Black Sails : Season 1

  • Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 25, 2014
Season #: 1, 2
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 225 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Created by creator Jonathan Steinberg as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island set in 1715, pirate Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his crew prepare to fight the British Royal Navy over New Providence Island with the help of Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New), a daughter ofCreated by creator Jonathan Steinberg as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island set in 1715, pirate Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his crew prepare to fight the British Royal Navy over New Providence Island with the help of Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New), a daughter of a local smuggling kingpin. Expand
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Jan 17, 2014
    83
    Not even a guilty pleasure, Black Sails is arrrrrr-estingly good. [24 Jan 2014, p.65]
  2. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Jan 21, 2014
    75
    A winsome opportunist (Luke Arnold), a ruthless captain (Toby Stephens) and a tough-talking tavern owner (Hannah New) are just a few of the colorful characters involved in a brutal power grab in the 18th century Bahamas.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 24, 2014
    75
    Filmed in South Africa, Sails is awash in lush scenery, bloody expensive sets and brutal action. You’ve probably never seen a sword fight like the one that caps tonight’s episode.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd VanDerWerff
    Jan 23, 2014
    50
    Black Sails is a handsome illusion at times, but it rarely finds its way beyond that.
  5. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    Mar 27, 2014
    50
    The drama is nothing more than a video game, with a story secondary to the blood and sex.
  6. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Jan 24, 2014
    50
    The cast is stunning, the music enticing. Yet Black Sails lands too quickly on an island (shot in Cape Town) and the best parts of the spectacle--the open sea vistas and the claustrophobic shipboard scenes--run aground.
  7. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jan 23, 2014
    30
    What's mystifying is why Starz and the creators of Black Sails seem to think that, given the expanding array of options available to consumers, any content creators can get away with peddling fare that can't even manage to be consistently mediocre.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 58
  2. Negative: 10 out of 58
  1. Mar 14, 2014
    10
    If you loved Spartacus then this by far a show you must watch !!!! Love the plots , characters, action ....great story line ....cant wait forIf you loved Spartacus then this by far a show you must watch !!!! Love the plots , characters, action ....great story line ....cant wait for a season II Expand
  2. Mar 12, 2014
    10
    Unless one makes the mistake to confuse Black Sails with a history lesson, it is one of the best shows currently produced. The characters allUnless one makes the mistake to confuse Black Sails with a history lesson, it is one of the best shows currently produced. The characters all have credible motive within the fictional setting and they act on it, which is more than most shows can boast.
    Casting, acting, dramaturgy, set and prop design are all spot on.
    Expand
  3. Jan 27, 2014
    10
    This is really a decent pirate show... If you like the style and atmosphere of Starz's Spartacus series you'll certainly fall in love withThis is really a decent pirate show... If you like the style and atmosphere of Starz's Spartacus series you'll certainly fall in love with this too - raw and real experience of a pirate's everyday life including brutality, violence, sex and nudity. Cast seems to be fine and especially Toby Stephens works quite well as Captain Flint. Visuals, music and costumes are amazing both on sea during the action as well as on the land. Big budget works pretty good and I have to admit that this shows looks very promising after the first episode.
    Hint: Don't take mainstream (full of unsound and empty arguments filled with "political correctness") reviews too seriously
    Expand
  4. Feb 1, 2015
    9
    Uncommonly good. This under the radar series can more than hold its own (and then some) with any of the other current premium channel seriesUncommonly good. This under the radar series can more than hold its own (and then some) with any of the other current premium channel series out there, with the possible exception of Game of Thrones. Two episodes in and Season 2 is off to a great start. Expand
  5. Feb 20, 2014
    8
    Most critics don't see what this series tries to achieve: not giving in on the clichées. And it does that brilliantly and without beingMost critics don't see what this series tries to achieve: not giving in on the clichées. And it does that brilliantly and without being pretentious. Sure there could be more action, sure there could be less sex, but that is what STARZ does and that is how some people including me picture a pirates life. Days, weeks on the sea and surely the first thing that comes to the pirates mind with the home harbor in sight are the human pleasures. I give a 8 "only" because of some very striking anachronisms like the use of condoms or sunglasses. Expand
  6. Feb 18, 2014
    8
    Good production but a few technical flaws, one that stands out is the black flag flowing opposite of the wind on the sails of the ship.Good production but a few technical flaws, one that stands out is the black flag flowing opposite of the wind on the sails of the ship. Another is the small splash of the cannon shot into the water. Free view masked the nudity and some of the gore. Good work on the dialogue but too modern for the 1700s, one would think the vocabulary of sailors to be a bit less.
    So far it seems to be a good story, waiting for more....
    Expand
  7. Feb 25, 2015
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I sort of enjoyed this for a few episodes, but the recent writing is just awful. Richard Guthrie has an unbelievable metamorphosis from an ass to a caring father, not believable. And Captain Flint with a gay affair? Please. I know the writer must be gay, but does that mean everyone else in the world has to swing from your side of the plate. It was bad enough when Anne Bonney had to be a lesbian or bisexual or whatever. So I guess we just get one dimensional writing where every character has gender identity issues. Ms Barlow explains to us that Flint is a violent pirate blowing up the fort because he feels guilt about his gay affair? ROTFL. And then Rackham has to make a choice between Max and Anne because the crew can accept one but not two women? LOL - how contrived. Guess the writing room has writers block, so they are definitely mailing it in for season two. Didn't take long to jump the shark, just barely into season 2 and it is no longer worth watching. Expand

See all 58 User Reviews

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