Show Review: “Outer Banks” popularity is running out of steam 

The small Netflix show that brought so many together, has strayed away from its roots 



The unfortunate downfall in the series is enough to bring a sigh from the community

LUKE INGHAM, Evergreen columnist

Season 3: 6.7/10

With the recent release of the third season of the Netflix original series “Outer Banks,” distant memories came flying back for millions of Americans.

The summer of 2020 was a tumultuous time; the pandemic had just started and there was truly nothing to do. There has never been a better time in history to release a Netflix special. That being said, in the wake of the pandemic the spotlight has faded on the show.

In April of 2020, the first season of the now hit-show “Outer Banks” was released, at the time, the show filled a void that the youth of America was so desperately searching for.

The coming-of-age adventure story was endearing and reminded many Americans of the excitement of what a post-pandemic world could look like.

As ironic as it sounds, it became somewhat of a “cult classic” almost instantaneously. Therefore, the hype leading up to the following season was monumental.

According to the Nielsen Ratings, when the second season of the show was released in 2021, it was the number one streamed show in the U.S. for two weeks in a row recording 2.1 billion views in that time frame.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, the first season received an audience score of 85%, the following season received a 76%, and the most recent release only received 69%.

Despite the show’s popularity peaking on the release of the second season, the audience rating for the series has been lower for each subsequent season.

The third season of “Outer Banks” was released on Feb. 23. of this year, and the quality of the show reflects the aforementioned trend in audience rating.

What started as a light-hearted treasure-hunting love story has quickly outgrown its limitations.

There is only so much story to be told of a group of sixteen-year-old kids searching for treasure on an island in North Carolina, and while the second season of the show pulled it off, the third iteration fell short.

The show is fairly entertaining, and not poorly written, but the suspension of disbelief just isn’t there the way it was in the first season.

Maybe the cast is too prominent now for what, at the time, was a low-budget Netflix Original. Actress Madelyn Cline has propelled herself into superstardom, and many of her castmates have amassed millions of followers on social media.

“Outer Banks” has gotten away from the basics of what made it successful to begin with, which is something that can happen when projects become over-budgeted. In other words, too popular for their own good.

Some of the events that begin to take place in the later episodes of season 3 make it clear the directors were running out of ideas to make the show keep you on the edge of your seat.

The redeeming qualities of the show are the moments that remind you of the earlier seasons.

All in all, fans of the show from the beginning will enjoy following the storyline of the characters that they love, but a new viewer will probably not be hooked.

One of the things that made the first season of “Outer Banks” so entertaining was the relatibility to being a teenager.

The way in which the cast incorporated elements of humor into stressful situations made the show funny even in its most serious moments, and the story was believable enough that a teenager could envision themselves and their friends going on a wild adventure.

The directors have gotten so far away from that, with the plot being a lot more serious and intense. This shift in style does not completely trash the show, but it is not the reason that many flocked to it in the first place.

That won’t stop them from making a fourth season, as they teed up another sequel with a cliffhanger at the end of the finale.

For long time fans of the show, season three is definitely worth a watch to stay caught up on the action. However, if someone is trying to find something new to watch on their Friday night, I would refer you back to the first season of the show to test the waters.