Review: Sons of Anarchy TV Series
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Author: Mike Werner
Location: Normandy, France
I mentioned the new TV series that airs on September 3rd on FX in a previous article. I also said living in France, it would takes ages before I could see it, and if someone did see it to let me know how it was. Well, the producers at FX Network heard the call and sent me the first two episodes. So here's my review.
Gore: A Bit
First of all, living in France and being exposed to French TV, it's kind-of strange seeing, and more important, hearing a TV series in English, with no French subtitles.... strange.. but welcoming.
The only really bad part is my concern, after having seen the pilot and 2nd episode, is how the heck am I going to see the rest of the series...
We'll start with the review. It's good, actually, it's better than good. Don't expect to see a series about motorcycles. Don't expect to see a series like the cult road movie Easy Rider, with motorcycles on every scene. If you do, then you're going to be disappointed.
This is a general public TV series, so it's meant for the average Joe (and Jane). It's not meant for people like you and me who live and sh*t motorcycles. So keep that in mind when you see the series. (I'm not worried that the general public is going to see you and me as one of these biker gangs. TV audiences don't see every Italian person as mobsters either, do they?)
The type of series is Drama (with a capital "D"). It's not an action series with motorcycles chasing bad guys (or good guys chasing bad guys on motorcycles in this case). In not a TV series where motorcycles do things that gravity and the laws of physics forbid. It's real guys (and gals), riding motorcycles, hating each other, loving each other, eating, drinking, having sex ...doing mundane things... a typical action/drama.
People who have reviewed the series are comparing it with blockbuster series like the Sopranos. It's not, and I don't think it's meant to be. Just because the Sons of Anarchy are 1%ers (and involved in gun running, drugs and other crimes) doesn't mean that they are like the Sopranos. It's totally different.
The story evolves around a motorcycle gang called the Sons of Anarchy.
Their leader (President) is Ron Perlman (from the movie Hellboy ). He is the hard nosed and ruthless leader of the gang. His acting is convincing, and you could see him as a real life president of a gang.
The gang is molded in the Hells Angels, Mongols, Bandidos, Pagans, etc type of gang. There's a pecking order, prospects, hang-arounds, mamas.. etc.
As I mentioned, it's not an action series, though there is enough action to keep you interested (as there is sufficient motorcycle riding to keep your heart pumping). There is a lot of dialogue: obviously there have been quite some script writers involved. At times the series is a bit slow, but then in real life, things aren't always speeded up are they?
The two episodes have humor in them as well. You get a giggle here and there.
Katey Sagal (from the 80-90's TV series "Married with Children") is very, very good in this series. She's totally different from her long standing comedy series, and she can act. Very well done!!! I enjoyed watching her.
She plays the mother of the main character (Charlie Hunman) Jackson 'Jax' Teller.
Jackson is a high ranking member (vice president) of the gang, but is growing a conscious. Having just become a father, he is the more reasonable character. "Brains before Bullets" is his motto.
All-in-all, a good entertainment TV series. Is it something I'd watch if it ever came to France? You betcha! Is it on the same level as series like Sopranos or NYPD Blues? Give it time... the two award winning series didn't hit it until some time later as well. The characters and plots need to evolve. Go and see it... I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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I hope that the series will air over here soon....