Banshee (Cinemax): What You Should Know

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As you get ready for a great Friday night, you should add Cinemax’s new series Banshee, which premieres tonight, January 11th, at 10pm, to your schedule (or at least your DVR’s schedule).

The series which comes from executive producers Jonathan Tropper, David Schickler, Peter Macdissi, Alan Ball and Greg Yaitanes launches with quite the premiere episode as we meet recently paroled master thief (Antony Starr), who through a series of events ends up assuming the identity of Lucas Hood, the new sheriff of Banshee, PA.

Banshee is also the town where his former partner/lover, now named Carrie Hopewell (Ivana Milicevic), lives with her family. And to make matters worse, Hood not only gets “involved with” local gangster Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen), but he’s also running away from Mr. Rabbit (Ben Cross), the New York mob boss from whom Carrie and Lucas stole.

Now that you know a bit of the story, here are a few things you should know before you delve into the world of Banshee.

Action/Sex

How to know you’re watching a premium channel series? There is a sex scene followed by an insane action sequence within 5 minutes of the first episode. If that’s not good enough to set up the tone, I don’t know what is.

And it doesn’t stop there. We’re provided with even more action throughout the episode, including a bar fight, which will make you “oooohh” and “aaaaaah” in pain from what’s happening on screen. It’s pretty badass.

There’s A New Sheriff in Town

I think the appeal of Banshee is that we get this new sheriff, who’s not really a sheriff but a criminal. And if you’ve seen Antony Starr in action, you’ll definitely want to see him become that sheriff. I’m predicting there will be lots of taking the law into your own hands moments, which always makes for exciting and entertaining viewing.

Plus, this whole dichotomy allows for some great character development throughout the season.

A 10-Episode Season

While I always enjoy to get lots of episodes per season from a series I love, I also appreciate short seasons, because they allow for faster and more significant developments in each episode. Also it means that committing to watching the show won’t take too much additional time from an already busy schedule and that’s always a plus.

Fresh Faces

While you might recognize a few of the actors from their previous work, I would venture that most of you will be pretty unfamiliar with the cast of Banshee, and that’s a good thing. I always find that fresh faces allow for a total immersion into a new story without thinking “Oh look that’s the guy from Lost in a new show.”

Plus, within a few minutes into the series, you’ll realize how powerful and talented the cast is and will probably find some new favorites of yours.

Random Special Mentions

Speaking of favorites, I wanted to mention that:

1) Keep an eye out for Antony Starr, who’s without a doubt the new face you’ll come to love

2) You should watch Ulrich Thomsen (who plays local gangster Kai Proctor) in Danish/Swedish film “In a Better World.” Great movie. Great performances.

3) I became a fan of Trieste Kelly Dunn (who plays one of Hood’s overseeing deputies Siobahn Kelly) when I first saw her in the movie “The New Year” during the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival (see my review here on Film Equals) and even then, I knew she was “someone to watch.” I’m excited to see more of her in Banshee.

And now that you know everything… well almost, make sure to tune in and watch the premiere of Banshee tonight at 10pm on Cinemax. And if you enjoyed it, make sure to let me know in the comments of reach out to me on Twitter @sosandrine.