Entertainment

TV review: ‘Crossbones’ is pretty bland summer filler

Image
John Malkovich gets to play a pirate on TV. Otherwise, there’s not much point in tuning into Crossbones.

Two stars

Crossbones Fridays, 10 p.m., NBC.

For a show about pirates, Crossbones doesn’t feature a whole lot of piracy. Set in 1729, it speculates that renowned pirate Edward “Blackbeard” Teach (John Malkovich) was alive and well a decade after he was supposedly killed, and running a colony of pirates on a secret island. Instead of high-seas adventure, the show is mostly an island-based soap opera, centered around a British spy (Richard Coyle) who’s infiltrated Blackbeard’s camp. Malkovich (with a white goatee, not a black beard) gives a gloriously hammy performance, and Julian Sands is entertainingly nasty as a sadistic British government official. But the rest of the performances are bland and forgettable, as is the show’s visual style, which makes it look like the characters are going on a bargain pirate-themed vacation. A star like Malkovich deserves an impressive showcase for his first foray into series TV, but all he gets is second-rate summer filler.

Share

Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

Get more Josh Bell

Commenting Policy

  • This time, Count Olaf isn't messing around.

  • Although his election as Pope was meant as a compromise, Lenny turns out to be the opposite of a peacemaker.

  • Get More Film Stories
Top of Story