You Don’t Have to Love ‘Banshee’ to Love the “Fanshee” Episodes of ‘High & Mighty’
As I have documented endlessly in my Pod-Canon column, podcasting lends itself to intensity and fandom on both sides of the coin. Podcasters tend to attract pathologically intense fans (I can only imagine how many intense loners out there identify with Marc Maron to a deeply unhealthy degree), but they also tend to be intense fans of the things that they love.
Sometimes the things they love are surprising. The brilliant Sean Clements of Hollywood Handbook and the also brilliant Sean Conroy of The Long Shot are two of the most intimidatingly smart, intimidatingly funny, and just plain intimidating figures in podcasting, so you wouldn’t necessarily expect them to be fans of a gloriously ridiculous, over-the-top Cinemax action series called Banshee that, from its fans’ ecstatic praise, sounds like an irresistible guilty pleasure that during its run delivered a Tango & Cash or Cobra-level camp classic on a weekly basis but with legitimately badass action and compelling characters.
Yet Conroy and Clements are such obsessive fans of an unabashedly trashy, T&A and bloodshed-filled show that they teamed up with Jon Gabrus, host of High & Mighty and actor and writer Ben Rodgers to form the “Fanshees,” a group of brilliant comedic minds that gathered for a whole bunch of special editions of High & Mighty to geek out about their unlikely passion for Banshee and to evangelize on behalf of something that I suspect I would never have given a second thought if some of my favorite comic minds weren’t gushing about it in such an entertaining, convincing, and surprising way.
The internet being the internet, and podcasting being podcasting, the Fanshees’ love of Banshee quickly led to a mutual appreciation society relationship with the show’s stars and producers and creator and crew-people. A whole bunch of people intimately involved with Banshee, including co-creator Jonathan Tropper — who in another life wrote and adapted the novel the poorly received Shiva comedy-drama This Is Where I Leave You is based on — and many of the stars appeared on High & Mighty, clearly tickled pink that such an unusually impressive assortment of men were so obsessed with their weird little show.
You don’t have to be a fan of Banshee yourself to enjoy these episodes. Hell, I’ve never seen an episode myself, but I am tempted, and I imagine that in a Sliding Doors-like scenario where I don’t have a wife and baby, I would probably be several seasons deep into the series because, as I have hopefully conveyed here, they make it sound like a whole lot of fun.