The world needs more episodes of “Our Flag Means Death”

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I just want to say that the last couple of weeks have been tough. Living in Upside Down is hard. Turn on the news with one eye closed. Usually, this column dedicated to these topics. But earlier this week, on Wednesday, the clouds cleared and the good news came: HBO Max updated Our flag means death for the second season, and I prefer to stay that close.

You may be wondering if this is because Taika Waititiwho plays Blackbeard in the series, currently graces the cover of WIRED. It’s part of the deal, yes. (Waititi’s vibe definitely screams, “One of us.”) But it’s more than that; it’s also about a fan-favorite show that finally wins. The first season ended with a cliffhanger, but the second was not heard or seen for several months. Fans began to panic, spinning hashtags like #UpdateOurFlagMeansDeath and even sending HBO postcards asking for a second season. In a gloomy week, a successful internet campaign for a beloved TV show feels like a win.

Our flag means deaththe update also comes at a very opportune time. Wednesday fell on June 1st, the first day of this year’s pride month, and it was one of the wittiest gay shows on TV – seriously, how is it flipped the script to queerbaiting remains a revelation – the update seemed like a gift to LGBTQ+ fans. The cast and crew confirmed it: Waititi tweet the rainbow flag and the pirate flag were featured in the second season, as well as Con O’Neill, who plays Izzy Hands, tweeted “Happily proud of you beautiful x people” along with a screenshot of “#RenewOurFlagMeansDeath”, which became a trending Pride month theme on Twitter. It’s almost like HBO is holding on to the news just to release it on that particular day.

With all the terrible things happening on Earth right now, it seems odd to be celebrating the show’s renewal, especially since the second season hasn’t even been written yet and doesn’t have a release date. But there’s something about celebrating this is show it’s worth it. Our flag means death, a show based in part on reality, follows a pirate, Blackbeard, who falls in love with “gentleman pirate” Steed (Rhys Darby). Both of them are transformed in the process. At a time when it may seem that the world is degrading, that things will never develop, watching love bloom in lawlessness is a joy that is hard to deny.

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