More than two months after the end of its first season, a time passed dominant lists of the most-watched streaming series—HBO Max’s Our flag means death finally got his stay of execution.
The pirate comedy has been renewed for a second season, starring both the HBO Max executive Sarah Aubrey and creator David Jenkins thanking the show’s enthusiastic fanbase for pushing the show forward. “We felt the show was special while we were doing it, but the fans’ open-arm embrace of the people of the Revenge makes the jump to a second season all the more enjoyable,” Jenkins said in a statement. “Thank you to our team at HBO Max, our invested executive producers, and our hugely enthusiastic audience for making another journey into this world possible.”
Featuring Rhys Darby as a true “Gentleman Pirate” Stede Bonnet overseeing a ship full of misfits and outlaws, the merry and lawless Our flag means death slowly revealed itself during its first season as a romantic comedy between Stede and the famous Blackbeard (played by the director and executive producer of the series Taika Waititi). It’s possible for a show to develop a devoted fan base without a central romance, but the promise of a literal ship upon ship has made Our flag means death irresistible, especially to gay viewers who had seen potential same-sex flirtation in other shows plummet.
And while the first season was satisfying in a way, the queerbaiting series weren’t – besides Stede and Blackbeard, there are two other sweet queer romances set on the high seas – the finale of the season made for a brutally well-executed cliff-hanger. It’s the moment in every rom-com where the central couple have broken up over a misunderstanding, but instead of waiting 10 minutes for one of them to come running back to the other, fans have been waiting for months and fear they will be blocked wait forever.
Now the wait is over, sort of, since they haven’t gone into production yet. But there is already many fan theories about what could happen in a second season, from a violent reunion between Stede and Blackbeard to Stede growing a beard (something Jenkins, who often engages with fans on Twitter, alluded to in our interview in April.) Meeting fan expectations can be deeply complicated for any show or franchise, and there’s no way any Our flag means death viewers hope it can be realized in a single season. But Jenkins, who has hired a room of diverse writers to help him reinvent the true story of the pirates (“I want the buy-in and the push-backs and on some level the blessing, with what story we’re going to revise and why .and I don’t want that to come from a straight, white, male perspective”), is apparently very aware of how powerful the show he’s created — and how much depends on what comes next.