The thing I'm starting to love about this show is the way it switches gears on just about any incline. They are so swift and sudden that the law should go totally "nanny state" and require me to wear a helmet during each week's episode.
For example: in this week's chapter, we see the aftermath of Gemma's rape and the toll it takes on her as she tries to keep it from the club. Then the very next shot is of Tig, played by Kim Coates and some random fishnet whore slowly waking up with hangovers that could stun an elephant, together in a spent 69.
And I ain't talking about a broken down '69 Chevy.
How do you turn a group of gruff biker outlaws who deal potent drugs to street trash and hardcore hardware to ruthless killers into a likable group of huggable stud muffins?
That's easy. You make a group of radical white supremacists into their enemies. It's the old "lovable by association" tactic of TV writing. Is the audience not buying your childhood version of Darth Vader? Then throw in a wise-cracking alien that sounds like Pee Wee Herman with Down's Syndrome.
However, in the case of the second season of Sons of Anarchy, it's a pretty sweet power play for a show that already packed more punch than an Absinthe smoothie.
The level that FX's Sons of Anarchy's second season has to reach to top their outrageous first might seem unfathomable. But the man helming this ship is writer, creator and executive producer Kurt Sutter - the man who helped steer The Shield through seven strange and unpredictable seasons of treacherous waters that were once deemed unchartable for the likes of basic cable.
It's tight control on what appears to be complete chaos. Sutter and company are a fleet of reckless Sledge Hammers who are willing to blow up whole buildings to get the job done. Trust him. He knows what he's doing.
FX's white hot biker drama kicks off Tuesday and it brings all of the blood, guts, bullets and glory that the first season did in buckets. And that's just in the first five episodes.
I've been hearing about an awesome new show on FX since it aired last year, and finally got around to watching season one of Sons of Anarchy this week for Jane After Dark. Being a motorcycle babe myself, I love any show where bikes or gangs are the central focus.
But even if you've never mounted a bad chopper, there are plenty of reasons to love this badass show about the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Originals (SAMCRO). They run a legal automotive business while dealing arms, battling rival gangs, and working with the cops (sometimes) to keep their town of Charming, California a pleasant place to live. You can see all the irony at work here.
That's the feeling my gut got when series creator Shawn Ryan said Fox might make a Shield movie if demand called for it.
The question actually sparked an interesting and light-hearted war of friendly curses between the cast and Sons of Anarchy star Ron Perlman who was also on the dais to grub for Emmy nods. Walter Walton Goggins, the actor who brilliantly played the daft and overly cocky Shane Vendrell, uttered "That is bull#*$&!" since his character killed his family and then shot himself in the final episode just as the Barn closed in on him. That's not a direct quote, by the way. He may have used different punctuation marks.
With Rescue Me plowing through it's massive 22 episode fifth season, it's a little weird to think that we'll be tuning into Denis Leary's FDNY hijnks until September 8th - especially since we're used to having the show be over after about three months.
I'm not really sure what my point is mentioning that, because all I'm doing is piling good news on top of more good news - once Rescue Me ends, Sons of Anarchy is back.
The FX motorcycle drama began filming it's second season recently, with two notable cast additions - Henry Rollins and Adam Arkin. At the time of Rollins casting, nothing was known about his character other than his role as a "new antagonist." Now, according to Fancast, it turns out that both Rollins and Arkin will be playing neo-nazis. If you recall Jax (Charlie Hunnam) and Clay's tumultuous relationship with Darby (Mitch Pileggi) and the Nords, then you know they ain't gonna get along with these two.
If you feel like being spoiled beyond that, pictures and more character info after the jump...
Beauty and the Beast: The Complete Series - A tolerable "chick flick" type series, you can probably get away with watching just the first two seasons, before Linda Hamilton left and her character was killed off. And once your significant other gets used to the idea of Ron Perlman in Beast make-up, maybe you can convince her to watch Hellboy with you.
(S01E13) "... there's only one face I see." - Jax
Well that was pretty impressive. Sons of Anarchy went from a show that I really didn't care for (Kurt Sutter admits that the first two episodes were a bit "ambitious") to one of my favorite new dramas of the '08 fall season. I'm echoing just about every critic around the country by saying this, but Sons really did get better each week. As far as season finales go, last night's capper gave us the perfect amount of answers and questions as well as one of the most layered, metaphorical, and nuanced ending sequences I've seen in quite a while.
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.
Apparently I'm not the only one. In five short weeks, Sons has managed to not only retain 3.5 million viewers in the adults 18-49 demo, but it's retained 97% of its total audience since the premiere. Which is why FX decided to pick the show up for a second season.
(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.
The FX panels on Tuesday were pretty uneventful, aside from the news from network president John Landgraf. There was supposed to be a panel for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but that was mysteriously dropped from the schedule. I'm guessing that the boys figured they'd get too hammered at the FOX party the night before to handle questions from the reporters. Indeed, I witnessed Rob McElhenny and Glenn Howerton try to ride the Tilt-a-Whirl at the Santa Monica pier right after they pounded a couple of beers. Maybe canceling the panel was a smart idea.
Anyway, the three shows that paneled were Damages, Sons of Anarchy, and The Shield. More on what transpired after the jump.
Well now, if you were having trouble deciding between the competing biker shows in development, perhaps this news will tip your TV watching scales. FX has signed up Ron Perlman (Beauty And The Beast) to take over the role of Clay, president of the motorcycle club, and step-father to the main character Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam), in Kurt Sutter's Sons Of Anarchy.
The part was played by Scott Glenn in the pilot, but the powers that be chose to recast it after deciding to make the series more of a dark comedy. I'm not exactly sure what that means, because I could go for Glenn in a dark comedy, but adding Perlman does heighten my interest in the show, to be sure. If you just can't wait for the show to premiere to get your Perlman fix, he'll be showing up at your local multiplex with Hellboy II: The Golden Army in July.
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