3. HBO’s Ballers
Alright hear me out, from what I can tell, people either love or hate this show. I am a fan of Dwayne Johnson, the guy’s charismatic, badass, and can make people laugh. The show revolves around Spencer Strasmore, a retired defensive end who has many pro bowls and Super Bowl championships to his name. To keep up with his finances, he gets a job at a financial firm, and him and his new partner Joe played awesomely by Rob Corddry set out to recruit Spencer’s football friends so they can manage their finances,. This way Spencer does well and his athlete friends don’t get screwed out of their money, which is an issue in society left largely in the dark. John David Washington (Denzel’s son) co-stars as Ricky Jerret, an energetic wide-receiever that’s probably the funniest part of the show. If you want to see into the lives of what its like to be an NFL athlete, mixed with a little bit of comedy, drama, and a whole lot of fun, then check out Ballers. Be warned, don’t expect Game of Thrones like quality of story lines here, its’s a fun show just to kickback and watch to take your mind off things.
2. Cinemax’s Strike Back
This show is every American guy’s dream. In the words of imdb, the show is about “Damien Scott, a former U.S. Special Forces operative, who joins forces with a stealth British military unit, Section 20, to stop a resourceful international terrorist group that has planned an attack. Scott, who is familiar with the terrorists, has good instincts and skills, but his cockiness puts him at odds with the more-formal British team, particularly by-the-book Sgt. Michael Stonebridge (left).” While that is what the show is about, let me break it down for you. American actor Philip Winchester plays Sgt. Michael Stonebridge who is quite literally the British version of Captain America save for the super powers and the avoids killing at all costs thing. Stonebridge is the prototypical soldier. Kicks major ass, and is always there to save the day, on the flip side we have former-Delta Force Sgt. Damien Scott played by Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton (right), who is basically John McClaine from the original Die Hard except gets way more girls. He is the potty-mouthed horn-dog that always has fun no matter what he’s doing, and is every bit as badass as Stonebridge, but Scott is more like the common man. He isn’t exactly at dad-bod status, but not as chiseled as Stonebridge, he smokes, drinks, but can keep up with Stonebridge, and is just as deadly. Together these two along with the rest of Section 20 trot the globe on different missions every season, whether its taking on the IRA, African Warlords, or stopping nukes from falling into the wrong hands, they are there kicking ass and taking names, with bullets, explosions and fists following them everywhere they go. The two leads play off each other brilliantly, Scott really brings out the humorous side of Stonebridge. Both actors give great performances, over time you see that Stonebridge isn’t invincible, and that deep down, Scott has one of the biggest hearts around. The shame is that Strike Back is in its fourth and final season. It must be hard finding reasons for these two to go out and save the world. Good news is that both actors have new gigs on NBC. Check out Philip Winchester in ‘The Player’ and Sullivan Stapleton in ‘Blindspot’ coming soon.
1. Cinemax’s Banshee
Holy shit. This show is not for the faint of heart. It is the closest it gets to the wild west in present day. The show centers around a con who has just been released after 15 years in prison. He ended up there after sacrificing himself to let his girlfriend escape during a jewelry heist. The thing is his girlfriend was the daughter of the Russian mob boss he worked for, and no one knew they were seeing each other, or that the two planned to run away with each other after said heist. With some help from a very interesting friend, he tracks her down to a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania named Banshee filled with gangsters, Amish folk, Native Americans, and crime. There he finds his former girlfriend in hiding, but she’s married with a family of her own. Not ready to move on just yet, our protagonist assumes the role of the town’s new sheriff (after the one slated to take the new job is killed by thugs before he even gets into town.) Now we have Sheriff Lucas Hood of Banshee County, who establishes his own brand of justice in the small town that is brimming with violence and crime, as his past life and those he has betrayed slowly catch up to him. This show kicks ass. It is the opposite of Ballers, this show has your heart pounding at every turn, through every vicious beating, every heist, and every gunfight, Ulrich Thomsen is terrifying as ex-Amish gangster Kai Proctor, who is ruthless at what he does but the audience will no doubt have a love/hate relationship with him. He’s so good at being bad but he has a code he lives by, he won’t go too far, but don’t dare cross his path. This show is violence and tension at its finest, it will make you squirm with its intensity and feel every punch thrown. This might be the most under rated show on television, and not just premium channels. I beg you to check out Banshee’s first season if you can. If you like the way Game of Thrones rolls, you should like Banshee.