Black Sails Ahoy!


No geeky blog page would be complete without at least referencing one of the more famous icons of the subculture, the pirate.

“Black Sails” is STARZ channel’s attempt to break into a market that has lately been saturated due to the antics or our friends over at Disney. While this is a rather obvious ploy for STARZ to get their cut from a popular media image, “Black Sails” looks like it’s going to be far from your run of the mill pirate epic.

The premise is based around this series being a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic pirate tale Treasure Island. Viewers get to meet a young, and two legged, John Silver, Captain Flint, and several other characters from the novel in their prime. For those unfamiliar with the book some of the lesser characters may go unnoticed.  While better read viewers may get a little more out of the show this does not mean that the series will alienate non readers.

For those who might be for some reason unfamiliar with the STARZ channel let me inform you that this show is not for children.  There are copious amounts of sex and violence.  Although at least in the pilot episode the sex seems toned down from STARZ previous big hit “Spartacus”, but it did give me a whole new understanding of the name Black Beard.  However, they did release a TV-14 rated version of the pilot episode on Youtube.

The sets and costuming are top notch and the CGI for many of the wide shots of the ships is well done and only noticeable if one really looks for it.  My biggest problem with the show was the acting, and no I’m not saying it was all bad.  In fact most of it was excellent.  Toby Stephens is a shrewd and cunning Captain Flint and Luke Arnold as a young and obnoxious John Silver almost makes me look forward to seeing how he loses his leg.  My problem is with two of the actresses in the show.  Jessica Parker Kennedy as the prostitute Max and Clara Paget as Anne Bonney.

In Clara Paget’s case I am not entirely ready to place the blame on her but perhaps on the direction she was given.  Anne Bonney is a woman who has decided to join the male dominated world of pirates and has become quite tough and capable in order to defend herself and take what she wants.  I believed her skill with her blades but her voice was questionable.  It sounded almost like the director told her, “You know how Patty and Selma Bouvier sound?”  Marge Simpson’s sisters for those who do not know, “Imagine if they sounded like a Colonial pirate and talk like that.”  While this did make her sound like a hardened woman it seems that it was difficult at points for the actress to keep it up as there were points where her voice sounded distinctly lighter.

Max on the other hand seemed uncertain what sort of accent she was supposed to have.  I think my final conclusion was French but as there were points where it disappeared entirely this is only my most educated guess.  Actually I know it’s supposed to be French but it was distracting at times.  Hopefully Jessica Parker Kennedy’s performance gets stronger as the program continues.

All said I really enjoyed the first episode of “Black Sails” and I am looking forward to seeing where the story takes us.  I give it 4/5 starz.  Pun intended.

As always check it out for yourself and have a great day.


Posted on January 27, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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