Industry News

'Our Flag Means Death' is sweet relief for a weary fandom

22 April, 2022

“So I’m very much enjoying this,” I said in a group text to a pair of dear friends as I began to watch Our Flag Means Death for the first time, “and there is some very queer queerness happening. But I just have to know. Do we get something on screen? I cannot get my hopes up again.”

What comes is a flood of reassurances that could be interpreted as mostly screaming. “I’m trusting you…” I say, only two episodes in and still wary, a lifetime of queerbaiting dragging me down like an anchor tied around my legs. “I can’t let my heart be hurt. I am so starved.” One of my friends said, “This is a meal.” The other, “It is a FEAST.”

Our Flag Means Death is a workplace comedy from HBO Max that centers on the romance between two historical pirates, Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) and Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard (Taika Waititi). It’s 10 episodes long and was released in two-episode installments starting March 24. It was a low-impact release, with little fanfare or marketing, and through sheer queer willpower and word of mouth, it became the most in-demand streaming show. Not just on HBO Max (where it was streamed more than mainstays like Euphoria and buzzy shows like Peacemaker) but across all streaming services, meaning that it took the previous in-demand show, Book of Boba Fett, off the list. And, according to Parrot Analytics, it’s currently holding off Moon Knight for the fourth week in a row. This weird little period romance was so popular that it’s more in demand than Star Wars or Marvel. That’s wild.

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