Netflix has announced a new ferry connecting Chapel Hill and the Outer Banks, making use of the, um, giant waterway that exists between the beach and central North Carolina. Surprisingly, no one had seen it or heard of it before, although a 230-mile trip on a boat that goes 30 miles an hour (a casual 7-hour ride) absolutely sounds like the best way to traverse the state.
Outer Banks—Netflix’s new teen-mystery drama (think of it as if Nicholas Sparks’s The Last Song and Treasure Island had a lovechild) and the service’s third-most-watched show in the U.S.—takes a trip down the definitely real waterway to visit UNC-Chapel Hill in its fourth episode. We’ll assume Williamston and Tarboro are now underwater. (Our condolences.)
In episode 4, heartthrob-from-a-broken-home John B and rich-girl-who-might-be-human Sarah have to find a diary that was donated to UNC-CH. Once they get off the ferry—yes, the one we all know that comes from OBX—they decide they aren’t dressed properly to see the archives, so they go to an Alexander Julian-adjacent store to pick out some outfits one could only describe as “Pinterest 2012.”
In this magical North Carolina, UNC has done some construction. The libraries have gotten a much-needed facelift. (I guess that’s why the pastel seersucker pants were necessary.)
Creators Jonas and Josh Pate are from Raeford, so they should probably know where Chapel Hill is in relation to the Outer Banks. Their show was forced to film in Charleston after HB 2 prevented them from filming in Wilmington, so perhaps that led to these minor tweaks.
This isn’t the first time our Chapel Hill geography has been tested. In 2018, Nancy Jo Sales of Vanity Fair wrote that she could see the mountains from Top of the Hill. Maybe we weren’t looking hard enough.
Anyway, once we locate this waterway and ferry, we’ll update you on its schedule.
UPDATE: We have received an email from Jonas Pate that the brothers know their NC geography.
“There was a scene where our characters took an Uber from Wilmington to Chapel Hill, but it was a bit slow, so we cut it, not realizing that it would imply that we thought Chapel HIll was on the coast,” Pate says. “Thanks for catching that.”
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