On 1 June, HBO announced that their new romantic comedy show Our Flag Means Death had been renewed for a second season. The announcement came two months after the show’s final two episodes aired, following an ongoing campaign by fans to ensure the show’s renewal.
The show has stood out for its broad range of LGBTQ+ characters, from the same-sex romance between two of the main characters to another’s journey in figuring out their gender identity. Branded simply as a comedy by many outlets, show creator David Jenkins has asserted that the show is a rom-com and should be labelled as such.
The series follows a broad and dynamic cast of characters aboard a pirate ship, most closely shadowing the journeys of four. There’s ‘Gentleman Pirate’ Stede Bonnet (played by Rhys Darby), Edward ‘Blackbeard’ Teach (Taika Waititi), Jim Jimenez (Vico Ortiz) and Oluwande Boodhari (Samson Kayo).
The story begins when Bonnet runs away from his unhappy marriage and becomes the captain of a ship he’d had built for his anniversary, fascinated by the concept of a life of piracy. As the opening titles say, things do not go as planned. He soon finds himself in the company of the infamous Blackbeard, and from there unfolds a love story that has captured the hearts of fans. So much so that the show stayed the most in-demand breakout series in the United States for a seven-week stretch, usurping the likes of Marvel’s Moon Knight. Although it was then briefly overtaken by Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, by 20 May the show had reclaimed its top spot, having become thirty-four times more in-demand than the average show.
This unprecedented demand for the show is good news. There had been concern among many fans over the prolonged period of time until the renewal because, in addition to season one’s cliffhanger ending, the release of a show with such explicitly queer themes at the heart of it is still considerably uncommon. The prospect of its run being cut short for any reason was an understandable source of anxiety for many, with the tag ‘#RenewOurFlagMeansDeath’ staying trending on Twitter for several weeks.
That isn’t the only way fans have supported the show and cast, however. Samba Schutte, who plays Roach, released a recipe for a ’40 Orange Glaze Cake’ as seen within the show, encouraging those who used the recipe to send photos of their creations on social media. By 3 June, a little over a month after the recipe was posted, more than 765 cakes had been made. Currently, there is also a fan campaign taking place to try and bring actor and comedian Guz Khan back to the show for a second season.
Whatever the reason for the wait until the show’s renewal, and however much sway fans had over the decision, it is clear they are a loyal crew currently celebrating a second season.
Words by Casey Langton
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