Richard Coyle
TV picks: 'Crossbones,' 'Halt and Catch Fire,' 'Orange Is the New Black'

"Crossbones." John Malkovich as a low-talking, pajama-wearing, Col. Kurtzian Blackbeard is certainly the main draw of NBC’s new pirate drama “Crossbones,” but he’s not the only one. Slip streaming the more hyper-paced, and R-rated, “Black Sails” on Starz,  “Crossbones” may have a similar conceit — pirates are people too! — but its ambitions are driven more by character than plot. There’s plenty of plot to go around, of course — on top of the requisite scenes of vessel capturing, British navy avoiding and general pirate revelry, there’s a uber narrative involving the invention of the longitude...