not a book, streaming, tv

Not a Book: Our Flag Means Death

It’s Sunday again and time for me to talk about something that isn’t a book again, and today it’s Our Flag Means Death – which is a comedy series about pirates very loosely based on a real life pirate.

It’s the early Eighteenth Century, and Stede Bonnet is tired of his comfortable life as a husband and father on Barbados and buys a ship and runs off to be a pirate. Except that he’s a really, really bad pirate. Like terrible. He has no aptitude for killing and his ship is outfitted for luxury rather than anything else. When we meet him at the beginning of the series, his crew are so fed up of him that they’re considering mutiny, but decide that he’ll manage to get himself killed soon enough. Except he doesn’t and soon he and his crew come across the notorious pirate Blackbeard, and they make a deal – Blackbeard will help Stede become a better pirate and Stede will teach Blackbeard how to become an aristocrat. Except it’s not as simple as that. Oh and it’s a romantic comedy.

If you’re struggling to get your head around all this, and I’ll admit I’m not doing a very good job of explaining it (luckily the first series came out in the US a year ago, so I’m hoping some of you will already have watched this and have thoughts to share), but you’ve probably spotted Taika Waititi in the trailer, and he’s also an executive producer. So the easy way to describe this is to say think of the same sort of humour as What We Do in the Shadows, but with pirates in the 1700s (and not a mockumentary). The episodes are only 25 minutes long, they’re very easy to binge and if it works for you (and it really works for me!) it will leave you with a big smile on your face.

If you’re in the UK, the first series is available on the BBC iPlayer to watch now. If you’re elsewhere in the world, you’ll need to look for it on a streaming service – probably whatever HBO Max is called in your territory. Series two has finished filming but there’s no news yet on a release date for it.

Have a great Sunday everyone.

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