Sunday, 28 July 2013

TV: Banshee (S1) (8/10)

Why did I watch it?
Banshee first came on to my radar when I was reading about True Blood and Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball's next project. I then totally forgot about it until the trailers began running on TV and it looked worth a watch.

What's it all about?
The show revolves around a former diamond thief, released after a 15 year stint, who travels to the small township of Banshee to track down his former partner and lover. Upon his arrival, the town's incoming sheriff, Lucas Hood, is killed in a quiet bar and the convict assumes the dead man's identity, becoming the town's new sheriff.

Should you watch it?
Banshee is a gritty, ultra-violent, ultra-sexy, truly adult TV show that I thoroughly enjoyed watching the debut season of. 

Executive produced by True Blood's Alan Ball, Banshee features a diverse and interesting cast of characters, from Russian crime lord to rebellious Amish young woman, colliding in the small town setting. Main character Lucas Hood (Antony Starr) grows into his role as the show's anti-hero with his balls to the wall hard approach to sheriff duties that shocks and impresses his colleagues in equal measures. Ulrich Thomsen steals most scenes as the sly, menacing and vile local crime lord Kai Proctor, frustrated that the new sheriff doesn't want to serve his interests as predecessors have done.

One of the Banshee's strengths is it's brutally fantastic fight scenes. Not afraid to skimp on violence, the choreography is amazing and comfortably beats most movie punch-ups. Hood's fights with a visiting cage fighter and Albino prison beast are probably some of the best fights I've seen produced.

The season's ending was disappointingly predictable but I still enjoyed the story, script and characters hugely and the trailer for season two shows that there is still plenty of drama ahead in Banshee.

Not for the reserved, but a great start for one of the toughest shows on TV.

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