Escaping Escapism: So Long, Outer Banks, Adieu!

hat tip to David Connor Jones for illustration idea

Alas, Caroline and I have pulled the plug on Outer Banks. There’s just so much implausibility (in my case) a sixty-eight-year-old pandemic dodging codger can take. 

For example, in the penultimate episode of Season One, John B’s 70s model VW minibus overtakes a twin-engine plane on a runway, pulls in front of it, bringing the aircraft to a screeching halt. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, bulldogs, and babies, I have owned two VW minibuses. When I drove my more recent one from St. Simon’s Island up I-95 to Folly Beach, my late wife Judy drove behind me in her Highlander with its flashers strobing because whenever I went over an overpass, the straining rear-mounted air-cooled four-cylinder engine’s speed would drop to 40 mph, the minimum legal speed.[1] The fact that John B’s bus starts every time is incredible enough, but outracing a plane on a runway?

But, hey, I get it. This is escapist TV, the equivalent of Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game,” where good and evil are unambiguous and comic relief non-existent. But still, I mean what lame-brained sheriff goes to arrest a powerful developer with a planeload of gold without back-up? I mean, the Outer Banks Police Department makes the Keystone Kops look like IMF from Mission Impossible. Speaking of escape-ism, in episode after episode our GED-less heroes find themselves surrounded yet somehow manage to evade capture, thanks in part to their Flash-like superhuman sprint speed and stamina. 

And the fights! I’ve been in a couple of fistfights in my youth and witnessed a few more, and I’m here to tell you that they never last more than a minute once a punch is landed. These cats in Outer Banks dole out and receive blows that would result in brain damage for mere mortals yet spew no blood. I’ve bled more profusely from a shaving nick than Rafe did after he and his dealer received a world-class ass kicking at the hands of JJ and Pope. 

It’s gotten so bad that now I’m wishing harm to the protagonists. Their stock expressions have gotten old ­– John B’s perpetual puzzlement, Kiara’s constant worried scowl, Rafe’s howler monkey stress screams. “

So, as King Claudius says, “And where the offense is let the great ax fall.”

My only regret is I’m not going to see my pal and fellow Folly resident Nick Thomas cast as a Kook in a later Season Two episode. I mean, even that seems bogus. Nick a Kook? No way, Jose. Nick should be a Progue, dammit.


[1] BTW, I’ve only witnessed one driver going forty on an interstate. It was a drunken woman in a convertible meandering from lane to lane about nine o’clock in the morning. She looked like an ancient Gloria Swanson with a smile on her face, her sunglasses glinting, her boa streaming behind. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s