I first mentioned Banshee back in February of 2013. Openly categorized as soft porn with an edge of violence, the show fit the mold of a new wave of ‘skinemax’ work. Even I deemed the piece to be largely about shock and awe. I don’t feel that is the entire story.
The show is a visual mindscrew. It is beautifully shot and sexual and extremely violent, pushing those two extremes together in a manner that still surprises me. The sex is expected. The violence is sudden, original, and far more meaningful than the requisite sexual encounters. In truth it is the violence that unites this wonderfully rich and complex band of characters and the sex that serves to shove them apart.
Obviously a fair bit of it is contrived to make the connections easier and the sex available. New characters that arrive are rarely new and more often cut out of the backstory and rewoven into the schema in a way that reminds us that everyone and everything is connected.
The show also tries very hard to remind us of the message at its core: We are all in flux, moving towards or away from the best version of ourselves and changing direction as a direct result of our reactions to life. In other words, we were all someone else yesterday and will be someone else tomorrow.
That last part matters and it separates the show from the normal drivel I watch. I’ll keep watching so long as ‘skin’ keeps on serving it up.
- Sticking with the civil war, 1865 was the year Robert E. Lee was named de facto leader of the confederate forces. See now why that damnable orange car is so subversive? On the one hand it made us forget–if only consciously–that Lee was on the wrong side of the war. On the other hand, both sides are still us and still ought to be respected and remembered with reverence. Brother vs. Brother–orange car or not.