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Banshee T.V show review

Updated on April 23, 2016

The plot

Set in the lawless small town of Banshee Pennsylvania, an ex con released from prison is caught in the murder of the town sheriff. The ex con then assumes the identity of Lucas Hood and infiltrates Banshee's police department to continue his life of crime. He seeks reconciliation with his past, haunted by the betrayal of those he loved. Lucas carries out his own justice in a world dominated by lawless violence, corruption, greed, apathy, lust, and hopelessness.

Production:

The show earns a notable reputation among several audiences. The series portrays certain cultures and social roles while taking care not to stereotype them. For example, the character Chayton Littlestone who is part of a fictional Native American tribe has earned much respect among Native Americans. In an interview, the actor (Geno Segers) stated the following:

Collider: "How do people react to Chayton Littlestone? What sort of feedback do you hear from people?"

GENO SEGERS: "Those people who are of an activist spirit got Chayton in Season 2, without any help at all. I’ve had a lot of people from the Native American community, who are more of an activist type of person, speak very highly of Chayton..."

The show is very well balanced in the violence, romance, suspense, and mystery. It mainly appeals to a general mature audience.

The action:

The show is action-packed with extremely brutal violence and grotesque death scenes between heroes and villains. While most shows would rather "play-fight", the extreme brutal violence in Banshee is somewhat realistic. The actor who plays Lucas Hood (Anthony Starr) stated that he's suffered injuries while filming the action scenes. There is a mixture of shoot-outs, torture, and fist fights. Every character has a unique fighting style revealing their personality, expertise, strength, stamina, agility, and other qualities. Each fight scene is unique in it's own respect, testing the abilities and the limits of the characters' strengths. Each character faces intensely new challenges as he or she progresses physically, mentally, intellectually, and emotionally. Many of the fights between heroes and their rivals are personally motivated, distinguishing it from many other shows.

The romance:

The audience gets a full glimpse into the relationships among the main characters. You won't see characters affectionately kissing each other every waking moment. Every intimate moment a couple shares together gives us insight into their past, deepest desires, fears, struggles, love, and future. The romantic interactions are also very well connected to the mystery and action of the series.

The conflict:

Banshee is unique because of it's realistic environment and mature themes. Because the setting is in a small town, it's easy to see how every character is connected to one another and how conflicts arise. Every conflict a character faces affects those around them. For example, many shows would rather depict a glamorous love affair than the interpersonal struggles of a couple. Banshee shows you the dark side of love and how the past can shatter a relationship. The show is centered around the characters' choices and their consequence. Throughout the show, we see both internal and external conflicts grow as each character develops an interdependent relationship. Banshee is not another show with a good guy vs. bad guy plot. Every character has their own flaws, different perspectives, and a story to tell. The issues are far more complex as we delve into what makes each character cry, what makes them tick, and so on.

The suspense:

Like any other action film, Banshee has chilling suspense. The problem with many shows is that the suspense is that it's predictable. How many times have you seen one of the main characters about to get killed until he or she gets saved at the last moment? Banshee has unexpected plot twists shifting the conflict into different directions.

The characters:

Every character is unique with his or her own personality, weaknesses, strengths, abilities, and emotions. They all have histories that viewers can relate to. The series breaks away from traditional roles in society. For example, the cops in many shows are generally depicted as law-abiding heroes. Banshee portrays them as anti-heroes, reminding us that at the end of the day - cops are people too. There are no "filler" characters rarely noticed in the background for just one season. Minor characters also play a very important role in the plot and developing the main characters, even if it is only for one episode.

The Script:

Each conversation and interaction is dynamic just as you would see in a real world setting. The show is successful in it's dialogue by showing the different emotions of each character. The characters sometimes engage in verbal outbursts, causing us to consider the impact it has on their self esteem. Whether it's an argument or a simple conversation, the dialogue helps us get an in-depth analysis of how special each character is to another. The show creates situations in which the characters are forced to battle between their self-centered ambitions and love for others, creating a believable plot. Every action develops the plot by a character's relationship with a certain person or moral. For example, some protagonists may dislike an antagonist but help them because of certain values. The town of Banshee adapts consistently with each changing place such as the beautiful landscapes, crowded festivals, a busy police station, and the Amish community. In attacks between two opposing characters, innocent by-standers get caught in the crossfire revealing who the characters are through their reactions.

The acting:

The actors fully immerse themselves in their characters. From a tone of voice, mood, behavior, and conversational attitude - It's as if your watching real people. The actors draw from various influences and qualities to develop their characters. For example, Albino is considered to be a menacing and cruel character on set. When the actor, Joseph Gatt, was asked how he played such a character, he responded with the following:

"After my initial horror at the script and booking the role, I really took some time to sit with 'The Albino' and figure out what I wanted to do with him. I could've taken the easy way out and just played him as an angry, two dimensional, one note bad guy whom you've seen a million times before portrayed by bored or incapable actors. But what I really wanted to achieve was empathy. I wanted this person to have real reasons for doing the things and behaving the way he does, and ultimately they are sad reasons leaving him in a do-or-die survival situation. He's behaving the way he does because he has to, and by doing these things he has created a comfortable world for himself to feel like a worthwhile person, which is something he probably never experienced in the outside world. I gave myself a sort of goal, that if I could make just one person empathize and so in turn sympathize with this totally evil character, then I've done my job... and I think I did!"

Overall, Banshee is a must-watch show for viewers to watch regardless of what genre you prefer. I recommend it for anyone looking for a dramatic action-packed thriller full of emotion, excitement, romance, and violence.

My rating of the show:

5 stars for Banshee

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