It's easy to see how Our Flag Means Death attracted such a devoted audience. Delivering a unique mashup of crowd-pleasing genres, it's simultaneously a pirate adventure parody, a workplace sitcom, a heartfelt queer romance, and an insightful tale about trauma and self-discovery.
Starring Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby as an odd-couple duo of pirates — the infamous Blackbeard and the cheerfully naive Stede Bonnet — Our Flag Means Death leaps deftly from seafaring hijinks to romantic anguish. Stede and Blackbeard break up and make up. Their crew get into bizarre scrapes, shaped by an absurdly inaccurate historical setting. Silly yet deeply moving, it's a rare gem. But while there's nothing exactly like Our Flag Means Death out there, plenty of other shows reflect certain elements of its appeal, whether that's queer pirates, genre-savvy comedy, or historical satire. If you're hungry for something to sate your OFMD cravings, check out these recommendations.
Ah yes, the other queer pirate show. Conceived as a gritty prequel to Treasure Island (seriously!), Black Sails is an underrated masterpiece of the prestige TV era. With astonishing production values and a talented cast of lesser-known actors, it's part historical thriller and part political drama. Think Succession meets Game of Thrones, set during the height of 18th century piracy. Toby Stephens stars as the charismatic Captain Flint, an ambitious pirate who rebels against the British Empire, strategizing his way through a deliciously satisfying four-season arc. The nautical scenes are stunning, the writing is smart and tightly plotted, and fans of Our Flag Means Death will appreciate the plethora of queer characters in the main cast. Plus, Black Sails features some amusingly different interpretations of real historical pirates like Blackbeard and Captain Hornigold.
There's a lot of overlap between the audiences for Good Omens and Our Flag Means Death, and for good reason. Based on the bestselling novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, this supernatural dramedy stars David Tennant and Michael Sheen as a demon and an angel who become friends (and more) after millennia of living together on Earth.
Originally pitched as a loose parody of The Omen (an apocalyptic horror story about the birth of the Antichrist in present-day Britain), the real draw here is the banter between Sheen and Tennant. Combining a quirky comedic tone with a tumultuous central relationship, the resemblance to Our Flag Means Death is obvious — particularly in the personalities of the two leads. Tennant plays a black-clad "bad guy" with a poorly hidden soft side, opposite Sheen as a clueless, self-indulgent snob who is less cuddly than he appears. Sound familiar?
Spinning off from the New Zealand comedy movie by Taika Waititi, this uproariously funny vampire sitcom is a must-watch. Filmed in mocumentary style, it depicts the daily life of a vampire household in Staten Island. Its ensemble cast deliver consistently wild performances, from Matt Berry's 300-year-old pansexual horndog Laszlo to Kayvan Novak's bloodthirsty Nandor the Relentless — a former Ottoman tyrant who struggles with the mundanity of modern life. While it started out as a rather gimmick-driven sitcom — albeit an excellent one! — What We Do in the Shadows has developed a web of compelling arcs over the past five seasons, earning rave reviews year after year. And in the same way that OFMD plays around with swashbuckling pirate tropes, What We Do in the Shadows continually finds new ways to revamp the vamp.
Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult lead the cast of this viciously fresh satire about Russian empress Catherine the Great, created by screenwriter Tony McNamara (The Favourite). Subtitled "The Great: An Occasionally True Story," it should appeal to viewers who love the rampant historical anachronisms of Our Flag Means Death. In fact, Hulu literally marketed this show as "anti-historical." Praised for basically every aspect of its creative vision, The Great's glossy production values provide a clever contrast with the foul, potty-mouthed, and vindictive personalities of its perpetually feuding cast. It's an antidote to po-faced historical dramas that try to make famous monarchs seem relatable. These people are total freaks.
Bridgerton is undeniably the No. 1 historical romance show of the streaming era. Based on Julia Quinn's series of Regency romance novels, each season follows a different love story starring one of the Bridgerton siblings — a wealthy family who exist in a candy-colored theme park interpretation of Jane Austen's England. With zero interest in historical authenticity, this Netflix hit thrives on opulent costumes, horny vibes, and soap opera melodrama. It's one of the very few TV dramas that successfully recreate the sweeping emotion of a schmaltzy romance novel, complete with eye-popping levels of sexual tension.
Airing for two seasons in 2015 and 2016, this musical fantasy sitcom deserved way more attention than it got at the time. Riffing on classic fairytale clichés, it's like a fast-paced musical version of The Princess Bride — and the songs are unbelievably catchy, an unsurprising detail given that Galavant's musical numbers were co-written by Disney legend Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid; Aladdin). Poking fun at fairy tales about heroic knights, beautiful princesses, and dastardly sorcerers, Galavant's cast of lovable idiots will surely appeal to fans of Our Flag Means Death. Its faux-historical setting is another highlight; the show is riddled with anachronistic jokes, over-the-top performances, and a wild range of cameos, including Kylie Minogue, Al Yankovic, and John Stamos.
Like The Office, this show comes in two flavors: U.S. and U.K. Now on its fifth season, the original British version was created by cast members of the brilliant BBC sketch comedy series Horrible Histories — the perfect origin story for a show featuring characters from multiple historical eras. Set in a haunted house, Ghosts is an imaginative riff on roommate-centric sitcoms like Friends and New Girl, focusing on a young couple who realize their new home is full of ghosts, including a 19th century poet, a caveman, and a gay WWII soldier. If you enjoy Our Flag Means Death's goofy, straightforwardly comedic side, then this is the show for you.
Like What We Do in the Shadows, the critically acclaimed Reservation Dogs shares a Taika Waititi connection with Our Flag Means Death. He served as co-creator, with showrunner Sterlin Harjo taking the reins after Episode 1. Set in the Muscogee Nation in Oklahoma, Reservation Dogs is the first American TV series created by an all-Indigenous team, centering on the chaotic exploits of four rebellious teens. Beloved for its experimental storytelling, it begins as a coming-of-age story with hangout comedy vibes, but the show quickly dips its toe into other genres, ranging from sci-fi to magic realism. Above all, Reservation Dogs put a great deal of thought and care into its expansive cast of supporting characters, showcasing an immense range of Native American talent.