Just like Captain Stede Bonnet’s dream of pirate glory, Our Flag Means Death has met its untimely end on Max after two hilarious and heartwarming seasons. But before you raise the black flag of mourning, read on to find out the possible reasons that sent this beloved show to the bottom of the streaming seas.
When did Our Flag Means Death meet its demise?
On January 9, 2024, Max announced that it had canceled Our Flag Means Death after two seasons. “While Max will not be moving forward with a third season of Our Flag Means Death, we are so proud of the joyous, hilarious, and heartfelt stories that creator David Jenkins, Taika Waititi, Rhys Darby, Garrett Basch, Dan Halsted, Adam Stein, Antoine Douaihy, and the entire superb cast and crew brought to life. We also thank the dedicated fans who embraced these stories and built a gorgeous, inclusive community surrounding the show,” a spokesperson for the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned streaming service said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Creator Jenkins confirmed the show’s cancellation on Tuesday in a lengthy Instagram post:
“Welp, I’ve got good news and bad.
The good news? We’ve spent two seasons in a bizarre, beautifully-rendered world populated by some of the greatest actors and creatives working. And the second season was made possible by the enthusiasm of one of the most likable fan communities in the history of this medium. Your voices made a difference, your art made a difference, your viewership made a difference in securing more OUR FLAG. Getting to share this show with you and watching you make it yours has been a dream come true.
The bad news is clear. OUR FLAG won’t be returning for a third season. We’ve sailed at the pleasure of the fine people at Max, and it brought them no joy to see this journey come to a premature end. Casey Bloys, Sarah Aubrey, Suzanna Makkos, Billy Wee, and David Ruby have been incredible champions of this show. They allowed us to make something authentically weird and heartfelt, cheering us on the entire way.
I’m very sad I won’t set foot on the Revenge again with my friends, some of whom have become close to family. But I couldn’t be more grateful for being allowed to captain the damn thing in the first place.
Our Flag Means Us. Loving one another, pulling off some pretty weird and beautiful shit, and talking it through… as a crew.”
Season 1 of the show premiered on March 3, 2022, while its second and final season debuted on October 5, 2023.
Why was Our Flag Means Death canceled?
While there’s no single definitive reason to the cancellation of Our Flag Means Death, several factors are believed to have contributed:
Audience and Viewership: While critically acclaimed, the show’s overall viewership might not have met Max’s expectations. Streaming platforms often consider viewership alongside other metrics like critical reception and social media buzz, so even beloved shows can be canceled if viewer numbers aren’t high enough.
Budget and Competition: Period comedies can be expensive to produce, and Max has a vast library of content competing for viewers’ attention. The platform might have prioritized other projects with potentially higher returns on investment or deemed Our Flag Means Death too expensive to sustain.
Industry Landscape: The streaming landscape is constantly evolving, and cancellations are unfortunately common. Mergers, budget shifts, and audience preferences can all contribute to these decisions. The current environment at Max might have simply not been conducive to renewing Our Flag Means Death.
What is Our Flag Means Death about?
Our Flag Means Death is a hilarious and heartwarming pirate comedy set in the early 18th century. It follows the misadventures of Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby), a gentleman who abandons his comfortable life to become a fearsome (well, not so fearsome) pirate captain. He joins forces with the infamous Blackbeard (Taika Waititi), forming an unlikely partnership that challenges both their expectations and the traditional pirate way of life.
Here’s what you can expect:
- Laughs galore: With witty dialogue, absurd situations, and quirky characters, the show will have you chuckling (or maybe even guffawing) from start to finish.
- Bromance with a twist: The unlikely but endearing friendship between Stede and Blackbeard is the heart of the show. It’s funny, touching, and explores themes of acceptance and defying expectations.
- Pirate hijinks, but not as you know them: Forget treasure hunts and sword fights. Our Flag Means Death offers a refreshingly different take on pirate life, where the biggest challenges might involve brewing the perfect cup of tea or navigating social awkwardness among other buccaneers.
- Stunning visuals and costumes: The show transports you to the golden age of piracy with its beautiful sets, authentic-looking costumes, and evocative cinematography.
In addition to Darby and Waititi, the show also stars Ewen Bremner, Joel Fry, Samson Kayo, Nathan Foad, Vico Ortiz, Matthew Maher, Kristian Nairn, Rory Kinnear, Con O’Neill, Guz Khan, David Fane, and Samba Schutte.
Our Flag Means Death’s Rotten Tomatoes rating: Is it worth watching?
Our Flag Means Death boasts a fantastic Rotten Tomatoes score! It currently sits at an impressive 94% rating from critics, with widespread praise for its humor, heart, and unique take on the pirate genre. Many reviewers laud the show’s witty dialogue, quirky characters, and the charming bromance between Stede Bonnet and Blackbeard. While not every single review is glowing (no show is everyone’s cup of tea!), the overwhelming critical consensus places Our Flag Means Death firmly in the “highly recommended” category.
Of course, Rotten Tomatoes is just one piece of the puzzle when deciding whether to watch a show. Remember to consider your own preferences for humor, historical settings, and unconventional narratives. Ultimately, the best way to know if you’ll enjoy Our Flag Means Death is to give it a try! You can watch the official trailer for the show’s first season below:
How to watch Our Flag Means Death online for free
Unfortunately, Max doesn’t currently offer a free trial. It discontinued its free trial back in December 2020. But if you have an existing Amazon Prime Video subscription, you can access a 7-day free trial of Max through that platform. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to cancel before the trial ends to avoid being charged.
Though not free, platforms like Apple TV, Google Play, and YouTube offer the show for purchase or rental, allowing you to own your own copy or enjoy it for a set period.