Saturday, October 12, 2013

Netflix Review: Sons of Anarchy season 1

Over the summer, I (Kel) made the momentous decision to cancel cable and only have internet and Netflix. So while Jen has been busy watching all the new shows, I have been busy watching shows on Netflix in an effort to catch up on the tv that I never got around to watching when it aired/started.

The first show I decided to focus on in Sons of Anarchy. I chose SoA for three reasons: 1) since it started airing back in 2008, I've thought it looked like a good show; 2) I have had it recommended to me by a friends; 3) Have you seen Charlie Hunnam?

Sons of Anarchy is a show about a motorcycle club, Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original (SAMCRO), set in a town called Charming. SAMCRO gets away with a lot of illegal activity (gun running, violence, bribery) because they keep out other gangs, killings, and drugs out of Charming. The main character is Jax (played by Charlie Hunnam), who is the vice president of the club under his step-father Clay. Jax has a heroine-addicted ex-wife, who gives birth to their kid in the first episode, after ODing. The first season mainly deals with how Jax handles having a kid, having a junkie ex-wife, having an old girlfriend/doctor back in the picture (who comes complete with an ATF stalker ex-boyfriend). So. Much. Drama!

What makes the show work is how true all the characters are. Though you may not agree with all the decisions they make, they all have reasons for making those decisions. And really, at its heart, the show is about family, both the kind you are born with and the kind you choose. Some of my favorite interactions are between Jax and his best friend Opie, who is also in the club. Opie has a hard go of it, including being accused of being a trader, but Jax never wavers in his belief of Opie's innocence. It is a really nice thing to see.

The other reason the show works is Gemma, Jax's mom, played by Katey Sagal. Gemma is the most badass female on tv. More badass than any superhero. Does she always make the right choice? Considering she tries to get Jax's ex-wife to kill herself after giving birth, I'll go with no. But her intention is always to protect her family. She is pretty much the only SAMCRO wife to stick with her man for a long period of time, so that takes a level of determination and grit that is unseen elsewhere.

Now, I will say that Sons of Anarchy is not the right show for everyone. If you dislike violence, you will probably not like it. Likewise, if offensive language, racial slurs, swearing, etc. offends you, stay away. However, if you like Alpha-males who do anything they need to in order to take care of business, while also trying to balance the strong women who love them, this show is for you.

And if you are on the fence (and are of the male-loving population), have you seen Charlie Hunnam? As a friend described it, "I think about Jax the way we don't like guys to think about women".

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