Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Pour yourself a stiff one as Banshee screams back to Cinemax

Illustration for article titled Pour yourself a stiff one as Banshee screams back to Cinemax

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, April 1, and Saturday, April 2. All times are Eastern.


Top picks

Banshee (Cinemax, 10 p.m., Friday): As if the tiny town of Banshee, Pennsylvania, didn’t have enough problems—murderous Amish crime kingpins, neo-Nazis, rogue Marine officers, Ukrainian gangsters, pissed-off Native American gangs, probably a few more workaday murderers we’ve forgotten—there’s a serial killer in town! Man. To make things worse, the town begins the season without Anthony Starr’s Sheriff Lucas Hood, who quit after the deadly assault on that rogue Marine base in last season’s finale, when Hoon Lee’s Job was kidnapped, and the husband of sometime-lover Carrie (Ivana Miličević) got killed. Luckily(?) for Banshee, new arrival Eliza Dushku roundhouse-kicks her way into town as a badass FBI profiler who, undoubtedly, brings along a fresh heap of trouble and secrets of her own (it is Banshee, after all). Les Chappell is firmly under Banshee’s spell (banshees cast spells, right?), saying of last season’s satisfyingly over-the-top finale: “It’s a testament to the power of Banshee that the final feeling isn’t exhaustion but excitement for what comes next.” Well—here’s what comes next.

Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): Peter Dinklage hosts, people. And we all know what’s in his Tumblr.

Premieres and finales

The Ranch (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): Executive producer Ashton Kutcher re-teams with his Two And A Half Men showrunners for this rural sitcom about a journeyman football player who returns home to his family’s struggling Colorado cattle ranch. Kutcher stars as former footballer and fuckup Colt, reuniting with his former That ’70s Show pal Danny Masterson as his brother, Rooster, and all-time all-stars Sam Elliott and Debra Winger as his sparring, separated, but still-hot-for-each-other parents. The first half of the season hits Netflix today, with the rest coming later in the year, promising 20 episodes of boozy, crusty, gun-toting red-state comedy from the house of Kutcher. Our Danette Chavez takes in the view with her TV Review of the front 10.

Islands Of The Future (Pivot, 7:30 p.m., Friday): This new documentary miniseries examines the ways island communities off the coast of Europe are creating their own, energy-independent fiefdoms, using wind, geothermal, solar, and possibly a donkey turning a huge wheel to create sustainability.

Dead 7 (Syfy, 8 p.m., Friday): The random concept spinning wheel over at Syfy comes up… zombies, and… boy bands, as former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter pens and stars in this, yup, former boy band singer vs. zombies movie. Look for members of Backstreet Boys, ’N Sync, O-Town, and 98 Degrees to strap on six-guns and take aim at extras filched from Z Nation as they try to clean up the Wild West with choreographed violence and increasingly wobbly harmonies. Alex McCown drew whichever length of straw you draw to get assigned the TV Review for something like this.

Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse (OWN, 9 p.m., Friday): Multimedia mogul and sometime Medea Perry’s family sitcom-spinoff of his Why Did I Get Married? franchise returns for its perhaps-baffling eighth season, thanks in part to fellow mogul Oprah’s largesse.


Wynonna Earp (Syfy, 10 p.m., Friday): And if you haven’t had your fill of Wild West genre mashup action, Syfy follows up Dead 7 with the premiere of this Canadian series about the great-granddaughter of Wyatt Earp, who returns to her frontier town only to find it overrun by the undead demon-outlaws of the bad guys her ancestor gunned down originally. Not to worry, as Wynonna’s got help from immortal helper/wiseass Doc Holliday as well as a demon-killing pistol. “It’s like Buffy meets Justified! It’s Buftified!,” said someone at Syfy, at some point. Genevieve Valentine, in her TV Review, says lead Melanie Scrofano has the right moves, at least.

Motive (USA, 10 p.m., Friday): In the third season premiere of this USA detective show you were never motivated to watch, Kristin Lehman returns as a homicide detective who will stop at nothing to discover why various murderers did those murders.


Regular coverage

Sleepy Hollow (Fox, 8 p.m., Friday)
The Vampire Diaries (CW, 8 p.m., Friday)
Grimm (NBC, 9 p.m., Friday)
Childrens Hospital (Adult Swim, 11 p.m., Friday)
Adventure Time (Cartoon Network, 7 p.m., Saturday)


Streaming Pick

Living In Oblivion: Sure, you’ve gotta pay for it (on YouTube or Google Play) but whatever it costs is a small enough price to pay to see Peter Dinklage (hosting SNL this week) and Steve Buscemi (a guest on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Friday) together. In Tom DiCillo’s quirky mid-’90s paean to mid-’90s indie filmmaking, Buscemi’s the beleaguered first-time director coping with, among other things, the unruly dwarf actor pissed off at being cast as the requisite dream sequence dwarf character. In his first movie, Dinklage gets to deliver a rant he must have been saving up all his life:

Have you ever had a dream with a dwarf in it? Do you know anyone who’s had a dream with a dwarf in it? No! I don’t even have dreams with dwarves in them. The only place I’ve seen dwarves in dreams is in stupid movies like this! “Oh make it weird, put a dwarf in it!” Everyone will go “Whoa, this must be a fuckin’ dream, there’s a fuckin’ dwarf in it!” Well I’m sick of it! You can take this dream sequence and stick it up your ass!