Banshee: Season 1

Banshee is pretty much the rollicking-est, sexiest ride you’re bound to take this year. It’s over-the-top and violent, but mostly it’s just wicked fun. So buckle in, hold on and take the ride. It’s seriously riveting TV.

This character-driven drama is executive-produced by True Blood creator Alan Ball, but despite this link and the show’s supernatural-sounding title, Banshee isn’t campy or vampy at all. Instead, the screen seethes with tension, drips cool and kicks the brutal action into high gear, keeping you guessing with all its twisted plot-turns. Here is one of those shows that you just can’t stop watching because you’ve got to see what comes next. Be prepared.

Named for the moody rural Pennsylvania town in which the show is set, Banshee sees Russian mobsters, ex-cons, jewel thieves, and Deliverance-style backwoods brutes tangle while the inscrutable Amish add more shadow to the picture, and Banshee’s ruthless crime boss Kai Procter and his thugs make sure everything goes ‘proctor’s way’. Into this town rides a shady unnamed character with a past, where our most kick-ass of antiheroes soon assumes the identity of murdered sheriff Lucas Hood and starts doling out his own brand of justice in the town - all the while attempting to grab his one true love (also sporting an assumed identity) and get the hell out of Banshee.

The cast includes a former Bond girl (Ivana Milicivec) and a Wire veteran (Frankie Faison), as well as a Kiwi lead (Antony Starr, who you may remember from Outrageous Fortune). The acting is flawless; the writing is thrilling and chilling, dark and complex. If you like your television fast, exhilarating and all-consuming, then Banshee is for you.

Ed Moreno works as a bookseller at Readings Carlton.