A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Though the crew has egalitarian aims, the mood is hardly peaceful. Power, greed, and duplicity are common themes.
Positive Role Models
Although there are at least three strong female characters, it's largely a male-dominated series with noticable racial diversity. These are pirates, so they fight, steal, and drink.
Violence & Scariness
Violent content includes sea battles, sword fights, savage beatings, and explosions, with bloody injuries and torture.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nudity includes bare breasts, which are often gratuitous, and full frontal nudity. There's simulated sex, too -- including orgies -- among both hetero- and bisexual couples.
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Strong, unbleeped language includes "f--k," "s--t," and "c--t," along with coarse phrases like, "My p---y gets wet."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking and recreational drug use (opium, etc.).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Black Sails heads into choppy territory in terms of sexual content and language -- and it's pretty violent, too. That means you'll see full frontal female nudity, simulated multipartner sex, and characters involved in bisexual relationships. You'll also hear strong, unbleeped language (including crude terms like "c--t" and "p---y") and see bloody swordfights and explosive sea battles, along with characters who drink alcohol and use drugs like opium.
Is It Any Good?
Starz is known for its provocative period dramas that put breasts and blood to work for the sake of ratings (see also: Camelot, Spartacus: Blood and Sand), and Black Sails is no exception -- from a steamy, same-sex plotline that plays out with two female lovers to a primitive brawl that ends with the captain covered in another man's blood. But that doesn't mean that Black Sails is solely about sex and violence. It actually has a lot more to offer, including a complex plot and a compelling roster of characters -- both fictional and factual -- that combine to create an effective fantasy world.
Of course, Black Sails was designed for adults, and there's plenty of iffy content here to give parents pause. But for those who might allow older teens to watch, there's at least a silver lining: Since the series was penned as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic adventure tale Treasure Island, it could actually inspire impressionable viewers to read it. Its characters also include notorious real-life pirates like Charles Vane and Anne Bonny, whose fascinating stories -- if kids bother to look them up -- are even stranger than fiction.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.