Hiya, friends! Today, I’m reviewing two of the TV series I’ve been watching during the past months, Black Sails and Andor. Both of these are prequels of stories I love, Treasure Island and Rogue One respectively. Dare I say I loved them more?
Prequels always have a measure of tragedy inside of them. These two stories amped it up and left me feeling empty at the end of it.
Civilization is coming. And it means to exterminate us.
There is so much I love about this show. The writing of this show is simply amazing, and some of the dialogues are so poetic. To describe the plot in meanest terms, it basically shows why and how Captain Flint’s treasure ended up in Skeleton Island. To get there is an incredible story of love, loss and raw, unfiltered rage. It is Flint’s story – and Flint is such a magnetic character to watch, whether you agree with his actions or not.
The story is filled with double crossings and rapidly changing alliances and messy relationships full of love and hate that drive the pirates, maroons and everyone excluded from civilization into a furious war to end imperialism. The cast is big: there are fictional pirates like John Silver, Billy Bones and Ben Gunn, and also historical characters like Blackbeard, Anne Bonny, Jack Rackham and Charles Vane.
The character work in this series is insane, my favourites being Flint, Max, Anne, Madi, Mrs. Barlow and Silver’s arcs. I loved how the arcs of the many queer characters (you’ll know when you get there) were treated. For a show that can get quite gruesome in its violence, some of the relationships are very tender and heartfelt, and all of them send the show hurtling towards one inevitable, tragic end. This show knows how exactly to pull at my heartstrings.
Black Sails is a lot underrated (I first heard of it a few months ago, and this is a show from 2014, folks.) but it’s truly one of the best shows I’ve ever come across. Do give it a try if you can.
cw: graphic violence, gore, nudity, rape.
Final rating: 9.5/10
I would rather die trying to take them down than die giving them what they want.
Slow paced, character driven dramas are exactly my jam and Andor exceeded all my expectations. It’s a prequel to Rogue One and shows just how Cassian Andor joined the rebellion. (I know, it’s a prequel to a prequel in a franchise that’s milking things for too long but bear with me.)
First off, this show is so well made and well written. It’s the best Star Wars show out there, in my opinion. All the characters in this were mostly ordinary people – the kind of ordinary people who usually don’t live to see the end of a fight, and many don’t. Throughout all this we see the quiet radicalization of Cassian.
Andor is a spy thriller, but it is also a story about communities rallying together and fighting the Empire – fascism – by any means necessary, and this culminates in a satisfying and emotional finale. And I loved that Cassian is not the kind of protagonist who goes out and fights by himself, but rather is someone who works from the shadows and motivates others. Once again, the dialogues in this story are fucking fantastic.
Apart from Cassian this show also focuses on Mon Mothma as she tries to juggle being a senator funding the rebellion right under the Empire’s nose, and Luthen, a cold and calculating rebel leader. There’s also grounded and realistic queer representation – Cinta and Vel, two rebels, are a lesbian couple in this. Took Star Wars long enough to give us some good queer rep onscreen.
[SPOILERS] There were some things I did not like in this season, though. Almost all the black characters get killed off. And there’s the fact that Maarva essentially sedated and kidnapped Cassian off Kenari, and this is never addressed again.
cw: suicide, torture
Final rating: 9.5/10
These two stories had a lot of common features I hadn’t expected them to, and both of these shows are truly exceptional, incredibly sad and if I think too much about them, I just might start yelling at everyone to watch them.