Cinemax renews ‘Banshee’ for season 3

Cinemax has renewed its action drama “Banshee” for a third season. More fisticuffs for everyone!

You may recall that I was skeptical of “Banshee” – Cinemax’s first wholly-original production (“Strike Back” and “Hunted” were international co-productions) – when it first debuted, in part because I wasn’t sold on Antony Starr’s performance as an ex-con impersonating small-town Pennsylvania sheriff Lucas Hood. But Starr got more interesting things to do as the season went along, and the show distinguished itself with its prolonged and gruesome fight scenes and its other baroque, pulp-y touches, to the point where I was enjoying it immensely by the end of that first season.

I’ve seen as much of the second season (new episodes air Fridays at 10) as the rest of you, and have been pleased so far with how it’s dealt with the aftermath of the events of season 1 (the arrival of the real Hood’s son, for instance). I’m glad it’s still around, though I do wonder how much longer the creative team (headed by creators Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler) can maintain both that wacky premise and the level of creative ultra-violence without one or both wearing thin. But with “Strike Back” ending after the next season and no certainty on how upcoming projects (including the Steven Soderbergh/Clive Owen team-up “The Knick”) will do, I can understand why Cinemax wants to keep at least one known quantity on the air a while longer.

What does everybody else think? You enjoying season 2 so far? Do you see “Banshee” as the kind of show with a long creative shelf life?