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Yo Ho Hum: "Pirate Master" Needs to Kick It Into a Higher Gear

I'm definitely enjoying Pirate Master, CBS's latest reality offering, but I do wish that, well, something would happen. I can't help but shake the feeling that the first two episodes of the series (especially last night's episode) were glacially paced.

The series definitely has a worthy villain in current ship's captain Joe Don, who seems incapable of realizing that, while he's off guzzling rum, eating enormous breakfasts, and sleeping in his luxe quarters, his crew is monumentally unhappy. (Not so unhappy they'll announce a mutiny and depose him, but more on that in a bit.)

Coming from a military background, Joe Don has seized control of the ship with an iron fist, keeping his two officers above the fracas of life below-deck and making deals with one of the workers, automotive parts salesman Jay, to spy on his fellow crew members for $2K in gold. Of course, the only way that works is if you keep that little arrangement a secret, so I'm not entirely sure why Joe Don spilled the beans on that affair during Pirates' Court. (I did love, however, that Jay lied to others about exactly how much money he had received from Joe Don.)

While Jay seems to have his head in the game, I do wish the other contestants would step up a bit more and start to, you know, play the game. I want to see more instances of mutinous sentiment (Louie is already a favorite and must be separated at birth from Survivor's Rupert) and out-of-the-box thinking, like having newly appointed cook Sean poison Joe Don's food. Or at the very least slip some diuretic into his next meal. Hell, while winning the money is an enticement, if I were on the captain's team during an expedition, I'd intentionally sabotage the team, allowing the Red team to win and the captain getting deposed. If you're going to be on a series called Pirate Master, one needs to think more like a pirate, methinks.

In the end, I'm still not entirely sure why the pirates voted off the Nigerian Nightmare, Christian. Sure, he was slower than most during the expedition and didn't do much to earn the cash other than slightly wave a stick around at some snakes, but the guy seems strong. And I would have thought that his strength would come in handy at a time when the crew is subsisting on a thin, unappetizing gruel. (Where's a Top Chef when you need one?)

Despite injuring herself during the expedition, Joy proved herself a favorite by once again making a stirring speech and wound up without a single vote. Kendra, on the other hand, was saved by a single vote; she really needs to step it up next week or she'll be cut adrift herself. On a series that's set at sea, everyone really needs to have strong swimming skills...

But I'm really just waiting for the moment when the pirates realize that Cheryl is secretly an assistant district attorney (maybe host Cameron Daddo can spill this himself?) and has been sizing them all up since she set foot on the Picton-Castle. Mwhahaha. There will be hell to pay. Or at least, I hope it will kick things into gear a little bit.

Next week on Pirate Master ("Bribes, Lies and Vengeful Eyes"): everyone's tired of Captain Joe Don and another mutiny attempt is hatched, while one pirate resorts to bribery in order to make sure that Pirates' Court voting goes his way. As they say in the promos, watch your back!

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Ghost Whisperer (CBS); 1 vs. 100 (NBC); WWE Friday Night SmackDown (CW; 8-10 pm); America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC); Bones (FOX)

9 pm: Close to Home (CBS); Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC); National Bingo Night (ABC); Standoff (FOX)

10 pm: NUMB3RS (CBS); Law & Order (NBC); 20/20 (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8-10 pm: The Gil Mayo Mysteries on BBC America.

It's the launch of an all-new mystery series on BBC America starring Alistair McGowan (Bleak House) as Gil Mayo, a single dad and detective. On the first episode, Mayo investigates the murder of a young trustafarian; in the second, the team looks into the death of the proprietor of a family-owned business.


I was really looking forward to Pirate Master but it's been completely lackluster and too similar to Survivor (even the credit sequence). The idea is great but right now everyone just seems to be sitting around whining about not having money. As you said, the only one really playing the game seems to be Jay and maybe Louie though, right now, he's just all talk. And I can't believe Joe Don (is that supposed to be a play on "John Doe?") revealed that he'd been giving Jay money. He's not too smart and I hope he's put to the test soon.
Anonymous said…
Yup, yup and yup. As is often the case, you have managed to get in my head.

I liked the first ep better, because I liked all the twisty pirate things (cap'n getting to keep half the money, assigning chores, etc), but this week just seemed like a rehash. And I really can't understand why the crw wouldn't mutiny. Maybe they are worried that the next person wouldn't be any better? I really can't understand the thinking.

I also cannot, for the life of me, understand the thinking in voting off Christian. Joy is clearly such a weak link.

I really like Jay and Louis. And Asmyth. He's awesome.

Wait - Cheryl is an ADA?!? She's never mentioned it! ;)

Wait, Cheryl's
Anonymous said…
The main thing that bugs me about this show is the fake back story of the "pirate treasure." It's so cheesy and obviously just a way to do Survivor type challenges in a pirate setting. It makes me twitch every time they mention the Chest of Zanzibar or Henry Steel or some such nonsense.

I also don't like that you can get rid of the captain by losing the challenge. There will never be a mutiny, people will just throw the challenge instead. I want to see a mutiny, dammit!
Anonymous said…
We are well into the season of Pirate Master and I am wondering when something is going to happen.

I have stuck with it and watched every episode, but it is dull. Each week is like the week before.

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