Now, if you’re expecting — and wanting?!!? — another Pirates of the Caribbean, allow me to save your precious time. There’s no monkey, no goofy jokes, peg legs or any of that stereotypical crap. Not unlike that of Starz’ previous historical dramas (Spartacus), “Black Sails” offers a dose of solid acting (particularly the whimsical Luke Arnold as John Silver), bloody violent fun, and women more foul-mouthed than a truck driver who can’t find a parking spot at Denny’s. It’s nice to see that, despite the pirates’ scarred ruthlessness and disregard for innocent life, they still have enough mind for business and an acute awareness of their enemies, both from the outside world and in their own ranks.
Almost all the characters are played straight and do not fall into the cliché dialogue that we have known from literature in the past. There wasn’t a bunch of guys squinting and snarling “arrrgh, matey.”
If you’ve ever been interested in the genre before (or just love the heck out of AC4), “Black Sails” might just be right up your plank. There’s a nice meshing of fact and fiction going on here (just wait ’til you see Black Beard!), tackling the fantasy of Treasure Island with the history of the New World. And if you miss the boat on a show that ends up as good as advertised, you may as well consider yourself an “Enemy of all Mankind.” That is.. unless you’re smart enough to hang around the surface long enough to witness what’s truly laying underneath her decks. Ahoy.
Black Sails will air Saturdays at 9 p.m., starting January 25 on Starz.