First off, it's a series from Alan Ball, the same guy that brought us the soapy, soft porn True Blood, so I wasn't exactly expecting Downton Abbey. That's not the problem. The series, about a prototypical bad boy who takes on the local kingpin shaking down the residents of his newfound home, is a bit reminiscent of the much less pretentious 80s popcorn classic Roadhouse. However, there are several side plots thrown in, and it's fairly entertaining to a certain point. Where that point comes to a screeching shitshow of a halt is when the show's creators decided to use rape as a form of entertainment. Within the first few episodes, there's the ubiquitous threat of prison rape (but of course the male lead is able to defend himself and avoid the assault by a much bigger inmate because he's just so tough and manly), the sexual assault and attempted rape of a woman by a motorcycle gang, the sexual assault and threatened rape of a teacher taken hostage, and the beating and rape of a waitress by a MMA fighter. Even worse than the writers' decision to repeatedly use rape as a cheap, worn out, creatively and morally bereft plot device, most of waitress's rape is filmed in a titillating, "male gaze"-type way that is deeply nauseating. Then, just to put the sexualized cherry on the misogyny sundae, the assault is used as little more than an excuse for the male lead to flashback to his own threatened - but ultimately unsuccessful!!! don't forget!!! - prison rape and thus cast him as an avenging antihero, brawling with the MMA fighter and beating him bloody (uh-huh) in a highly improbable and clichéd show of self-righteous machismo. Fucking spare me.
Noticing Banshee's rather disturbing rape fetish after only eight episodes, I did some digging around and found out there's yet more rape to come (statutory, spousal). I also found out that none other than Greg Yaitanes was one of the show's EPs for its entire four year run. That actually explains a lot.
If, unlike me, you've so far managed to miss this now-defunct dreck, do yourself a favor and give Banshee a permanent pass. I know the first season is free on various platforms, but free shit is still just shit.