Catching up on Banshee, the new U.S. drama somehow related to True Blood. I believe the same creative team are behind both. However, whereas True Blood is fantastical and a tale of good vs. bad, Banshee is a grim ultra-violent tale of bad vs. worse.
It’s grim. Did I say that already? The episode with the albino in prison is especially memorable / repugnant. There is a liking for stretching out the violence too far in this show, so where other shows might have the fight last two or three minutes, Banshee pulls it out to seven or eight. And then pounds the unconscious skull with a hundredweight.
I will always remember ‘are we good?’ with a shudder.
I’m sure in years to come, it will take on the same horrific meaning as ‘is it safe?’ in Marathon Man. Not that I’ve seen MM in full, and I’m not sure that I want to; it is more a case of having to. Banshee could turn out and if to be a turning point in TV.
Where The Sopranos was psychological, and True Blood was sexy, and The Wire was involved, and Battlestar Galactica reinvented the space odyssey, Banshee has pushed ultra-violence that bit further and made it integral to the plot.
The story of the ex-con taking on the role of the Sheriff and then defending his position by all means necessary is a good plot device – you start rooting for him, but then as events occur, you start questioning exactly what is going on, and who you should support.
The scene in the prison with the albino is particularly intense, or at least it was for me. I believe I’m on now ep09 of 10, and that still pings around in my head when I’m at a loose end. It’s quite an intense scene.

Anyways, I guess I’m saying that Banshee is compulsive viewing, and I’d recommend it.

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