TV Talk: Banshee

Published March 19, 2013 by mrsrag

Starring: Antony Starr, Ivana Milicivec, Ulrich Thomsen, Frankie Faison, Hoon Lee, Matt Servitto, Demetrius Grosse, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Ryann Shane, Rus Blackwell, Anthony Ruivivar, Lili Simmons, Ben Cross.

Airs Friday at 10PM on Cinemax.  Action/Crime/Drama.

Banshee is a nonstop collision course of endless plot twists and unmitigated action.  There is never a dull moment.  No episode could be considered disappointing.  It’s the first series on Cinemax that we’ve seriously followed.  Banshee came across my radar when I first spotted an advertisement boasting the same producers of my beloved True Blood, including a nod from the renowned Alan Ball.  You can already imagine what the sex scenes must be like – mixing the likes of Skin-a-max and True Blood production.  We’ve recently embraced our titles as nitpickers and that is a true representation of us.  However, we allow quite a bit of artistic freedom with Banshee.  Although we are quick to point out the unusual amount of crime in this fictional town and the unlikely circumstances surrounding the core of the unconventional plotline.  Banshee embraces its ridiculous nature.  The show features some restless Amish, greedy gangsters, career criminals and simple townies.  A compilation of interesting characters whose lives are intertwined in this small Pennsylvania town.

More happens in Banshee, PA than in NYC!  The premise of the show is very cool.  An ex-con (Starr) fresh out of jail, goes in search of his girlfriend who helped him steal $10 million worth of diamonds, and is in hiding.  He finds out where she is from an old accomplice, Job (Lee), who is a gay, computer genius, quasi-ninja Asian dude.  Starr arrives in Banshee and goes to the local bar to have a drink and some food, and strikes up a conversation with the owner/bartender Sugar Bates (Faison).  In classic Banshee fashion the shit immediately hits the fan.  Two local thugs walk in looking for protection money from Sugar, and unfortunately for them, the other patron at the bar is the freshly hired Sheriff Lucas Hood.  A vicious fight ensues and Sugar and Starr are left alive.  They bury the dead, and through sheer luck, Hood’s cell phone rings and Starr is able to assume his identity.

The plot is refreshingly original and wickedly entertaining.  There are plenty of sub-plots featuring the supporting cast of characters, but not so many that it leaves your head spinning.  Banshee is an action fan’s dream come true and a gritty guilty pleasure.  I can’t wait to see what kind of twists and surprises they’ll have in store for viewers in 2014.

Season 1 just wrapped and like Maria said, we can’t wait to see what’s next.  We’ve pretty much put our nitpicking on hold for Banshee, as Maria said earlier.  Maybe it’s a bit unfair, but all the hard to believe things in The Following that have us on the verge of dumping that show, don’t seem to matter in Banshee.  The Sheriff has a knock down, drag out fight in public with an MMA champion and wins, and we don’t care.  He collars the local, formerly Amish, crime boss of the town Kai Proctor (Thomsen) for murder.  Gets T-boned by some other bad guys on the way to jail and ends up fighting free with Proctors help – then lets everybody go; and we cheer.  Banshee has regular Amish, gangster Amish, an Amish whore who bangs Lucas, Russian mobsters, an ex-champion boxer, clueless FBI agents, Native American casino owners, biker gangs, a police force not afraid to be vigilantes and so much more.  Every episode is a shotgun blast in your ear, a giant line of coke, and a dip into the ocean in January with the Polar Bear Club all rolled into one.  It’s not for everyone, but if you like non-stop, somewhat mindless action, with characters that you love and hate, Banshee is great fun.  See if you can find this first season and give it a shot, I’m guessing you’ll be back for more.


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