Black Sails is a Treasure Island prequel. Let that sink in, as Starz tries to create a mature take on a classic. There are shots lifted from Verbinski’s work on “Pirates of Caribbean”, but it works. So much of the series feels like that, as nothing original really happens. The show divides its appeal between the original Treasure Island and actual pirates that worked out of Nassau. It’s a double-edged sword, as it doesn’t make for a bad show. It just doesn’t give the program anywhere to stretch.
I’m not sure who thought Pirates would set the premium cable world on fire. It was a nice touch to have every woman on the show seem to be bisexual, but what is the show going to do for the audience members that aren’t 13 year old boys? I want an interesting take on a subgenre that doesn’t get much love. What we end up seeing is a show that plays like a rum soaked “Game of Thrones” clone. Everyone is backstabbing and planning to get a better foothold in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, the threat of the British Navy is always in the distance.
Still, we’re not talking enough about the sexy young pirates. These are pirates that fornicate and swear at each other. Picking up with the Walrus crew at the end of last season’s finale, the crew is surrounded by Spanish soldiers. The gold is close, but they have zero support from their pirate brethren.
Toby Stephens is capable enough, but there has yet to be anyone in the cast to really impress me. Outside of the recent Evil Dead show and Blunt Talk, the acting on the Starz shows has always been subpar. By that I mean, not premium cable good and not bad. It’s just for a pirate show, I’m not sure how much further they could push it. Oh well, at least it’s not “Da Vinci’s Demons”.
The work with John Silver doesn’t add up to much, as you already know how he’s going to end up, so why not focus more on Captain Flint. We get that he wants to bang Eleanor, but that’s about it. He’s pretty lifeless and lacks any defining personality even for a Pirate Captain. While the show was always meant to lead up to “Treasure Island”, all it did was make me feel bad for Long John Silver. The dude lost so much during this series, while I never really got a feel for Flint. Yeah, I guess I must’ve not been too involved in his story. The show ultimately ends up being about the battle of legends vs. the approach of modern society. While the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies traipse around this idea, “Black Sails” almost feels like an apocalyptic western. Still, I enjoyed it.
Here’s a quick update. The lady that plays Nora West-Allen on The Flash is crazy naked in the show. Sure, she was always on the show, but now it seems hotter to me. Some fans will be bothered that’s my grand takeaway. Well, what else was it supposed to be? Give the show a shot in another stunning Starz collection on Blu-ray.