I had the 1st season in my hands for almost 8 months now, but I decided to start watching it as soon as the 2nd season finished.
I'm not going to try to write a proper "review" on the subject, just my personal opinion instead. (You can find lots of "reviews" on the internet after all).
As the title implies, 'Black Sails' is all about pirates. The scenario is based on the (fictional) character of Captain Flint (and his adventures along with his shipmates). The story takes place in the Caribbean of the early 18th century, and seems like it was in a way "inspired" by Robert Louis Stevenson's book 'Treasure
As it happens in almost all series, there are some "good" and some "bad" elements here as well.
(Always according to my opinion and taste), some of the good things are:
1. A "unique" and different story, in comparison with the other series I have watched lately.
2. A rather interesting scenario, which makes you want to see the one episode after the other.
3. Wonderful mise en scéne, especially in combination with some really impressive scenes and exotic places.
4. The rather "different" point of view of the pirate captains and their crews. Not all of them are scumbags making rounds with a knife in their mouths. There are many who are polite and gentle. (But there are also many who are the typical brutes).
There are also some things that I found annoying, and here's some of them:
1. There are some "cliché" here, specific to the series of recent productions.
2. There are many side stories (as usual), and some of them are kind of boring ones, only employed as space fillers.
3. Although the pace of the plot goes usualy fast, there are some times that it slows down terribly due to space filler mentioned above.
4. On most occasions the alignment of the characters is not clear. There are some "good" characters who as the story continues are doing some terrible things, and some "bad" characters who are doing exactly the opposite. It makes it hard for the viewer to empathize with them from time to time.
Season 1 starts in a such a way, that during the first 2-3 episodes I wasn't sure if I liked it or not, but after the 4rth episode everything becomes all the more intriguing. As for the 2nd season, it is a far better one in my opinion, and it ends with a breathtaking last episode.
Season 1 consists of 8 episodes and season 2 of 10. Each episode has a running time between 52-58 minutes in length. (So have in mind that you're going to need almost 16 - 17 hours in total in order to watch all 18 eisodes).
Trying to be objective, I want to say that I would recommend 'Black Sails' without a second thought. Many people might find things they will not like here, but I believe the overall outcome is a very good one.
In IMDB, 'Black Sails' has 8.0 as rating for both seasons.
My rating would be: Season 1: 7.5
Season 2: 8.0