weavers   fandango
Verdict: Skip It!     
Liz's Review
In spite of an attractive calling card of John Malkovich, NBC's Crossbones takes the joy out of the pirating by forgetting what the fun of the myth of Blackbeard really is.
Rarely does the audience get to delight in the double crosses of our pirate legend, and mostly we divide our attention amongst very uninteresting characters and dour subject matter.
Performances are solid with the exception of Yasmine Al Massri who steals camera time without giving any meaningful looks in exchange.
With the pure novelty of Mr. Malkovich's Blackbeard, with some nice flowery dialogue and an interesting enough competing protagonist in character Tom Lowe (Richard Coyle), it's not a total wash.


Rachel's Review
Blackbeard the pirate is back to pilfer and has founded his own island empire in the new NBC show Crossbones.
Wow, John Malkovich stars in the title role of this sadly underwhelming show.
He is of course excellent because he is Malkovich.
Richard Coyle is a wonderful foil (see what I did there) and the two have great chemistry together.
Unfortunately, this show seems to focus too hard on trying to do what budget and censorship won't allow, instead of putting more effort into the writing and character development.
Crossbones cannot have the epic draw of an HBO show with grand battles and sizzling sex scenes.
It's poorly choreographed and hastily shot attempts at large scale battles only subtract value.
Likewise, a scene in which a female actress has to post-coitally worm her way under bed sheets and into a nightgown without showing anything is unnecessary--just cut away.
Instead of lamenting the downsides of network television producers should work on the script.
Episodes have blatantly obvious foreshadowing, lack of character development for supporting roles, and poorly worked out endings (except for episode 2).
The pilot episode ends with a free and clear escape for Coyle's character--and a very forced reason for him to stay and continue our series.
Episode three has a terrible beginning in which the whole plot is telegraphed, and an equally awful ending with a nonsensical rescue plan.
NBC and showrunner Neil Cross need to work with what they have: a small budget, but a great cast.
At the moment, this ship is sinking.


Aaron's Review
I'll be the first to admit that pirate stories and films are some of my favorite forms of entertainment.
But Crossbones, a new summer series from NBC, is a supreme letdown.
With unfocused and confusing writing, the show lacks focus and drive.
There are some great moments, but after 3 episodes it still lacks cohesion.
Lead actors John Malkovich and Richard Coyle have a wonderfully entertaining rapport, but that alone does not make this show worth watching.
Furthermore the show's pace and flow are often unbalanced and the editing sometimes changes in style and timing, which creates even more story confusion.
Despite a few glimmers of quality, Crossbones fails to mark the spot in any way.