The show starts on a moonlit night with a lot of fake smoke coming from an off-screen fog machine. A boat full of dorky wannabe actors are all dressed up in ridiculous pirate costumes hoping above all else that they can somehow use this show to get a guest shot on One Life to Live Like Kaysar did. There’s the large chested woman (And kudos to CBS for literally starting the introductory shot on her huge tits and THEN panning up to her face as if it was an afterthought.) The middle aged hippie who is just way too into this, a bunch of empty headed idiots, and a few creeps. Looks like a good bunch of people.

This shot really set the tone for the whole show.

Once they get on board they are greeted by the host of the show, who looks like a retarded Kevin Costner. Oh wait he’s just Australian. Australian, retarded. Tomahto, tomato.

“Welcome…. to Waterworld!”

Anywho, he tells them all they will be living on the pirate ship named “the Pikton Castle” which sounds like a motel on I-95. And then he shows them the money shot. He grabs a bunch of them and has them haul up the most ridiculous looking fake treasure chest complete with fake barnacles.

Somebody told this dude this is all fake, right?

“Behold… The Chest of Zanzibar!” says our re-re host. And that noise you hear are my eyes rolling so far back into my head I could cause an aneurism. Apparently Captain Steele hid 14 maps to 14 treasures around the CBS back lot Pirate cove and these 14 people are here to find them.

Do treasure chests even get barnacles?

Not to worry for Jay, the auto parts salesmen since as he explains his job is a lot like being a pirate. You see, he sells Auto parts. He specializes in carrrrrrrburators.

You see, my position as a seller of auto parts is indicative of the imperialistic nature of the rising Dutch Netherlands, which after decades of rebellion against Spain fueled by both Dutch nationalism and their staunch Protestantism gave rise to privateers who committed robberies without a commission from a sovereign nation, otherwise known as piracy.

After the host with the missing chromosome tells them they will set sail tomorrow its time for a night of grog and laughs. We finally get to meet our motley crew. We have a former NFL player and a former deputy district attorney which gives her an insight into the “game process” because Oh I don’t know, a pirate from the 1780’s is just the kind of thing they train for in District Attorney school. Or something.

“Hey look, my compass says 4:20!”

Another castaway, or pirate, or whatever, is also making waves. His name is John and he holds the record for creepiest contestant. He call’s himself a “geek” the way Charles Manson calls himself a misunderstood visionary. Still his ways with the ladies is beyond question.



The next morning all our would be buccaneers get up and set sail. As they are working hard we hear from Sean the bartender who says he has “a bevy of traits” that will help him succeed in the game, not least if which is his use of the word bevy in everyday conversation.

Pirate Joy meanwhile is showing her pirate mettle by puking over the side of the ship. This doesn’t sit well with our other cutthroats. but no time for that as our host, who know looks like an unshaven Tony Blair, brings them all in front of the treasure chest and open the first chamber. It’s two maps and two compasses. From there we split into two teams, not unlike some other CBS reality show which shall remain nameless.

Just drink him in ladies. Just drink him in….

Suffice it to say they are told to go paddle to shore and follow a map to a skeleton and get another map and do something and yadda yadda. Let’s just get on with it. The Black team arrives first and follows map two on land just as the red team is catching up gets there. They are put further behind when Ben like, totally loses his shoe in the mud. Not cool dude. Not cool.

After they find the next skeleton on land they have to dig for a series of keys to unlock a three part lock in order to obtain another map.

“First we got to find these keys, and then some locks. Umm, no wait. First we get some locks and turn the keys and we had 3 keys but one lock. Man, I soo have the munchies right now. “

But before they get there they reach what is called a sabotage point. Where if they choose they can slow down the other team. Not sure why this is presented as an optional thing. I mean, why wouldn’t you ever use this? It’s like using a yield in the Amazing Race. You do it and then spend the rest of your time explaining why using a valid game tactic is not “dirty playing” to a belligerent Hungarian midget.

After slowing down the Red Team, the Black team then swims around with authentic pirate scuba gear looking for the chest. When all hope seems lost the self proclaimed “geek” exotic dancer finds it and the day is saved! Inside the chest is a bunch of crabs, dubloons and…good lord. Another key. Is this going to be 13 weeks of unlocking things?

Sure, why not.

When they get back to the pirate ship the host, whose name is, I shit you not, Cameron Daddo, has then count the gold. The treasure adds up to…. $40 thousand dollars! Wait. Huh? 40 grand? Gee, I can almost buy a SVU with that kind of money. Wow, what a haul. But don’t take my word for it. The ever brilliant Ben tells us, apparently without shame, that he makes like, 25 grand in a year if he’s lucky. So having a part of this 40 thousand dollars will be a nice cushion. I mean, he could buy like two thousand ramen noodle packets with that kind of scratch.

pirate-053107n.jpgThen host Cameron tells them that they have to pick a captain. John the stripper/scientist perks up thinking he has it made since he found the treasure, which should negate his over the top oddness. Unfortunately it doesn’t and they pick Joe Don. Daddo tells him that as captain he is entitled to half the treasure to which eh can do what he pleases. That’s like almost a years worth of Bens salary! He can keep it, share it or bargain with it. Then he has to pick his two officers. Joe Don chooses Cheryl and Ben. The rest of these unnecessarily complicated rules means Cheryl and Ben get 5 grand each and the remaining 2 thousand dollars gets split among the rest of the black crew who are “demoted” or something. All I know is it pisses everybody off which is good TV. WE then get a series of “pirate confessionals” where everyone bitches about how they didn’t get any of the treasure.

Bras are for land lubbers!

pirate-053107p.jpgOnce the new Captain Joe Don goes down below to speak to his crew he suddenly transforms into An obnoxious tyrant won a power trip (Think Cappy from Big Brother. Oh god how I love that show). This is win win for us since he pisses everybody off and sets up some future awkward moments when he isn’t captain. He even goes as far as not letting anyone in his captains quarters to take a look. I smell a mutiny! And it smells musky! The Captains quarters itself borrows from the HOH from Big Brother, with plush beds and a nice barrel of grog ready. The whole show is derivative of other reality shws tobe honbest, but its jsut so goddamned cheesy you just go with it.


In the captains quarters Joe don is telling us how he used to be in the military and he demands that there is order. Joe don knows nothing of how reality shows work, since all we do is hear about how everyone cant wait to eliminate him the next chance they get. The power trip continues as the officers com above and tell them about how they must do all the chores they tell them to do or there will be severe consequences. This gets a massive eye roll from the crew.

Later Daddo comes to the offices quarters to tell him how they elimination will work. He gets to pick 3 people to mark with a black spot and they must then present their cases in Pirate’s Court (Amazingly Daddo never breaks a smile as he says all this). However, if the entire crew decides to mutiny and the officers agree, then he will be set adrift and win the golden power of Veto in order to go to the double elimination round while he uses a roadblock to avoid a yield.

When they hand out the letters we find that John, the short hobbity bearded guy and Joy the receptionist get the black spot. Hobbit guy just laughs cuz that’s basically what he does, but Joy the receptionist cries true pirate tears. I admit I have cried many times in my life. Titanic, virtually any Hallmark card commercial, or that Folgers one where the son comes home early to surprise the family by making coffee and they all wake up and are like “Hey, Joe’s home and he made shitty coffee!” And everyone smiles. Yeah, that’s creates a virtual downpour of tears. But if I was on a summer reality show and I got a piece of paper with a black spot on a pirate ship, I’d probably just giggle.

The mark of the Goatse Man!

Meanwhile on the other side of the ship some shenanigans are afoot. John the stripper/scientist has taken upon himself to steal both of the compasses and is using that to levegarege the crew to instill a mutiny.

That night at Pirates court all three marked priates make their case. First up is Louie. He talks about how everyone loves him and he just wants to be a swab and get paid. Then its Joy. Joy pleads with everyone and admits that she probably isn’t a worthy seaman. She wants everyone to know she is totally worthy of lots of seamen. [rimshot!]. Then John gives his final plea. He tells them about the stolen compasses and that if he goes they go. Then he confronts captain Joe Don, who by this time has totally sunk himself into the role of “dick captain”.

“Behold, my Pirate pubes!”

“Hey man, I don’t need your freaking compasses cuz I can shove sticks in dirt and shit!” Joe don tells him. Then John asks him if he knows which way north is right now. Captain Joe don pauses and says that OK, he’s not really sure where it is since they might be really south but you just wait until tomorrow and I do the stick thing. Alas this is not enough to save John as once they read the final votes John is sent adrift.


So what did everyone think? It’s monumentally cheesy and totally derivative, but kind of fun if you ask me.

EdHill | 06.03.07 | Filed in Pirate Master,Recaps

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