“Holy crap, that’s only one mile from our house!” I watch the YouTube video on my screen with awe. A smoky-eyed young woman with sun-fringed hair and a male in a white T-shirt and shoulder-length blond hair are riding a vintage bicycle through my small beach town as the stars of the Netflix hit show Outer Banks.
Chase Stokes and Madelyn Cline flirt beneath the gnarled trees two minutes up the road from me; they ride across the marina I pass every time I leave the island; and they get heated at the local dive bar, The Fat Pelican.
Unfortunately, these sequences did not appear in the series that dominated Netflix in April 2020. Instead, celebrities visited my neighbourhood to film a music video for Kygo’s remix of Donna Summer’s legendary hit “Hot Stuff.” The video’s 21 million views demonstrate the popularity of the teen drama. And when someone asks in the comments, “Who’s enthusiastic for season 2?” more than a thousand fans respond positively. included me
I live a couple of hundred miles south of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, a line of barrier islands. My village, Kure Beach, is located on an artificial island off the coast of Wilmington, a Southern film centre.
Originally, the show was scheduled to film in Wilmington and the actual OBX. Outer Banks, however, filmed in Charleston, South Carolina, when Netflix rejected the location in protest of HB2, North Carolina’s discriminatory “bathroom bill.”
Having sat and watched both seasons with the noise of a genuine North Carolina ocean in my ears, I can attest that Outer Banks gives the impression that living in this area is significantly more exciting than it actually is. And for that, I am extraordinarily grateful. Who would watch a Netflix documentary about visitors getting sunburned, retirees reading on the beach, and residents debating town parking laws on Facebook?
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It made me happy to see that season 2 maintained the amazing camerawork that utilises the Carolina landscape to send us on emotional journeys: the scary open ocean and the mysterious, seemingly endless coastal marsh.
Similar to the first season, “OBX2” regularly veers into the unbearable teen-soap territory — not as terrible as Riverdale, but on par with One Tree Hill and Pretty Little Liars. Certainly, a mind-boggling suspension of disbelief is required in order to accept the slender thread of fortunate coincidences and convenient circumstances ensuring the protagonists’ survival.
It occasionally feels like it was created by artificial intelligence that was fed two decades of teen television, a few hundred tweets of Gen Z slang, an American Eagle marketing email, a warm-toned Instagram filter, and The Goonies script. But it gets the job done: It is as addicting as the cocaine that Rafe Cameron, a 19-year-old criminal, sniffs off his red motorcycle. John B. Routledge and Sarah Cameron somehow survive a tropical depression in an open boat on the open ocean (impossible) in the season 1 finale, which left us wanting more.
After the shootouts, drugs, money, betrayals, disappearances, killings, conspiracies, and police chases that made the first season so compelling, it’s difficult to envision the stakes becoming even greater in subsequent seasons. In season 2, the Pogues, the scrappy, adventurous youngsters at the centre of the plot, transition from running around the island to running around the Atlantic.
Co-creators Shannon Burke, Jonas Pate, and Josh Pate — all of whom have roots to the state of North Carolina — offer up a dense and expertly crafted plot full of explosive surprises (sometimes literally), keeping us on our toes to the point that it becomes somewhat taxing.
We practically see many near-death incidents in every episode. In the first season, it appeared that all the characters did was kiss and fight; in the second season, it appears that all they do is die and rise again. It is so powerful that you almost miss last season’s clunky dialogue and cheesy teen terminology, such as “yet.”
I am persuaded that this programme owes a substantial portion of its popularity to its actors, whose real, credible performances counteract any corniness or implausibility in the writing. The fact that the central cast comprises entirely of newbies, all of whom display great acting skills, is doubly noteworthy.
(The chemistry between Stokes and Cline is so palpable that it appears to have translated off-screen: The performers went public with their relationship a few months after the show’s premiere, and a simple Instagram follow reveals that they are still going strong. Cute!)
John B, the dashingly gorgeous commander, Pope, the neurotic genius who says things like “according to calculations” without irony, JJ, the guy who blows stuff up, and Kiara, the lady who just wants to save the turtles, were pigeonholed into typical stereotypes in Season 1.
The second season, however, provides the character growth and depth I’d been yearning for. Rafe Cameron’s transformation from a snivelling country club dweeb to a deranged, bloodthirsty, murderous antagonist who will go to any extent to prove himself is particularly unnerving and wonderfully portrayed.
Aside from the obvious North Carolina references — the real-life “Figure Eight,” where the country-clubby Kooks reside, and “The Cut,” the Pogues’ shabbier abode, are both named after places in my county — I observed recognisable characteristics of Southern beach culture. Moss hangs on oak trees. The residents roll their eyes at visitors, or “tours” as John B calls them, but are aware that their community relies on the summertime revenue they bring.
A little of local knowledge: Around the initial release of Outer Banks, my classmates at UNC-Chapel Hill could not stop talking about a scene in the first season that many North Carolinians view as a geographical error: the main characters appear to take a ferry from the Outer Banks to Chapel Hill, which is over 200 miles inland.
Following much ridicule from the media and the North Carolina Boat System, the show’s makers stated that when the protagonists leave the ferry, they are briefly shown exiting an Uber they had taken to Chapel Hill. Still, that’s a really pricey ride. Kooks going to Kook, I assume.)
However, something bothered me about Outer Banks’ depiction of life in the coastal South: the show seems to completely avoid race.
It is ironic because the plot centres around riches that a fictional Black enslaved person named Denmark Tanny found from a shipwreck and used to free other enslaved people, only to be lynched by a white mob in retaliation.
However, Outer Banks does not address contemporary racism with a 10-foot pole. Without mentioning racism or race, it reduces the haves-and-have-nots dynamic and flawed justice system of the island to a socioeconomic issue. It is a glaring omission for a drama set in a state where the history of slavery is so blatantly present in the racial wealth gap and neo-Confederate activity.
To its credit, though, Outer Banks had more positive Black representation than we’re accustomed to seeing on teen television: Pope the courageous scholar, Kiara the ardent environmentalist, Peterkin the honourable sheriff, Heyward the devoted father, among others.
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My prediction is that Outer Banks season 2 will easily crack Netflix’s top 10 and possibly reclaim the number one slot. It’s the kind of show that’s designed to go viral, and with its outstanding acting and fascinating plot, I can’t really complain.
I am excited to see what else the designers of Outer Banks have in store. They told a North Carolina news station that two or three further seasons are desired.
In addition, they are producing another North Carolina-based sitcom titled Blue Ridge, which will extend the action west to the mountain wilderness therapy camp where Kiara’s parents threaten to put her after Pogue’s shenanigans in OBX2.
And hey, if Outer Banks season 3 needs a real-life North Carolina beach bum who is 21 years old, they’re free to knock on my door. Please ignore my lack of surfing ability and my American Eagle crop shirts.
Outer Banks Season 2 Trailer
Is Season 2 of Outer Banks Inappropriate?
Outer Banks is a teen drama about a local mystery and teens striving to solve it, which parents should be aware of. Extremely offensive language, underage drinking and smoking, and overall illegal behaviour by youngsters are prevalent.
Are Outer Banks Even Good?
Outerbanks is certainly one of the greatest television programmes ever to air on Netflix. The director of Outerbanks, Jonas Pate, has done an outstanding job directing it.
What is the Most Unsuitable Action on Outer Banks?
Many of the characters are high on narcotics. The primary protagonists are frequently unattended and engage in very mature activities. In Outer Banks, mature issues include drug use, death, underage drinking, family loss, treachery, and murder. Partial nudity and teen sex, kissing, flirting, etc. are implied.