By Sarah Bennett
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While, on the surface, Banshee seems like Cinemax's attempt at a prestige cable series, there's so much about the show that begs you to write it off and/or hate it almost on contact. The premise, involving an ex-con who pretends to be a sheriff, doesn't pretend to be plausible, and several of the characters seem to be chosen from a logarithm that creates Hollywood-y quirk (an Asian drag queen computer hacker and an Amish crime lord psychopath? Throw in a gay albino prison rapist and we're sold!). Plus, even if the show wants to be Cinemax's Homeland, it's still Cinemax, so there's at least one murder and brutal beating per episode, nevermind the soft porn moments that are the channel's bread and butter; i.e., Carrie would never express her attraction to Brody by masturbating in the tub with a handheld-shower head and walking into the next room, naked and wet enough to sparkle like a Twilight vampire, mounting the nearest available male. On Banshee, however, you have such a scenario unfold in the same episode that the albino prison rapist shivs our protagonist, who then gets revenge by slicing the albino's rapey penis and then beating him to death.

For all the Banshee fans out there on Tumblr. You're welcome!

For all the Banshee fans out there on Tumblr. You're welcome!

The thing is, because so much of the show is awkward and contrived, the sex and violence aren't even that fun, so really, why the hell am I watching this thing? The protagonist/fake sherrif, Antony Starr, is an actor from New Zealand who looks both manly and pathetic, like a lumberjack baby seal, and while that is admittedly a draw (think about it!), it doesn't justify forgiving all the other terrible stuff about the show, which is almost everything.