‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Unbelievably Good!

In Sons Of Anarchy, Television on November 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm

By unbelievably good- I mean that a) The show is literally un-believable, there is nothing resembling reality happening anywhere in the show and b) I am addicted to it, and happy to suspend dis-belief! I don’t even know where to start, because pointing out all of the things that don’t ring true would take forever. But it’s ‘good-bad’ and I love it. Let me start with some-ahem!- ‘bullet’ points:

THE TOWN OF CHARMING: This town is like a ghost town in an old John Wayne movie. Sure- you see some extras here and there, but for the most part, it’s either Biker Gangs or The Law. There are heinous crimes going on constantly: Shoot-outs, stabbings, decapitations, drive-by’s, prison shankings, brawls in the hospital, police chases,white supremacists, Cartel ‘business’, explosions,The IRA, rapes, and kidnappings galore. Compton is Martha’s Vinyard compared to this place. So, why are ‘Developers’ so hot to build in this town? I’d hate to see the Chamber of Commerce brochure!

THE SHOOT-OUTS: I have a silly habit of putting gold stars on my calendar, marking the days that I work-out at the gym. I wonder if maybe Jax has his own calendar, marking the days he’s involved in extreme shoot-outs? (Does Michael’s Crafts sell ‘machine gun’ stickers?) I’m pretty sure there is a shoot-out at least twice a week, and sometimes they involve military weapons. Last night for instance (the 90 min. special, 11/15) I felt I was watching ‘Sons of Apocalypse Now’. Jax literally ordered Military weaponry like a pizza (and acknowledged it as such)- but the only thing that ‘rang’ true was his first attempt at the call, after he discovered he had ‘lost service’ in the woods, during yet another gun battle. He borrowed the phone of an opposing gang member (will that come back to haunt him?) and called in ‘two rocket launchers, extra cheese’. But next time Jax, don’t go with Verizon. JAX: What a conundrum Mr. Jax is! When ‘Sons’ first began, he was sitting on the roof, underneath the stars, reading letters from his real father (now deceased-as far as we know!) all about how his ‘vision’ for the Club had gone awry with greed and crime. Jax-it seemed-was open to hold himself to a higher standard. One wondered if he might be a new kind of biker gang dude, free of criminal mischief, standing for the right thing, and looking like a hot combination of Kurt Cobain and Brad Pitt- ala -that- vampire- movie. Now- three seasons later, Jax has killed about 50 people, but thinks he can ‘cash out and move away’ someday soon, with his old lady, Tara and their two young sons. Sitting in a rocking chair, on the front porch, gazing out at the white picket fence in ‘Faraway-ville.” “Come sit at my knee, sons. Let Daddy tell you how he filleted the guy who tried to cross him.” Somehow- I’m not seein’ it. TARA: Tara popped up out of Jax’s past (they dated at sixteen) In the interim, Tara has become a very accomplished surgeon. In fact, she is a surgical phenom. Yet, she begins dating gang-member Jax, and enters into the whole ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ culture without batting an eye. So much for ‘first, do no harm.’  (Being a doctor in a biker gang actually comes in handy. She can fix all of the gang members after the shoot-outs!) Though she never seems happy (what a puss she has on that face most of the time!) she’s magnetically drawn to her Bad Boy, Jax (well- he is freakin’ hot! Got-dayum!))…….which gets her kidnapped (twice) fired, (once) and now, she may lose the use of her hand (after the most recent kidnapping)-which would render her unable to be a doctor anymore- but she still thinks her and Jax will live happily ever after. Soon as they move away. Unless Clay (Jax’s Stepfather) kills her- because he has a hit out on her- you know: typical bickering family stuff, happens every year at Thanksgiving in most families, right?……But, no one can tell her anything, and she won’t stop defending her choices, so go figure. I get that she’s in love- but what about the safety of those kids?

The Official Hat of ‘Babies NOT In Gangs’

THOSE KIDS: Let’s talk about those kids, please. First off- I’m not buying that Gemma (Katey Sagal, Jax’s mother and the kids grandmother) is watching them all by herself, ever! Maybe 45 minutes, here and there- at the most. She’s fully dressed to the Club 9’s and made-up, no less! I know they have a (somewhat invisible) Nanny now- but I love how kids on tv are such a non-factor- always conveniently out of the way pretty much always! Have you ever watched an infant along with a less than two year old for even a few hours?  Well I have, and believe me, there’s not enough vodka in the world to erase that memory. Gemma would lose her mind!  Ditto Jax. And again- Jax- in season one, went on and on and on about he didn’t want his sons to be in ‘Sons’. So what does he do? Put them in ‘Sons’ beanies from birth. (Sure- they’re cute knit caps-in fact, I’m sure you can buy them in the ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Fan shop, but still.) And here’s another thing: I know this is nit-picky, but who’s in charge of  the sets on this show? There has been a picture of a cartoon sun hanging on Gemma and Clay’s refrigerator, that I think they are trying to imply was drawn by the older kid (he’s less than two) There is simply no way! that child did that picture, unless he’s the next coming of Rembrandt. Last night there was yet another piece of artwork in the kid’s room, and it was easily drawn at a six year old’s level. (Prob. drawn by an adult ‘pretending’ to draw like a kid)They even showed the kid trying to draw in a coloring book once, and that little sucker was pounding that crayon all over the page, like a madman! Like that piano dude in ‘Reefer Madness!’ He was scribbling at best! and had no concept whatsoever of staying within the lines! So- I’m tellin’ ya- that was no ‘Sun of Anarchy! I KNOW this is a crazy detail, but things like that drive my eagle-eye batshit. Let me design those sets- I will get it right!

‘Everything’s peachy!’

GEMMA: The main question I ponder with Gemma is: ‘What’s in it for her?’ Through the seasons we’ve seen her: kidnapped, gang-raped (while hanging from a rope! By Henry Rollins which is way worse than listening to his poems!), shot at, physically abused and constantly looking over her shoulder. She spouts off about ‘The Family’ (SAMCRO) and loyalty, but leaves out all of the messy stuff, like the bloody murders,the  drugs, the  guns, the jail time, her husband’s extracurricular bj’s, and a host of other ‘pesky’ situations present in her daily life. She doesn’t have a big fancy house, doesn’t seem to have money to speak of – and though none of those things even come close to being ‘worth’ the hassles, at least they’d give me something to point to. Gemma’s life is exciting (well- it’s not boring!) but I look at her and think: ‘How EXHAUSTING would it be, to have that sort of lifestyle in your late forties, early fifties?’ Poor Gemma can’t just kick back and relax, and that, to me, is a certain kind of hell. I’m also concerned that Gem has become very numb to her predicament. After a recent drive -by shooting in the Son’s parking lot,and   after seeing perhaps seven or eight people get their brains blown out,splattering blood all over the yard (which led to a special chili recipe, heads above the usual, and quite possibly the secret recipe from Wendy’s)) she looked at Clay- terror in her saucer eyes and screamed: “Oh, no! Tonight’s the Garden Party!” in a way that hinted she doesn’t manage priorities all that well. She says she doesn’t care what anybody thinks of her- but God forbid the snobs at the Garden Party step in puddles of mud and blood! From what I can see, her lifestyle has left her weather beaten and literally beaten, and success to her, is simply being alive at the end of the day! CLAY:

Don’t believe Clay! He’s Lion!

Oh, wait! That’s not Clay, is it? Let me try that again:

‘Skip a Shoot-out again, and you’re GROUNDED!”

CLAY: Ah, Clay! What can one say? Your  average, run-of-the-mill monster? Much like Ron Pearlman’s other character, HELLBOY…..Clay seems to have been spurned in the flames of Hell. But unlike the red-faced Hellboy, Clay Morrow is nobody’s hero. Though there have been some tender moments with Clay- his arthritis flaring up, the pressures of the Club, some loving moments with Gemma- all of that has been cancelled out this season, starting when he killed his good friend Piney,continuing when he put a hit out on Jax’s old lady Tara, and then he ‘iced the cake’ by beating the living daylights out of Gemma. And that was all before breakfast! He has also incorporated the Cartel and their drugs into the Club, and lied his ass off about pretty much everything. Whatever loyalty or respect anyone may have felt for him in the previous seasons, has vanished. I can’t even imagine that he will survive this season, while at the same time, I can’t picture the show without him. He’s the kind of guy, who if you shook his hand would say- “Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my Name”

The 70’s called. It wants it’s jacket back!

THE LAW: I have to give props to whoever casts the “Law” in this show, particularly the past two seasons. This Lincoln Potter dude makes me want to jump over the interrogation table and punch him directly in his wise-ass mouth, even if it violates my probation! That smirk! That stare! Everything about him makes my skin crawl, from his smug way of speaking, to his inherent arrogance. What. A. Dick. He’s the kind of guy you can’t help fantasizing about…..Fantasizing about how he’ll be killed, that is. After last season, and a certain Agent June Stahl (or ‘Agent Crooked Mouth’ as I called her) tossed her silky hair all over the place, while planting evidence, black-mailing, and murdering her own girlfriend (not to mention, framing Gemma!) I can honestly say I had rarely been so excited and happy to imagine seeing someone’s brains splattered all over a windshield! I have a feeling I am in for exuberance of similar proportions come Mr. Potter’s final day. To which I wholeheartedly say: “Adios, Motherfucker!”

THE REST OF THE GANG: It’s quite the Motley Crew we have going here. But lest this overview take on ‘War & Peace’ proportions, I’m going to keep it short, with a few quick observations:

BOBBY MUNSON: I have to hand it to Bobby with the ‘most authentic’ Biker look. Absolutely the most believable. He’s got it going on, that way.

I’m ‘Evil Ritchie Blackmore’. And my Rainbow’s Rising!

TIG TRAGER: I’ll never completely forgive him for murdering those prostitutes in the first season (seemingly ‘for kicks’) but I’ve come to somehow like his character. Him and Gemma’s ‘bond’, his doll phobia, and watching him trip on mushrooms, have given me some laughs. He’s the quintessential freak. OPIE WINSTON: This guy is just plain scary, and I think it’s coz he has a ‘Taliban’ vibe of some sort. Maybe it’s the cap, but it plays into the climate of the times we live in, fair or not. His marriage to a porn star (sex-film actress-are they really all ‘stars?’) seems a bit forced…I just don’t see Opie taking lightly anyone else ‘up in there’ -but much like the porn companies filming in the background of many of the SOA scenes, it’s all a good excuse to zero in on porno-chicks and their firm, half-naked asses. Something for the boys. So why not?

‘I’m breakin’ the Chains’ Of conformity.

JUICE ORTIZ: Juice is living proof that the SOA can kill anyone except themselves. He’s been wired by the po-po,  stolen a brick of cocaine, killed an innocent man in order to frame him with the crime and failed at a suicide attempt (though I was glad to see he actually had a conscience) But after all- he’s grown up without a dad, so what do you expect? (har har) I couldn’t stand this guy through most of the seasons, but lately I am warming up to him (somewhat) Now-  if only he’d get rid of that skid-mark on his head! (and how does he keep that up so well, anyway? It’s meticulous!)

FINAL WORD: Despite all of the drama, the things that make no sense, the outlandishness-I truly love watching this show- and I’m willing to go wherever they take me. It’s ‘appointment’ TV!!

  1. Great Job. Just love your analysis. I laughed throughout the whole article.


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