Jib

Review of Black Sails pilot

66 posts in this topic

One thing I remember in a bonus feature on the Deadwood series, is their explanation of 'redefining western language'. Many curses that were used during that time would not have been understood by the majority of today's audiences, as many people there had classic educations that included greek literature. Referencing Zeus' son might seem like a compliment, but as Zeus was a notorious womanizer, it would be akin to calling someone a bastard. So, they dumbed down the language and inserted modern words (often the F-bomb and C-sucker) instead. They also explained that cursing was a way to have a conversation without actually saying much, as if you bragged about finding a large gold vein, or even disagreed on politics, technology, someone's reputation, etc., it might get you killed in a drunken brawl. Been a while since I saw that bit, so I might not be explaining it very well, but that was the gist of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... the Deadwood series, is their explanation of 'redefining western language'. ...So, they dumbed down the language and inserted modern words (often the F-bomb and C-sucker) instead.

I think you pinpointed what Black Sails is doing. I'm not sure I absolutely buy the whole "this is equivalent to this in modern slang" thing. To be honest, if I want to get that kind of language, there are tons of other shows that do that already, or places in real life where one can hear that for free. Sometimes I think we don't give the audience enough credit - and doing this almost feels like you're calling your audience dumb (I mean, sure, plenty of teenage boys are probably watching this with joy for all the swearing and nudity, but that doesn't mean you have to insult their intelligence). Can't period language have some entertaining value? Rather than drag everything down to the lowest common denominator, how about trying to press forward for quality once in a while? It's just another thing that I think can make it hard to get into the show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been impressed with the set design. The sail cloth tents and old Spanish building. It would be fun to do a pirate photo shoot on one of those sets!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too like the setting. It is visually beautiful and all.

(Though those Spanish buildings would be more accurate in Havana than in Nassau which was a shanty town with huts, tents and wooden buildings....)

I also note that Port Royal has been mentioned several times in the series while Kingston not even once. Though it seems that Port Royal was still a surprisingly notable place so it is not an error in any way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently won tickets to tour the sound stage in New York, but found out only the day before, so a ticket to New York was impossible. Since I couldn't make it out, they sent me a promotional flag and a hip flask. The flag is pretty cool. It's silks screened, but done in a style that looks like loose threads and stitching. The hip flask says 'Black Sails' and 'Starz'. The flag is already slated for the guest room wall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very cool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this thread is about Black sails pilot but I think I can say a word about episode 3 as well.

The appearance of Hornigold made me happy. The fort of Nassau was seen and while it was a little too nice it was not ridiculously large. Also the reference to Jacobitism in Gate's and Hornigold's conversation in the fort was a pleasant surprise to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently won tickets to tour the sound stage in New York, but found out only the day before, so a ticket to New York was impossible. Since I couldn't make it out, they sent me a promotional flag and a hip flask. The flag is pretty cool. It's silks screened, but done in a style that looks like loose threads and stitching. The hip flask says 'Black Sails' and 'Starz'. The flag is already slated for the guest room wall.

That's wonderful!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Black Sails was renewed for a third season. Like it or hate it you get a pirate TV series for 3 years!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen the new episodes and while this thread was mostly for the pilot episode this was the most generic thread I could find for Black Sails.

I must say that I love the series more and more as it progresses. Season one was great but I really like the season too even more. Because many have not probably seen the episodes yet I don't spoil them. But if you really hate any clues about the new episodes don't read further.

Firstly the acting is getting better, it was never bad but it has improved. The show is entertaining and well written. I really like what has been revealed about Captain Flint, including the newest details. They make sense and deepens the character greatly.

Historical accuracy varies, but nothing is at least to me completely inaccurate. Also the setting is pretty nicely done and while e.g weapons and costumes are not only accurate there are many accurate details too. For example the way sailors, who are not pirates, are clothed is quite decent if thinking history. The pirates are costumed with perhaps too wild touch though. For naval dress and gentlemen's appearance the makers have mixed later decades of the eighteen century with period correct things. Ships, for the most part, are nice while too large.

OK with certain ship (the Spanish man of war) the makers have mixed periods incorporating elements from early 1600s and 1700s for a ship hat is meant to sail in 1700s (Though for their defense I would note that old ship's remained in use surprisingly long periods of time. Also Spanish were clearly a little more old fashioned while not that much) . Also the use of real historical characters is often pretty liberal (the role of Ned Low for example of which I don't reveal more).

Major plot-lines are clearly inspired by real history. The political game in the season two's flashbacks reminds that of Woodes Rogers', the Spanish man of war reminds me of the giant Portuguese ship some pirates took in 1720s in the Indian Ocean, and the revelations related to captain Flint reminds a real 1700s scandal.

I also like how the makers have linked pirate theme to larger historical events. For example age the enlightenment and political things (in the first season Jacobitism was mentioned and later other political things).

Edited by Swashbuckler 1700

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was able to purchase the entire 1st season on DVD and I really enjoyed it. Without too many spoilers let me say that when a Spanish War Ship opens fire it is freakishly amazing and horrible!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I bought Season 1 DVD as soon as it became available (not having cable). I enjoyed the episodes and yes there are inaccuracies but at least the story is not based on myth and fantasy books (aka POC). I just finished watching the 2nd season DVD and I think overall its improving.

I agree that they could use more period slang in place of the f word and pay more attention to detail, but you will get that in a TV series where they have to film on tight schedules. The story keeps developing and there are multiple twists in the plot. There are major characters killed off and new ones appearing which I think keeps it fresh.

and finally, something about it has struck the rebel nerve in me, so I think they have won me over.

We can yearn for period correct everything, but enjoy it for its entertainment value. Hey it IS Pirates after all.

mP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally agree on those points. The F-bombs almost take me out of the story sometimes. Season 3 should be really good. And they're already shooting Season 4. So we know they won't feel like they have to rush the story and can really develop the characters some more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometime within the first few weeks of November we should see season 3 of Black Sails available for purchase.  Sadly season 4 will be the last :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought season 3 on eBay almost a month ago.

Season 3 is another another quality production (altho season two was slightly better IMHO). The development of the characters and plot continues.

I read a review online criticizing the writers for killing off a character because that character was his favorite, and a major reason people watch the series. Never once did the reviewer acknowledge that history was the basis for the production... DUH! I guess he will be disappointed when Season 4 is the last. Why would they do that? LOL

mP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to see episode 1 of Season 4 soon and I can't wait. This show though not historically accurate or correct in many aspects is still more along the historical vein of true Pirates than anything POTC ever did (which is fine, I still love POTC for the most part). Blood, guts, sex, intrigue, anger (so much anger). 

I don't mind the cussing and sex but I do appreciate that as the seasons have gone on, they have taken almost all the sex out. Drawing in the audience with T&A and then slowly letting plot and characters take center stage that's pretty clever. 

I will say that the advertising for this show must be a bit off. There's very few people I've met in my every day life that have ever heard of this show. I've even interacted with some other Pyrates that had never heard of it. 

I'm very sad S4 will be the last but I'm also very glad that they know when to call it quits and leave us wanting more. I love the fact that this is a prequel to Treasure Island and it adds so much to that classic story that I know we've all read and watched to death. 

Another funny note, I know one other person that watches this and he's not into Pirates. I made an off hand remark about "atleast this character will live" and he was shocked that I ruined it for him. I had to point out that the character was in Treasure Island and apologized for ruining the plot to a 130 year old book, haha. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now