Anti-Hero in Banshee (Pennsylvania, that is)

Posted Jun 26 2013, 8:30 am in , , , , ,

250px-Banshee_promotional_posterAlthough I’ve been horrible at blogging here over the last few months, my love for TV never fades. A few months ago, I was folding sheets and towels on a Friday night (exciting life I lead – I know you’re jealous). None of my regular shows were on and I was caught up on my DVR, which almost never happens, so I channel-surfed.

I saw a premier for a show called Banshee. Now, I watch Lost Girl and Being Human on SyFy, so I thought this was going to be a supernatural kind of show. Boy, was I wrong. I had missed the first ten or fifteen minutes, but it looked entertaining enough to pass the time. 

The hero of the show is a master thief who just got out of prison after doing a fifteen year stint for stealing $10 million in diamonds. He’s in Banshee, PA looking for his old girlfriend who got away with the diamonds. He allowed himself to get caught so that she could get away. He’s enjoying a drink at a bar. The new sheriff, who hasn’t even started his job yet, and was brought in from out of town to fight corruption in this small town, is having a meal at the bar. Two thugs walk in, all hell breaks loose, and our hero has killed the bad guys, but unfortunately, they killed the sheriff first. The bartender tells our hero to leave and that he’ll get rid of everything so no one goes to prison (the bartender/owner is also an ex-con).

The hero finds his ex, Ana (who now goes by Carrie). She’s moved on with her life. She’s married and has two kids. She tells him the diamonds are gone and she has no money. She tried to fence the diamonds while he was in prison, but they were stolen from her. She tells him to leave, go start a new life.

He leaves her knowing he has nothing, no money, no diamonds, and no girl that he loves. He returns to the bar to help the owner dispose of bodies. While they are burying them, the sheriff’s phone rings. The hero answers it and pretends to be Lucas Hood, new sheriff. From that moment on, our hero has a name, but it’s not his.

I have a small confession to make. Months before I saw this pilot, I canceled our subscription to Cinemax. We just didn’t watch it enough to warrant paying for it. They suckered me in with a free weekend. I saw this one episode and added the network back to my package. Sad isn’t it? Like I don’t have enough to watch?

Anyway, there’s so much to love about this show. Lucas is not a true hero. He is a thief. He doesn’t even want to change because he loves the adrenaline rush. He’s assumed the identity of a dead man and he knows nothing about being a sheriff. As the series goes on, we see him make some shady deals for his own benefit. It’s all understandable, which makes you like him that much more, but he’s not heroic. Lucas is a good guy, and I think that’s why he makes such a good anti-hero. He’s not always upright and decent.

The show itself offers a fabulous array of characters. Banshee PA is home to an Amish community and the Banshee’s crime lord (for lack of a better term) is an ex-communicated Amish guy. I’m not sure if ex-communicated is the right word — he’s was thrown out of the Amish community, or he left and isn’t allowed return, but he still has strong ties there. There’s also a Native American component, where the tribe is trying to build a casino. The tag line for the show is “Small Town. Big Secrets.” And it’s so true.

Cinemax is replaying the entire season right now, and it’s hard for me not to pull up a chair and watch (I already have too many shows on the DVR and a book to write). 

And here’s Antony Starr who plays Lucas Hood:



What was the last show that hooked you by surprise?

1 Comment


One response to “Anti-Hero in Banshee (Pennsylvania, that is)”

  1. Susanne says:

    I’m always behind in TV viewing, so much to my surprise, I started to enjoy Fringe. The humour is holy smokes odd yet funny.