Although the period dramedy "Our Flag Means Death" amassed quite a cult following over the course of its two seasons on Max, the streaming service announced last month that it was pulling the plug, driving a dagger into the hearts of fans worldwide.
"Our Flag Means Death" seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Max
But fear not, swashbuckling enthusiasts. If you loved the adventures of Blackbeard (Taika Waititi), Stede Bonnet, and their hearty crew, there are other shows like "Our Flag Means Death" with a similar vibe that you can watch to soften the blow of its premature departure from the airwaves.
'What We Do in the Shadows'
A huge part of the appeal of "Our Flag Means Death" is related to Taika Waititi’s trademark sense of humor, and the New Zealand director/actor’s fingerprints are all over FX's "What We Do in the Shadows." Based on Waititi’s indie horror/comedy film about a group of vampires rooming together in Wellington, the television adaptation of "What We Do in the Shadows" follows a different crew of the undead, this time carving out an un-life for themselves in Staten Island, New York. Although the vampires from Waititi’s film don’t carry over onto the show, he’s still heavily involved as a producer, and the episode nature of the program is a better fit for the style of character-driven humor than the film ever was.
Watch on Hulu
If you loved watching the high seas adventures of the pirates in "Our Flag Means Death," you’ll probably enjoy "Black Sails," even though it trends much more towards drama than comedy. A prequel of sorts to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel "Treasure Island," the show takes place in the Caribbean during what is referred to as the Golden Age of Piracy. It follows the exploits of Captain Flint and his crew, including a young “Long” John Silver (Luke Arnold). Blackbeard even makes an appearance – albeit a very different version of the character than the one depicted in "Our Flag Means Death."
Watch on Starz
"The Great" may not have anything to do with piracy, but it’s more than a match for "Our Flag Means Death’s" unique brand of comedy in a period setting, as well as its knack for off-the-wall takes on real historical figures. Taking place in Russia during the 1700s, the show stars Elle Fanning as the idealistic young Catherine, who has arrived eager to marry Peter III (Nicholas Hoult) and effect real change in her adopted homeland. The only problem? Peter is a cartoonish brute and the people of Russia are not exactly interested in her Enlightenment-era reforms. Clever and darkly comedic, "The Great" plays fast and loose with history in a way that will seem familiar to fans of "Our Flag Means Death."
Watch on Hulu
"Our Flag Means Death" struck a chord with audiences who appreciated its ability to bring a thoughtful LGBTQ coupling to a period setting, something that "Gentleman Jack" was also known for during its run on BBC One and HBO from 2019 to 2022. Suranne Jones stars as Anne Lister, who is regarded by many as the first “modern lesbian” (aka, not a woman from history who just had a lot of “close friends” and “roommates”). Over the course of the show’s run, Anne endeavors to save her family’s failing estate while also kicking up quite a stir with her unconventional romantic relationship with Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle). Charming, witty, and often emotionally powerful, "Gentleman Jack" made its mark despite only running for two seasons.
Watch on Max
Airing for two seasons on ABC beginning in 2015, "Galavant" is another attempt to bring levity and sparkle to the ordinarily self-serious period television show. It stars Joshua Sasse as the titular knight who embarks upon a quest to win back his lady love after she's taken by the king (Timothy Omundson). Is there comedy? Absolutely. Are there high production numbers showcasing the cast’s impressive musical talents? For sure. What’s not to like? "Galavant" feels like a breath of fresh air in television landscape dominated by the same kind of period dramas, and even though it only lasted for two seasons (much like "Our Flag Means Death," unfortunately), it was a ton of fun to watch.
Watch on Hulu
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Audrey Fox is a features editor and film/television critic at Looper, with bylines at RogerEbert.com, The Nerdist, /Film, and IGN, amongst others. She has been blessed by our tomato overlords with their coveted seal of approval. Audrey received her BA in film from Clark University and her MA in International Relations from Harvard University. When she’s not watching movies, she loves historical non-fiction, theater, traveling, and playing the violin (poorly).