“Outer Banks” Season Three Premieres to Mixed Reviews

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Netflix’s hit show Outer Banks returned with its third season today. The show first premiered in 2020 amid global quarantines during the initial outbreak of COVID-19. The sun-soaked beach scenes and exciting adventure plot lines rapidly gained a strong fan base during a time in which everyone needed to watch adventure from a safer vantage point. The show also frequently boasts a trendy indie rock soundtrack, which has helped boost several songs, last year including Dr. Dog’s 2010 track “Where’d All The Time Go?”

The third season picks up on a deserted island that the fan favorite band of misfits, the Pogues, have been stuck on for about a month following the altercation on Ward Cameron’s (Charles Esten) boat over the Cross of Santo Domingo at the end of the previous season. The show’s cinematography continues its love letter to the Carolinas and the Caribbean this season. The show has previously been praised for its thorough research into North Carolina history, even going as far as using real last names from historical figures for the cast’s main characters. While the cast’s chemistry with one another has been praised since the show’s inception, some critics and fans alike felt that this season’s plot went too far.

Aside from what some felt was poor story boarding, fans were happy to highlight that two of the show’s best friends finally begin a romantic relationship–Kiara Carrera and JJ Maybank, played by Madison Bailey and Rudy Pankow.


Once the initial joy at this plot point wore off, the criticisms began. At the end of season two, it is revealed that John B.’s (Chase Stokes) father is shockingly alive and in hiding. After years of socioeconomic class fighting in the Outer Banks came down to a treasure hunt that everyone thought killed him, season two’s ending came as a shock to viewers. Big John (Charles Halford) was reunited with his son at last this season, but fans felt that his screen time was too drawn out.


Rafe Cameron (Drew Starkey) is one character that fans wanted more screen time from this season. Rafe is Sarah Cameron’s (Madelyn Cline) troubled brother, who previously found himself in several jams over drugs and overdue debts. He was also often the only defender of their villainous father Ward Cameron. Fans wanted more of an anti-hero arc for Rafe this season, and more of an explanation for his relationships.

Others felt that the show’s creators could have taken more risks to spice up the backdrop of the show, including adding more characters of different sexual orientations. The show currently does not have any LGBTQ+ identifying characters.

Regardless of fan and critic opinions, the show was already renewed for a fourth season before its latest premiere today.  The viewership it brings the streaming giant alone is likely what drove this decision.

The community around the show that the cast and producers have created has proven to stand the test of time, no matter what the story is. Outer Banks season three is now streaming on Netflix.


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