It is well documented that I love almost anything involving pirates. What might be less known is that I am a huge fan of Rhys Darby. Imagine my pure orgasmic delight when I found out that Rhy Darby was in a pirate comedy series produced by Taika Waititi. It is called Our Flag Means Death and is currently airing on HBO.
Rhys plays Stede Bonnet, one of history’s more peculiar pirates. Bonnet was a land-owner who had a midlife crisis so he bought a boat, hired some scum and tried his hand at piracy. It is a ludicrous idea, one perfectly suited for Waititi’s approach to comedy. Laugh at the idea of a Captain bringing a library of books onto a wooden ship and then laugh harder when you realize that the real Bonnet actually did that.
More interesting to me is how much representation is in this series. They have gay pirates that and a major story line revolves around it! There is a bit of cross-dressing. We have some odd people who may be on the spectrum. There is an entire episode of how terrible the Europeans were for the native people. There are pirates of different races rather than the lily white folk we see in too much pirate fiction.
I like the show a lot. It is funny but it carries a lot of heart. Bonnet is an idiot but more importantly, he’s a nice guy just trying to find his happiness. That is a relevant concept in any age and maybe more so today.