“Our Flag,” in its first season, was a by now acquainted brew of diffidence, indirection, effervescent aggression and ambient quirkiness — you can really feel “The Workplace” hovering within the background. Its comedian focus was inverting the clichés of the pirate romance: The hero, Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby), was a petty nobleman escaping household life by dwelling out his fantasies at sea, the place his aversion to hazard and his common incompetence made him a menace to his crew. These sailors, in flip, have been a resourceful however delicate bunch, susceptible to sulking and overthinking.
The present’s common likability was buttressed by a gentle however real heat within the portrayal of the crew’s angle towards Bonnet, a mixture of cringing embarrassment and a step by step creating sense of devotion and protectiveness. There have been additionally the pleasures of Rory Kinnear’s completely dedicated efficiency as twin Royal Navy prigs, each by chance introduced low by Bonnet, and Mark Mothersbaugh’s lo-fi rating, with its interpolations of Fleetwood Mac and Cat Stevens.
And the present’s distinctiveness was ensured by the connection between the peaceful Bonnet and the seemingly bloodthirsty Bluebeard, a will-they-or-won’t-they attraction with which we have been teased all through the season. (As a counterpoint, one other pair of sailor lovers, performed by Nathan Foad and Matthew Maher, brazenly displayed their ardor.)
Season 1 ended with Bonnet and Blackbeard separated and Blackbeard, pondering he had been dumped, reverting to his murderous piratical persona. Season 2, predictably, takes on the duty of getting them again collectively. (Seven of eight episodes have been obtainable for evaluate.) And boy, does it take that activity severely. It’s a startling instance of what can occur while you take a present whose laughs are already offhand and attenuated and dial down the humor even additional.
Within the new season, romance and its accompanying psychological again tales take heart stage. And whereas that undercooked romance continues to be performed for laughs in minor methods, we at the moment are requested to care about it in a method that’s ruinous for the comedy. Darby, a proficient comic, and Waititi, who as a performer has charisma however not loads of vary, work arduous however can’t carry a lot real feeling to a relationship that functioned higher in cardboard type.