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Our Flag Means Death's marketing was concerned about the shock of violence in the show

Though OFMD is a comedy, it is rated mature for violence and language after all

Still image from Our Flag Means Death featuring pirates laughing at a pirate being burned
Image credit: Max (Nicola Dove)

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Our Flag Means Death is, at its heart, a silly workplace comedy. It is also, at times, a fairly violent show, and you can imagine that the level of violence in the show might come across as a shock for people whose only information about the show came from a season 1 poster that looked like this:

Season 1 poster for Our Flag Means Death
Image credit: Max

This tonal discrepency was a concern for those marketing the show before its launch, according to a marketing document provided to Popverse by an anonymous source. While the show, as we pointed out earlier, was mostly marketed as a workplace sitcom that could be compared to shows like The Office, shows like The Office don't traditionally have fingers falling off and men getting set on fire (at least not that I've seen).

Though Our Flag Means Death was given a TV-MA rating for violence and language, a lot of people (including myself) don't necessarily check ratings before I start watching a show. Therefore, it's not so much of a surprise that those in charge of getting new people to watch - and continue to watch - the show might be worried that comedy fans would be taken aback by the little moments of violence that pop up throughout Our Flag Means Death.

Then again, we are in a different era of comedies, with shows like Barry featuring a heavy level of violence themselves, though Barry was always marketed as more of a serious comedy. Perhaps the most apt comparison to be made between Our Flag Means Death and another comedy (though this was not a comparison made on the marketing document) would be Edgar Wright's cornetto trilogy of Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, and The World's End. These movies are clearly very silly and about friendship, but they all revel in their violence alongside that silliness too.

Warner Bros. didn't know what to do with Our Flag Means Death, even when they had it

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Our Flag Means Death

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Tiffany Babb avatar

Tiffany Babb

Deputy Editor

Tiffany Babb is Popverse's deputy editor and resident Sondheim enthusiast. Tiffany likes stories that understand genre conventions (whether they play into them or against them), and she cries very easily at the movies— but rarely at the moments that are meant to be tearjerkers.