Our Flag Means Death: In 1717, Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) is an aristocrat who abandons a life of luxury to follow his dream of being a pirate. As he leads his dysfunctional crew through a series of misadventures, Stede crosses paths with the notorious Edward Teach, a.ka. Blackbeard (Taika Waititi), and the two men form an unlikely bond as they are both forced to confront what they truly want out of life.
This is my desperate plea to HBO to please renew this show ASAP! For some, the season may start a little slow, explaining Stede’s backstory and the overall treachery of pirate life. However, once Blackbeard is introduced, “Our Flag Means” Death proves to be a unique, unexpected, and often touching pirate rom-com. (HBO)
Bridgerton: Season two of this wildly popular Netflix show premiered in March, and the popular book series written by Julia Quinn contains nine novels. Each book focuses on one of the Bridgertons, a tight-knit and well-respected family in 1800s British high society.
When I first heard about “Bridgerton” being a sexy guilty pleasure show, I started watching it thinking it would be “Fifty Shades of Grey” level of cheesy, but I was presently surprised with how well written the characters are. The first season focuses on the oldest female Bridgerton sibling Daphne and her romance with Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, who vows never to get married. In the second season, family patriarch Anthony finds himself in a love triangle as he is torn between marrying for love versus for practicality. Along with the steamy romance, the costumes and sets are beautiful, and “Bridgerton” should be a treat for anyone who loves period romances. (Netflix)
The Great: Elle Fanning dazzles as the headstrong Catherine The Great in this satirical comedy-drama very loosely based on the rise in power of the Empress of Russia in the latter part of the 1700s. The show opens with a naive Catherine having high hopes for her marriage to the Emperor of Russia, Peter III (Nicholas Hoult, who is incredibly skilled at playing a charming sociopath). Catherine quickly learned that her husband is an irresponsible tyrant and schemes to use her intelligence to overrule him with dreams of reinventing Russia. “The Great” is another show with elaborate costumes, but it’s much grittier than “Bridgerton,” making “The Great” an excellent romp, especially for those who do not like 18th-century historical dramas. (Hulu)
Euphoria: Many people probably know “Euphoria” as the controversial show about teens that do a lot of drugs, but it’s also currently the most compelling teen drama on television. “Euphoria” is really less of a show for teens and more for adults reflecting on their younger years. Centering around a group of teens in southern California, Season one does a great job at crafting each character’s backstory. “Euphoria’s” narrator is Rue Bennett (Zendaya in her Emmy-winning performance), a drug addict recently out of rehab with zero intention of staying sober. Zendaya gives one of the most notable and heartbreaking performances as someone struggling through the cycles of drug addiction I’ve ever seen. The characters in “Euphoria” are often frustrating and over dramatic and often difficult to watch. Still, I’m reminded of how in high school, every little drama felt like the end of the world.