12 Swashbuckling Shows to Fill Your One Piece Void

12 Swashbuckling Shows to Fill Your One Piece Void

1

Black Sails (2014 – 2017)

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This Michael Bay-produced pirate series ran for four seasons of swashbuckling adventure and was actually written as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island book. As a piece of historical fiction, the show found fictional characters crossing paths with real-life pirates (like Blackbeard, played here by Ray Stevenson). Much in the way that Deadwood featured real figures of the old West (like Wild Bill Hickok), Black Sails features plenty of prominent pirates, including lead character Captain Flint.

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2

Our Flag Means Death (2022 – )

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Our Flag Means Death Season 1 Trailer | Rotten Tomatoes TV

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Another pirate show! Albeit this one is quite different from Black Sails, particularly in that its an adventure-comedy that leans heavy on the comedy (and with some romance for good measure). Our Flag Means Death tells the story of an aristocrat Stede Bonnet who decides to abandon his wealthy life and take to the sea, hiring a crew and taking on the moniker of “The Gentleman Pirate.” He eventually runs into Blackbeard (played here by Taika Waititi), and the series takes on some of the most unique sitcom beats of the last several years (and all of the writing and performances are great). Season 2 is coming soon,

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3

Cowboy Bebop (2021)

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Cowboy Bebop | Official Trailer | Netflix

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Back in 2021, Netflix tried to adapt another anime into live-action: Cowboy Bebop. And while this space Western was cancelled after only a single season, I tend to think it got a bit of a raw deal. This show was a fun genre mash-up with an episodic structure and lots of solid action. Plus, it gave John Cho a strong leading role vehicle (something we’ve gotten some of, but not nearly enough). Give it a shot if you’re into space, cowboys, or both.

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4

Treasure Island (2012)

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Treasure Island (2012) Official TV Trailer HD

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This fairly new telling of the classic swashbuckling story (of tracking down, you guessed it, treasure) has a stacked cast that includes Donald Sutherland, Eddie Izzard, and Elijah Wood. If you’ve never read the book or seen an adaptation and want a taste, this is a pretty solid entry point.

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5

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (2022 – )

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – Official Trailer | Prime Video

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6

Da Vinci’s Demons (2013 – 2015)

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This wild adventure show (from Blade, The Dark Knight, and Foundation writer David S. Goyer) is a bombastic piece of historical fiction where Leonardo da Vinci gets involved in wild conspiracies, fantasy scenarios, and much more, usually involving his inventions or work.

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7

Crossbones (2014)

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Crossbones only lasted for one season (it aired on NBC back in 2014), but it’s got John Malkovich as Blackbeard, reigning over a secret island of chaos and anarchy. That’s got to be worth a shot, right?

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8

The Mandalorian (2019 – )

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The Mandalorian | Official Trailer | Disney+ | Streaming Nov. 12

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Whether you’re a Star Wars lifer or haven’t seen a damn thing, you can probably have a good time with The Mandalorian. This series is modeled off TV westerns of the old days, and so it employs a serialized, episodic format, albeit always with a somewhat running storyline by season as well. Pedro Pascal plays the titular character, but, as you probably are well aware, the real star of the show is the one and only Grogu, informally known as BABY YODA. He is the cutest little puppet you’ll ever see.

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9

Shadow and Bone (2021 -)

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​Shadow and Bone | Official Trailer | Netflix

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This series, based on Leigh Bardugo’s novels, is another expansive, ambitious adventure that you can find on Netflix. While there’s not particularly the pirate angle of One Piece, there’s plenty of high-stakes adventuring and even some ambitious thieves who are always scheming for their next big score.

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10

Firefly (2002)

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Firefly is basically pirates in space. Yeah, we know that sounds cool. And luckily, it really is. Firefly is one of the all-time “brilliant but cancelled” shows, and while it’s an awesome, great time of a space adventure (led by Captain Mal, played by Nathan Fillion), it unfortunately lasted only one season. At least it got to wrap things up with a proper movie conclusion in 2005’s Serenity. You should watch that too.

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11

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Official Trailer 1 (2003) HD

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OK, not a movie. But give us a break—Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is the best piece of pirate media of the last 30 years or so. When you talk about epic adventure, this is what you’ve got to think of, because it’s got a little bit of something for everyone—and characters that you’ll become obsessed with instantly. We won’t vouch for the later films in the franchise, but The Curse of the Black Pearl is a top-tier watch.

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12

One Piece (1999 – )

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ONE PIECE Coming to Netflix Trailer | East Blue & Alabasta Saga | June 12 | Toei Animation

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If you watched One Piece on Netflix but haven’t checked out the anime, then, well, there’s only one thing left to do: press play. Never mind that the show has been running and there are currently 1,075 episodes (and counting)—if you want more One Piece, this is the first place you should go. And if you somehow watch all of this, there’s always the Manga after that.

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Evan Romano

Evan is the culture editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE. He loves weird movies, watches too much TV, and listens to music more often than he doesn’t.

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