun any of their foes, again, seeming a bit too easy.
Things get a little more difficult in the second half (and it gets good) when an unexpected villain comes to light. Desperation sets in for a few characters and the hunt for gold turns into a manhunt.
With the entire island turned against the Pogues, it becomes a race against time and the truth. But the truth may not be enough to set them free — not when people with more power are spreading the lies.
The kids have to fight through their own personal issues to stick together as a group, because the Pogues have no chance unless they work as a team. Hopefully, their bond doesn’t break before they reach the end goal.
I found the story somewhat predictable along the way, but the ending is suspenseful and leaves a few strings untied for a possible second season. If it keeps up the action of the second half of this first season, it would be a worthy watch.