Black Sails this is not. No, Our Flag Means Death is a very different sort of pirate show—one created by David Jenkins (People of Earth), executive produced by (and featuring) Taika Waititi, and determined to have some fun on the high seas.
Though there’s probably also some murder and mayhem. After all, Waititi is playing Blackbeard.
Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords) stars as Stede Bonnet—an actual person who was known as the “Gentleman Pirate” as he was a landowner before turning to ocean-based crime. Not knowing the first thing about how to captain a ship didn’t stop him from getting one, naming it Revenge, and setting sail.
Probably he didn’t give his crew pep talks about the devastating things they might see whilst pirating and how they could talk out their feelings about said things, but who knows? The real Bonnet did encounter the famed pirate Blackbeard—a role Waititi will undoubtedly make memorable. But the spotlight here fully belongs to Darby, a cheery and be-ruffled leader even when he’s being rightly told that he’s an idiot.
Our Flag Means Death also features Kristian Nairn (Hodor!), Fred Armisen, Leslie Jones, and Rory Kinnear. The first episode is also directed by Waititi, and will cast off on HBO Max sometime in March.