Who knew pirate ships could be so fun? Our Flag Means Death puts comedian Rhys Darby at the helm of the pirate ship Revenge as Stede Bonnet, the gentleman pirate! Although there was a real Stede Bonnet in history who went by the title gentleman pirate and might share some similarities to the fictional Stede, Our Flag Means Death is far from a serious show about pirating. Blasting past more serious past dramas like Black Flagor even a fun action swashbuckler like The Pirates of the Caribbean, Our Flag Means Deathstands firmly in the waters of comedy. Created and executive produced by David Jenkinswith EPs Garrett Basch(What We Do In The Shadows, Reservation Dogs), Dan Halsted, and Taika Waititi, the series is a gut-buster.
The gentle, thoughtful, and aristocratic Stede is the farthest thing from a pirate and his crew knows it. Swathed in silks and prioritizing putting a whole library on his ship (with an illiterate crew), he’s recently left his life of landowning and his wife and kids to pursue a life of piracy. Along the way, he meets the infamous pirate Blackbeard, played to perfection by a leather-glad Taika Waititi. Blackbeard is tired of his time on the high seas, he’s been pillaging and plundering for the last few years and made quite a reputation for himself. Sure he might not actually have a floating face and fiery eyes of death but, in the pirating world, it’s all about rep.
What Blackbeard wants is what Stede has. The good life. The nice silks, the aristocratic attitude, the joie de vivre. The alliance between Blackbeard and Stede is one written in the history books, but what plays out on the HBO show is certainly far from historic. But, none of that matters. Who cares how historically accurate the show is when you can’t get the smile off your face? On top of Darby and Waititi’s tone-perfect performances, the supporting crew is equally funny. The series employs comedians both familiar and fresh to the crew and each character finds their own storyline.
Each episode takes place in a new setting, whether it be an enemy’s ship or on an island where the crew is encouraged to take a vacation for the first time. On top of the cast which includes Kristian Nairn, Rory Kinnear, Joel Fry, and Matthew Maher, the series employs exciting guest stars like Leslie Jones, Fred Armisen, and Nat Faxon. Although the story is set in the past, the jokes are surprisingly contemporary and will draw in comedy lovers of all sorts.
With endless laughs and exciting performances, Our Flag Means Deathplants a flag that sets it apart from others in its genre. The comedic stylings of Rhys Darby make the show and the supporting cast of comedians bolster the entire series up and make it endlessly rewatchable. Renew this now, HBO, I’m ready to set sail for many more seasons.
Our Flag Means Deathdebuts on March 3, 2022 exclusively on HBO Max.