Get ready to walk the plank


CBS has just announced that their latest reality show venture, titled Pirate Master (that’s right! Pirate Master!), will premiere on Thursday, May 31. This new show, described by series creator and producer Mark Burnett (the guy behind Survivor) as a "collision of fantasy and reality," looks to me like Survivor mashed up with good old-fashioned play-acting.

Here are more details from the press release:

PIRATE MASTER will send 16 modern-day pirates on a high seas adventure where they will live as buccaneers and travel around the Caribbean island of Dominica in search of hidden treasure that will total $1 million. … Each week, the pirates will embark on extraordinary expeditions where they will decipher clues along the way in search of missing treasure. … In addition to claiming the lion’s share of the week’s riches, one pirate will become the captain of the ship and will assign roles and chores to the remaining crew members, setting the tone for either law and order or betrayal and sabotage, which could lead to mutiny by the crew. Each episode will conclude on the ship at Pirate’s Court, a lively gathering of public speaking and judgment where one individual will be eliminated and “cut adrift.”  In the end, one will be the first to find the largest booty, worth $500,000, and claim the title of “Pirate Master.”

OK, maybe I am totally dorky, but this show sounds cheese-tastic! It brings up all sorts of delicious speculations on my part, including how tough the women pirates will have to be to take on the role of captain. Will they rely on so-called feminine wiles, or will they butch it up to get the respect they’ll have to demand? How likely is it that a woman will even survive to the end of the series? I’m looking forward to finding out.

In a related side note, there are documented cases of lesbian/bisexual pirates, most famously Anne Bonny and Mary Read, who led lives that seem to have been chock-full of violence, adventure and cross-dressing. When, oh when, is someone going to make a movie about them? They sound absolutely fantastic.

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