James Gillespie is 12 years old. The world he knew is changing. Haunted by a secret, he has become a stranger in his own family. He is drawn to the canal where he creates a world of his own. He finds an awkward tenderness with Margaret Anne, a vulnerable 14 year old expressing a need for love in all the wrong ways, and befriends Kenny, who possesses an unusual innocence in spite of the harsh surroundings.
Outer Banks (2020-) knows its audience: young adults in a country that can’t stop romanticizing good ole’ treasure hunts. Add a little of Riverdale’s (2017-) sex appeal, and no one can look away. Forty years after The Goonies (1985) America’s consciousness hasn’t strayed from the same tropes: treasure hunts, a vulnerable white male lead, and the whitewashing of a racially segregated setting.