Things just got a helluva lot more complicated in Charming, CA.
FX announced today that Henry Rollins has joined the cast of Sons of Anarchy for a six episode arc. Season two, which begins filming later this spring on April 27th, will undoubtedly pick up following the shocking events of Opie's (Ryan Hurst) wife Donna's (Sprague Grayden) murder. Unfortunately, there's no indication as to what type of role Rollins will be taking on - just that he's a "new antagonist" who "poses a deadly threat" to Jax (Charlie Hunnam) and the rest of his SAMCRO buddies.
FX has dubbed SOA as a worthy successor to The Shield and based Sons' season one ratings, I couldn't agree more. The freshman season started out flat but picked up steam as it progressed. As for Rollins? Look at the guy! If there's one person out there that looks like he belongs on this show, it's him.
It's a rare occasion that I re-trace my steps and openly admit that I was wrong. Typically, I stick with my gut and I'll fight you until I'm blue in the face. But it takes a big man to recognize the error of his ways and it takes an even bigger one to admit it to others. So here goes...
Initially, I wasn't impressed with Sons of Anarchy. After watching the pilot (twice), I panned it. Nothing special, nothing new. The second episode didn't do much for me either. But I promised I'd stick with it since it was on FX (in today's TV landscape, that counts for something) and after last night's installment (S01E08, "The Pull"), I'm here to say something I didn't agree with eight weeks ago:
FX has done it again.
(S01E02) "I will not look the other way Jax." - Hale
I'm still on board with Sons of Anarchy, but there are just too many things that are rubbing me the wrong way. Much like my minor complaint on this season of The Shield, Jax's father's manuscript has reached the point of becoming über-important just like Cruz Pezuela's blackmail box (the one Mackey stole) without any solid explanation. One gets the feeling that without that manuscript, the story would just crumble.
If this thing is so important, then why didn't Gemma or Clay have it destroyed years ago? Did they even know it existed? It was just lying out in the open in the family storage unit. While I appreciate the tension that builds as Jax slowly reads one page at a time, I'm still unconvinced that when he gets to, I dunno, "page 86," that we're going to be that shocked when the inevitable bomb is dropped. Why else would Gemma want it so bad if there wasn't some horrible family secret buried in it?
(S01E01) "Just pretend it's carve-your-own steak night at Sizzler." - Jax
FX is taking a fairly big gamble with Sons of Anarchy. With their trademark drama The Shield ending its seven season run this fall and their other two big hits (Damages and Rescue Me) pushed to 2009 because of the WGA Strike, the network is in dire need of some fresh buzz. The one thing they have going for them? Even FX's previous flops (Dirt, Starved, Over There, Thief) were better than a lot of other things on TV and Sons of Anarchy certainly fits that mold. Once the fall season is in full swing, the only network competition will be CSI: NY, as I don't see Lipstick Jungle or Dirty Sexy Money getting in the way. Sons has the potential to do well. It'll just rest on creator Kurt Sutter and how he plans to make the show appealing beyond this pilot episode.
You're going to hear a lot of things about FX's new motorcycle club drama Sons of Anarchy. It's different, it's edgy, and it covers a fairly taboo topic that, up to now, hasn't really been addressed in a TV drama.
However, strip away the leather jackets and exhaust fumes and you're looking at something we have seen before: Sons of Anarchy is The Sopranos on Harleys. You've got your powerful crime family, illegal gun smuggling, rival gangs, conspiracy, and for good measure? Drea de Matteo (of Sopranos fame) plays a crank addict. Trade the crank for blow and we've seen that before too.
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