The most surprising thing about the relatively new Cinemax show Banshee is that it has yet to get its proper due for being a truly great action series. Hopefully the release of the first season on DVD will help jumpstart the band wagon.
Created by novelists Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler with help from uber producer Alan Ball (True Blood, Six Feet Under), the series is heavy on adrenaline and sex, but owes just as much to sly dialogue and fascinating characters. Set in Amish country Pennsylvania (the fictional town of Banshee), the show focuses in on an ex-con named Lucas Hood who moves to this small town and takes over the identity of the new sheriff. He meets up with his old girlfriend and thieving partner now living a new life as a mother and wife of the town’s District Attorney. Banshee incidentally is run by a vicious ex-Amish crime lord.
As ever serial crime show since the dawn of TV needs a sidekick, Hood’s happens to be an aging ex-boxer, bar owner named Sugar Bates. Yes these are typical TV clichés, but thanks to the strong writing and compelling story lines from Tropper and Schickler, the show is remarkably original. The network has just signed on for a second season to begin in 2014, so this DVD set and the rest of the fall gives you everything you need to catch up.
Banshee – The Complete First Season/5 DVDs/600 mins./HBO Studios/2013