Outer Banks Wrote Its Teenage Characters To Be Realistically 'Stupid'

"Outer Banks" is a show about silly teenagers on an adventure. Realistically, there is nothing realistic about this show: the series weaves a fantasy tale of a group of kids who embark on a dangerous journey to find buried treasure. Often, there have been claims that the teenage characters are far too illogical on the show. Sure, they make bad decisions ... but "Outer Banks" isn't the only show about teens who make mistakes. At least they're looking for treasure and not trying to solve mysteries and murders and magically attaining superpowers (I mean, just look at "Riverdale"), and then there's the drama element — that is always present in a story about thriving rebellious teens. 

In "Outer Banks," we have a hero and his ragtag group of friends who are on a journey to find his missing father (who was lost at sea) and, in the process, learn about the treasure he secretly buried. It's a tale about friendship and love, money, and events the friends are led to when they lean into their impulsive sides. Co-creator Josh Pate has always worked towards making the show as authentic as possible ... and sometimes, it meant writing characters who could be realistically "stupid."

'We see how stupid they can be'

In an interview with Decider, Pate shared that it was "super important" that the show realistically depicted how teens acted impulsively at times. They're all equally angsty, they're always getting in trouble, and they allow heartbreak to push them into making rash decisions that do them no good. 

Pate said:

"We all have teenagers, and we see how stupid they can be every once in a while. So we want to make that realistic."

Co-creator Jonas Pate (brother of Josh) added to the conversation, explaining that since the action-adventure story was "heightened," it was necessary to keep the narrative "grounded in some way." Look, here's the thing: "Outer Banks" might be about finding lost treasure, but at its core, it's a tale teeming with teenage antics. It sometimes tries to create a foundation of history that is so unbelievable, it's hard to take seriously. But that shouldn't take away from the fact that it's thoroughly entertaining, and the creators are just trying to accurately represent how teenagers think and do things.

Sometimes, teens make mistakes

"Outer Banks" is fun and entertaining if you don't take it too seriously, and the co-creators wanted the characters to be as true to real teens as possible. Things go wrong when you're young ... and the filmmakers wanted to pay attention to that. Here's Jonas Pate's full quote from the interview:

"I think the story is so heightened that we kind of wanted to keep it grounded in some way so that it doesn't become too crazy and the characters aren't too crazy. We always talk about it as being like The Shaggy Dog ... things kind of go wrong, and they have dumb ideas, and they go down the wrong ways, just like teenagers do."

The first two seasons of "Outer Banks" are currently streaming on Netflix — and the show's third season will arrive soon — hopefully with many more ups and downs for our hero John B (Chase Stokes) and his crew.