Is Outer Banks a Good Show Or is it Just Profiting Off an Aesthetic?


With the release of Outer Banks Season 3, the question arises “is it a good show or is it a show that profits from its aesthetics and our need for summer?”

As reviews come in it seems that the show’s quality appears to decline every season. On Rotten Tomatoes, Season 1 has a rating of 73% while Season 3 has a rating of 33%.

It seems to be that the show is prioritizing aesthetics over its plot as the show follows a group of teens going on a mysterious treasure hunt and learn many secrets as they travel all around tropical environments in search of El Dorado.

As these teens go on these adventures filled with excitement throughout the show, they distract us from the real world. Outer Banks came out when we needed to escape the most. Seasons one and two came out in 2020 and 2021 during the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak. While we were locked in, these characters- JJ, Kiara, and John B, to name a few- explored and lived life while we couldn’t.

Ava Massucco and Rosie Strickland, juniors here at McMahon, said it best: “Season 1 was the best by far as it was during Covid and it gave us a short escape from reality and it was actually interesting.”

But in 2023 with Covid at its lowest, what would Outer Banks do to keep their audiences wanting more?

See, the first two seasons were released during the Spring/Summer as Season 1 came out in April and the other in July. Unlike the others, Season three came out in February. An odd choice at a glance but it was made purposefully. As the cold days start to get warmer we are all craving summer these producers use this to their advantage as the show completely dominated the Netflix top ten list with a whopping 154.97 million hours viewed the other two seasons also dominated the top ten list with Season 1 taking the fourth place and the second season taking the seventh. And why is this helping their views?

Here’s a comment from an interview with Valentina Godoi a Junior at McMahon: “The settings and the fact that it was filmed during the summer but released in the middle of this cold winter season feeds into this need for summer we all have.”

The “Paradise on Earth” that is displayed by the show is commonly fantasized about by its viewers. All over social media “Outer Banks Core” and “Outer Banks Vibes” have been popular trends and even popular brands like American Eagle, Pura Vida, and Urban Outfitters have been trying to profit off of these romanticized lifestyles.

After interviewing many students here at McMahon a solid conclusion can be drawn: many viewers started watching the show for one reason… the attractive actors. Boys and girls alike state that they only watch it for the actors like Madelyn Cline, Drew Starkey, and Rudy Pankow. Ryan Cohen a Junior here at McMahon said: “Yeah from what I’ve heard, many of my friends started watching for the actors”.

“I don’t think it’s worth the hype. I don’t find it interesting at all and the storyline is very shallow.” – Sofia Kiraly, 11th Grader at McMahon

“I thought the first season was well done but by the second season the storyline isn’t really there and as an actor myself acting in the school musical, I find it hard to watch bad acting for forty-five-minute episodes at a time. After the new season I can confidently say this show is no good.” – Zach Young, 10th Grader at McMahon

With reviews and comments like these from our very own peers here at McMahon and the very recent news of Outer Banks being renewed for a fourth season it makes you question… how long will Outer Banks have until the summer aesthetics aren’t enough for viewers to come back and enjoy the show? Does Outer Banks have a future or is it bound to end soon?