Banshee (TV series)

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Banshee
TV series - Banshee Title Card.jpg
Banshee title card
Genre
Created byJonathan Tropper
David Schickler
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Jonathan Tropper
David Schickler
Peter Macdissi
Alan Ball
Greg Yaitanes
Running time43–59 minutes
Production company(s)Your Face Goes Here Entertainment
Tropper Schickler Productions
One Olive
DistributorHBO
Broadcast
Original channelCinemax
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original runJanuary 11, 2013 (2013-01-11) – present
External links
Website
 
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Banshee
TV series - Banshee Title Card.jpg
Banshee title card
Genre
Created byJonathan Tropper
David Schickler
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Jonathan Tropper
David Schickler
Peter Macdissi
Alan Ball
Greg Yaitanes
Running time43–59 minutes
Production company(s)Your Face Goes Here Entertainment
Tropper Schickler Productions
One Olive
DistributorHBO
Broadcast
Original channelCinemax
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original runJanuary 11, 2013 (2013-01-11) – present
External links
Website

Banshee is an American action-drama television series created by Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler originally appearing on the Cinemax network beginning on January 11, 2013. Set in the eponymous small town of Banshee in Pennsylvania Amish country, the series' main character is an enigmatic ex-con (Antony Starr), who assumes the identity of Lucas Hood, the town's murdered sheriff, to hide from powerful crime lord Rabbit (Ben Cross). Imposing his own brand of justice, Banshee follows Hood as he attempts to reconcile with his former lover, Rabbit's daughter, Anastasia (Ivana Miličević), who has herself adopted an assumed identity, married, and raised a family during Hood's incarceration. Hood struggles to maintain his new identity while still embracing crime alongside his partners Job (Hoon Lee) and Sugar (Frankie Faison), and coming into conflict with local kingpin Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen).

The series was developed as part of Cinemax's drive to develop original content. A 10-episode second season debuted in January 2014. Banshee was renewed for a third season that same month.

Premise[edit]

Banshee takes place in the fictional small town of Banshee, Pennsylvania. The series is based around an unnamed protagonist, who spent 15 years in prison after stealing $10 Million in diamonds from his employer, a Ukrainian mob boss called 'Rabbit'. Upon leaving prison, the protagonist realizes that Rabbit is still after him, and he escapes to a small town called Banshee. This is also the town that he believes his former lover and accomplice, Anastasia, is living in. Unbeknownst to him, she has also assumed a new identity (Carrie Hopewell) and is married with two children. In an attempt to start a new life, the protagonist assumes the identity of Lucas Hood, a police officer, and becomes the town sheriff. Banshee sees Hood struggle with adapting to his new identity while dealing with the machinations of local crime lord Kai Proctor, piecing together his relationship with Anastasia, and remaining hidden from Rabbit.[1][2]

Season 1 focuses on Hood's attempts to restore his relationship with Carrie under the looming threat of Rabbit eventually finding them both. Hood quickly earns a reputation for himself as he does the job his own way, instead of following the rules. His deputies are increasingly suspicious of him and he is constantly at odds with Kai Proctor, and eventually gains the interest of the FBI. Eventually his well earned reputation leads Rabbit to Banshee. Hood gives himself up to Rabbit in the hopes that Rabbit will leave Carrie alone. However, he is saved by Carrie, his deputies and two of his criminal accomplices. Carrie shoots and seemingly kills Rabbit, but during a later investigation his body is not found. The season ends with the original Hood's son learning of his father's replacement by an impostor, Kai killing the town Mayor, and the discovery of the real Lucas Hood's corpse.

Season 2 places a larger focus on the Indian tribes and reservations in the town, including the tribal chief Alex Longshadow, whose attempts to build a casino and compete for power with Proctor draw the pair into a bloody conflict. Carrie is imprisoned for her role in the shootout that liberated Hood, and her past is publicly revealed, devastating her family and professional life. Hood and his deputies are put on probation for their involvement, but allowed to continue their duties. Hood, accepting that Carrie has focused on her family, enters into a relationship with his deputy Siobhan.[3] The real Lucas Hood's son Jason arrives in Banshee, aware of the impostor Hood's identity theft. Hood helps the troubled Jason find a new life, but Proctor kills Jason for sleeping with his niece Rebecca, reigniting the conflict between Hood and Proctor.[4] Proctor is eventually imprisoned based on Hood's illegal investigation, but freed when Longshadow, providing information to the police to keep Proctor locked away, is murdered by Rebecca. Meanwhile, discovering Rabbit is alive, Hood and Carrie track down the weakened gangster. Provided with a gun and single bullet, the weakened mobster commits suicide. The season ends with Chayton Littlestone, the leader of the Indian Kinaho tribe, being informed of Longshadow's death.[5]

Cast[edit]

The series also features in recurring roles, Matthew Rauch as Proctor's right-hand-man Burton, Christos Vasilopoulos as Rabbit's right-hand-man Olek, Odette Annable as Nola, Longshadow's sister, and Gabriel Suttle as Carrie's son Max. Season 2 introduced Harrison Thomas as Jason Hood, the son of the real Lucas Hood.[4] Season 3 will introduce Meaghan Rath as Aimee King, a sole deputy in the corrupt Kinaho Reservation Police Department, Chaske Spencer as Billy Raven, a former deputy in the Banshee Sheriff´s Department, who is now considered and outcast by his own people and Tom Pelphrey as Kurt Bunker, a former skinhead who applies to be a deputy in Banshee´s Sheriff´s Department.[13]

Production[edit]

Promotional poster for Banshee

Banshee is part of Cinemax's attempt to expand its original programming content, and it joins Strike Back (co-produced with BSkyB) and Steve Kronish's Sandbox. Banshee premiered on January 11, 2013.[14] The show was first revealed in August 2011, when it was announced that Alan Ball would produce the crime drama. Ball helped develop the project alongside creators Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler. Banshee was originally set up at Cinemax owner HBO, but moved to Cinemax when it was decided to increase original programming on that network. By August, Cinemax was finalizing casting and financial details with the intention of filming in Spring 2012 in North Carolina.[15][16] In January 2012, Cinemax ordered ten episodes for the show's first season, with the first episode being directed by Greg Yaitanes.[16] In March 2012, Servitto, Dunn and Owens were cast as, respectively, Brock Lotus, Siobhan Kelly, and Mayor Dan Kendall.[9] Later that month, Starr was cast as lead character Lucas Hood, alongside Grosse as deputy Emmett Yawners, Thomsen as Kai Proctor, Lee as Job, and Milicevic as Carrie Hopewell.[17][18][19] Simmons was cast in April as Proctor's niece, Rebecca Bowman, an amish girl who lives a rebellious double life,[20] and in August 2012, Odette Annable was cast in the recurring role of Nola Longshadow, a native American assassin.[21] Tropper, Schickler, Ball, Yaitanes and Peter Macdissi serve as executive producers.[22]

During the first day of shooting on the series, Starr suffered a facial injury when stunt fight choreography went wrong, splitting his lip open. He continued to film for six hours to complete the scene before going to hospital to receive six stitches. The injury required digital removal for all scenes set before the fight but filmed after the stunt, resulting in lengthy post-production on the first episode. Some of the many fight scenes on the show can take up to 25 hours to film.[23] Yaitanes cited Jason Statham-starring action films, and John Carpenter films Big Trouble in Little China (1986) and They Live (1988) as inspiration for the fights and violence in Banshee. Marcus Young serves as the series' fight choreographer.[24]

On January 29, 2013 Cinemax renewed Banshee for a 10-episode second season which premiered on January 10, 2014.[25][26] The season's opening action set piece featuring Milicevic, Starr, and Lee, performing a high-speed heist, was filmed across five miles of closed highway. Tropper originally wrote the scene for the show's accompanying graphic novel, Banshee Origins which follows the trio sixteen years earlier, but he decided that it would be an interesting live action stunt.[27]

After three episodes of the second season had aired, it was renewed for third season, which will premiere in January 2015.[28]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception of Banshee has been mixed. The first season holds a 61/100 score on Metacritic.[29]

Wall Street Journal critic Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote, "Its smartness comes shining through despite the claptrap (none worse than the parade of sex scenes, soft-porn variety, whose noisiness is exceeded only by their unconvincingness); its story, littered with intriguingly repellent characters, like Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen), local evil tycoon, grows ever more enticing".[30]

The San Francisco Chronicle said about Banshee, "It has a solid pedigree. It's also part of Cinemax's effort to expand its original programming. That effort pays off with Banshee".[31]

Banshee has also had less favourable reviews. A Boston Herald critic described the series as: "A slow-pokey drama punctuated by shocking violence and sex".[32]

Discussing the fate of his character Emmett in Season 2, Grosse was critical, believing that while the violent vengeance he took on the Neo-Nazis was not necessarily the right thing to do, Emmett's murder at their hands gives them the final victory.[33]

Ratings[edit]

Season one of Banshee drew Cinemax's highest ever ratings for an original series, averaging 433,000 viewers per episode and 727,000 in the 7 days after each episode was released. The season finale drew 455,000 viewers during its initial screening and 655,000 during its repeat, the largest audience ever, at the time, for a Cinemax original series finale, and the third-highest ratings achieved by Banshee at that point.[34]

The second season exceeded the first's successes. The season's fifth episode, "The Truth about Unicorns", set a series record with 591,000 viewers during its original airing. The season finale also set a new record, with 733,000 viewers, and a total of 968,000 for the evening including repeat showings.[35]

Accolades[edit]

Banshee won the award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects at the 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.[36]

Other media[edit]

A Banshee comic called Banshee Origins was produced by IDW and provides details of the failed diamond heist that Lucas and Carrie attempted 15 years ago that lead to Lucas' incarceration. A web series also called Banshee Origins that provided additional scenes to help supplement various characters' pasts before the events that lead to the first episode of the TV series. Currently 2 seasons have been produced.[citation needed]

A soundtrack album, Banshee - Music From the Cinemax Original Series, was released on CD and in digital format on February 11, 2014. The album features 17 songs from the show's first two seasons, including the main theme by Methodic Doubt, and tracks by artists including Nico Vega, Ivy Levan, The Growl, Anders Osborne, Fred Eaglesmith, and Martin Harley.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Keene, Allison (January 11, 2013). "Series Preview: Why You Should Give BANSHEE a Shot". Collider. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ Poniewozik, James (January 11, 2013). "TV Tonight: Banshee". Time. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ Wagner, Curt (January 24, 2012). "Antony Starr enjoys his 'Banshee' beatdowns (page 2)". RedEye. Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on January 31, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Rothing, Hilary (February 16, 2014). "BANSHEE 2.06 ‘Armies of One’". CraveOnline. Archived from the original on March 1, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Chappell, Les (March 14, 2014). "Banshee: "Bullets And Tears"". The A.V. Club. The Onion, Inc. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ "HOON LEE: How To Play A Foul-Mouthed, Transvestite Hacking Genius With Aplomb". January 14, 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  7. ^ Radish, Christina. "Hoon Lee Talks Banshee, Action Scenes in Heels, and Voicing Splinter in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Animated Series". Collider.com. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  8. ^ Wiegand, David (January 10, 2013). "'Banshee' review: Sheriff steals the show". sfgate.com. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d Andreeva, Nellie (March 2, 2012). "Trio Cast In Cinemax Series ‘Banshee’". Deadline.com. Archived from the original on January 30, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  10. ^ http://tvline.com/2014/04/16/banshee-season-3-geno-segers-afton-williamson-series-regulars/
  11. ^ http://tvline.com/2014/04/16/banshee-season-3-geno-segers-afton-williamson-series-regulars/
  12. ^ http://www.spoilertv.com/2014/04/banshee-season-3-langley-kirkwood-joins.html
  13. ^ http://www.spoilertv.com/2014/04/banshee-season-3-langley-kirkwood-joins.html
  14. ^ "Shows A-Z – banshee on cinemax". The Futon Critic. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  15. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (August 10, 2011). "'True Blood's' Alan Ball will have a new series -- on Cinemax". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Archived from the original on January 30, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (January 25, 2012). "Alan Ball’s Drama ‘Banshee’ Gets Series Order At Cinemax, Greg Yaitanes To Direct". Deadline.com. Archived from the original on January 30, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 12, 2012). "Cinemax’s Alan Ball-Produced New Series ‘Banshee’ Casts Antony Starr As Its Lead". Deadline.com. Archived from the original on January 31, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  18. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 14, 2012). "'Bond' Henchman to Co-Star in Alan Ball's Cinemax Drama 'Banshee'". The Hollywood Reporter (Prometheus Global Media). Archived from the original on January 31, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 14, 2012). "Ivana Milicevic To Star In ‘Banshee’, Derek Richardson Joins ‘Anger Management’". Deadline.com. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2014. 
  20. ^ Ausiello, Michael (April 10, 2012). "Exclusive: Disney Channel Starlet Takes Racy Turn in Cinemax Drama Series Banshee". TVLine. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2014. 
  21. ^ Ausiello, Michael (August 6, 2012). "Exclusive: House Reunion on Cinemax's Banshee as Odette Annable Reteams With Greg Yaitanes". TVLine. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2014. 
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 11, 2011). "Cinemax Prepping Amish Country Series Executive Produced by Alan Ball". Deadline. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  23. ^ Wagner, Curt (January 24, 2012). "Antony Starr enjoys his 'Banshee' beatdowns". RedEye. Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on January 31, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  24. ^ Willmore, Alison (January 2, 2014). "The Boldest Show You Haven't Heard Of (Yet): Showrunner Greg Yaitanes Talks Cinemax's Pulp Saga 'Banshee'". Indiewire. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2014. 
  25. ^ http://www.thewrap.com/banshee-gets-season-2-premiere-date/
  26. ^ Rose, Lacey (January 29, 2013). "'Banshee' Renewed for Second Season at Cinemax". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  27. ^ Wagner, Curt (January 16, 2012). "'Banshee' car chase: 'It's bonkers awesome'". RedEye. Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2014. 
  28. ^ http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/01/30/banshee-renewed-for-third-season-by-cinemax/233279/
  29. ^ "Banshee: Metascore". CBS Interactive. 
  30. ^ "Wall street Journal Review". Wall street journal. 
  31. ^ Owen, Rob (January 10, 2013). "San Francisco Chronicle review". San Fancisco Chronicle. 
  32. ^ "Boston herald Review". Boston Herald. 
  33. ^ Reiher, Andrea (March 14, 2014). "'Banshee's' Demetrius Grosse discusses the shocking ending to Season 2". Zap2it. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  34. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 18, 2013). "Cinemax’s ‘Banshee’ Wraps Solid First Season". Deadline.com. PMC. Archived from the original on March 9, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  35. ^ "‘Banshee’ Screams Past Cinemax Record". Deadline.com. PMC. March 17, 2014. Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014. 
  36. ^ "2013 Creative Arts Emmys Winners". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. JSeptember 15, 2013. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2014. 
  37. ^ Ng, Philiana (February 10, 2014). "Cinemax's 'Banshee' Official Soundtrack Details Revealed (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter (Prometheus Global Media). Archived from the original on March 1, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 

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