For those who missed out on Banshee‘s first season on Cinemax at the first of the year, prepare yourself for a catchup. The drama, created by Alan Ball (Six Feet Under) weaves the story of an ex-con (Anthony Starr) who finds himself in Banshee, Pennsylvania, looking for diamonds he believes are still held by his former partner and girlfriend, Anastasia (Ivana Miličević). Both are living under aliases — Anna’s life as “Carrie” is now one of suburban comfort while the ex-con has taken the identity of Sheriff Lucas Hood, who was about to start work in Banshee when he was killed in a bar fight. And that was just the first episode. Hit the jump for more on the series, plus a new poster and trailer for its upcoming second season.
Banshee‘s portrayal of the criminal underworld, and Lucas and Carrie’s connection to it, made for a riveting inaugural season punctuated by visceral violence. It also balanced that action with the character development in an engaging way all season, introducing a number of interesting side stories featuring a megalomaniacal local kingpin (Ulrich Thomsen), a transgender computer hacker (Hoon Lee), and an ultra crime lord known as “Mr. Rabbit” (Ben Cross). And while it does take place in Amish country, following a wave of Amish-centered TV shows, it’s incorporation of the lifestyle actually makes sense in this context.
Most of the first season dealt with Lucas’ attempting to stay one step ahead of the Rabbit’s desire to kill him in connection with his pre-jail endeavors. In the upcoming season, Lucas may also be battling the local kingpin along with those who are seeking the truth about the real Lucas Hood, whose identity the “new” Lucas stole. Life in idyllic Banshee is really a mess.
The show distinguished itself last year from other violent dramas by being so beautifully filmed, with such an enthralling story — and as a side-note, featured some of the best teenager dialogue from a non-teenager show I’ve ever heard (Deva Hopewell > Dana Brody, in Homeland terms). It’s a great watch, and the new trailer seems to suggest that things are really ramping up this year on all fronts. Don’t be left behind.
Banshee‘s second season premieres Friday, January 10th at 10 p.m. on Cinemax