I hadn’t even heard of the Cinemax/HBO series Banshee before HBO sent me season 3. Suffice to say, when I was halfway through the series, I ordered the previous two seasons on Blu-Ray.
The series is a pulp novel brought to life, it’s lurid, colorful, violent, sexy (it’s a ridiculously good looking cast), and the characters are inhuman in the amount of pain they can take and dole out.
At the heart of the show is Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), a man who is not who he appears to be, and has a wealth of secrets. A former con, who arrived in the town of Banshee to track down his former girlfriend, Carrie (Ivana Milicevic) and daughter, Deva (Ryann Shane), who now have a life and family of their own. Arriving in town, he takes the place of the yet to be seen, and recently killed, new sheriff in town, while dealing out his own form of justice during the day, he and his crew, Carrie, Job (Hoon Lee) and Sugar (Frankie Faison) continue to plan and pull off heists.
But there is all manner of trouble in this town, there’s an Amish gangster, Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen), with his niece protege, Rebecca (Lili Simmons) and now-tied right hand, Burton (Matthew Rauch). There’s also a violent Native American gang, the Red Bones, led by Chatyton (Geno Segers), who are waging a violent war on any who get in their way. Throw in a military base, run by Colonel Stowe (Langley Kirkwood) on the verge of being decommissioned, that may hold Hood’s biggest heist yet, and you have the making for an amazing season, and a fantastic show.
Most of the problems are not solved through an exchange of dialogues and ideas, but instead with bullets, punches, or a raised skirt, just as you would expect from a pulp tale. But that doesn’t make it a poorly paced and acted show, on the contrary, the show embraces its roots and creates involving, emotive but violent tales, brought to life by a strong cast.
As always, the series is loaded up with all manner of extras, a season 2 recap, a feature on almost all the episodes called, Zoomed In, which takes you behind the scenes of each episode, there are commentaries, and all of these things are in support of a gorgeous looking series that plays with image, and storytelling.
This is a series where it seems that none of the characters have redeeming qualities, and yet, they occasionally serve justice and have strong moral codes.
Planned as a four season story, the final season just got underway on the 1st of April, but you still have plenty of time to catch up, and believe me, this one is worth it. It’s flown under the radar (at least mine) for too long, it’s time to check this one out!
Season 3 is available today on DVD and Blu-Ray, seasons 1 and 2 are out there to be had, and the final season is airing on Cinemax and HBO now!