I decided to go back and rewatch Banshee again in recent weeks. I've reviewed it in here before so I'm sure I'll be repeating myself to some degree. I don't care. I'll pretend you, dear reader, have no idea what it's about and that I've never reviewed it.
Antony Starr is the star of this show. He's just stopped into a bar in Banshee after a 15-year stint in prison. While there, he meets the new sheriff of Banshee, Lucas Hood, who has just arrived. Two enforcers for the local crime boss show up to get protection money from the bar owner. Hood and the two bad guys get into it and our unnamed hero steps in as well. When it's all said and down, the sheriff and the bad guys are dead. The new kid in town, looking to start over, decides to take the identity of Hood. He enlists his hacker friend to steal Hood's identity, gets buy-in from the bar owner, and we're off and running. Is the fact that this town apparently hired a sheriff without ever seeing what he looks like just too much for you to bear? If it is, this show isn't for you. If it's not, and you're willing to give into that conceit, you're in for a treat.
What unfolds over four seasons is a smorgasbord of violence and sex as "Hood" simultaneously tries to take down Kai Proctor, the local crime boss while also serving his own criminal interests. There's also a war against his former criminal boss, who helped send him to prison, a battle against the local Native American gang, uneasy relations with some of his fellow sheriffs, close calls with people who figure out his identity, and relations with the ladies. LOTS of relations with the ladies, though that drops off in the last two seasons while they ramp up the violence even more.
There is a ton of stuff packed into the show - the dynamic of Proctor, an Amish shunned from his family, the battle between Proctor and the local Native tribe for control of a casino, the relationship between "Hood" and his former girlfriend (his reason for being in Banshee), the growth of Rebecca Bowman from misbehaving Amish girl into a ruthless sidekick for her uncle Kai, and a whole lot more. It's all wrapped in a ton of mostly serious action with a TON of super-graphics violence and people screwing each other. The show revels in its gratuitous violence and sex, for sure.
And yet it's more than that somehow. The acting here is mostly top-notch. Antony Starr is terrific. Ulrich Thomsen as Kai Proctor is fabulous. Frankie Faison as the bar owner who's seen too much is fantastic. Matt Servitto as Brock Lotus, the deputy who doesn't trust "Hood" but still follows him is fantastic, too.
And, of special note, is Geno Segers as the leader of the Native gang. Between his gigantic frame, menacing look, and gravelly voice, he's what somebody would picture if you described the movie version of Vin Diesel to somebody who'd never seen Vin. Segers is fantastic here before meeting an ending not far off from Gus Fring.
And, of course, the women here are all gorgeous. You know you're doing well when Ivana Milicevic and Eliza Dushku are neck-and-neck for fourth best-looking woman on the show.
And the violence is more than just gore. There's a ton of great fight scenes. The women in the show fight, too, and they're treated as equals - fighting semi-realistically and getting beat up, too. And, yeah, the characters are all too good at fighting. So what. And, yeah, the characters basically never get injured in their fights if they don't die. So what.
So, yeah, I love this show. Do you like to see awesome fights, graphic violence, and beautiful people bumping uglies and don't care too much if the entire premise is ridiculous? Then Banshee is for you.