Regardless of the ships mysteriously vanishing at sea, and the hunt for a misplaced treasure, and a whole neighborhood filled with unusually enticing folks, there’s one thing that feels actual about Netflix’s Outer Banks. Maybe it is because it is set within the very actual stretch of islands off the coast of North Carolina, or as a result of its creators are from the world, or due to the lived-in ambiance of the present. And, to lots of the hundreds of thousands binging the present (it has been persistently on Netflix’s high 10 hottest listing since its debut on April 15), that is in all probability probably the most publicity they’ve needed to the true Outer Banks.
The present follows some teenagers from the fallacious facet of the … uh … marsh, as they embark on a harmful hunt for a storied misplaced treasure. It is enjoyable, and definitely a welcome solution to go the time in quarantine. However whereas streaming the primary few episodes I discovered myself interested in the true Outer Banks tradition. Within the present, it is depicted as a neighborhood with a giant divide between the higher and decrease class, the place teenagers spend their days joyriding on boats and ingesting beer and following treasure maps. Its protagonist is John B. (Chase Stokes), the heartthrob ringleader of a bunch of youngsters from the less-affluent facet of city who name themselves Pogues. They’re in a bitter rivalry with the wealthy children on the town, who’re often called Kooks. The present is as a lot a few stark class divide as a lot as it’s about boats, treasure, teenagers, and browsing.Curious to know what the true Outer Banks is like, I referred to as up native surfer Brent Nultemeier, who co-owns, OBXsurfinfo.com, a well-liked web site that follows the native surf report and tradition (“When you can’t get to the seaside then we are able to deliver the seaside to you,” Nultemeier tells me). A lifelong surfer, Nultemeier was out on the ocean the morning we talked. With the bridges to Outer Banks closed to anybody however locals throughout the coronavirus outbreak, the seashores are nonetheless open and empty—making it prime browsing time for residents like Nultemeier.And after they’re not having fun with the empty seashores, the Outer Banks locals have been watching Netflix’s newest streaming hit together with the remainder of the nation.Within the weeks earlier than the present debuted, Nultemeier says the locals had been excited to see their city on a giant Netflix present. However, when it lastly premiered, some had been upset.
“It is simply Hollywood to me. It is all make-believe. Folks must recover from it,” he tells me. “However there’s quite a lot of very headstrong locals right here that, I assume they had been excited to see a mainstream Netflix present that was doubtlessly going to point out how superb this space is, as a result of we’re all very, very happy with residing right here. After which the present portrays a very completely different space. It ought to have been referred to as South Carolina Seashores or one thing. It is virtually like, ‘oh effectively, why even identify it that?’ I assume that is the massive hangup that individuals have.”Pogues and KooksIn Outer Banks John B. and his mates consult with themselves because the Pogues. “That is the south facet, or the lower,” he explains within the first episode, because it exhibits a extra rundown a part of city. “Dwelling of the working class, who make a residing busing tables, washing yachts, operating charters. The pure habitat of the Pogues.” It is a identify that he says comes from the time period pogies, slang for the Menhaden fish. Whereas John B. usually refers to he and his mates as Pogues, the time period can be used round city as a catchall for folks from his facet of the marsh (it is complicated). In the meantime, wealthy individuals are referred to as Kooks, which is a repurposed use of an outdated browsing time period.As Nultemeier tells me, the time period “Pogue” is not something folks within the Outer Banks use. “That is a full on Hollywood factor,” he says. And clearly, the phrase kook is outdated browsing slang, but it surely’s not used particularly to consult with wealthy folks within the Outer Banks.”Normally a kook is any individual that does not know what they’re doing, who purchased a surfboard and desires to painting this picture of being a surfer after they’re totally not. That to me is extra of a definition of a kook than the rest,” he tells me. “However through the years, I am certain that time period has been extensively used elsewhere. I imply, anyone might be a kook at this level.”
The Class DivideThe through-line of the present is that this wrestle between the “haves” and the “have nots” within the Outer Banks. As Nultemeier describes it, the socio-economics of the Outer Banks aren’t as obtuse or overt because the present depicts:I moved right here and began my household right here. It’s important to work a few jobs to make it right here—it isn’t tremendous costly to stay right here, but it surely’s not low-cost both. There’s not quite a lot of low earnings housing. There are quite a lot of seasonal staff over the summer time who come work within the outlets and the shops. I do know there’s an enormous scarcity of low earnings housing, they usually’re constructing these mega mansion estates. So, there’s clearly a number of cash right here. There’s folks constructing ocean entrance properties and multimillion greenback locations and stuff. I do not know of a large divide that is clear, as they painting it on the TV present. Let’s simply put it that method.
The Setting And Surroundings and Filming LocationOuter Banks was not filmed within the precise Outer Banks. The present was initially supposed to shoot in North Carolina, however showrunners moved it out of the state in response of the HB2 transgender toilet invoice. As a substitute, the present was filmed outdoors of Charleston, South Carolina. As such folks in Outer Banks, together with Nultemeier, observed various geographical errors, just like the present depicting the Pogues taking a ferry to land-locked Chapel Hill. As Nultemeier observed:They showcase some form of a lighthouse that was not even from our space in any respect. A few of the properties and a number of the vegetation is fallacious, too. Additional South there’s much more palm bushes. We do not have that many palm bushes right here on the Outer Banks. A few of it appeared related, however once you stay right here, within the very first episode you are like, “Oh, that is not right here.”The CultureOuter Banks exhibits a way of life the place teenagers cruise round on their boats to go to mates, go to events, or monitor down historic treasure. However, Nultemeier notes that this is not actually the life-style in the true Outer Banks:That is not essentially the way it goes round right here. I am certain there are some communities the place you may hop in your boat and get from place to put, you may go to eating places or one thing. However I imply, it is a lot costlier to try this than simply getting in your automobile and going someplace. You do not usually journey round in your boat on a regular basis. Boats aren’t low-cost.
The Precise SurfingIn the premiere episode, we see John B. and his buddy paddle out right into a hurricane to surf some monster waves. However, in actuality, only a few folks would have the talent or the nerves to surf in a hurricane. And, sadly, the scene did not even look that sensible, in accordance with Nultemeier:It’s terrible when Hollywood tries to make folks seem like they’re browsing. It’s the worst factor ever. I imply, Level Break, I do not know, you identify it, any Hollywood film that tries to point out browsing. I imply, hurricane browsing, completely that occurs. However when it will get actually, actually huge and actually gnarly, the one solution to do it’s with a jet ski. And perhaps one or two teams of individuals would possibly really try to try this, however once more, that is very uncommon.
Matt is the Tradition Editor at Esquire the place he covers music, films, books, and TV—with an emphasis on all issues Star Wars, Marvel, and Sport of Thrones.