Banshee Season 1 Review “Pilot”

If there is a hole in your heart now that Hunted, Homeland, and Boardwalk Empire have finished their seasons, I’ve got some bad news. Cinemax’s new show Banshee is not going to fill the void. As you would expect from Cinemax, it was chock-full of guns, ass kicking, and sex. It was also unbelievably bad.

I know there are going to be a lot of people who disagree with me, but facts are facts. Before the opening credits, “Lucas Hood” (Antony Starr) had sex with a random waitress, destroyed a hair dresser’s office, caused a multi-car, double-decker bus pile up, and dodged bullets. All that was missing was a slow motion stride with an explosion in the background.

Banshee is trying too hard to be edgy. It feels like the type of show a group of teenage boys would dream up during a high school lunch of Snicker bars and Mountain Dew. “Dude, we should have a bad ass dude who kills a man with a bottle of A1 steak sauce, then show a naked chick with a dude going down on her. And then, they could do some drugs, like even in the shower they could be smoking pot. And, wait for it, we could throw in Amish people.”

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, the former Amish gang kingpin goes back home where he keeps a handful of women ready to drop their clothes at his command. Again, it’s a fourteen year old boy’s fantasy. But, the lameness of the situation then transforms into the absurd with the kingpin has his whore (I can’t say prostitute because it’s not clear if she was getting paid or just had a thing for pasty men with giant Jesus tattoos) throw on an Amish cap for a little oral sex.

Unfortunately, Starr does not have the charisma to pull this show out of the muck. He’s not charming. He’s not an alluring rogue, like Timothy Olyphant, or a rugged hero, like Matthew Fox. The seemingly hundreds of people in the supporting cast aren’t any better. Note to the make-up department, when Demi Lovato and Justin Bieber have tattoos, they are no longer bad guy symbols. Neck spider decals are just not as menacing as they used to be. Blame today’s youth.

Lest I be criticized for being too harsh, Ivana Milicevic is interesting as Carrie, a former diamond thief turned stay at home mom. I can’t say the same, though, for Hoon Lee as Job. Tyler Perry is more convincing in drag.

I fully expect that before the end of the season we’ll see a ninja or two, a toilet explode, and a threesome. Unless the writers get distracted because their moms come home early and want to know what they’re doing in their bedrooms with the doors locked.

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