When I think of “Outer Banks,” I hear the echo of “the Outer Banks, paradise on Earth” that once occupied my entire TikTok “For You Page” in May 2020. I would scroll for hours — because what else was there to do in the early stages of the pandemic — and see guys wearing bandanas in an attempt to resemble John B and girls in shell necklaces carefully weaving friendship bracelets, declaring themselves a “Pogue.” Featured in the show, the band alt-J’s “Left Hand Free” quickly made its way to the top of Spotify playlists, and it seemed to be the show of the summer. It made its way back on TikTok in the summer of 2021 when season two – receiving a “cheesier than season one” response– was released.
“Outer Banks” season three was released in late February 2023, and after countless videos taking over my TikTok, I decided to watch it. The show, created by brothers Jonas and Josh Pate along with Shannon Burke, follows five teens from the Outer Banks in North Carolina: John B, JJ, Kiara (Kie), Sarah and Pope. Additional main characters get introduced as the second and third seasons air. Most notable is season two character, Cleo, whom the teens met when they found themselves on a ship headed to Nassau after the mishaps of a treasure hunt go awry. Each season tackles a different issue, but the end goal is always the same: a treasure hunt to find the Royal Merchant’s gold.
Season three transports the audience to Poguelandia, back to the Outer Banks and ending in South America all while running from the police, parents and powerful people wanting to get their hands on some of the gold. For better or for worse, this season is just one long chase. The ending seemed to offer a long-awaited resolution, but in the last five minutes, the audience watched as season three left on a cliff-hanger. Giving an opportunity to create a fourth season.
When I watched season one, I was completely obsessed. I was one of the girls wearing way too many colorful bracelets and wearing an assortment of surf shop clothing, trying to be my own version of Kie. I watched the show so many times I had memorized chunks of it, and I was counting down the days until season two came out. But after the last two seasons aired, I realized that “Outer Banks” is a show that only needs one season. The show’s publicity has been a result of TikTok, and users have pointed out every loophole, editing mistake and spoiler there is. The show has become ironic among teenagers who are mostly just watching it because they loved the show as much as I did when it first came out. “Outer Banks” has become victim to the show watching habit of watching just to watch.
The one thing that has yet to waver throughout the series is the soundtrack. Season three features artists such as The Backseat Lovers and Jack Johnson, and as a freshman living in Santa Catalina, the songs were immediately added to my “biking through Isla Vista” playlist. If there’s one thing to get out of the show, it’s new songs to add to your playlist and new bands to listen to.
This appeared in the April 13th Daily Nexus printed edition.