Bad words, boobs, blood
| Jay Benedict reporter |
“Black Sails” is about pirates, but if you’re looking for the lighthearted fun of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” this is something completely different.
The world that the premiere created is darker, dirtier and definitely more mature.
Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay “Transformers” are among the executive producers brought this pirate tale to the screen.
“Black Sails” features many of the familiar faces from Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island,” but takes place 20 years prior to the events of the book. Captain Flint “played by Die Another Day’s Toby Stephenson” is still raiding the seas with his crew aboard the Walrus. Early on, he recruits a young John Silver (Luke Arnold) and the plot gets moving.
Along the way there are whispers of real-life pirates like Blackbeard and appearances by Captain Charles Vane (Zach McGowan) and Anne Bonny (Clara Paget).
The show is running on the same network that carried the Spartacus series. Fans of Spartacus, or any premium cable series really, will know what to expect. There is swearing, nudity and blood.
The show’s ample finances are clear to see. Special effects were a bit disappointing (not what you’d expect from Bay), but they weren’t that prevalent. The sets and scenery were authentic, beautiful, immersive and are sure to pull viewers in.
What stands out most is the realistic approach “Black Sails” takes. Flint is in trouble with his crew because they have been unsuccessful at sea lately. On land, he is troubled with keeping his alliances strong to sell the goods he does capture. It’s a real lesson in pirate economy.
Flint also keeps his crew in the dark about the real prize they are chasing and navigating through the issues that arise in doing so is no smooth sailing.
This is just one piece of the narrative established.
An oncoming war against the English is also foreshadowed. The characters living in a lawless land have the law fast approaching.
The weakest point of the show was the lack of screen time for its strongest characters. It’s obvious that Silver will be a focal point of the series, but his story doesn’t really carry any weight yet and his character isn’t sympathetic.
“Black Sails” might not be for all audiences, but if you’re interested in Pirates and enjoy the freedom that premium cable enjoys, or just need a new show to pick up that looks entertaining, it’s worth a watch. The first episode, edited for content, is available on YouTube.