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Hard times

4/1/2016

 

 

“Banshee” returns for one last brutal run; good riddance, “American Idol.”

 

“Banshee”

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Friday, April 1 (Cinemax)

Season Premiere: Anyone flinching at the hand-to-hand-combat brutality of “Daredevil” has never seen Cinemax’s “Banshee.” Season 4 will be the last for this overlooked, gritty slice of Amish-country crime noir (stay with me), so there’s hope for eventually catching up. TrueTV BansheeThe tale of an ex-con/thief (Antony Starr) who assumes the identity of Sheriff Lucas Hood en route to tracking down his former partner/girlfriend (Ivana Milicevic) in the small town of Banshee, Pennsylvania, has taken many a bizarre turn, but the outcome is always the same (and bloody): The local Amish mafia, Native Americans, skinheads and even some of Hood’s own police force would like him gone and/or dead. Season 4 picks up two years after the events of Season 3’s shattering finale, with Eliza Dushku joining the fray as an FBI profiler who may be just as effd-up as Hood. “Banshee” was/is a wild ride — add it to your TV homework.

 

“Dead 7”

Friday, April 1 (Syfy)

Movie: From the makers of “Sharknado” … Say “Bye Bye Bye” to zombies! Yes, it’s for real: a zombie-apocalypse Western starring various members of ’90s boy bands ’NSync, Backstreet Boys, O-Town and 98 Degrees (sorry, Color Me Badd doesn’t represent). Aside from the admittedly slick gimmick, there’s little about “Dead 7” that The Asylum’s Syfy zombie series “Z Nation” doesn’t do better/funnier, but rookie horror writer Nick Carter (of the Backstreet Boys, who also stars) at least deserves credit for keeping this slab of cheese somewhat coherent. Emphasis on “somewhat,” since none of the boy-banders can act, and there’s an incongruent “Mad Max” element thrown in because, well, why the hell not? Also: cameos by Jon Secada and Everclear’s Art Alexakis.

 

“Wynonna Earp”

Friday, April 1 (Syfy)

Series Debut: It only sounds ridiculous because it is: Wynonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano) is a modern-day descendent of Old West gunslinger Wyatt Earp, who was also a supernatural demon hunter. Now it’s Wynonna’s turn, as she returns to her hometown of Purgatory to re-smite the evil souls (or Revenants) taken down once upon a time by Great Grandpappy — with an assist from the now-immortal Doc Holliday, of course. “Wynonna Earp” holds true to the ’90s IDW comic-book source material, and Scrofano easily brings her to life as a likeable combo of badass and goofball. Another winner from Syfy — hopefully, the “Dead 7” lead-in will draw some eyeballs.

 

“American Idol: American Dream”

Tuesday, April 5 (Fox)

Special: It’s been 14 years since “American Idol” was launched as a sinister initiative to destroy music, a product-placement garbage cannon inspiring millions of karaoke dropouts to eschew hard work and talent in favor of jumping a cattle-call train to Overnight Sensationville. Burn in hell, Simon Fuller, Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest. “American Idol: American Dream” looks back on 15 seasons of pop failure dotted with the occasional bona-fide talent who likely would have become a star on his or her own (there’s a reason Carrie Underwood plays the EnormoDome while Taylor Hicks headlines boat shows). Again, burn in hell, Simon Fuller, Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest. CV

 

Bill Frost writes about television for Salt Lake City Weekly, talks about it on TV Tan Podcast (iTunes, Stitcher and BillFrost.tv), and tweets about it at @Bill_Frost.

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