Banshee Season 1 Review “Meet The New Boss”

I’m out. Banshee crossed the line this week. I have a pretty firm policy that I do not watch tv shows or movies that depict violent rape scenes. I find them particularly offensive in premium cable shows. Everybody knows when watching a show like Banshee that there is a requisite sex scene in each episode. It’s the titillation factor. I get that. In last week’s episode, the gratuitous sex scene was with Hood and the Amish girl, Rebecca. While they had sex again this week, they did so with their clothes mostly on. That type of encounter does not meet the definition of a premium cable sex scene – there’s no nudity.

So how was Banshee going to go to fill its quota? Enter an arrogant fighter, in town for a fight at a local casino. He invites the casino’s waitress back to his room and asks her to bring him some champagne. Because it is Banshee, the town where all women seem to be willing to sleep with strangers, the waitress decides to have sex with the fighter. Nudity – check.

But here is where I jump ship. During the consensual sex scene, the fighter becomes more aggressive. Over shouts by the waitress for him to stop, he ends up violently raping and beating her. In the hospital later, the waitress tells the police officers that he also violated her with the champagne bottle.

When shows like this fill their sex quota with a rape scene, I have no interest in continuing to watch that show. It’s the same reason I stopped watching Spartacus. There is a way to communicate that someone was raped without showing it in such graphic detail. When shows like this use rape to fill their sex requirement, it blurs the line between what is sexual and what is violent. Most people can make the distinction in their minds between erotic and violent acts. However, there is undoubtedly still a segment of the viewership that is unable to do so. These types of people do not need to be pandered to.

So how could the show have communicated the rape in a way that would still explain Hood becoming enraged enough to beat the fighter? Let me explain. Waitress goes to fighter’s trailer, they do the drugs, and there is a shot of the outside of the trailer and perhaps the sound of screaming. The next time we see the waitress, she is in a hospital bed explaining what happened. What is missing? The actual depiction of sexual violence.

I am sure that other people have similar things that they cannot watch. Some may be more offended by the beating of the waitress or by the waitress and fighter doing cocaine. For me, this is my line in the sand and when it’s crossed, I have no further interest in watching.
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  • burg

    ur a lil bitch, go watch glee

  • Jessica B.

    Wow, how about actually reviewing the episode and doing your damn job instead of getting up on that soap box you love so much?

    • Courtney

      A review is defined as, “To examine with an eye to criticism or correction.” I don’t write recaps. You are right, though. I LOVE my soapbox with all my heart. It is unfortunate you two haven’t bonded. I want you to know that I won’t be hurt if you don’t read my articles anymore. You should follow your heart and search out people with whom you agree. Thanks for commenting!

      • http://twitter.com/slow17motion slow17motion

        You didn’t examine the episode. You commented that upon the perception others might have of a single scene present in the episode–you claimed that having rape on television in general is BAD and that Banshee did that so you’ll no longer watch. You didn’t actually review the show. Retard.

  • http://twitter.com/slow17motion slow17motion

    This review is sheer stupidity. The scene was not filling a “sex quota”–it wasn’t erotic at all. It was meant to make you feel shitty and dislike the asshat that raped the poor girl.

    Also, it sets up the end of the ep where the guy gets what he deserves when the protagonist beats the shit out of the rapist.

    Here’s the ironic part: The reviewer complains about some small portion of viewers that can’t separate violence from sex–except, it seems that the reviewer is the one with that exact problem. Yes, some people in this world might be influenced by a violent act they see on television. Banshee is not responsible for making sure these people don’t go apeshit and start raping their mothers. Some people are fucking idiots… We get that–but if that is the case, the reviewer is the BIGGEST fool of them all. She actually has a problem distinguishing what makes a titillating sex scene from what is OBVIOUSLY intended to be a graphic (and negative) portrayal of rape. That makes her no better than the nuts she claims are actually influenced by a fucking television show.

    You shouldn’t review any more shows. You suck.

  • Aaron

    I agree with the point you are making about how this depiction “blurs the line between what is sexual and what is violent.” However you should have continued the episode, there was nothing sweeter than watching Hood demolish that arrogant fighter in what was a fight scene that would have made Tarantino proud.

    For what it is, Banshee is shaping up as a great show, it pushes a lot of boundaries and I was also extremely uncomfortable during the particular scene you are discussing, but that is all part of the ride.

    • Courtney

      I watched the whole episode. I didn’t find the beat down to be satisfying or to make the rape scene less offensive. In fact, I thought the fight scene was absurd since he was beat to a pulp and ended up with his head on the bar and a bag of frozen peas on his eyes. Seriously? And as apparent in my earlier reviews, I do not care for this show generally for many reasons – lack of quality being among them. This is why I have asked to not review it anymore. (Banshee lovers rejoice) Life’s too short to spend on things that you do not like. I appreciate, though, that you made a thoughtful comment and had a defensible position.
      It’s funny how writing that you don’t enjoy watching rape has riled so many people up. Of all the things that could possibly motivate people to comment, it’s surprising and disconcerting that this is what has. If people want to call me names or insult me for expressing a dislike of watching violent rape, I’m ok with that and it won’t change my opinion. I can see someone disagreeing with my view of the show or not being as disturbed by the scene as I was. But boy, it is sad that so many people are personally affronted by my opinion.

      • lee

        so to summerize(my spelling is lousy these days) you don’t like the show and you’re not gonna watch anymore so there. you won’t be missed

  • http://www.tvequals.com/ Americ Ngwije

    Hi everyone, thanks for commenting. Just a quick reminder that any comments containing profanity or personal insults will be deleted, per our commenting policy.

  • TIlman

    If you think that that scene had a blurred line between violence and eroticism, or that anyone could think it did, then… Jesus. That crosses my line.

  • http://twitter.com/johnjiffy john jiffy

    You need to not jump down the throat of everyone who disagrees with you, it makes you sound like a child. I think writing a critique blog may not be your thing.

    • Courtney

      You just called me a “child” because you don’t like what I have to say. This is the fundamental difference between debating an issue (as Aaron did above) and personally attacking someone. You will not find any response to a comment with me calling someone a name. If you have an opinion about the show, I would love to hear it. Otherwise, thanks for reading and I hope you find a writer you are better able to relate to.

  • Billy

    I fully agree with you. Not because the rape scene crossed a line for me, heck I still love The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but because of the way the show handled it. So unnecessary. Plus three episodes was all I was willing to give to this show and it has not won me over, far from it.
    I don’t understand why everybody has a problem with this piece, you are letting everyone know you will not be writing about this show anymore and for a fair reason.

    • Courtney

      I had heard about the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo scene which I was why I opted out of that movie. I know people who liked it, just not something for me. After Requiem for a Dream, I also can’t watch women hooking for drugs. Blech.

  • Courtney

    Thanks everyone for reading and commenting. I glad my article has sparked a discussion. As I mentioned, I’m out on Banshee, so I’m also hopping off this comment thread. Even though I didn’t like the show, there are clearly enough of you out there who do since the show has been renewed for a second season. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the rest of the season.

  • Megan

    I am all about my HBO, SHO and CINMAX shows. Love them. Banshee is ok for me too. It has some interesting plots going, and I think that is why I still really want to watch. But ever since they aired this episode the rape scene is all I can think about. Enough to get online a week after and google ” Banshee TV Series Rape Scene.” That is how I fell across this blog. And I am very glad that I did. I am not going to stop watching this show, but they should NOT have been so explicit with that scene. I have been raped. Alot like she was. And that scene was overwhelming. I could not believe what I was seeing. I dont think that I have ever seen a rape scene on TV so wide open like that one was. The creator of this show def. has some ideas about what is intriguing. Seeming to always push the limit to catch the audiences attention. For example: The bone coming out of his arm in the fight scene. I am glad I am not the only one who felt so strongly about it that they went online to say something about it. I cant forget his name. Victor Cruz! Makes me sick. Woman really do get done like that everyday! Very sad fact.

    • Courtney

      Alright, i couldn’t read this and not respond. It is heartbreaking to read that you had such a horrible experience, and I am glad this article spoke to you. You are definitely not the only person out there disturbed by this depiction. I think sometimes TV writers confuse a memorable scene for a good one. There are some scenes it’d be better to not remember! Thank you so much for commenting and reading.