Thursday, March 7, 2013
Banshee on Cinemax
Recently got turned on to a new crime series, Banshee, which is on Cinemax. Really digging this. It is totally over-the-top in terms of violence, language, and sexual content. Just about everything about it screams inappropriate, and of course, I am all in! Here is the premise, which at first glance almost seems absurd, but they make it work and pull it off.
Banshee takes place in the fictional small town of Banshee, Pennsylvania. After serving 15 years in prison for stealing diamonds from Ukranian gangster Mr. Rabbit, the unnamed protagonist travels to Banshee to find his heist accomplice and former lover, Anastasia. When he finds her, the protagonist learns that she is now a married mother of two living under the assumed identity of Carrie Hopewell. Later, when the incoming Sheriff is killed, the protagonist takes on his identity as Lucas Hood, becoming the town's new Sheriff. Banshee sees Hood struggle with adapting to his new identity while dealing with the machinations of local crime lord Kai Proctor, and remaining hidden from Rabbit.
The opening couple of scenes are action packed, and really kick things off with bang. It has all the ingredients I love in a show, although, just my taste, they could cut down on the sex scenes, and dedicate more of that time, to story. It's got the brutality of Oz, the small town dynamics of a Stephen King story, and best of all everyone is a bad guy at heart, even the "good" guys. It's one of those shows where you belief system surely needs to be suspended, and compared to Downton Abbey ( which I really love as well) It is one of those "guilty pleasure" shows.
I love villains and Banshee has plenty. Here's my top 3;
Kai Proctor, played by Ulrich Thomson
* intimidating and wealthy Banshee businessman who considers himself above the law. Disowned by his Amish family, Kai has a hand in nearly all of Banshee's criminal enterprises.
Job, played by Hoon Lee ( also a Massachusetts native, extra props for that)
* cross-dressing hair stylist and genius computer hacker who plays a key part in Lucas' criminal endeavors.
Olek aka Widowspeak played by Christos Vasilopoulos
*head henchman and bodyguard of Ukrainian mob boss
An extra special villain bonus goes to the character "Albino" who appeared in one episode.