outer banks poster in an illustrated TV

Outer Banks: A TV Show Review For Parents

Updated June 5, 2023


Overall Rating: ⭐ 2.0 / 5

Recommended Age: 16 and up

If you were to take a teen drama and a treasure hunt adventure and mix ‘em together — then you’d get the TV show, Outer Banks.

Based on the outer banks of North Carolina, this show follows five teenagers chasing clues that lead to a pile of gold hidden on the island. But they’re not the only ones looking for the gold. They face their fair share of obstacles (like a murderous socialite and a vengeful drug dealer, for example) along the way. 

The show came out on Netflix in 2021 and Gen Z loved it. But if your kids haven’t watched it yet, there are some things you may want to know first. The show doesn’t shy away from violence, language, and mature themes so it may not be suitable for all kids. Luckily, we have it all laid out right here! Let’s dive in!

Harmful Content ❗️


 A crucial part of Outer Banks is the murder mystery aspect of the teen’s adventure. There are multiple people who are murdered on screen and a significant portion of the plot revolves around figuring out who the culprit is. Along with these small-town murder investigations, corrupt cops and powerful socialites prevent justice from being served. 

The show hits on lots of real-world issues, like how socioeconomic status can impact relationships and views of the world. The show practically opens up by explaining who the “Pogues” and the “Kooks” are. The Pogues are the lower-class kids and the Kooks are the upper-class kids. These two groups are always at odds with each other; there is more than a handful of Pogue-on-Kook fights throughout the show. 

The teens face emotionally complex and traumatic home lives. For example, at the start of the show, the main character John B lost his father at sea and essentially has no parents. JJ has an abusive father who beats him on more than one occasion. And Sarah has a brother who is almost always high on cocaine and makes poor, violent decisions as a result. 

On that note of drugs, it is commonplace for teens to be seen drinking and smoking weed even though they are underage. 



As you can imagine, a show that stars five sixteen-year-olds is no stranger to offensive and inappropriate language. There are frequent uses of words such as “ass”, “b***h”, “s**t”, and the occasional F-bomb. 



Sexual-related scenes are minimal. There are a couple of scenes in which two teens are making out and it’s hinted they are about to go farther. Nothing explicit is shown. 

Additionally, since the show takes place on an island, characters are almost always wearing swimsuits, short shorts, tank tops, etc. 



The violence of the show is likely the most concerning part for many parents. The murders in the show are done by gunshot, although there are a few attempted murders that are done by strangling or drowning. And it seems that most episodes include two characters getting into a fistfight for one reason or another. These fights are always depicted as very real and traumatic. 

Positive Value 💫


The teens have an extremely close relationship with each other and it’s clear that loyalty and trust are very important. Especially when their home lives are less than ideal, the show heartwarmingly shows how they rely on each other for support. 

Additionally, the teens are very smart and resourceful. When it comes to the treasure hunt, they are quick to follow clues to the right place even when the adults couldn’t. 

So, should my kid watch it?

For younger kids, we definitely say no. But older kids who can handle mature topics would likely enjoy the adventure and drama of Outer Banks!