The Sons of Anarchy Cookbook

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Why I Love ‘Sons of Anarchy’, And You Should Too

I   don’t know what first attracted me to watch Sons of Anarchy (FX on  Tuesday nights). I’ve never ridden a motorcycle, never been in a gang,  never been arrested, and I certainly have never looked good in leather. Regardless, this is my favorite show on television and has been since  episode 1. 

In   case you haven’t seen it or are unaware, Sons of Anarchy is an  adrenalized drama that explores a notorious outlaw motorcycle club’s  (MC) desire to protect its livelihood while ensuring that their simple, sheltered town of Charming, California remains exactly that, Charming. The MC confronts threats from drug dealers, corporate developers, and  overzealous law officers.  Behind the MC’s familial lifestyle and  legally thriving automotive shop is a ruthless and illegally thriving  arms business. 

The   show centers on main character Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam - Nicholas Nickleby, Cold Mountain, Green Street Hooligans), the Vice  President of the motorcycle club who begins questioning the club and  himself.

SOA   has now completed four seasons. It started out good and has only gotten  better over time. Each week, at the conclusion of each episode, I find  myself sad, mad, and/or impatient that I have to wait another week for  this TV gold. If I could only watch one TV show for the next 5 years,  this is the one I’d choose right now. I know that’s a bold statement,  but let’s take a look at the three top reasons I think its a ‘Don’t  Miss’ show.

  1. Under Appreciated, Professional Actors

This   show truly has great acting. A lot of shows (or critics of shows) claim  this, but SOA truly delivers from top to bottom. Sure the main  characters are great, but don’t you expect them to be great? They’re the   stars. In addition to Hunnam, the show stars Katey Sagal (Married With   Children, 8 Simple Rules) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Drive). This trio is  simply amazing together. But what truly separates this show is the next  “tier” of actors played incredibly capably by: Ryan Hurst (Remember the  Titans, We Were Soldiers), Mark Boone Junior (Memento, Batman Begins,  Seven), and Kim Coates (Black Hawk Down, Resident Evil:After Life; and  #29 on IMDB’s most underrated actors list). Its hard to pick a favorite  from this group, but Hurst is as tormented and intense as it gets—a 180  degree turn from his uplifting role as Gerry Bertier in Remember the  Titans.

  1. Great Music

Many   scenes are taken from good to great with the original and mood setting   music. Although the music is all different, the common elements create   edgy, folksy songs with incredible lyrics. Its this music that makes you  feel. I think its also pretty cool that most, if not all, artists the  show utilizes are relatively unknown to the main stream. I think this  helps the music really focus the mood of the scene rather than detract  from or stand out from it. The music is also a great format to show off  the incredibly talented vocalist Katey Sagal (did you know she was a  back up singer with KISS, Bob Dylan, and Bette Midler?). The  multi-talented Sagal also happens to be married to SOA  creator/producer/writer Kurt Sutter, who previously worked his magic  with The Shield. If you don’t believe me on the fantastic music front,  check out these songs: Hey Hey, My My (Battleme); Ruby Tuesday (Katey  Sagal);  David (Noah Gundersen). 

Admittedly, there also might be a little guilty pleasure element going on here. In our ever increasing politically correct or polite world, it’s fun to watch people who take action. They say and do things we all (at times) want to do, even if it will lead to our getting locked up!
  1. The Grand Themes This Show Covers

Obviously,   if this show was just about a violent motorcycle gang it probably  wouldn’t stand out. However, it DOES stand out. Because this show has  heart. It has soul. This heart and soul is created by grand themes. Some   of the more prominent and recurring themes in SOA are: good vs. evil; family (who is family or what makes up family); being a part of  something larger than yourself; and do the ends justify the means? All  these common to man motifs contribute to the audience relating and  connecting to these tough, aggressive, and violent characters. There’s  also an ongoing coming of age (life in your 30’s, getting married,  starting a family) storyline occurring with main character Jax Teller  (Hunnam). He is constantly struggling to balance his old life  (motorcycle club and violence) with his new life (wife and kids). These struggles only make him more human in my eyes. Inevitably, this show and  its characters come across as very human.

Admittedly,   there also might be a little guilty pleasure element going on here. In   our ever increasing politically correct or polite world, it’s fun to  watch people who take action. They say and do things we all (at times)  want to do, even if it will lead to our getting locked up!

If   you have been missing this show, for whatever reason, go check out Sons  of Anarchy. It truly is great television. Season 5 won’t debut until  Fall 2012 (probably September), so that gives you time to catch up on  this show before then.

WARNING:    this show definitely leans to the darker side, with some hard scenes to  watch. It also has some nudity, so mature audiences only.

Posted on March 1, 2012 .