The “Outer Banks” television series has made a serious splash on Netflix, and was trending in the top ten over the weekend.
And while it hasn’t been officially picked up for a second season, an encore is virtually assured.
“Outer Banks” is not a documentary. It’s a program designed to entertain. And yes, “Outer Banks” has taken liberties with OBX locations and facts.
Sam Walker, my colleague and friend, did an OBX Today piece calling out the show’s inaccuracies.
Outer Banks wasn’t filmed on the Outer Banks. It wasn’t even produced in North Carolina. Outer Banks was shot in palmetto-packed Charleston, South Carolina. That’s a major sticking point for Sam and the program’s naysayers.
However, it can be said, “Apollo 13” wasn’t filmed in space, and “The Martian” wasn’t made on Mars.
If we take the argument to more terrestrial locales, “NCIS” created Norfolk out of California and “NCIS” made a quick commute between Hampton Roads and Washington DC possible. “Beverly Hills 90210” was actually filmed in Van Nuys, 91401.
Our region has also partaken in location switcheroo. The Coast Guard rescue swimmer-themed action flick, “The Guardian” with Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner, had scenes shot in Elizabeth City which were depicted as Kodiak, Alaska.
Sam and the N.C. Ferry Division have taken issue with one particular Outer Banks plot thickener.
They’ve both noted the Chapel Hill-Outer Banks Ferry doesn’t exist. But if that route was never imagined, John B and Sarah couldn’t have studied in the special UNC research room.
Hence, the Royal Merchant’s treasure would’ve remained lost. John B’s quest for the Royal Merchant’s 400 million dollar haul has a deep personal connection. His father, missing under mysterious circumstances, had spent years obsessively searching for the boat’s booty.
The Chapel Hill sojourn proved to be the impetus for John B and Sarah’s first love connection. Of course, John B is a Pogue while Sarah is a Kook. A Pogue is from the working class area called ‘The Cut’, while the Kooks are rich kids who kick it on Figure 8.
The real OBX doesn’t have people who identify as Pogues or Kooks and discovering the Royal Merchant’s mythical treasure is probably easier than fingering Figure Eight on a Dare County map. Figure Eight is in Kildare County.
(There is Figure Eight Island near Wilmington, a private enclave of vacation homes popular with celebrities and politicians.)
Outer Banks is an amalgam of shows and movies you’ve probably enjoyed. There’s a dose of “Goonies”, a pinch of “National Treasure”, a little “Scooby Doo, Where Are You?”, and a dash of “The Karate Kid”.
The main difference between Outer Banks and Scooby Doo is while people speculated Shaggy may have lit a doobie or two in the Mystery Machine, pot smoking is actually seen in John B’s Outer Banks vintage van. JJ’s the main toker.
JJ’s a Pogue and a serious surfer with a tough home life. He’s rough around the edges but will do anything for his fellow Pogues.
Pope is the brains of the bunch while Kie is weathy enough to be a Kook, but she prefers to hang with Pogues. She and Pope ultimately become romantically involved.
We also learn Kie was once Sarah’s best friend, but they had a falling out. A history which sewed seeds of future drama.
Topper and Rafe are Kooks. They may look like Vineyard Vines models, but they’re bad guys.
They remind me of Cobra Kai’s in The Karate Kid, the outfit that battled Daniel and Mr. Miyagi. They play dirty, are willing to fight, and do whatever’s necessary to get their way. Topper also dated Sarah before John B and Sarah’s fateful Chapel Hill voyage. Rafe is Sarah’s brother.
The show has an abundance of twists.
For instance, Sarah’s Dad (Ward) starts as a reasonable person, but by the end he’s a complete maniac. If you research the cast, you’ll discover the students at Kildare County High School like Sarah and John B are actually in their twenties. John B is played by Chase Stokes. Stokes is 27. While Madelyn Cline is 22. Yes, both “high schoolers” are old enough to be college graduates.
Outer Banks is a teen drama. It has drinking, drug use, fights and murder. It’s not for young children, and if you don’t like seeing those types of behavior, it’s not for you either.
No program is perfect, and Outer Banks hasn’t cornered the market on OBX deviations.
“Nights In Rodanthe” placed the Bonner Bridge in the middle of Hatteras Island and horses roamed the Tri-Villages.
But unlike “Nights In Rodanthe”, Outer Banks has ten binge worthy episodes that won’t put you to sleep.