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.
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.
- Under Appreciated, Professional Actors
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.
- Great Music
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).
- 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.