Skip to main content

TV You Should Be Watching: Banshee

It's been a while since I've done one of these. Last time I did, I think it was for Enlightened, which I've been covering--along with Girls--on a (usually) weekly basis. Once in a while a show comes along that really intrigues me. Right now, it's Banshee. Let's break it down:

Show: Banshee
Airs: Friday nights at 10pm on Cinemax
Starring: Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic, Hoon Lee, Ulrich Thomsen, et al.

The creators:
Banshee comes to us from authors David Schickler (“Kissing in Manhattan,” “Sweet and Vicious”) and Johnathan Tropper (“One Last Thing Before I Go,” “This is Where I Leave You”) and executive producer Alan Ball, who’s created two little shows known as Six Feet Under and True Blood.

I know what you're thinking: "Wait, Cinemax does original programming? Don’t they just know...those kids of movies?" To which I say: grow up. It’s 2013. Cinemax has actually been making original programming for years now, including Strike Back and Hunted.

The ambiguous morals:
Everyone on this show is out to get someone else, so it’s hard to say who, exactly, are the “good guys.”

The story revolves around Banshee sheriff Lucas Hood—well, it’s not really Lucas Hood, but the man who assumed Hood’s identity when the real Hood died rather gruesomely. This man (Antony Starr) is an ex-con and thief who made enemies of some very bad people, including the Russian mob. Hood is the main character, sure, but is he the hero? The anti-hero? It’s hard to say, but I think that’s what makes him so interesting. In the guise of sheriff, he assumes the role of the “good guy” but does things in an...unconventional way. (See, for example, his “arrest” of a celebrity athlete.) Starr also brings a raw passion to the role that is both sexy and menacing.
See what I mean? RAWR
Characters who at first seem obviously good turn out to be not so much. Anastasia (Ivana Milicevic), Hood’s lost love and literal partner in crime, now lives in Banshee as Carrie Hopewell. She’s also married to the DA and has two lovely children with him.
Whatcha doing with those guns, Mrs.Hopewell?
It all seems so very idyllic, until we find out her connections to the mob, specifically to Hood’s nemesis, Mr. Rabbit.

And then there’s Job (Hoon Lee). Who is he? Well, he’s the next reason to watch.

Ever wish someone would create a non-stereotypical GLBT character? Your wish is granted! Job is a ruthless hacker/forger who used to work with Hood and Ana back in the day. He’s also a gorgeous drag queen. 
This aspect of his character is played matter of fact. It’s just part of who Job is. He likes wearing stilettos, dresses, Diane Von Furstenberg head scarves, and lipstick because that’s who he is. There’s no big hooplah about him being himself, probably because he’d kill anyone who’d say otherwise.
That's him blowing up ALL the gay stereotypes. Or mobsters.
The setting:
I know this seems like an odd reason, but Banshee, PA is a small town in the middle of Amish country. It’s a setting that hasn’t been used that much recently (or, I should say, used well). It adds an interesting layer to the overall premise, especially since the main “villain” (again, ambiguous) Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) is an exiled member of the Amish community.
That's Proctor and his dad...They don't get along.
It’s damn violent. And sexy, too:
This show has some of the best/worst cringe-worthy fighting I’ve seen in a long time. It’s nice to see a show that just goes for it. Banshee also doesn’t shy away from the sex. I’d say the sex scenes are more realistic and less soap opera. I mean, aside from everyone being gorgeous, they know how to get it on!

So, to sum up watch Banshee if you're a fan of
Caper movies, film noir, unconventional characters and settings, drag queens, brooding protagonists, spaghetti Westerns, graphic sex and violence, twisty, turny, well-written television. 

Disclaimer: all photos are copyright their respective owners, I don't get paid for any of this. Although wouldn't that be awesome?!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

3 New Lana Songs Come Out From Upcoming Album "Blue Banisters"

Not even that far off from "Chemtrails Over The Country Club" being released this past March, Lana Del Rey dropped three new singles off her upcoming project, "Blue Banisters." They include the title track, "Text Book," and "Wildflower Wildfire." All three songs seem to merge the worlds of "COCC" with "Norman Fucking Rockwell," specifically Lana's mouthful of a track "Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me To Have But I Have It." They also seem uncharacteristically more confessional than most of Lana's catalog to date, specifically "Wildflower Wildfire," which alludes to a conflict with her mother. She even starts the track with "Here's the deal," readying to show more of her backstory than she ever has in her decade-plus-long career. The three songs are gorgeous - especially "Text Book," which has a haunting quality to it (she mentions "Black Lives Matter" i

"Anchors" - AM Higgins

Here's a nice breezy, almost sensual song from AM Higgins (the solo project of musician Annie Toth) to start your Tuesday off right.  Her debut album "Hymning" will be out November 5th on Victorialand Records. The album was mixed by Casey Foubert, a frequent collaborator of Sufjan Stevens. The album "captures the first years of moving from an American city to rural France." Sounds like "Hymning" will be a welcome escape from the world we live in right now, especially considering that Annie Toth counts poets Mary Oliver and Thomas Merton as influences.

You Need to Hear This: Concrete Castles

I first heard of First to Eleven a few years ago thanks to the powers of social media. They are a talented young band straight out of my hometown (Erie, PA). Since I've first heard of them, First To Eleven - which primarily were a social media-based cover band - has revealed an original music incarnation, Concrete Castles.  No matter if they're covering songs or releasing their own music, one thing is evident: Concrete Castles is MASSIVELY talented. Anchored by Audra Miller's powerhouse vocals that are vaguely reminiscent of Hayley Williams, Concrete Castles demand your attention. Although they can fall in that sort of amorphous "indie pop" umbrella, I don't think their sound would be amiss on mainstream radio - top 40 or alternative.  "Wish I Missed U" - their debut album - came out earlier this September, and it's an enjoyable, invigorating listen that would probably make those who were raised on emo or fans of CHVRCHES feel at home. Hell, Anth