Badder Than Breaking Bad: Black Sails


When I learned today that there are just eight episodes to this series — I have two left to go — I basically screamed like Captain Flint, above.

Really, this series is badder than Breaking Bad.

There are so many characters, so many twists in the plot and intrigues for each character, that this has the feel of an epic novel or an hours-long movie.

If you’re wondering where the strong women are on TV, they’re in Black Sails!


Eleanor Guthrie is in the empire business in a way that makes Walter White look like an amateur.


And there’s never been a character on TV like Anne Bonny. Enigmatic, seemingly always in shadows, she doesn’t say much. But when she does, obey or you die.

Every performance in this series is flawless. Movie-quality. So are the costuming, art direction, and cinematography. You can feel the wood and leather and just about touch the spray of the sea and smell the salt.

I know Starz promoted the hell out of this across several of their channels. I think that was a bit of a mistake. Too much promotion tends to annoy people. I know I was annoyed, but I gave it a shot anyway. Starz needs to throttle back and let word of mouth from viewers — such as this — do the talking.

Whatever your preconceptions might be about pirates, forget them. This is unlike anything you’d associate with the images that are in your head. This is the real thing, where the brutality of surviving in a system that’s made you an outcast is shown full force.

Just two more episodes. And then I don’t know what I’ll do until the second season airs!

For the rest of you, there are just eight hours to catch between now and then. Do it!


Starz Black Sails website
Pirates Wanted Black Sails website

Previously here:

Recommended TV: Black Sails, Rake


Filed under TV

11 responses to “Badder Than Breaking Bad: Black Sails

  1. I like this show, but not at the level that you do. Its just not gritty enough for me to elevate it past True Detective or even Breaking Bad.
    Too many male super models as pirates with perfect white teeth, and not enough ship vs ship action.
    Still, highly enjoyable.

    • mikecane

      I haven’t seen True Detective yet. Male supermodels?! I think hardly! As for ship to ship action, I think you’ve been spoiled by too many SF series. I like the scale of time in this series.

  2. Captain Flint, William, Silver, Captain Vane and Rackham. Even my gf said that they were way too pretty to be pirates. She then proceeded to stare all glassy eyed and drooling. Muttering something about “come shiver me timbers, Mateys!”.
    The lack of ship to ship action does not hurt the series, its just a personal preference. Even as a child, old ships of the line firing cannons at each other was something that held my imagination. I was simply hoping that Black Sails would indulge this particular love.

    • mikecane

      Well, we have to disagree on who qualifies as a supermodel. I think for the most part they’re all grunged-up enough to qualify as pirates. There were attractive people even back then, you know!

      • Yeah, but its more about the blindingly white teeth and the faces that are apparently immune to years of exposure to the sea and sun.
        I think its already been picked up for a second season. Hopefully we don’t have to wait till 2015.

  3. And I hope they show how Silver loses his leg.

    • mikecane

      What episode are you up to? I’ve just seen number 7 of the 8. 8 airs Saturday (I’ll catch it next week On Demand). Vane does not look any supermodel in episode 7! As for the teeth, well…

  4. Anne went off to find some non limp action ;-)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s