• Network: Starz
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 25, 2014
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 384 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 71 out of 384

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User Reviews

  1. Jan 27, 2015
    6
    Despite a theme that is both promising and compelling the first season of this Starz show is rarely more than a vehicle for f-bombs, nudity, and intense violence. Basically it's mostly just a display of what you can't get outside of premium cable. It's still an entertaining show at times, but given that things only shape up in the plot department right near the end its clear that theDespite a theme that is both promising and compelling the first season of this Starz show is rarely more than a vehicle for f-bombs, nudity, and intense violence. Basically it's mostly just a display of what you can't get outside of premium cable. It's still an entertaining show at times, but given that things only shape up in the plot department right near the end its clear that the second season is the one where things happen.

    When the show isn't over-indulging in sex scenes you're mostly left to deal with rather bland characters. They all mostly seem to be an archetype with no backstories to make us care about them. The plot also plods along at a slow pace. Mostly just hinting at character having ulterior motives and taking too long to explain how the economic part of their world works.

    This all begins to get better as it goes on though. Little revelations help viewers get a grasp on the overall picture and open up parts of character's lives that makes them actually somewhat compelling. Twists, secrets, and backstabbings begin to create enjoyable scenarios and tension that can keep people entertained. However that all happens right near the end of this season so the majority of it is just hollow.

    It's almost fitting that this was executively produced by Michael Bay. Like most things barring his name it's more flash than substance. The way this season concludes points to some bigger and better things with season 2 so there is reason to stick around. However despite how entertaining the graphic sex and nudity can be this season left me wanting more and not in that good way.

    There are elements of the show that do make me want to set sail with these pirates, however they aren't what's so emphasized this season. Hopefully season 2 lives up to the promises this season contained. As it stands this first season can be pretty entertaining. It just needed to focus less on the TNA and more on the plot and characters.

    My total score for this season is a 6.5/10.
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  2. Feb 16, 2015
    4
    Thespian pirates use a peg, or hook, but whichever else jolly rogers? Never much of a silver tongue when dialogue used, profanity, on the internal politics of piracy, mostly requiring eye patches from all lack of pirating.

    X marking the spot in rated attempt at viewing pirate booty, although trying too watch anything here would send asleep often dreadfully boring. I wanted to watch
    Thespian pirates use a peg, or hook, but whichever else jolly rogers? Never much of a silver tongue when dialogue used, profanity, on the internal politics of piracy, mostly requiring eye patches from all lack of pirating.

    X marking the spot in rated attempt at viewing pirate booty, although trying too watch anything here would send asleep often dreadfully boring.

    I wanted to watch swashbuckling, prating, naval wars, largely not what has been weakly shown tediously.
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  3. Mar 16, 2014
    4
    Season 1 of Black Sails is now in the books and all I can say is, "That's it?" Let me give you a very basic synopsis: Episodes 1-7 are exposition while episode 8 is a cliffhanger. It's 7 and a half hours of build up and 30 minutes of minimal action with no payoff at the end.

    This show is more about backstabbing, political power plays, and gratuitous sex than the golden age of piracy.
    Season 1 of Black Sails is now in the books and all I can say is, "That's it?" Let me give you a very basic synopsis: Episodes 1-7 are exposition while episode 8 is a cliffhanger. It's 7 and a half hours of build up and 30 minutes of minimal action with no payoff at the end.

    This show is more about backstabbing, political power plays, and gratuitous sex than the golden age of piracy. I'm all for building exposition in a story but this story just droned on and on until the predictable cliffhanger in the final five minutes of episode 8. Black Sails is nowhere near on par with other cable series like Game of Thrones or The Borgias, even when compared directly to their respective first seasons.
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  4. Feb 15, 2014
    4
    High quality series with substantive weaknesses.

    A very high quality produced series. But what will not let me fall into jumping for joy is the boring content.
    The dialogues are bored and if not even fought bob the episodes ahead. A shame about the wasted money.
  5. Apr 14, 2017
    6
    Was hoping this would be more like Vikings. It's not. It's silly. A boob flash cant make up for the lack of ship battles, sword fights and seriousness. Some decent characters. The writing is thin. Not historically accurate by any account. This should be on the WB network for kiddies. Too bad as I was hoping for a serious show about pirates but this isn't it.
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Vicki Hyman
    Feb 13, 2014
    67
    The era is a rich vein to mine, and to their credit, the creators are light on pirate cliches--I do not believe one "aargh!" is uttered--but at the same time, there's a little too much emphasis on pirate economics and labor disputes than is necessary, and the sprawling cast and hierarchy a little hard to keep straight.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jan 27, 2014
    70
    While the series, which opens with a ship being boarded and taken, does have its moments of big, noisy action (see: Michael Bay, above), it spends a lot of time on land, as well, with the main characters taking care of business, making plans, laying traps and working on their surprisingly complicated personal relationships. There is also, tedious to relate, an abundance of female nudity.... Other than that, Black Sails' depiction of daily life among the pirates is plausibly authentic and workaday, and the Nassau through which they roam feels real and well-peopled.