Feb 022017
Black Sails-Season Three

This season deals with the occupation of Nassau by a British fleet led by Woodes Rogers. Or as I like to call it, The British Empire Strikes Back. At the end of last season, Jack Rackham and his crew had captured the Urca gold, brought it back to Nassau and then decided to invest it in a shared trust to defend the island against England. Interestingly, the season starts after Rackham and his partner Max had dealt with the understandably angry Flint and Vane when they had returned from bombarding Charleston into rubble, enabling the writers to avoid explaining how the confrontation was resolved without violence. As ever, the show is exciting. This season is fun, lots of fun, but frustrating, since the writers are mixing fantasy with large chunks of historical accuracy. Read More…

Feb 182016
Black Sails-Season Two

None of this happened, but it has ooodles of violence, steamy sex scenes between physically perfect people who are good actors, wearing mostly period clothes, and the constant betrayals are fun to watch, so you can be entertained while pretending to learn something. Kind of.
Sadly, the writers clearly have no interest in the fascinating history of the golden age of piracy. The historical narrative that caused the increase in piracy is not complicated. Black Sails could have been Spartacus on ships, instead it is merely an enjoyable melodrama.
Nothing makes any sense but it is astonishingly melodramatic. However, I have to give credit, the plot moves along at a breakneck pace like a proper soap opera, where a new crisis appears just when the last one was resolved. Read More…

May 292014
Black Sails Season One

Set twenty years before the events of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, Treasure Island, which revolves around the search for a treasure that had been hidden by Captain Flint, Black Sails shows how Flint had found the treasure. A weird mix of history and fiction, the portrayal of the pirates as independent operators who are dependent on a kingpin of crime who fences their stolen cargoes and feeds them leads on potential targets weakens the show. While the overall story is silly, the ships are gorgeous, and the scenes at sea make up for the tawdry soap opera that fills most of the episodes. The series was fun, but it never really rose above a teenage boy’s hormone-driven fantasy of rock-hard abs, plentiful sex and admittedly cool battles. Read More…