The second season of Banshee saw this Cinemax series start to pivot from being an oddly fascinating action show with an original setting and complex characters to being a run-of-the-mill action show with ridiculously gratuitous sex scenes shoehorned in between gun fights. But there’s still hope for the show.
Created by novelist Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You) with help from Alan Ball (True Blood, Six Feet Under), the show is set in Amish country and focuses on an ex-con Lucas Hood (Antony Starr) who moves to the small town and takes over the identity of the new, recently deceased sheriff. He pairs up with his ex, Anastasia (Ivana Miličević) who lives there as well, also under an assumed identity, and battles the local gang. Season two centers on a local Indian tribe trying to build a nearby casino adding more tension to the local power struggles, with a subplot on Anastasia dealing with the estrangement from her husband and kids as they learn about her crime-heavy past.
The dialogue is still inspired for a crime show and the plotlines, though over the top, are still inventive and entertaining when they aren’t dragged down by detours from out of place masturbation scenes and eye-rolling sex scenes that are seemingly aimed to titillate teenage boys (the Game of Thrones effect, maybe?).
Here’s hoping season three ditches the goofy soft core stuff and refocuses more on the characters.
Banshee: The Complete Second Season/4 DVDs/600 Mins./HBO Studios/2014