Tag: banshee

Banshee’s Fourth Season to be its last

The time has come, Banshee addicts. The gritty landscape that has paved the way for the most entertaining and fulfilling show in the past three years could be closing its doors. According to TVLine.com, the Cinemax gem will end its run with 2016’s fourth season. Sadness doesn’t begin to explain the way I feel right now. Punching something sounds better. Maybe a punching bag perhaps. Something to ease the pain.

Excuse me while I step out of proud professional writer mode and into a passionate fan’s skin. This is sad on so many levels but the signs were there earlier this year as I interviewed the producers, writers and directors. Writer/producer Jonathan Tropper hinted at it in our chat. Former showrunner/producer/director Greg Yaitanes and director/producer Loni Peristere all referenced making every episode as great as the last one as if the swan song was one punch, bullet hole or explosion away.

The best shows don’t save the goods for last. They make sure every single moment is worth keeping people home on a Friday night. That’s right. Thank God It’s Friday became Thank God it’s Banshee Day…..

Banshee was the first show I loved that also gave me a real reason to not go out on Friday night. While everybody else partied, I stayed at home and reveled in the land of flawed men, tough women and bad decisions.

Who needed a shot of whiskey when characters like ex-con turned sheriff turned doom maker Lucas Hood(Antony Starr) drank enough for six death row prison guards? Who needed action outside your house when Hood got into more fights in one episode than a Goon did in an entire hockey season? Banshee is cinematic television, churning out movie styled hours of couch fantasy binge blasting than 98 percent of other premium cable networks.

Instead of taking a season off after critics respected the second season, Banshee cut the deepest with its third round. It added mph to its fastball instead of throwing softer. Beloved characters fell, unpredictable learned a new name and vengeance grew a pair of legs inside a few bodies that fateful night back in March.

The reason the departure cuts extra deep has nothing to do with the best stunts on television, the most passionate sex scenes ever filmed and the most brutally menacing people you’ll find on any plasma screen. The actors, such as Ivana Milicevic and Hoon Lee, interacted with the viewers every Friday night. They logged in on Twitter and traded with people watching their creations do the most outrageous of things. It doesn’t get any better than Milicevic describing her parents reaction to the violence and sex on the show. Lee and Starr trading hits created great humor while the one and the only Matt Servitto brought the wittiest drops of flavor on a weekly basis.

The personal touch provided by these people started something. Look around. Showtime’s Ray Donovan is doing cast twitter work. Other shows are catching on. Banshee started something and it all began with Yaitanes years ago. Thanks Greg for starting a fire that won’t be put out for years. One day I will watch with my son and tell him why characters like The Albino and Rabbit aren’t just bad guys. They are men with a different purpose.

More so than any show on television(I watch a lot of TV), Banshee didn’t drew a single line between good and bad people. They drew about 49 lines and they shifted every week. You could call Ulrich Thomson’s Kai Proctor a bad man until you saw how he treated his mother. You could call Geno Segers’ Chayton a monster before you saw his upbringing. You could be scared out of your shoes by Matthew Rauch’s Clay Burton but once you know his backstory, it fit like a glove. Lili Simmons’ beautiful yet deadly Rebecca Bowman coming onto her uncle could be a little off putting at first, but after you took a look around the set, it kind of fit. You could call Kurt Bunker a tattooed beast until you saw Tom Pelphrey deliver the speech of the year at the end of the finale in March. I’ll miss these misfit square pegs forever trying to fit into round holes.

I’ll miss Starr’s badlands version of a Bruce Willis anti-hero the most. Starr combined shades Colin Farrell, Sylvester Stallone, Willis and a dose of Steve McQueen to create this good man stuck in a violent body twisting a piece of aluminum foil that was the good life. From the moment he stepped outside that prison gate in the pilot, viewers fell hard for this ex-con gone wrong and more wrong. He was human but a fighter to the core. A thief turned hardened prison turned tortured lover turned wrongful lawman turned crimefighter.

Hood saw his world fall apart in Season 3 and by the end, was ready to walk down a road possibly with a man who he had sworn to kill hours earlier. That’s Banshee. Once you think you know what’s going on and your hands drop, the writers slug you with an uppercut you never saw coming. That’s great television. It endures and never leaves your mind days later.

I suggest watching or revisiting the first three seasons. If you don’t have Cinemax, make a friend or neighbor that does and buy them beer to watch their cable. Show some self respect and take a trip through this unusual town. The women may cut you with their good looks but they will knock you out with their actions. Just wait for a bloodied Rebecca to step over a man she just killed and say, “I have all the thunder I need.” The men won’t allow you to look away for too long either. They are battleships on dry land.

As Banshee’s fourth season wraps up this summer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and its final eight hour set launches into action early next year, I will sit back and remember the great times I’ve had with this show, behind the scenes and in front of the tube. I’ll remember being humbled by its creators and blown away by its actors. I’ll remember feeling alive after every episode.

Friday nights after March, 2016, will never the same again. We have eight months to prepare for that feeling. I suggest buying a punching bag immediately.

10 Reasons Banshee on Cinemax Deserves Your Attention

images (1)A beautiful Amish girl gone bad challenging a pair of criminals to a game of chicken on an open road. A criminal posing as a cop trying to reconnect with his daughter, whose dad happens to be the Mayor. A Kinaho Tribe chief walking down the middle of a road firing arrows at military trucks. A seemingly quiet town lit up with enough noise to equal a monster truck rally.

This is an ordinary day on Cinemax’s Banshee, the best show on television and one that deserves your attention. It’s currently in the middle of its third season and instead of slowing down, it’s speeding up. Forget the DVR folks. Find this show and digest it right this minute. If you don’t put “Cinemax” and “quality TV” in the same sentence, start working on it with Banshee. This show has it all. Action, drama, sex, fast pacing, sly comedy and a confidence that can’t be bought. It’s putting Cinemax on the map as a network to be reckoned with. The premium cable channel is beefing up its original content, and Banshee is at the center of that bullet.

Need more of a reason to take a dip? Here are 10 reasons to rush this show to the top of the must watch list. (more…)

Matty Rauch Talks Cinemax’s Banshee Season 3

imageedit_9_2868330810This isn’t a standard interview. I’m not trying to reproduce 60 minutes here. This is an old fashioned chat between two Banshee addicts. For the second time, I talked to Matty Rauch, who inhibits the fearsome Clay Burton on Cinemax’s hit series.  Read up.

*This interview was first posted on Film-Addict on January 23rd.

Dan Buffa-It’s a big day for Burton with the big show down with Nola in this episode? Are you excited? The legion of Fanshees are ready to go nuts.

Rauch-It’s a big day for Banshee. Something we have all been looking forward to for a long time. I have seen a rough cut of it but not the entirety so I am excited to see it unfold.

DB-They are releasing small bits of your fight with Odette Annable online. The way the weapon slams into your chest at the beginning of that fight is epic. The show always comes up with ways to make the violence fresh and brutal. No fight ever feels the same on Banshee.

Rauch-We did some interesting technical stuff on this fight. The tech nerds are going to love this fight. We invented our own camera rig because it had to go inside and outside the car. There’s one long continuous shot. It’s Birdman style. It was one of the most challenging experiences of my life, professionally. I am excited for the fans to enjoy it the way we enjoyed it. A lot of people put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it. I am so excited to see this fight. Odette and I worked very hard. (more…)

Matthew Rauch: The Man Behind Banshee’s Scary Guy

“I love the work. I love the people I work with. I hope other people like it. It’s a nice way to make a living.”-Matthew Rauch

One of the perks of my job is talking to actors, directors and the minds behind the creative process of television shows and movies. There are good interviews andtn-500_rauchwm101104713395 then there are ones where something is missing and you just get through it. Two days after the finale of Cinemax’s Banshee, I had a chance to talk to Matthew Rauch, a hard working NYC actor who just so happens to be on our televisions this month on two different shows.  NBC’s Believe and Banshee. He plays the scary Clay Burton on Banshee, the right hand man to the Amish gangster in town, Kai Procter. It must be mentioned that I scored this interview simply by talking to Rauch on Twitter. The entire cast of the show is on the social media site, mixing it up with fans and truly connecting. Rauch got on Twitter and quickly coined the nickname, “Bowtie Guy”, something that comes from the outfits Burton wears on the show.

Sometimes, an aspiring writer has to take chances and reach out to actors to get chances. I can count myself lucky because Rauch turned out to be a true first class individual and an actor who is passionate about what he does and wants to connect with his fans while scaring the shit out of them on Friday nights. We talked about the glasses coming off, Ulrich Thomsen’s European star power, Martin Scorsese, training in the theater and getting to play somebody as fearless as Burton.

Me-With the least amount of dialogue on the show out of anybody, you sure do make an impact as Burton.

RAUCH-He’s a scary guy. I have good material to work with and it’s great to watch him grow. It’s been a lot of fun. A funny story is when I got there I didn’t have much to go on with this character. So I talked to anyone I could about who he was and what it meant when suddenly Jonathan Tropper[Writer, Executive Producer] told me, “Look, think about it this way, Burton is the scariest guy on the show. This a scary world and he is the scariest guy.” From there on out I was good.

Where did the taking the glasses off thing with Burton come from?

A combination of a lot of things and I am not sure where it originated from exactly. It was in the script that I auditioned with and Jonathan and Greg[Yaitanes, Showrunner, Executive Producer, Director] had a thing with Burton having this dual nature. Burton is efficient and assistant like when the glasses were on and when the glasses were off he is the scariest guy in the world. I have had some fun with that. I have a feeling we are going to get to see more versions of him in the upcoming season.

I have this scenario in my head where Lucas Hood[Antony Starr] punches Burton, breaks his glasses, and Burton suddenly turns into the Incredible Hulk.

I do remember one of my first days of shooting and Antony and I were working together, which is rare since I usually only get to work with Ulrich[Thomsen} and Lili[Simmons]. I think he was going to arrest Proctor and sort of stepped toward Ulrich and as a natural response I stepped towards him. I think he was taken aback because someone wasn’t afraid him. I thought, man if this show goes long enough him and I are going to go round and round.

Have you gotten noticed around New York now that Banshee has gotten more popular?

Yes. There is this great bagel store around the corner from my house. I walked in and I ordered, and the guy said “Are you on Banshee? Man I love that show”. This guy had a full on tickled moment that he saw this guy who was on Banshee.

(more…)

Banshee: The Boldest TV Show You Haven’t Seen Yet

Find the time and give this show a set of eyes and ears because it’s primal rage entertainment and truly badass. Banshee season 2 premieres on January 10th. This is my third write up on it.  Read up.  This is my 300th post on WordPress, and it couldn’t come about a better subject.   I posted this piece a week ago on Film-Addict and it’s already got over 500 hits.  If you need a show to watch this month, check out Banshee.  Here it is.

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I was a fan of Banshee long before it graced large billboards in California and New York and before it crawled up on people’s top 10 list of TV shows of 2013.  When it premiered in January, no one had any clue what to think would come of this collaboration from the minds behind True Blood and House.

A year later, more than a handful of people know that Executive Producer Alan Ball and Creator/Executive Producer/Director Greg Yaitanes have crafted a genuine thrill ride of a television series, and one that could run for a long time on Cinemax if they know what good television is.

From the minute I watched the first episode of this wildly addictive show, I knew something special was brewing and that the entire world (not just entertainment fans) needed to be told about it. This is my third Banshee spotlight piece.  There is a pretty clear fascination going on here.  Let me break it down for you why it is so good and why you should donate 10 hours to its story right away.

This show doesn’t need awards to vindicate its greatness.  This isn’t 30 Rock or The Good Wife.  It breeds fanaticism and a devout cult following of fans straight from its skill at hooking viewers to a network without a big television series background and a story that is easy to digest yet impossible to ignore.  There isn’t another show on TV that I have spent re watching this past summer, fall and winter more than Banshee.  It isn’t a series that weighs you down with plot twists and a long list of complicated characters.  It is smooth digestible chaos.

You have a man who gets out of prison, goes to this small town in Pennsylvania because something or someone is there that he wants.   Without it, he is incomplete.  Through a series of events, this man becomes the sheriff of this small town, Banshee.  His name is Lucas Hood.   He finds a woman from his past living under disguise there.  He quickly pisses off local Amish gangsters and lures in mysterious beautiful women to his bed.   He befriends a local bartender who used to box and has a few secrets of his own.  He has a long trusted sidekick telling him to get out of dodge. Lucas isn’t’t going anywhere and we are thankful for that.

If people made sane logical decisions on Banshee, the entertainment value would drop in a heartbeat.   In Yaitanes and writer Jonathon Trooper’s world, there are tons of secrets and mystery but that just makes for years of energetically deep storytelling.  Their writing fuels the actors and actresses who bring this hypnotic blend of crazy to life.

Antony Starr’s soulful and brutal Lucas is the rock at the center of the show and the previously unknown New Zealand actor surprises you with his depth and emotional storage of feeling and resolve.   Ivana Milecevic’s(learn that name and scream it) dual faces of sexy ex con Ana and the new wife and mother Ana show Ivana’s ability to be a romantic and a physical force to reckon with.  Need proof, watch the video below of her epic fight with Christos Vasilopoulos’s Olek from Season 1.

Ulrich Thomsen’s Kai Procter, a man who looks like a villain on the surface but carries as much pain around as anyone.  Hoon Lee’s comedic and assured work as Job, the brain behind Lucas’ madness.  Frankie Faisen’s Sugar, the old puncher feeling new blood stream through his veins with Lucas in town.  Trieste Kelly Dunn’s fierce cop, seeing her past and future collide with deadly force.  Demetrius Grosse’s larger than life officer sharing some hidden abilities and power of his own.  Rus Blackwell’s conflicted lawyer, trying to maintain his marriage, his thirst for justice and his sanity at the same time with new revelations walking through his door.

Lili Simmons’ Rebecca, torn between her past and her uncertain future as an Amish lady with a wild side.  Ryann Shane’s young woman, unaware that her father could be this sheriff who keeps showing up in her life.  Matt Servitto’s seasoned lawman dealing with this guy who is causing a tornado of change in an already unstable town.  Matthew Rauch’s deadly henchman for Procter.  I could go on but some things are better left discovering.   Let’s just say the incoming presence of Lucas throws the entire town for a loop, in good, bad and ugly ways.

The characters on Banshee are comic book fueled creations with a real heart and soul that don’t fall on the clean cut sides of good or bad.  There is only one man who could create this kind of madness and that man is Yaitanes, who has directed a handful of the episodes, executive produced the show and put his neck on the line for the show.  Trooper’s dialogue and stories hit you over the head like a blunt instrument.

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The people on this show are a special breed of deadly and we are privy to their actions on a weekly basis.  Banshee is entertainment at its finest.   Full of bad intentions and an ambition to top one ridiculously over the top scene with something even more outrageous.  Banshee doesn’t need your sympathy but demands your attention.

Now is the time to jump in.  Catch up before the second season begins.  Grab a blanket, a bottle of whiskey, a knife and cozy up on the couch for a night full of anti-heroic actions, visceral action, red hot sex, violent tendencies and a cinematic blend of television that is so rare these days.  You are either in or you are out.  Put down the smart phone, kindle, book and tell the spouse to shoot up.

Pay attention to this show.  There is a quiet emotional storm of drama streaming right beneath the bloody action and nudity.  There is more than meets the eye at all times.

The second season of Banshee starts on January 10th, 2014.  I own the Blu Ray/DVD and would invite anyone to come watch it with me.  The first season is on demand via U-Verse and Charter.  It’s available via Max Go.  Go to a friend’s house and watch it.  Politely ask a stranger if they can lend you their television for the evening.  Find the time and give this show a set of eyes and ears because it’s primal rage entertainment and truly badass.

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-Dan Buffa is the co-creator, administrator and writer for the movie website, film-addict.com. He also writes for the local blog United Cardinal Bloggers in addition to Arch City Sports and also writes for his personal blog, http://www.doseofbuffa.com.   He is a STL born and raised writer with a need to inform and the ability to pound out 1,000-1,500 word pieces with ease.  When he isn’t writing or drinking coffee, he is spending time with his wife and son in South City.  Follow him at @buffa82 on Twitter and reach him for thoughts, comments and general feedback at buffa82@gmail.com.