Banshee: The Complete Series (2013-2016) (cri-fi TV series review).

December 20, 2019 | By | Reply More

Please don’t confuse this Banshee with the film of the same name. This Banshee is a town in Pennsylvania, mixing in Amish, Native Americans, Neo-Nazis and Satanists that makes the crooks look like the good guys. Nobody is what they seem, crime is rife and the even the local military are corrupt. Psychopaths are rife and the police can’t contain it and have a new sheriff arriving.

Except as he arrives and visits a local bar run by ex-boxer Sugar Bates (actor Frankie Falson), he is killed by a couple of local thugs. An unknown professional thief (actor Antony Starr) recently released from 15 years in prison kills the thugs and assumes the new sheriff’s identity, Lucas Hood, with credentials provided by supreme hacker Job (actor Hoon Lee). He’s there to find his former lover, Anastasia Rabbit (actress Ivana Millcevic) hiding from his criminal father (actor Ben Cross).

That’s all you really to know because anything beyond that is total spoiler and you have to pay attention to the extra: ‘Banshee: Origins’ at the start of each season to fill in the gaps and pay extra attention to the opening credits which change every episode. This series is not for casual viewing and you have to learn the rules as you go on. In fact, the audio commentaries helps a lot, as do all the extras.

The series is full of bad language, sex scenes from time to time, extremely violence, black humour, a lot of deaths and one of the best dramas I’ve seen. Don’t take anything for granted, let alone any of the outcomes. Created by producer Jonathar Tropper and author and now TV writer/producer David Schickler, they see it as being akin to a western with cops and certainly enough over the top to make it acceptable.

Many of the lead cast aren’t even American, but by golly they can act, and several of them will spook you out. When you think they are outnumbered, you suddenly remember they are more than capable. They are certainly full of surprises and don’t expect anything standard. Even season endings aren’t where they are supposed to be. The producers point out that they want to shake up everything.

It might not be totally within our remit but it certainly should be drawn to your attention, although don’t watch with your kids. They really are all stars of this show. I think if I have to choose a favourite character then it’s Job. Actor Hoon Lee brings an attitude to him and his chameleon attire that you can’t anticipate what he will do next and is a scene-stealer. When the other cast are just as good, that is telling.

In the finale audio commentary, the producers point out how even the likes of actors Samuel L. Jackson and Henry Winkler are fans. Now that is a contrast in people.

‘Banshee’ is one series you really must watch for yourself and be careful not to binge watch on a full stomach and never upset Kai Proctor (actor Ultrich Thomsen), as he will literally make mincemeat of you.

GF Willmetts

December 2019

(region 2 DVD: pub: HBO/Cinemax. 15 DVDs 1819 minutes 38 * 55 minute episodes with extras. Price: varies, I pulled my boxset for £25.00 (UK). ASIN: 5000229019)

cast: Antony Starr, Ivana Millcevic, Ultrich Thomsen, Frankie Falson, Matt Servitto, Hoon Lee, Ryann Shane, Lili Simmons, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Ben Cross, Matthew Rauch, etc.

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Category: Cri-Fi, TV

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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