The scene: 1717, the Golden Age of Piracy; the people: brute criminals living on nothing but loot. Seems typical enough for a pirate story, but more than just an action-packed swashbuckling treat, Our Flag Means Death is also a raging ensemble comedy that is both modern and subversive as it dares to recast masculinity in a whole new light.
The show follows Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby), a flamboyant aristocrat who leaves his pampered life and turns to the sea in search of deeper meaning and purpose. Specifically, he’s out to figure out, once and for all, what it means to be a man. Does it entail remorseless murder and a stoic acceptance of one’s responsibility, as he’s been taught and taunted to do for so long, or is there more to it than that? The wannabe pirate gets closer to answering these questions when he meets and eventually falls for the legendary Blackbeard, played warmly and hilariously by Taika Waititi.