Our Flag Means Death has been the surprisingly delightful queer pirate rom-com that’s suddenly become our new hyperfixation. But there’s no confirmation that they will get a season 2. So what can we do about that?
In an era where a season 2 has become an increasingly common pre-finale announcement, fans of Our Flag Means Death have grown concerned that we might not get more of this wonderful show. So far there’s been no confirmation of it. There hasn’t been a single peep from the network or creators about it even being in the works, though I would not be surprised if some writing and plotting has happened already just in case. But either way, right now we have nothing.
Many fans have already begun to work towards getting the show renewed in the ways they know how. A lot of us have been through this before. Repeatedly. Especially for queer-focused content. But if you’re struggling to come up with something, I have a few suggestions. Things that basically anyone on any budget and almost any means can do to make a difference.
1) Watch the first season of Our Flag Means Death legally and repeatedly.
The irony of requesting that people don’t pirate a pirate show is not lost on me. Unfortunately, this is the best way to encourage renewal, though, so I must kindly request in my most sincere Stede voice to please purchase this show legally. Ed would be absolutely appalled, but here I go.
HBO Max has a bit of a hefty price tag – $14.99 a month – but it doesn’t lock you in for a long-term commitment like some others tend to do. You can pay for a single month and watch the show as much as you like in that particular month. The show has fairly short episodes, and I’ve been able to do full rewatches in a single day. Once you’re done with the month, you can just cancel it. If you’re a first-time user, you may even get a free trial and pay nothing at all.
Some regional equivalents of HBO Max haven’t yet picked up the series. If you live in a locale where this is the case, look up the contact information for that platform and reach out to them to request it as soon as possible. I don’t know every single regional equivalent, so this is going to require some research on your part. Whatever network or streaming platform showed Game of Thrones is probably a safe bet.
If you are completely unable to watch it legally and resort to piracy on the high seas of the Internet (Edward Teach approves of this message), it is absolutely essential that you do some of the following options. If you don’t pay for it, don’t register as an actual viewer in the places HBO checks, and don’t say a word about the show anywhere, the people who make these decisions have no idea you exist.
2) Tweet at HBO asking about a season 2.
Show creator David Jenkins has specifically said we should “take it up with HBO Max.” I take that as a sign that the network is actually listening for fandom feedback. Here are a few accounts that you can politely tweet at to make this request.
- @HBOMax: This is the main account for the streaming service and the one Jenkins officially tagged when he encouraged tweeting. It’s a highly trafficked account, though, so it may be worthwhile going after some smaller, lesser trafficked official accounts as well.
- @HBOMaxHelp: The primary purpose of this account seems to be to assist people who are having technical issues, but it has been responding positively to these requests, and says they are passing along the information to relevant parties. This seems like a good account to tweet at if you want your message to go somewhere.
- @HBOPR: It’s the PR department’s job to have their finger on the pulse of fans. They often essentially act as an intermediary between us and the corporate people, so it’s not a bad account to include here.
- @CaseyBloys: Casey Bloys is the chief content officer for HBO Max. If you choose to tweet at him, be polite! This is a professional dude doing professional things, so let’s not spam him with memes.
Additionally, keep the #OurFlagMeansDeath hashtag going. The creators, at least, are looking at the tag sometimes. Maybe the large amount of content within it will make some waves at the network. Surely if we’ve been making thousands of tweets a day about the show as a fandom, they’ll take note, even if just a little bit.
3) Create fan content.
If you are as inspired as I am about the show, dig into that creative side of yourself and get the content flowing. I’ve already written some fanfic for it. The fanart, meta-analysis, and fanvids are also spreading far and wide. Everywhere I turn there’s delightful pirate content to enjoy. I couldn’t be happier.
This type of fan promotion does way more than you might think. I would not have known about the show had I not seen fanart for it cross my Twitter timeline. Likewise, I know at least four friends who I have accidentally convinced (and one whom I quite forcefully convinced by DMing them content) to watch the show just by sharing this type of content.
Never, ever underestimate the power of fanworks to persuade an audience. It might seem silly to a lot of people, but for those of us in the culture, it’s probably our main way of finding new shows and movies to watch. At least that’s the case for me. I care way more about what my friends say than, say, Variety or Deadline. And if they’re devoting time to create free content to share online, I know it must be good.
The word-of-mouth promotion for this show has been exploding over the past weeks as a result of your work, so keep going. I promise you I’ll get back to my own fanfic as soon as I’ve completed this article.
4) Tell your friends about the show.
Besides just sharing fan content to try to create buzz, get back down to the basics and just start telling people about the show. Tailor your message to the audience you’re addressing and be enthusiastic.
For example, if you’re talking to Taika Waititi fans, talk about him. You can go on about how amazing he is in this show. He not only stars in it but is an Executive Producer. Fans of his will love this show. It definitely has his vibe all over it.
Or maybe you’re talking to people who love quality LGBTQ+ content. That one is a good one to pull people in with, since it’s so crucial to the story and incredibly well done. This is the queer content we’ve been looking for. Don’t let your queer friends dismiss it as queerbait, because it absolutely isn’t. It’s just queer. There’s no baiting to be found.
Or maybe you have a friend who’s just really into pirates and a good ‘arrr matey have I got the show for ye’ will do the trick. Don’t let your pirate pals down by keeping this show to yourself. There’s plenty of booty for everyone.
Maybe even hold a watch party online with your internet friends. I’ve done plenty of these, and have pulled in both existing fans and new viewers to shows I love. I usually make a graphic, schedule a time that works for my friends, plan a hashtag, and then just go for it. If you need help with that, find me on Twitter. I might be interested in collaborating on this one.
Whatever the case is, start pulling people into it. There’s a lot here to love.
5) Write actual letters requesting season 2.
Hi there! I’m a Fandom Old Person and I know a thing or two about offline fan campaigns. I sent bottles of tabasco sauce to the WB when I wanted more of the original Roswell series. I pitched in to send the writers of Supernatural gift baskets and letters on an almost annual basis for several years. And who can forget the Star Trek letter-writing campaign? I wasn’t alive then, but as is so often the case, I owe much of my own fandom experience to those wonderful trailblazers. This method is older than the Internet itself, and it still helps.
Networks tend to also be run by fellow Old Persons who may not be hip with the Twitter. As such this old school option shouldn’t be dismissed. It’s easy to sit back and send a tweet, but snail mail will reach people you may not have reached online. And, equally as important, it shows you are willing to step away from the keyboard and put in a little extra effort.
So where do you send things? And how?
HBO’s corporate office address is as follows:
30 Hudson Yards
New York, NY 10001
You can address it to individuals, though those will likely be screened by some sort of secretary or assistant. As mentioned, Casey Bloys is the President of Programming for the network. VPs for Programming include Amy Gravitt, Francesca Orsi, and Nina Rosenstein. The VP for Original Programming (and Our Flag Means Death fits in that category) is Amy Hodge.
If you want to be more general with who you address this to, the Programming Department, which is where all of the above-mentioned people work, is a good place to send them. The PR department may like to hear from you too. Though they aren’t the ones who would make this type of decision, it’s their job to know what people are loving about the network and act accordingly. It’s not a complete waste of time at all, even if the decision isn’t in their hands.
If all else fails, you can just send it to “HBO.” Their mailroom staff will probably read it and forward it to the appropriate place.
If you don’t want to go through the boring task of writing an actual letter asking for a season 2 and sending it through the mail, there are automated systems that do this online for a small fee. Check out the following:
This method of fandom activism can sometimes lead to actual interaction with the recipients. Back in my old Supernatural days, we would send hundreds of postcards at a time. The recipients would sometimes tweet pictures of the stacks of them that they got on any given day. Our voices were definitely heard and we made an impression.
If you are creating a custom postcard and choose to use fanart, always be sure to ask artists before using their work. Some may not want to be part of this at all. Others may be incredibly enthusiastic. In fact, if you are a fanartist and this idea thrills you, consider floating this idea to your followers! Or, if you have the time and inspiration, make a few specific pieces of art geared towards this purpose.
Likewise, using screenshots or promo images from the show could run into some copyright issues, but you can definitely give it a go and see if it’s allowed on those sites. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t.
And most importantly, remember your tone: Be polite. Be concise. Let them know how much this show means to you and how much you want a second season. Say “please” and “thank you.”
Now let’s get to work on getting a season 2.
It’s frustrating not knowing if Our Flag Means Death will get a season 2 or not. We all see what an absolute gem this show is, and it’s surprising that the network execs didn’t immediately greenlight because, hello, can you not see how amazing this is? But that’s just how these things work, unfortunately.
But by using the above tools, you’ll be sending a strong message to the very people that make those decisions. The more people that do this, the more likely it is that the important decision-makers will notice us. So get cracking, folks. Send those letters. Tweet those tweets. Write that fanfic. And, above all, watch that show (legally) over and over again.
You have your marching orders, crew. Now get cracking.
And since you’re here, check out the Unofficial Our Flag Means Death Soundtrack list. Enjoy!
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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