“Our Flag Means Death” Season 1 Review


“Our Flag Means Death” has just concluded its first season on Thursday, March 24. “Our Flag Means Death”is a pirate romantic-comedy show on HBO Max created by David Jenkins and Taika Waititi. The series is loosely based on the adventures of the “Gentleman Pirate,” Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) and Blackbeard (Taika Waititi). The series has been praised for its comedy and inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters. 

The first few episodes really take the time to set up the characters within the series, including the side characters. The audience gets a sense of who these characters are throughout these first few episodes, and especially how they evolve throughout the series. For example, Black Pete (Matthew Maher) is always trying to prove he is the most qualified member of the crew, but does not focus on that nearly as much after he strikes a relationship with the scribe, Lucius (Nathan Foad). Blackbeard himself is not introduced until the fourth episode, which is when the show really finds its footing within the larger story. The romances in the series also are not introduced until the second half of the series. Some of these relationships felt natural, with a heavy focus on these characters, while others felt a bit rushed.

There were times within the first few episodes when the set felt more like a theater stage rather than an actual television set, but this was probably due to budget restrictions. Other than that, the rest of the season had pretty great set designs, such as Spanish Jackie’s Tavern or Blind Man’s Cove.

Samson Kayo’s Oluwande and Vico Ortiz’s Bonafacia/Jim were another great couple throughout the series. Both of their characters seemed to be the most level-headed characters within the crew, which led to some funny moments. Jim’s mission felt a bit disconnected from the other events throughout the series, but it was not that distracting. Other standout characters from the series include Con O’Neill as Izzy Hands, Ewen Bremner as Buttons, and Joel Fry as Frenchie. These characters are some of the funniest of the entire series. Nearly every time they appeared on screen, it was a laugh out loud moment. 

The series is loosely based on the actual pirates, Bonnet and Blackbeard. While it is unlikely that Blackbeard and Bonnet actually had a romantic relationship, their relationship felt very natural as their bond grew throughout the season in often comedic ways. The season left off with a big cliffhanger, so it will be interesting to see where the characters go from here as many of the couples in the series are separated. The series takes place in 1717, and both Blackbeard and Bonnet were killed in 1718, so this may not be a long-term series. However, any future seasons will be welcomed. 

Did you watch “Our Flag Means Death”? Let us know in the comments below!