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Outer Banks - Season 1 - Review

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Netflix did it again! Outer Banks is all you needed your favorite new teen drama to be and so much more.

When you think about teen dramas, california and rich vs poor kids you would lie if TV shows like The OC and One Tree Hill didn't jump into mind. Those were the shows that with a strong foundation of drama and intertwined storylines, were still able to deliver a certain feeling of hope for epic romances, dream friendships, heart racing adventures and what life near the beach felt like. But the truth is, it's been awhile since shows like that were around! It feels like nowadays the networks filled us with superheroes or supernatural tv shows, and forgot about how amazing it feels to watch a show that gives that warm feeling of summer with your best friends, doing crazy things that make for amazing stories later on. That's what Netflix finally delivers with Outer Banks, an incredibly entertaining teen drama, with suspense and with an aesthetically pleasing cinematography combined with a solid, talented, young and diverse cast plus, 10 episodes full of beautiful sunsets!


Unlike the other teen dramas that we are used to see on TV, the foundation of this one is the mysterious disappearance of JB's father, the recent death of a local, and a treasure long lost at sea. Honestly this was a mystery that held itself together pretty well for the first four episodes, but as the outcome of it all became pretty predictable later on, with Sarah's father being the one behind the terrible events, that part of the show got kind of lost. And as soon as we start figure out the entire line of the mystery, you would think that the adrenaline of the show would eventually fade away... but no! The thing about Outer Banks is that the secret behind it's entertaining aspect is in the emotional connections and how far a group of teenagers would go to protect and support their best friend. This is a show that represents perfectly well the snowball effect, when one thing leads to another, and their previous actions lead them to complicated situations that just get messier by episode. And the messier it gets the more you lose the mystery part of the show. And you know what? It's perfectly ok. They don't just drag it until the very last moment but instead, they allow this characters to be affected by it while growing and allows the viewer to connect with them. From the messed up families, to the contrast between the different realities that we face in this current society, to corruption, drugs, money, love, friendship, lost... outer banks is doing it at all in just 10 episodes.

As far as characters go, would be a lie if we didn't say that, JJ and Kiara must be protected at all costs! These two are probably the most interesting to see, and as a writer, to explore. JJ is the one that grew the most during the entire season, and after everything that he went through, all we see him search for, is some kind of happiness. And as much as the show tries to hint us in the beginning that his idea of happiness is on having a lot of money, in the end we realize that is all about being able to love and feeling loved without fear constantly hunting him. He was the wild fox of the group and probably the most reckless, but also was the the one with the biggest heart, always ready to sacrifice himself to protect his friends. Kiara is the definition of strong, beautiful, kind and cool. If you don't aspire to be like Kiara, there's something wrong with you. This girl couldn't give 2 craps about social status, or money, all she cared about was her friends and planet earth. She was the one balancing the boys, and if necessary she had no fear to step up and take the lead on complicated situations. She was able to be as much fun, chill, and adventurous but also grounded and smart. When it comes to JB, let me be honest... I was kind of scared to see another pretty boy, looking for the truth as the leading man, but you know what? This character got me at the edge of my sit a lot of the times, because he could be as reckless as JJ, as grounded as Kiara, and as smart as Pope. There was layers to this character and I appreciate that. Pope was a character that really showed us the contrasts of what it looks like to almost touch the sky, and then giving all up to do the right thing in the name of the people you love and that always had your back. Since the beginning he was always the one that had more to lose, and episode by episode he tries to keep it quiet, not protest, until things go too far and he's beaten up for no reason. The guy finally exploded and we get to see his character blossom and it was beautiful and fun.
Sarah Cameron, the character that has way more than what meets the eye. The only thing I wished for her was more screen time in the first 3 episodes, we had glimpses of her, but it didn't felt enough. She's definitely serving some clichés but the more she gets involved with the core 4, the more those clichés fade away. The entire sequence of her and JB looking for the documents in episode 4 was so fun, and was like reaching for fresh air. There's a natural effect on Sarah Cameron that gets you invested and makes you root for her. The thing I liked the most, was that she was way more than a pretty face and a romantic interest. She questioned things, she stayed her ground, she was adventurous and brave.

To me the biggest relationship stunners of this show are the friendships. They are the solid ground that allows these kids to keep going in the face of adversity. Knowing that those people will always have your back, and walk with you straight into the fire no matter what, gives you strengh even when you feel weak. This show delivers great moments where we see that no matter what they are a family. We see it when they follow JB through out all his crazy treasure hunt, we see it when they have each others back during a fight, when JJ takes the blame for Pope so he doesn't lose his scholarship, we see it when they don't give up on Kiara and Sarah's friendship, we see it when these 2 girls bravely walk into the house together when they're trying to recover the treasure... from the beginning to the very end, they're all there for one another. But of course even tho the friendships are the most important relationships of the show, we can't forget the romance.

JB and Sarah's relationship is probably the main romantic connection, and with reason to. These two actors look gorgeous together, they have insane chemistry and their scenes are fun. It's a romantic cliché, with the poor boy and rich girl falling in love, being from 2 different worlds, the initial banter, but it works. They make it work. And the secret is that as soon as they set the ground of their relationship she instantly becomes one of them and it feels right. They go through hell together but they never let go of each other and the fact that she gave him the benefit of the doubt against her own father, just shows how strong their relationship is. Specially after how the season ended! Now more than ever, these two need to rely on each other.

Kiara and the boys was kind of the most relatable thing ever. Once you grow up having all male friendships, and being always around boys there always gonna be a line that along the way starts to get a little bit blurry. It's normal. The thing is that I didn't expect it to be Pope. I don't know, there's a certain crazy chemistry between Kiara and JJ, and the way they always tease each other but still are there in the most complicated moments... I don't know I was rooting for them. Maybe we'll see a love triangle if the show gets renewed for season 2.

I think this show deserves a round of applause for the cinematography, specially in the moments with the core 4 in the boat enjoying a simple sunset. Those are the moments that make the show! Great friendships rising above all the personal crap that they are going through and enjoying the last moments of the day together. There are some beautiful shots in the van too, and it all feels like it was filmed during a long lasting sunset and just makes you all pumped up for summer with your favorite people.

Outer Banks is definitely a win for Netflix and deserves a second season. I want to see what happens to JB and Sarah and if they're gonna get revenge. I want to see a possible love triangle between Pope, Kiara and JJ. I also want to see Sarah's father root in hell for everything that he has done to these kids just because of money. Also there's a couple of other characters that were extremely interesting and I need to see more of, one of them is Sarah's brother who is clearly as messed up as their father. What did you guys think? Did you enjoy the first season?

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