"Our Flag Means Death" is HBO Max's new pirate series that is loosely based on reality. It is a series full of pirates but also warmth, love and humor that keeps the boat calm when it storms the most. There are also similarities with other famous comedy series, read below which ones!
In "Our Flag Means Death", the viewer is thrown into Stede Bonnet's life when he chooses to seek happiness as a pirate captain instead of an aristocrat. Stede Bonnet is a character who is loosely based on the real man of the same name, and who is a sensitive man who prefers to read bedtime stories to his men rather than looting. Through flashbacks to the past, we get to see what drove him to the feeling of misfortune within himself that started the transformation from pirate theft to reality. A reality where Steve is respected, others look up to him, he is appreciated and has his natural part of a social circle.
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However, pirate life does not seem like the dream of it: the majority of Steve's men are both incompetent and impulsive and unintelligent. This does not bode well for Steve's future as a respected pirate captain and especially not when he is threatened by his new nemesis Blackbeard, a vicious and violent pirate. What no one expected, however, are the big hearts that are on the pirate ship with Steve. The loyalty that is built up, the security the men begin to feel towards each other and their captain, and the ingenuity that exists among so many completely different men.
Together, they may not be Steve's dream group of people, but rather what most of them really need: a family. This means that the series retains an uncomplicated calm that gives the viewer a feel-good feeling after each episode.
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"Our Flag Means Death" is a comedy series with a strong dose of satire. It has its similarities with both "The Office" and "What We Do In The Shadows" through its focus on both working life as a pirate and the clear, unique focus on pirates. It's a very human series whose main role is difficult not to recognize: Steve is anxious and vulnerable but prefers not to seem to be at all. Our Flag Means Death may be a series about pirates and looting, but the real treasure is not gold - it is the relationships between the characters and everyone's unique charm.
I must admit that pirates are not really my cup of tea, and not always typical British humor either. Thus, I was surprised that I still liked "Our Flag Means Death" in several ways: it made me relax, to laugh, not to think about the terrible things that are happening in the world right now. It became a much-needed deadline from reality. No, it's not one of the best series I've seen and it's not going to go down in history. Maybe I'll barely remember it in a year. But it gives a temporary pleasure that is pleasant to take part in: it does not require anything from the viewer and sometimes you just want to be able to sit back and look instead of thinking. I recommend Our Flag Means Death to anyone who suffers from a troublesome hangover, is ill, panics, or is stressed: it is as soothing as a valium.
"Our Flag Means Death" can be seen on HBO Max. At the time of writing, three episodes are available and a new one is released every Friday. The roles include Rhys Darby, Taika Waititi, Leslie Jones and Rory Kinnear.