I've decided to start off the new year with some of my all-time favorite television experiences. First up for January is (or by now, was) the FX series, Sons of Anarchy. I was first introduced to this show after coming across a pretty solid episode from season 3 on TV one night. I was bored, it was starting so I just stuck with it. By the end, I was already looking up the show online and soon after purchased the first two seasons. I remember blowing right through them in no time flat and catching up with season 3 by the time it had it's final two episodes of the season. It was something new for me and I was very intrigued with those first three seasons. Sadly, it would be a while before I watched any more of SOA.
I forget what it was exactly that made me stop watching, but sadly I did. By the time I had gotten back into the show, season 5 was just released on DVD and was on sale at Best Buy. I remember because it was a terrible spoiler experience for me ('til this day, fuck you Best Buy!) They had included a free T-Shirt with the DVD box set that read, and I quote; *SPOILERS* "Rest in Peace Oppy!" *SPOILERS END* Yeah, that was pretty fucked up, even looking back now it still makes me shake my head. Moving on; I purchased seasons 4 and 5, and within a couple weeks, binged through both just in time for the season 6 premiere.
Synopsis: The Sons of Anarchy is Motorcycle Club that spans most of the western seaboard, and even extends into Europe by way of Belfast, Ireland. Their brotherhood is strong, and their MC is known and feared. Their dealings include a Weed Business, but never deals in anything harder. Their main income; Irish Guns, smuggled in by the Real IRA, and distributed on the street by the Sons. Their biggest rival is the Latino MC, the Myans, based in Oakland. This is pretty much the basis of the show... until it all begins to unravel into a massive shitstorm with no end in sight and bodies dropping at every turn. This show is downright brutal, relentless and quite unforgiving.
Critique: There are no heroes here, no good guys to root for, no stand up police officers to trust in, no bikers with heart. These individuals are gritty, ruthless and pure outlaws until the end. They live by the road, trust in only their fellow brothers, and show zero mercy to their enemies. But that doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing. Sometimes you need a good bad guy to root for, and in that case, SOA has an endless supply of them. The characters are beautifully chaotic to watch on screen, and within a few episodes, you've already picked out your favorites to root for.
The story is engaging, compelling and at some moments, quite epic. Don't get me wrong here, this show is by far, one of the more emotionally draining shows I've ever had the privilege of watching. Even through my second viewing, knowing in advance what was to come, I was finding myself reliving my first emotions upon certain scenes, and deaths. Some things you just don't get over, and with SOA, it was the deaths of some extremely beloved characters (one death in particular got me hard, as I completely forgot this individual was going to die.)
There are some moments that make me feel like it's just too over-the-top to believe in, or just downright idiotic actions by certain characters. It makes you look back at their actions and wonder, if they did just one thing different, or thought about the consequences beforehand, shit wouldn't end up so awful for them. In the end; if you're going to see Sons of Anarchy, you need to decide to be all the way in, or just not watch it. Because it's a series that you're either going to completely love, in spite of it's flawed characters and outrageous story arcs, or absolutely hate because of it. I for one, did not falter in my love for the Sons. Upon my second viewing of Sons of Anarchy, I rediscovered all of the reasons why I first fell in love with this show, and was able to gain a new, fresh perspective on which relive their moments.
Final Say: Second viewing, still highly recommended, still highly addictive, still among my all-time favorite television shows. If you haven't seen Sons of Anarchy, I recommend you do. By the way; 7 seasons in one month... not bad.