Black Sails : Season 1

  • Network: Starz
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 25, 2014
Season #: 1, 2, 3
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 339 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 74 out of 339

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User Reviews

  1. Sep 7, 2016
    10
    Superb superb series, this gave me something to watch when GoT turned to crap around season 3. In the meantime it's reached its own S3 and it shows no signs of becoming less epic in any way. 10/10 for every season so far.
  2. Apr 6, 2016
    10
    It baffles me that people give this show anything below a 7. Simply put this show is amazing. Every single episode is almost like watching a full length, big budget movie. 1. The storyline is amazing with it's plot twists, and the killing of main supporting characters just like in GOT. 2. The costumes, settings and scenery are absolutely stunning, there is almost no CGI involved, andIt baffles me that people give this show anything below a 7. Simply put this show is amazing. Every single episode is almost like watching a full length, big budget movie. 1. The storyline is amazing with it's plot twists, and the killing of main supporting characters just like in GOT. 2. The costumes, settings and scenery are absolutely stunning, there is almost no CGI involved, and whenever there is some, it looks realistic and uses spectacular angles, like flyby's and birds' eye's view of ship battles. 3. The acting by all actors is top notch, cand find a flaw in any of it. This is the ONLY show that i can put along sides with Game of Thrones, and due more realistic setting, I prefer this shows at some level, more than GOT.
    There is also a good line of moral philosophy that is being used throughout the series, especially in the later seasons, and it's not some random scripted stuff, but philosophy that actually makes sense. Absolutely a must watch, this show deserves more credit, it's simply the best show until GOT is out.
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  3. Mar 31, 2016
    8
    Historical fiction at its finest! Full of salty sea hardened characters, tough as croc leather pirates, bawdy femmes and all in service of a great story. This is the kind of series you binge watch with friends as you pass around the grog and bong.( Aye, me hearties!) Loved every episode and especially fond of Captain Flint. Highly recommend to sailors and land lubbers alike..:-)
  4. Mar 15, 2016
    0
    I cannot understand why some producers have to turn a series like this into a porn flick. The nudity, horrible language and constant sex scenes make it impossible to stomach. I love pirate series; however, I am unable to get past the garbage on this one. It is such a shame that this one couldn't be more like the Viking series. Good acting will out do garbage any day.
  5. Mar 13, 2016
    10
    After the first few episodes this quickly becomes the best thing on TV since Breaking Bad. Some of it is a little far fetched, but by and large it's stunning, exciting, well written, brilliantly acted, and doesn't rush.
  6. Mar 4, 2016
    10
    awesome show, great history, great characters,great environment, great acting, the attention to detail. realy love this show. If you like pirates come to us and enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  7. Feb 20, 2016
    10
    This show is totally awesome. The pirate life was dark, dirty and desperate. This show totally displays this in a extremely nice fashion. This is a must watch... although make sure the kiddies are put to bed first.
  8. Feb 1, 2016
    9
    If you can see past the boobs, and stick out the first couple of episodes, you will realize that black sails is a good TV show. Black sails has been undeservedly slandered by critics, because it does introduce gratuitous sex and boobs. But, this is a staple of pay TV. Black Sails however, is very unexpectedly good. The pace and cinematography is intentionally stylized, but only enoughIf you can see past the boobs, and stick out the first couple of episodes, you will realize that black sails is a good TV show. Black sails has been undeservedly slandered by critics, because it does introduce gratuitous sex and boobs. But, this is a staple of pay TV. Black Sails however, is very unexpectedly good. The pace and cinematography is intentionally stylized, but only enough to barely break the 4th wall and acknowledge the viewer.

    I love the writing of Black Sails the most. Hats off to the writers, who make all of the competent actors into sympathetic characters, whose interests and enemies are constantly shifting sands. Every episode has at least one monologue, but the monologues are **** good. The dialogue that plays off monologues is even better.

    You start watching Black Sails expecting to find something even worse than the last lackluster Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Instead, Black Sails is at its heart an intelligent and thoughtful show. There are HBO shows like the Newsroom that try hard to be intelligent and deep, and these shows end up trite "gee makes you think" tropes. And then you have Black Sails, a violence and boob filled show about pirates, with no pretensions of greatness, that even is tied to Treasure Island, and it's a somehow a more intelligent, thought-provoking show than 98% of "Golden Age" TV. I kid you not, stick with it, at least if you're into action movies at all. Each season is better than the last.

    I wish more people watched this show, and I hope it continues to the likely bloody end.
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  9. Jan 31, 2016
    10
    Black Sails has been  a joy for me to watch. Season 3 is proving to be a continuation of surprises and excitement. Just when the power mongers juxapositioning seems dead-on full, a trump card is introduced in the presence of Blackbeard! Edward Teach will school all! The first and second episode is foreboding and includes a ship to ship race into a raging storm with great spellbindingBlack Sails has been  a joy for me to watch. Season 3 is proving to be a continuation of surprises and excitement. Just when the power mongers juxapositioning seems dead-on full, a trump card is introduced in the presence of Blackbeard! Edward Teach will school all! The first and second episode is foreboding and includes a ship to ship race into a raging storm with great spellbinding shots! People, let go of your petty criticisms and sit back and enjoy. No distant past can be recreated exactly. Rid the world of professional critics! Is there no sense of wonder left in your souls? Your opinions are frankly moot to the rest of us humans. A few years ago, I caught a pirate exhibition at the Denver Museum and this show exemplifies the attainment towards democracy and equality between races that in reality was true.  Black Sails is an interesting study of powerful wills, desires and dreams with flaws on every side. Then again, were the pirates any worse than the powerful heads of State? A good lesson to observe during an election year in the US.  Beware of agendas! Beware of power! Beware and learn from the past. Great excuse to look up some history and learn. I wonder; who are the pirates of today? Expand
  10. Jan 24, 2016
    10
    Wow I am speechless, this is the best freshest most realistic delicious pirate series I have ever seen!
    Whoever made this series got some serious serious talent
  11. Jan 16, 2016
    10
    I do not get the critics of this one. Were they paid to give bad reviews?
    The series has a refreshing setting and involving story. From a "smaller" studio they did a great job of creating a series that comes close to other big TV shows. The 3 first episodes do drag a bit but from there it just gets better and better.
  12. Nov 1, 2015
    10
    An incredible series of movies strung together to work as a TV serial. The action is practically non-stop, with fascinating sets and costumes. The violence and destruction is amazing though a bit gory at times, but about the only complaint I can muster is that the language is too modern for the era and repetitious in it's phrases. Also, the duration of sex acts are superfluous thoughAn incredible series of movies strung together to work as a TV serial. The action is practically non-stop, with fascinating sets and costumes. The violence and destruction is amazing though a bit gory at times, but about the only complaint I can muster is that the language is too modern for the era and repetitious in it's phrases. Also, the duration of sex acts are superfluous though frequently funny, and could do with less reality and more fantasy, but perhaps I'm being prudish. Expand
  13. Oct 27, 2015
    10
    Wow so I just finished re-watching S1 of Black Sails today and I figured that I would give you my written review. I absolutely love this show. I will start with the story which takes place in 1715 roughly 20 years prior to "Treasure Island" and revolves around Captain Flint and how him and his crew try to survive and thrive in Nassau. I admire that time period very much and they capturedWow so I just finished re-watching S1 of Black Sails today and I figured that I would give you my written review. I absolutely love this show. I will start with the story which takes place in 1715 roughly 20 years prior to "Treasure Island" and revolves around Captain Flint and how him and his crew try to survive and thrive in Nassau. I admire that time period very much and they captured the aesthetic perfectly in my opinion. The visuals and sound design are superfluous in the best way possible. I will now move onto the acting which was cast flawlessly. The 2 main characters are Captain Flint played by Toby Stephens and Captain Charles Vane played by Zach McGowan. The other cast members while major also did a tremendously great job portraying there characters. I will now move onto the action and Holy Smokes let me tell you that it's Intense. The whole crew from the writers to directors and etc spared no expense when showing the brutality of open water war. The fighting was vicious and relentless which I love. I would recommend it especially if you like Spartacus or Game of Thrones then you will love this show. I will say that it doesn't have the amount of violence that is displayed in the shows I just mentioned but it's still up there with the best of them. I will finish off by saying that you should watch this show immediately. I'm going to be buying S2 on Blu-ray next week. I haven't seen it yet but when I do I will post my review for Season 2 as well. I would also like to mention that they have announced Season 4 of Black Sails even before Season 3 airs so don't worry about it being canceled. Knock on Wood lol. Well thanks again and take care. Expand
  14. Aug 2, 2015
    10
    If the prolonged fashion for action/CGI movies is based on dumbed-down Adventure movies without the heart, this show is all heart. It's steady but enjoyable build up in the first season payed off big time in season 2, as I predicted it would. It's already one of the best shows on tv, period. The critics seem to have badly misjudged this great story, they're clearly idiots or lackingIf the prolonged fashion for action/CGI movies is based on dumbed-down Adventure movies without the heart, this show is all heart. It's steady but enjoyable build up in the first season payed off big time in season 2, as I predicted it would. It's already one of the best shows on tv, period. The critics seem to have badly misjudged this great story, they're clearly idiots or lacking passion and a sense of adventure - maybe a result of watching too many crappy Hollywood action movies or bias towards Bay who has his name 'over the door' even though its run and written by others. Season 3 sounds like it's going to be even better. Yes, really. I can not wait! I love Vikings and Game of Thrones but, with its story uncompromised, this is better. Seriously, if the genre or Bear's theme music stirs something in you, then join the Breathren and climb aboard this ship. It's the best entertainment to be found on tv right now. Expand
  15. Jul 6, 2015
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the series. Finished Season one last weekend, and now 2/3 rd of season 2 is done.
    The UP side of the series is, it shows a more reality scenario of what could have been the situations back in 1715 period. The captain is not one who simply outshines everyone and wins the day. The captain Flint faces struggles, makes difficult decisions, face mutiny (a lot). The graphic s8x and nudity at times feels over used (meh , Why I am I complaining) The CGI is good, all scenes look realisitc. Story line becomes more gripping from S02 onwards. All characters are equally important and lot of twists(not great ones though) in every episodes. You know you have a good tv show, when characters starts to annoy you, irritate you and u start hating / loving them.

    Downside is in the mid way of season 2, at times the story line becomes a little dragging, not evidently though. Plus Nud*ty is quite a lot(wht the hell am I complaining again)

    On the whole I liked it a lot, and could relate to the places and pirates as i am playing Black Flag(AC 4) simultaneously.

    Critics are over critical, esp Huffington Post. This show is anything but mediocre
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  16. Jun 15, 2015
    0
    Starz gays up another show. There are those of us (the majority) who know that homosexuality has no cultural legitimacy and is a symptom of a diseased culture. I see no point in legitimizing Starz sociopolitical agenda by watching this show.
  17. May 6, 2015
    5
    I have mixing feelings on the first season of "The Black Sails".Atmosphere,costumes,makeup,music,beautiful locations,I really like that.But when you begin to enjoy the show,all slowly ruins.Script is bad,acting is bad,dialogs are stupid,visual effects are painful.My finale score of the first season is the "5/10."
  18. 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
  19. 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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  20. Feb 4, 2015
    10
    It starts off slow, but after a few episodes I realized that this is a truly amazing show! Great characters, amazing effects and very interesting story.
  21. 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 series out there, with the possible exception of Game of Thrones. Two episodes in and Season 2 is off to a great start.
  22. 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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  23. Nov 1, 2014
    10
    Black sails is an amazing action, adventure drama set in 1715 at the golden age of piracy. Unlike other series it has a sense of realism that is made from the violence, nudity, language and plot similar to game of thrones. The characters, setting and plot are all amazing and keep you at the edge of your seat. Infact this may be my favourite series yet behind GOT.
  24. Oct 5, 2014
    3
    Black marks more like it. It sounds like a bunch of uppercrust schoolboys on a day at the seaside who spend all of their pieces of eight looking at what the butler saw. Spare us please any more of this drivel. Come back Robert Newton your Long John Silver has never been mastered. Trying to modernise the speak sound of past pirates is just not cutting the cake can you imagine a pirate onBlack marks more like it. It sounds like a bunch of uppercrust schoolboys on a day at the seaside who spend all of their pieces of eight looking at what the butler saw. Spare us please any more of this drivel. Come back Robert Newton your Long John Silver has never been mastered. Trying to modernise the speak sound of past pirates is just not cutting the cake can you imagine a pirate on the Spanish Main saying Pass the ale please old chap. Not likely, more like" shove that beer over erh b!for I slit ya from arsend to breakfast time" Did the producers not look back at some of the golden oldies like" The Bucaneers" or" Treasure Island" ? I will never forget watching that film and how at the start Blind Pew came tapping along the path on his way to the" Admiral Benbow" to deliver the Black Spot. Who among those that watch this over rated sex and baccy tale even know who Flint,John,Bones etc were? The cast are all dressed to look as though they have been to the most expensive clothing shops in the modern world. Adam Ant had more going for him than some of these would be pirates.If we are going to depict the time then lets get dressed as they would have in the day. Deadwood had it right. A great show. I am compelled to watch this fancy dress pirate show because I want to see the mexican stand off at the end as there surely will be. Although I am all for the female form it is sickening to see so much nudity and an insult to women. The odd flash of a female thigh or a quick glimpse of a breast is quite enough, leave the rest to guess work. The plot is rubbish and the actors need more time at rada.Oh dear now I have done it old chap. Expand
  25. Sep 23, 2014
    8
    This is a bit removed as a toss up between Crossbones. This is a more lighthearted approach to the democratic- or meritocracy that was Pirate Society (tm).
  26. Sep 18, 2014
    10
    Original, clever, well-written, well-produced and well-acted. This is by far the best tv show I've ever seen when it comes to pirates, and beats out 99% of movies in that genre too. If you like intelligent entertainment with a great mix of action, intrigue, romance and drama, then its hard to find a better TV show. I'm giving it a perfect 10, and my vote for best TV show of 2014.
  27. Aug 1, 2014
    8
    I really like this show There are a few weaknesses. It loses focus around the middle. But the beginning and the end of the series were brilliant. However it was very annoying just how little seafaring we saw. They spent most of the season at nassau. They should have gone on a few little adventures. Exploring islands and other stuff. The story of nassau the character Eleanor Guthrie was aI really like this show There are a few weaknesses. It loses focus around the middle. But the beginning and the end of the series were brilliant. However it was very annoying just how little seafaring we saw. They spent most of the season at nassau. They should have gone on a few little adventures. Exploring islands and other stuff. The story of nassau the character Eleanor Guthrie was a little irritating and in season 2 her storylines need serious work. But there were good moments too. Its a show that shows great promise. And needs a bit of work in the other storylines aside from the main quest. Expand
  28. Apr 5, 2014
    1
    NO no no. A show with no simi-likable charters. Sorry I've watch the first 8 episodes and I now feel that I've wasted my time. I can not get behind any of the charters at this point. Starz put a lot of money behind this but very little in the writing and character development. No one is likable. You want all of them to fail so why watch? I'll stick to my Vikings on the history channelNO no no. A show with no simi-likable charters. Sorry I've watch the first 8 episodes and I now feel that I've wasted my time. I can not get behind any of the charters at this point. Starz put a lot of money behind this but very little in the writing and character development. No one is likable. You want all of them to fail so why watch? I'll stick to my Vikings on the history channel which is free! This fail of a show is behind me now. Expand
  29. Mar 31, 2014
    8
    A show that provides plenty of pirate action, lush locales, and sexuality to the table, but rises above salaciousness to bring some genuinely interesting storylines. The characters are well-established fictional (and sometimes real) names from pirate lore, but are vividly presented. Captain Flint provides an interesting mix of cerebral politicking and brutal thuggery, but several otherA show that provides plenty of pirate action, lush locales, and sexuality to the table, but rises above salaciousness to bring some genuinely interesting storylines. The characters are well-established fictional (and sometimes real) names from pirate lore, but are vividly presented. Captain Flint provides an interesting mix of cerebral politicking and brutal thuggery, but several other characters hold the screen well. none of them were actors I recognized, but notables include the pirates' enterprising female banker, and the shifty John Silver (apparently not Long yet). As befits the subject matter, no one seems really to be the good guy, and allegiances between characters shift frequently. The audience likewise is challenged about who they want to root for.

    The production values are high. It's odd that this is shot in South Africa rather than somewhere in the Caribbean, but it looks pleasant nonetheless. The ample grit and grime of the struggling criminals counterpoints the beauty of the beaches.

    The central narrative of the show is surprisingly high-minded; it's a battle for the soul of the New World, with the pirates having designs on an oddly democratic (if debauched) new society, while seemingly coming to terms with the inevitability of their failure in the face of imperial powers. That being said, plenty of small-scale character issues are portrayed as well. There is ample material on gender and racial issues, and the culture as a whole feels reflective of reality, if heightened by dramatic conceit. Unlike with a certain pirate franchise, I don't see undead creatures popping up any time soon.

    The show succeeds in capturing what's so classic and irresistible about pirates, while bringing some new intrigue to the table. Good thing it was renewed for a second season the first came out.
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  30. Mar 17, 2014
    3
    I feel really let down by this show. I was hyped up for this show. And was let down by a lot of the casting choices. Even the main character-flint is a questionable choice, while he looks fearsome, he comes out as a bit monotonous, or simple expressions.

    And the storyline is way under par from anything. The character Max should've been killed off, and I wonder the reason for her
    I feel really let down by this show. I was hyped up for this show. And was let down by a lot of the casting choices. Even the main character-flint is a questionable choice, while he looks fearsome, he comes out as a bit monotonous, or simple expressions.

    And the storyline is way under par from anything. The character Max should've been killed off, and I wonder the reason for her existence every episode.

    Way below the par of even Pirates the Carribean And way more boring too, doesn't have any fantasy elements to it, and doesn't do a great job of explaining things, and the mundane things that pirates do, doesn't really explain like anchoring, and seeing the hour glass and measuring knots.

    So, So BORING! I was expecting an exciting adventurous or bloody and realistic pirates of the carribean. There's actually nothing in the show.

    This is from a guy who loves the Pirates of the Carribean movies, loves Game of Thrones, Spartacus seasons 1 &2 with the original actor, HBO's the pacific.

    This show had a lot of promise, but unfortunately let down. But will probably make it across for season 2. But, it needs a new director. And needs to incorporate some fantasy elements to it. And it can make a lot of money , and be Starz's Game of Thrones.
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  31. Mar 16, 2014
    9
    Great to see a realist pirate series that's not for kids. Pirate are about fighting, wenching n' drinking. Pirates arrrr bad guys n' this show off many of the real things that most other movies don't address such as how pirate rules of the crew work. I own a pirate store called pirate fashions(dot)com and this gets a three guns up. Best pirate show or movie so far.
  32. Mar 16, 2014
    9
    Really like this style drama (master and commander is one of my favs). Love the Carribean. I like the battle scenes and the blood and guts. Appreciate the grit and toughness of the men from days gone by. Like the lore of the whole thing. Decent plot somewhat plausible. Good escapist show for me, I like it better than a lot of the stuff that's on TV these days. Good fun.
  33. 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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  34. Mar 16, 2014
    10
    The first scene of Chapter I introduces John Silver. The final scene of Chapter VIII introduces -- think about it. Again the "Critics" get it oh so wrong. This show doesn't just make the obvious literary allusions, but goes all in and captures the full spirit of the book.
  35. 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 for a season II
  36. 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 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.
  37. Mar 7, 2014
    8
    The first two episodes of Black Sails are a bit of a chore to watch. So many characters and their sub-plots are thrown at you that it's difficult to even remember who some of them are, and you'll find yourself confused by their muddled-up background stories. The amount of gratuitous, pointless sex and nudity is borderline juvenile and, at times, actually outright comical in it's completeThe first two episodes of Black Sails are a bit of a chore to watch. So many characters and their sub-plots are thrown at you that it's difficult to even remember who some of them are, and you'll find yourself confused by their muddled-up background stories. The amount of gratuitous, pointless sex and nudity is borderline juvenile and, at times, actually outright comical in it's complete lack of importance or impact on the current situation. It comes across as if they're saying "Yeah, I imagine you people aren't following this very well, so here's a couple naked prostitutes to keep you from changing the channel". That being said, though, the show starts to steer away from that around the third episode, and by this point you're developing ties to the characters. The sub-plots sort themselves out, and the web of lies, tricks and personal/political agendas really get interesting. At first, I agreed with some of the more "mainstream" reviews out there, but I've really grown to enjoy the show and the direction they went with it. It's refreshing to see a pirate-themed show that understands that life for a pirate wasn't all cannon fire, rum and sword fights and doesn't insult your intelligence by sticking to the old "Arrgh me mateys!" pirate cliches. I'm interested to see where they go with this show in the future. Expand
  38. Mar 7, 2014
    10
    I love this series! I can't wait for the next chapter to come each week! Granted.........I am a pirate at heart so I may be biased!!
    In my youth I lived on a boat for a year so can sympathize
    a little with the pirate life.
  39. Mar 2, 2014
    10
    Excellent show! Historically accurate and highly enjoyable escapist entertainment. Costumes and sets are amazing, I hope it returns for further seasons.
  40. Mar 2, 2014
    10
    Love it....... please hang in there until episode 5 and 6........youl be happy that you did......first 4 was land last 4 episodes ;pts pf sea battles im hopeing ;>
  41. Feb 27, 2014
    8
    This show has a lot of potential. I am not 100% sure that they are taking advantage of the incredible cast and plot they have. The show has definitely gotten better and I am sure will continue too. The last 3 episodes have finally gotten me hooked and I can't wait until Saturdays now.
  42. Feb 25, 2014
    10
    If you like pirates (let's face it, who doesn't?) then this is a wonderful show. Visually stunning, there's plenty of violent action, sex scenes a plenty , fun characters with proper development and pathos all set in a heady time when swashbuckling folks ruled the seas. Game Of Thrones but with all pirates is probably a good summation, you follow various captains and crews trying to getIf you like pirates (let's face it, who doesn't?) then this is a wonderful show. Visually stunning, there's plenty of violent action, sex scenes a plenty , fun characters with proper development and pathos all set in a heady time when swashbuckling folks ruled the seas. Game Of Thrones but with all pirates is probably a good summation, you follow various captains and crews trying to get their prizes and the fortunes of Nassau's primary fence for the stolen booty, the beautiful but fiercely independent Ms Elenor Gutherie. Highly recommended. Collapse
  43. Feb 24, 2014
    10
    I had to push through the first episode, the second I thought "okay I'll watch this"- but now I'm absolutely hooked. This is the best new show on tv - and I'm only on episode 5. Yes the nudity is unnecessary but the story and characters are so compelling you have to overlook it. It's a pirates life for me!
  44. Feb 24, 2014
    9
    This is an excellent show with engaging characters, a fine sense of place and time, and more than the usual authenticity and "feel". The production values are phenomenal. BLACK SAILS' only flaw is that the storyline is "busy." Characters appear and disappear with little introduction, situations coalesce and unwind in a line of dialogue, and the major storyline is as convoluted as aThis is an excellent show with engaging characters, a fine sense of place and time, and more than the usual authenticity and "feel". The production values are phenomenal. BLACK SAILS' only flaw is that the storyline is "busy." Characters appear and disappear with little introduction, situations coalesce and unwind in a line of dialogue, and the major storyline is as convoluted as a Monkey's Fist. Look away for a moment and you've missed something. But I absolutely, definitely recommend it! I can't wait for DVD release! Expand
  45. Feb 23, 2014
    9
    Really surprised me, i was expecting an R-rated pirates of the Caribbean but i got so much more, when you look past the sex and violence (a huge part of pirate culture i admit) you still get an intricate web of plot twists and deep storytelling. The characters are well written and you really get the feel of an anti-hero with captain Flint not unlike Walter White from the breaking bad series.
  46. Feb 21, 2014
    10
    First chapters a lot of plots, good plots, btw so just waiting to see naval wars but good cinematic, good actors, nudity, and that stuff... just waiting to saw some of the great pirates of the history like black beard or something!
  47. 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 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 withMost 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
  48. Feb 18, 2014
    9
    Loving the show! was concerned about a few things, the critic reviews (they are wrong). I was concerned it would be swashbucklingly silly like the pirates movies, its not. I was concerned the blood and nudity would be oversold like in Spartacus, its not. The show feels rooted in a sense of 1700's reality, the smuggling, trading scene is well represented. the scenery and ships are gorgeous.Loving the show! was concerned about a few things, the critic reviews (they are wrong). I was concerned it would be swashbucklingly silly like the pirates movies, its not. I was concerned the blood and nudity would be oversold like in Spartacus, its not. The show feels rooted in a sense of 1700's reality, the smuggling, trading scene is well represented. the scenery and ships are gorgeous. I feel the show fills the sort of hole left open after hbo's deadwood finished. I realise its not going to be for everyone. its not overly titular, and feels like its going to maintain its own identity at the expense of some audiences. please don't cancel this show! Expand
  49. Feb 18, 2014
    9
    A refreshing show, no doubt.

    Everything in this tv series looks very good, the environment, the acting, the attention to detail, the characters and the story being told. The only downsize so far in the first 4 episodes is the lack of seafaring, so far its almost everything on land. This tv series doesn't care for what we the viewers want, it doesn't feed us heroes to cheer for, it
    A refreshing show, no doubt.

    Everything in this tv series looks very good, the environment, the acting, the attention to detail, the characters and the story being told. The only downsize so far in the first 4 episodes is the lack of seafaring, so far its almost everything on land.

    This tv series doesn't care for what we the viewers want, it doesn't feed us heroes to cheer for, it doesn't feed us villains for the sake of making the heroes look heroes, it doesn't feed us the usual love story and love interests for the sake of doing it, it doesn't feed us violence for the sake of violence and all the nudity seen is perfectly well synced with the show pace, sorry puritans, deal with it, learn to respect our nature, we are humans, humans have bodies, just deal with it and stop with your completely biased, pointless, groundless and irrelevant rants about cheap nudity.

    If you are looking for a show that breaks the ordinary money grabbing formulas, you have one right here.
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  50. Feb 18, 2014
    8
    Great D.A.A show. but i wish there more to it. along with love the first episode pack w/ violence,sex,raw,and real experience and more. still,I wish there more stuff in. :)
  51. 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. 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 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....
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  52. Feb 17, 2014
    10
    Very well made show with fantastic actors that captivates the audience. This series is now my current favourite TV series. Its awesome to see someone has finally made a pirate TV series. Love it!!!!
  53. 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.
  54. Feb 12, 2014
    3
    I have really tried to like this. Starz has been amazing in bringing us some wild and wonderful programs to watch. The plot is 'meh' and I have not really liked any of the characters. I had it on my schedule - but I just would rather watch something else. Great sets and scenery. Excellent production quality. There are better programs out there. Sorry!
  55. Feb 9, 2014
    9
    Black Sails has a plot that has a clear end goal and every episode working towards that goal. Throw in some alliances/betrayals, a large budget, quality acting, and enough sexual content that anyone with any sexual desires can get into, you've got yourself a show that can be your not-so-guilty pleasure.
  56. Feb 9, 2014
    9
    Brilliant show, was very surprised about how good it actually was after reading pages of bad critiques from "Professional" reviewers. Just goes to show that you get a much clearer picture of the show/movie by looking at the user score. While critiques seem to have lost their way and their heads, i thoroughly enjoyed this show. Some inaccurately compare it to The Johnny Depp pirate moviesBrilliant show, was very surprised about how good it actually was after reading pages of bad critiques from "Professional" reviewers. Just goes to show that you get a much clearer picture of the show/movie by looking at the user score. While critiques seem to have lost their way and their heads, i thoroughly enjoyed this show. Some inaccurately compare it to The Johnny Depp pirate movies others to the Spartacus series. It compares to neither. With believable characters a solid an engaging story and really beautiful settings this is a totally new player on the block, one i believe may very well take over the neighborhood until Game of thrones returns. Expand
  57. Feb 6, 2014
    8
    Ive only seen the first 2 episodes so this review is based on that.I wasnt expecting much but to be frank this show isnt bad and well worth watching. Its certainly not for kids viewing with lots of violence and sex and nudity a plenty. Acting is decent and all the character seem believable. Dialogue is good too. Not sure about Anne Bonney she seems a bit too useful with her cutlasses. TheIve only seen the first 2 episodes so this review is based on that.I wasnt expecting much but to be frank this show isnt bad and well worth watching. Its certainly not for kids viewing with lots of violence and sex and nudity a plenty. Acting is decent and all the character seem believable. Dialogue is good too. Not sure about Anne Bonney she seems a bit too useful with her cutlasses. The lesbian relationship with Eleanor Gutherie(Hannah New) Max(Jessica Parker Kennedy) adds some pleasant eye candy to the mix as well. Clearly in there for ratings. But I am not complaining.
    If I had one criticism the CGI used for the ship scenes at sea could do with a little work. They look clearly fake almost computer game-like. However it dosnt distract from the show and looks like a cost cutting exercise in the production. Looking forward for the remaining episodes of the season.
    It will be interesting as this is a prequel to Treasure Island how they pace the show to events that occurred in that book. Especially if this get renewed for a few seasons.
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  58. Feb 5, 2014
    9
    Excellent new show from Starz. The production values - cinematography, costumes etc. are of truly high quality, and my first thought watching the show was "wow - it's like Pirates of the Caribbean for adults"! This show is thoroughly entertaining. I don't want to say too much more and spoil anything - go watch the show!
  59. Feb 3, 2014
    7
    The show is good but i was expecting a lot more from it, the potential was there to create another awesome experience like Spartacus, yet they fell short, story wise very short. I have watched the first 4 episodes, the acting, action, violence, sex, blood, music, and visuals,are all fine but there and the story just drags on and is quite boring after the fourth episode. It feels likeThe show is good but i was expecting a lot more from it, the potential was there to create another awesome experience like Spartacus, yet they fell short, story wise very short. I have watched the first 4 episodes, the acting, action, violence, sex, blood, music, and visuals,are all fine but there and the story just drags on and is quite boring after the fourth episode. It feels like fourth episodes of Black Sails was trying to portray 30 hours of real time, which just does not work for me. Solid 7/10 nothing more, nothing less. I just feel by the season end they might have ruined what could have been an awesome series for years to come, I will only hope this goes in a good direction. Expand
  60. Jan 30, 2014
    7
    As far as pirate TV dramas go, this one is unparalleled in quality. Mostly because it has no competition. But the pilot was well directed and well acted. And the central is ambitious and interesting. A major complaint could be the lack of action and scenes shot in the sea, but the scenes on land were interesting too, so far as one is interested in the politics that go into running a pirateAs far as pirate TV dramas go, this one is unparalleled in quality. Mostly because it has no competition. But the pilot was well directed and well acted. And the central is ambitious and interesting. A major complaint could be the lack of action and scenes shot in the sea, but the scenes on land were interesting too, so far as one is interested in the politics that go into running a pirate ship. I'll continue watching because it really is beautiful (the scenes at sea are really well done) and the world feels authentic, and not so much for the central plot. Expand
  61. Jan 30, 2014
    9
    you know when it comes to depicting historical periods TV and movies rarely rise up to the occasion and end up being very cheesy and excruciatingly campy..... but the only way i could possibly describe what Starz has given us is like this- Starz built a time machine and threw a copy of treasure island in there and has warped all of time and space in that period combing historical accuracy,you know when it comes to depicting historical periods TV and movies rarely rise up to the occasion and end up being very cheesy and excruciatingly campy..... but the only way i could possibly describe what Starz has given us is like this- Starz built a time machine and threw a copy of treasure island in there and has warped all of time and space in that period combing historical accuracy, grit and mixing real and fictional pirates together in favour of having a purely fictional setting and characters...... the first episode granted didn't have much action but the the great writing, great acting and fulfilling sense of now getting to know who john silver was before treasure island. i look forward to what the future holds in store for this series and us viewers Expand
  62. 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 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 seaThis 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
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  63. Jan 26, 2014
    9
    Very good, brutallly violent pirate series. Caught on to this after playing AC4 black flag. The story is good set 20 years before the events of treasure island. Very mature and violent just how pirate life is supposed to be and the acting and attention to detail are astounding. Definitely worth a watch for lovers of pirates and the rich, brutal, lives they lived.
  64. Jan 26, 2014
    9
    Surprisingly good is the only way to describe the pilot. This thing actually has a plot and characters. I don't know what the critics want in a pirate series if not that. The (surprisingly democratic) pirate politics were also deep and deftly handled, Game of Thrones style. People keep bringing up the sex, but it's NOTHING by pay cable standards. We're talking brief flashes of R ratedSurprisingly good is the only way to describe the pilot. This thing actually has a plot and characters. I don't know what the critics want in a pirate series if not that. The (surprisingly democratic) pirate politics were also deep and deftly handled, Game of Thrones style. People keep bringing up the sex, but it's NOTHING by pay cable standards. We're talking brief flashes of R rated bits, so far at least. Somebody blew it by giving Black Sails ZERO promotion when it had the best pilot episode of the season. Expand
  65. Jan 25, 2014
    10
    This show is well worth your time. It's is bloody and savage. The main character is educated but brutal when he needs to be. He is very believable as a pirate captain.
  66. Jan 25, 2014
    7
    This well worth watching. It is definitely rated R. Do not let the little ones watch this. This series does not pretend to be historically accurate. The special effects are well done!
  67. Jan 25, 2014
    10
    I love the first episode, violence and sex. It could get worse and it could be better. There are some characters that are just not believable. I am looking forward to the next one.
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.