Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Sons of Anarchy, Season 1

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Sons of Anarchy
Airs on FX on Tuesdays

The premise for this show did not sound terribly promising. I was predicting it would be something like a violent Dukes of Hazzard plus tits. I don’t think I was completely off, but it’s more like Violent-Dukes-of-Hazzard-meets-the-Sopranos, minus tits.

Hear that flash?

The show revolves around Hazzard County the town of Charming, California. Mostly due to the influence of the Duke Boys Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, the town has remained virtually untouched by the onslaught of progress. There are no drugs in Charming, no prostitutes, no real crime to speak of. No chain stores, no housing developments; it’s the town that time forgot. It seems that the people of Charming have mixed feelings about the club, but at the worst view it as a necessary evil. Most of the townspeople seem to like the biker club and appreciate what they do for them. The town and the club have a sort of symbiotic relationship going on. It’s actually a pretty cool concept.

If you liked the Sopranos, you’re probably going to like Sons of Anarchy as they have a number of things in common.

The story is character driven. Sons actually does a better job of creating dynamic characters than the Sopranos did. It seems as though the writing team sat down and mapped out every person’s relationship to everyone else. Every character has a unique take on every other character and their behavior toward one another reflects their shared history. Not only that, the characters evolve and change in pretty realistic ways.

I’m guessing future seasons will have a more thrilling central story arc. The first season’s arc is a great introduction to the story-world and lays groundwork for future plot-lines with some decent foreshadowing.

There are a couple of moments where suspension of disbelief starts to sag a bit, but no deal-breakers. As my friend Amen has pointed out, the main character (Jax Teller, played by Charlie Hunnam)–who was born and raised on the teat of a motorcycle club–wears saggy jeans, white Adidas and strolls around town with a pimp limp. It’s not that improbable that he should display these affectations, but friends of his raised in the same town at the same time have no such inclinations toward the same cultural displays. This makes him the only biker that behaves this way, which does seem a tad out of place.

Rule #34, biatch.

The most interesting character so far is the main character’s mother, Gemma Teller Morrow (played by Katey Sagal.) Her character is difficult to describe because it defies conventional archetypes. She’s pretty simply a bad-ass, although not always a likable one. She’s a bit like George R.R. Martin’s character Catelyn (Tully) Stark, only more capable and less self absorbed.

All said and done, I’d recommend this show as long as you don’t mind violence, cursing and the occasional man-ass. I don’t know what it is with fucking man-ass shots these days, seriously. I am pretty sure they have them in cereal commercials and kids cartoons now. Fine, I can deal with man-ass in Pokemon and Count Chocula, but I would like more boob and less man-ass in my show about biker outlaws, thank-you-very-much. On the up side, with no boobs, my wife doesn’t glare at me as much while we’re watching, so that’s nice.