I watch a lot of TV shows lately, some of them are good, some others definitely aren’t, but none of them is Black Sails. This is my one and only favourite TV show, the only one that still hasn’t disappointed me in any way – there’s only one season left, so I hope I’m not talking too soon. I may speak about Orange Is The New Black, Person of Interest, Wentworth, and many others, but none of them comes close to the amount of love I have for Black Sails.
Black Sails is an American show written as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island. In the show real life pirates are also portrayed, such as Anne Bonny, Jack Rackham, Charles Vane, Blackbeard, Benjamin Hornigold and Ned Low. It is a pirate show, so if you don’t like pirates and realism, you shouldn’t watch it. It can be brutal, it can be very crude, and some scenes are not exactly nice. Rape is not a taboo, sex is not a shameful act, prostitution is not something hidden away, violence is daily occurrence. I love it. It doesn’t spare us the gruesome details, although it’s not exaggerated, it’s not shy in showing us how it was at the time. And although it presents us with a world that was unforgiving, a world where women were just a little more than slaves, where dark skinned people were meant to be slaves, it is not a show of discrimination. On the opposite, it shows us a place where discrimination can be beaten. Prejudice is there, of course, but discrimination doesn’t always win and the smart people know better than that. The world they live in is an educated jungle, but the island of Nassau (New Providence) is a safe harbour, quite literally. Black people can be more than slaves, women can earn the respect of the strongest of men, gay men can be as fierce pirates as straight men.
Everyone has a chance to fight their way through life in Nassau. But Nassau is an island of pirates, a safe hold, and Britain will not stand and watch for long.
Charles Vane is a charming character, probably the character with more morality among the leading figures, he’s tough, but he can show care, he’s been through hell and he walks with his head held up high, he’s proud to be a pirate, one of the most respected captain in Nassau.
Eleanor Guthrie is a smart woman, she knows how to manipulate people and how to bend to circumstances, she knows how to survive in a world that can change in a day. She’s beautiful and can be as ruthless as reasonable.
James Flint is the captain who always falls on his feet. No matter how much his men can come not to trust him, he will find his way into their mind and change their opinion. His charm is in his words, he delivers powerful speeches that can get his crew to face whatever he asks of them.
Max is a prostitute, she fights her way to freedom, passing through hell to get there. She knows people better than anyone and knows how to gain power over them, how to sneak into their heart. Her charm equals her intelligence and she comes out as a very wise character in multiple occasions.
Anne Bonny will not hesitate to cut you to pieces with her knives if you piss her off and Jack Rackham is just the best man you’ll find in Nassau, apparently hopeless as a captain he’ll fight desperately to earn that position. John Silver is probably as good with words as Flint is, but where Flint is feared, Silver is “loved” – if such a thing were possible in Nassau – at least for a while.
The thing I love the most about the show is the accuracy of the fights. I fence – Medieval fencing – and I can’t watch fights on TV because I’d spend the whole time pointing out all the mistakes that make the fight so not realistic. On Black Sails I can enjoy the fights as well as the amazing acting of the cast.
Anyway, if you like pirates and you don’t mind a crude show, go watch it because it’s worth it!