Taika Waititi as Blackbeard and Rhys Darby as Stede share a moment on deck

5 Shows Like ‘Our Flag Means Death’

Here's some shows to keep you busy until season 2 hopefully eventually comes. Very busy, in some cases.

So you’ve watched Our Flag Means Death, and now you’re waiting for HBO to renew it for season two already. Even when (I refuse to say “if”) they do, the show will need at least a year or two to write, shoot, and edit another season. In other words, we’ll all need to kill some time before Stede and Ed’s likely very uncomfortable reunion. Fortunately, there are some legitimately pretty-close-in-vibe shows that you can use to fill this hole in your heart. Some of them feature the same actors. Some of them are very, very long. All of them are delightful.

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If you need more Rhys Darby: Flight of the Conchords

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Our Flag Means Death would not exist without Flight of the Conchords. The show introduced us all to Rhys Darby, and introduced Darby and Taika Waititi to each other. Darby stars as the Flight of the Conchords’ manager, Murray Hewitt. Like Stede, Murray is so pure and naïve, you just want to hug him. Murray’s iconic band meeting roll calls are a reference that I frequently make in my own life as a professional musician. Kristen Schaal, who plays an aristocrat at the party attended by Ed and Stede, also owes her roots in the Waititi circuit to Conchords.

Before the show’s premiere, Waititi was in a comedy duo with Conchords star Jemaine Clement. Waititi wrote and directed a few episodes of the series, including “Drive-By,” which features Murray’s only song. He also has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in that same episode during a commercial for the telephone.

Flight of the Conchords was breakout hit—maybe not in the mainstream, but it had a very passionate fanbase. It was the first thing I watched right after I finished Our Flag Means Death, and I’m delighted to tell you it holds up. Plus, every scene with Murray just shines.

Watch on: HBO Max

If you need more of the Waititi-verse: What We Do In the Shadows

Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, and Kayvan Novak in 'What We Do in the Shadows'
(image: FX)

The first major work from the Flight of the Conchords crew after the series ended was the film What We Do In the Shadows, a mockumentary about vampires living their best undead lives in New Zealand. The film version stars Waititi and Clement as two of the three main vampires, and Darby appears as the head of their werewolf rivals. The film is not a show, but is obviously worth a watch for Our Flag Means Death fans.

But there is also a show version! The show’s main characters are different than the film’s, but Waititi’s and Clement’s characters make cameo appearances. Both Clement and Waititi have directed a handful of episodes each, and Clement is a writer on the show. And of course Kristen Schaal is in this one too. Basically, if you enjoy the very particular brand of humor exuded by Our Flag Means Death and Flight of the Conchords, you will love What We Do In the Shadows.

Watch on: Hulu

If you need more empathetic pirates: One Piece

Celebrating One Piece
(image: Crunchyroll)

JUST HEAR ME OUT! Please? Because I have begun to say that my favorite genre of media is “unexpectedly kind and emotional stories about pirates.”

One Piece and Our Flag Means Death actually have more in common than you’d think. Like OFMD, One Piece takes the violent anarchy of pirates and turns the trope on its head, creating a warm space for empathy and emotional sincerity. Many of the characters have tragic, traumatic backstories that are approached with the utmost care. And like OFMD, the heart of the show is the relationship between its core characters—in this case, the Straw Hat Pirates. The captain is highly eccentric, and his crew picks up whatever slack he drops. You begin to feel like every single one of them is your actual friend. Although a very different kind of humor, One Piece is also absurd and funny. This is a world where everyone’s phone is a snail, for no particular reason.

One big difference is that there’s a near total absence of romance in One Piece (although Captain Luffy, is canonically asexual!), yet the series is filled with hyper-sexualized (but incredibly badass) women. And one of the crew members swoons over women to the point of weakness. So don’t come here if you’re looking for love stories, especially queer ones. But if you want a very heartfelt, grand adventure with incredible character- and world-building, One Piece is for you. It’s also 1,000 episodes and counting, so it will definitely keep you engaged until Our Flag Means Death‘s second season.

Watch on: Hulu, Netflix, Crunchyroll

If you need more queer romance: Yuri!!! on Ice

Yuri and Victor gaze into each other's eyes in Yuri!!! on Ice.
(image: Funimation)

If you’re looking for more beautiful stories about beautiful characters falling in love with each other beautifully, look no further than Yuri!!! on Ice. I felt very similarly when I finished Yuri!!! on Ice as when I finished Our Flag Means Death: my heart felt like it had grown five sizes, and I immediately wanted to watch the whole show again.

As you may have guessed from the title, Yuri!!! on Ice is about figure skaters, not pirates. But the central relationship between Yuri and his idol/coach, Victor, is so goddamn pure, it makes you feel like skipping around your neighborhood while declaring that love is real. Like the Stede/Ed relationship, every new little motion between Yuri and Victor puts you on the edge of your seat with a huge grin on your face.

The only downside with Yuri is that this show has also been awaiting a second season. For six years. There’s been a movie in the works for most of those six years. So now you have something else to wait for! Hooray?

Watch on: Crunchyroll

If you’d like to know what else Waititi’s been up to: Reservation Dogs

Reservation Dogs cast
(image: Shane Brown/FX)

Taika Waititi’s other major project to premiere in the pandemic era was Reservation Dogs, which premiered in 2021. Waititi co-created the show with Native American filmmaker Sterlin Harjo (Waititi, by the way, is part Maori). Reservation Dogs is a comedy-drama centered on Indigenous teens in Oklahoma, with some plot lines inspired by Harjo’s own childhood. In a classic Hollywood “how the hell is this the first time this has happened” moment, Reservation Dogs features entirely Indigenous writers and directors, and an almost entirely Indigenous North American cast and crew.

Reservation Dogs isn’t as laugh-out-loud funny as Our Flag Means Death, but it has just as much heart. It’s also just good.

Watch on: Hulu

(Image credit: HBO)


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Author
Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.