Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sons of Anarchy - Give SAMCRO a Chance

In the past month, I’ve become completely consumed with Sons of Anarchy, charging through the first four seasons TWICE. It's bordering on destructive, I know, but I’m finding it excruciating to wait until next season.

Sons of Anarchy follows Jackson (Jax) Teller (Charlie Hunnam), Vice President of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club also known as SAMCRO, in the fictional town of Charming, California. Although, if we're being honest, it's not so much a motorcycle club, as it is a gang that buys and sells machine guns to various other crews in neighbouring towns. Charming’s residents seems to respect them, perhaps out of fear, but at the heart of it all, SAMCRO is a brotherhood of blue collar guys just trying to continue on the tradition and legacy passed down to them - to ride and protect their town and family.

Making up the rest of the main cast is Jax's step-father Clay (Ron Perlman), President of SAMCRO, and Jax’s mother Gemma (who married Clay after his Jax's father's death), played by the fantastic Katey Sagal, the matriarch of the club. This is one woman you definitely want on your side – in the first episode alone, she eerily hands a crank-filled syringe over to her son’s junkie ex with the intent of killing her. Gemma’s freaking scary, she’s no damsel in distress. It’s a nice change to see such a powerful female character in a male-dominated story, as opposed to the women from The Sopranos, who were kept in the dark most of the time. Speaking of The Sopranos, fans will be pleasantly surprised to see everyone’s favourite dead mafia girlfriend, Adriana (Drea De Matteo). Unfortunately, we don't get to hear her scream 'Christufaaaah', though, so boo.

Sons of Anarchy is edge-of-your-seat engaging, and the characters have layers upon layers of depth – each one distinctly appealing. Maybe I'm just a romantic at heart but it's refreshing to see Jax interact with his newborn son and his high school sweetheart (Maggie Siff) who's just recently returned to town as a local Doctor. To see a machine gun-wielding, Harley-riding, gang member adorably coo to his baby and yearn for the love that left him heartbroken a decade earlier – it’s what keeps me coming back.

Show creator Kurt Sutter, who also plays the character Otto, an incarcerated SAMCRO member, is one of very few show runners who truly understands the value of keeping fans engaged through social media. He blogs and tweets all-year-round, giving fans a backstage pass to his writing process, filming, and the characters we’ve come to love. Like I said, season 5 starts in September, so you have lots of time to catch up on the first four seasons. If there's one show you watch this year, pick Sons of Anarchy.