A Crossbones Community
NBC (ended 2014)

Dang NBC. How do you got your finger on the pulse so hard of what we want as viewers of summer television? Pirates? I mean, everyone knows the best television airs on Friday nights in the summertime. When all the cool kids are at home. That is just plain fact. But to just be like, "It’s time the world and its children and families learned of the legendary pirate king Blackbeard, and that time is now"? Well suffice to say that it’s no surprise NBC is Peacock of the walk. But will Crossbones be any good? Run up the colors and read on to find out!


Huh okay okay so is this like a spin-off of the hit Fox show Bones? Come on, tell me! What is Crossbones?

Um, what ISN’T Crossbones? Basically me hearties, this piece presents John Malkovich as Edward "Blackbeard" Teach, famed pirate in charge of a secret island called Santa Compana. It’s 1729. Blackbeard—who in this case is bald, with a white goatee—reigns over a bunch of sandy tan dudes who love stealing riches and killing those who would keep them from taking all the booty ever. Word gets around about an invention called a "chronometer," which is like a mechanical GPS and all kinds of seamen want it because it will change the face of nautical travel forever or something. Guess what, though: British spy Tom Lowe (Richard CoyleCoupling, Covert Affairs) has been tasked with protecting this device AND assassinating Blackbeard. While undercover as a ship surgeon, he is taken hostage by some of 'Beard’s boys, but not before damaging the device and memorizing necessary stuff about it. So yeah, Lowe makes himself too essential to be killed and in the process learns of a huge scheme against the Crown. What should he do, even?  


Avast though, what salty sea dogs lead the cursed crew of Crossbones? 

Yargh, the creators of the series are Neil Cross (bones), James V. Hart, Amanda Welles. Cross is the jaunty Brit behind Luther who also wrote for Spooks and Dr. Who. The story draws from the real-life actual book The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard, and David Slade (Breaking BadAwakeHannibal) directed the pilot. 


Um so like, yo ho, when does Crossbones set sail for our living rooms?

Crossbones pillages its way onto the airwaves on Friday, May 30 at 10pm on NBC. The first season is 10 episodes strong—and the product of a straight-to-series commitment. Originally planned as a midseason replacement, Crossbones was eventually pushed back to the summer... which is always suspicious, but not necessarily damning.


What types of viewers will walk the plank for Crossbones? 

History buffs, and people who are appreciative of something a little different from traditional television subject matter. Look, pirate stories are like Westerns: Either you’re all about them, or you couldn’t give a care at all. There’s also a spy element to Crossbones, however, so any spy-completionists might be into this puppy. Think Black Sails plus Turn. You know what, here's a test: "I suspect God is a clockmaker. He wound creation up and now he sits back and watches it unwind." If you A) enjoy this sort of dialogue as delivered by John Malkovich while he's dressed like Game of Thrones' Red Viper and seated before a mass of plundered goods, then this show is for you. If you B) just became angry at this pseudo-Rust Cohle-ism, then maybe look elsewhere.



Well shiver me timbers, what makes Crossbones work?

First and foremost, the dramatic violence and decadence of pirate life. Obviously John Malkovich is great to watch in anything, and his off-kilter grandiosity works perfectly in the role of a brutal, esoteric pirate king. Also, the show's locations are so beautiful that they kind of remind you how much of TV is set indoors. The rule-free island empire of Blackbeard is a fun playground, with a lot of potential that's ripe for scheming and daring-do.    


What won't we like about Crossbones, ye landlubbing scallywag?

Well, truth be told, pirates are still a little cartoonish. Whereas Starz's Black Sails has the benefit of swearing, nudity, and characters swearing while engaged in nudity, Crossbones has to double down on network-safe violence to feel relevant. The costumes range from accurate to "pajamas doubling as historical clothes," and I have a sneaking suspicion that we may not leave the island of Santa Compana, a.k.a. the worst part about Black Sails. Also, though John Malkovich is touted as the star, the real central character is Richard Coyle's Tom Lowe, and his screen time far outpaces Blackbeard's. Dishonesty like this might work in the pirate world, but give it to us straight, NBC: Is Malkovich in this a bunch, or are we mostly dealing with the less-exciting citizens of Santa Compana?


Well, should I watch it or not?

Ehhhhhhhh....yeah, however, you should know it’s a little dumb. But come on, watch it. 


Can I see a trailer?

Aye!



Oh wait, here ye go...



SORRY HERE IT IS FOR REAL THIS TIME:


What should I drink with my viewing of Crossbones?

Rum mixed with saltwater and shark blood, sipped from a coconut.



Crossbones premieres Friday, May 30 at 10pm on NBC.


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/2/2014

Season 1 : Episode 9

63 Comments
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I'd rather watch Black Sails.
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Total bullshit, a waste of time.
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I suspect NBC held off this show because it didn't want to air it against Black Sails. But even if the show does well it won't have a chance to return until next summer. However, considering they're airing the show during the summer, on a Friday and at 10pm, how well could the show do? I think all Nielson families should turn in just to slam it in NBC's face.

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Are pirates the new vampires?
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did not try Black Sails, so its a definite no on CrossBones
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I don't like the trailer much -- reminds me a tad bit too much of Black Sails which I was bored of very quickly -- but alas, I'll still be giving it a try.
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I just watched a movie with John Malkovich that the stars name was "R" (Warm Bodies) and now he is in rrrrrrrrr pirate tv show :)

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Ha! I loved 'The Pirate Movie' when i was a kid!
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Think I will walk the plank on this one.... Will give it a shot if they renew for 2nd season tho...
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I will DVR and watch one, that's it, impress me or walk the plank arggggg...
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Yes it will be a roaring success, sticking it on at 10pm on Friday Night, sound like the perfect recipe for success...........................

Whole well I got nothing to lose, raise the sails, load cannons , and press the download button tomorrow morning.
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Here's the pilot's plot and synopsis
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Think about it. A network show. A network show on NBC.

'nuff said.
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Hannibal. 'Nuff said.
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I have a feeling I'll enjoy this article (and Wil Wheaton's Syfy jibe at the show) more than the show itself, but I'll give it a chance.
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sure after renewed for the second season
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"but not before damaging the device and memorizing necessary stuff about it."

so basically the exact same plot device as used on Black Sails!

I'll probably watch it but only because things are so quiet this time of year.
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and used in Pirates of the Caribbean 4.
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I'm putting this in Maybetown, but I'm likely not actually visiting there. Blackbeard with his skinny white beard, thanks TV.
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Malkovich and Coyle? I definitely am going to check this one :) Then I'll see if it sticks or not
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So this is where Jeff ended up. I guess the historical name for the Island of Lesbos was Santa Compana?
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Right actor, wrong tv station
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Sorry, but this looks...bad.
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I didn't see LeChuck or Elaine in the trailer, but I'll give it more than just a try.
I already like the lead actors, and it's Hannibal's old time slot, so no worries there.
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Yes, this really needs more ghost zombie pirates. How cool would that be?
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Guybrush appreciates you remembering.
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I love Richard Coyle and will give it a shot for him alone.
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Not much on pirates! But I got to admit...love me some Malkovich.
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Saltwater is the most horrible thing to drink ever and it probably does not help to mix it with rum and shark blood. I drank saltwater when i had a nasty case of diarrhea once to help the body combat the fluid loss but it is so nasty to swallow it makes me gag. You would not think it is that bad but it is.
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Protip: dilute seawater to 5:1 (5 freshwater to 1 seawater) if you gotta ration at sea.
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Staff
Point taken!
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Sorry I don't buy John Malkovitch as a pirate.
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But he's been plundering directors for actors treasure for years....
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Thumbs up for creativity.
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I'll watch it a couple times to see if it's good.
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I really want to like this series. Please NBC don't disappoint!

I still have the bad taste in my mouth for how promising Under the Dome was and where it went. I know...different network but as far as hype goes...the same general idea.
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I did not want to watch Black Sails in the beginning but I ended up loving it. This one sound only half as fun but I will still give it a try to see if I am wrong.
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Black Sails was a fun time, but definitely lagged in a lot of areas. However, there was a novelty to pirates on TV (which I'm still enchanted by) and enough ridiculous/fascinating stuff along the way to keep me interested.
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nothing could be as bad as black sails.
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So much negativity. It looks good and it looks like it actually has a plot unlike Black Sails. Without the annoying swearing and pointless nudity this show is already better.
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Black Sails was terrible, and I watched all of it. So I'll give this a chance.

I'd really like to see a pirate show done well. But the casting in both these show leads me to believe that great* actors aren't interested in them or the budgets can't afford them.

*Well known and well liked.
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"Black Sails was terrible, and I watched all of it. So I'll give this a chance."

That attitude shows true commitment to TV.
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I know, pathetic right? I kept hoping it would get better, like Spartacus did. But unfortunately no dice.
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Black Sails seriously burned me in this genre, was a major letdown compared to how good it should've been, and it was Starz... why would NBC do any better? I'll pass.
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Looks awful.
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I will try its pilot.
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I don't like it so far (quarter done).
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I'm pretty sure someone will soon make a gay porn parody of this show called Crossboners. Considering that there's a lot of men in flamboyant costumes on a boat, it will probably be appreciated by those who are into that kind of material.

Anyhow, I won't watch Crossbones, despite Malkovich.
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How are the writers going to address the fact that Blackbeard was active for about 2 years and then died at the age of 38, while this show is set 11 years later and he's 60 years old? They'd be better off with a pirate who's more fictional and less historical, or hinting that the lead character, going by an alias, is a pirate from history who faked his death and changed his appearance.
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Black Sails kind of ruined pirates for me. Well them and Jihnny Depp
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Black Sails delivered everything I wanted; violence, nudity, profanity, even the occasional piracy! Maybe I'm just easily entertained, but if nothing else, that opening theme song from Bear McCreary has gotta be one of the top 5 theme songs of the last decade on TV.
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Yea but I can get violence, nudity and profanity from a few other shows. I still like an interesting plot and characters to do things. I had to give up after 4 episodes.
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But after 4 episodes is when they finally got back onto the ship and set sail!
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Significantly? No, I suppose not. I enjoyed the entire season, but if the first 40% didn't win you over, I don't think the latter 60% is likely to have done so.
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Did it get significantly better in quality?
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Agreed, I think its just to try and snag the Black Sails audience with something similar. It may succeed for those who dont have access to Black Sails...though I would prefer something like Cutthroat Island.
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The clothes in the promo image at the top are B A D. Hoping its better than that first impression I have.
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I'll give this an honest chance, but I have the strong impression it's really just gonna make me want Black Sails to come back sooner.
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