Sons of Anarchy ¦ FX
A man in his early 30s struggles to find a balance in his life between being a new dad and his involvement in a motorcycle club.
Well. This will go down as another show that didn’t live up to the hype. Not even during some of the earlier seasons. I can only hope that this show was just less idiotic when watched on a weekly basis. I’m not the best binge watcher, so it has taken me about 3 weeks to get through the first six seasons. Right now I’m on season 7. Imagine my shock when I saw that the first episode’s run time was 1 hr 15 minutes. Marilyn Manson showed up as a prisoner. And Courtney Love as a preschool teacher. Goodness. There has been a lot of fast forwarding to say the least.
Anyway, the cliff notes? If watching a bunch of supposedly heterosexual men hug each and tell each other that they love one another at least three times a day is your thing – this is the show for you. If gratuitous violence as a lazy plot device is your thing – this is the show for you. If people uttering “Jesus Christ” every five minutes in reaction to anything and everything is your thing – this is the show for you. That’s basically all that it is. It’s about bromance and violence.
/end Cliff notes/
Sons of Anarchy is apparently a
‘retelling’ of Hamlet. So, basically everyone is going to end up dead, it is just a matter of how. A good writer would maybe find a way to make their story concise. Although for that to happen, the writing would have to be good in the first place. I know nothing about motorcycle clubs but whenever I watch those scenes it’s like watching a bunch of people LARPING. So it feels authentic to them but looks kind of silly to the audience. All of the back thumping and faux-macho behavior has all of the panache of a middle school production of Grease or West Side Story.
Oh and while Charlie Hunnam isn’t too hard on the peepers, his accent. Ay dios mio. It’s not even a recognizable accent, let alone American. Every word is over enunciated and monotonous. It sounds…odd.
Anyway, to give the show some credit, it was decent during the first two seasons. I watched them quickly and was quite captivated, although I could tell that it was bordering the fine line between good and bad. It crossed that line during season 3. Or whichever season had them travelling to Belfast. There were 4/5 episodes set in Belfast and they were all terrible. And the terrible factor went even further in the following seasons. I am now actively hate-watching the show. In fairness, I’m not the show’s target audience anyway, but the thought of seeing the main character die is what keeps me going. I haaaaate Jax. And Gemma (his mother).
The main problem is that the show basically has no real plot because the last six seasons are a repeat of the first one. The Sons are either selling guns to someone or not selling guns. They gun down anyone who gets in their way. No one is allowed to sell drugs in their town!! They keep their town safe.When a member dies, however, there’s poignant back thumbing and tears even though they caused it. Oh and they’re the sons of ‘anarchy’ but…they have a leader and ranks and…a pretty apparent hierarchical structure not dissimilar to governmental systems. Oh and as we find out during season 4 or 5, undercover CIA agents are running guns and all throughout the police are always even more fantastically corrupt and incompetent than the MC. So they’re all the same except the Sons are better.
The main character is the aforementioned Jax Teller, heir apparent of the SAMCRO MC, who starts off looking like blue-eyed Backstreet Boys reject and evolves into a caricature Bond villain.
His beloved wife Tara is unfortunately the only one with some common sense, but her actions are driven by the writers desire to keep their misogynistic audience happy. Gemma Teller is the overbearing mother, who ‘takes care’ of everyone, including anyone she doesn’t like such as her deceased husband, John Teller/JT. She’s quite a nasty and vile character, which is the point, although they do their best to vilify her. Her presence becomes overbearing towards the later seasons, perhaps because the actress (Katey Sagal) is married to the showrunner. Anyway, by the time she got her just desserts I was over it. It says a lot that the only death that made me sad was Clay Morrow’s (Gemma’s husband) because he tried to have Tara killed. Mostly because he was the only character that didn’t have some kind of moral crisis the writer really wanted us to care about.
In terms of Jax, JT (his father) wrote a whole manuscript about everything he did wrong with the MC, life and so on. Jax reads it and inevitably becomes everything his father didn’t want to be.
Meanwhile, we have a bunch of club members co-signing each and every terrible decision he makes. Including Chibs, whose life is dedicated to constantly telling Jax that he is his obedient servant throughout the last three seasons. The rest of them are happy to be treated as lapdogs. We have Tig, who’s a gross individual, but aww, he’s a softie underneath his mountain of issues!! There’s also Happy, who’s basically a psychopath. Bobby, the smart one who does dumb shit. Opie, the best friend who somehow stays in the club even though they basically murdered his wife. During the first two seasons, there was a character called Half-Sack who I actually kind of liked. In the end he was killed off because of RL BTS issues. That to me is kind of sad because the actor really lost his way after that, and died in really terrible circumstances.
Towards the end of the show, the deus ex machina is a previously corrupt and now retired cop called Unser. Unser has terminal cancer but is able to smoke, drink, make long trips all without any visible signs of pain – there is a customary grunt now and then. He’s also super smart up until season 7 when all of the characters collectively up their dose of Kool-Aid and become dense morons.
And Juice. Juice, Juice, Juice. The point at which a black sheriff was blackmailing the Juice character for having a black father was probably when I started actively hate watching. He’s later booted out of the MC and goes into hiding.
This show isn’t exactly inoffensive, though and sure, it isn’t supposed to be all cuddles and sweetness. However, I don’t really think authenticity is a good reason for people to be uttering the N word and other derogatory terms like they’ve been dying for an opportunity to say them. But like I said – I am definitely not the target audience for this show. I guess they tried to make up for that racist thing by patching in their first black member in the final episodes. /eye roll
It is interesting to note that the creator of the show is also on the show as someone called Otto, who helps the club from prison. It took me four seasons to realise this. The character was just a hot air balloon full of gross. He was mutilated body part by body part and in the end, he bites his own tongue off and is then raped by the guards. Thankfully, he is banished from the screen soon after that. When the damn showrunner appears to be getting off on his own mutilated body, you know it’s time to bring the shit show to an end.
All in all, the first two seasons were good but it went downhill from there. I probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. There’s probably a 90 minute movie with similar themes that you can watch.
It has a rating of 8.6/10 of IMDb but well, I’m never going to follow the crowd, I guess. There are a couple of 1/10 and 3/10 reviews in there that made me go, “YAAAS SOMEONE ELSE SEES IT!”
ETA: I watched the series finale after writing most of this post and was honestly appalled by the sheer mediocrity of it all. Basically Jax kills himself by shooting at cops – after killing more people because he’s terrible anyway, might as well add to the body count! – and instigating the slowest police chase, before steering his bike straight into a massive truck. All of this occurs after he encounters ‘death’ in the form of a homeless women, who happens to leave behind some bread and wine. Bread and wine. Oh and then when he dies, we see blood trickling along the ground and reaching some conveniently placed bread and CGI crows. Religious imagery…just, seriously. YAWN.
To conclude, terrible show is terrible.
Oh and there’s a spinoff about another MC featured on the show called the Mayans. Hard pass.