Monday, September 28, 2009

Sons of Anarchy, Episode 2.1

F/X does anti-heroes better than anyone. Let's look at what they've done: The Shield, Rescue Me, Damages, The Riches, Thief, Nip/Tuck. Heck, even Over There, if you're looking to expand your definition of anti-hero.Then, last September, timed to coincide with the last season of The Shield, F/X premiered a new show that surprised me and pleased me with its dark characters and vicious and (in)human storylines.

Sons of Anarchy is the story of Jax, a young member of a the motorcycle gang SAMCRO (the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original). He has recently been promoted to Vice-President, the right hand man of his step-father, who was an original member of The Club with Jax's father. Meanwhile, Jax has just become a father to a sick child that his drug-addicted girlfriend gave birth to. Jax's true love, who has come back to town, is the doctor at the hospital. While cleaning out his father's storage, Jax finds a manuscript where his father lays out how The Club has gone wrong, and how they've sacrificed their pursuit of freedom at the altar of economic prosperity.

At the beginning of this season, Jax's best friend, Opie, is recovering from a tragic loss, while The Club tries to get its feet back under itself by making a new deal with the IRA at the same time they're trying to prevent neo-Nazis from moving into town. And Jax has to handle all of this while deciding if justice is attainable, or just an illusion.

It's less noir than it is 1930s gangster film, with some Oedipal undertones. It takes the standard Gangster film-critique of the capitalist American Dream and contrasts it with the original American Dream of individual freedom. It's sort of like, THE GODFATHER meets EASY RIDER meets HAMLET. It features great performances from Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal and The Awesome Ron Perlman. And with the additions of Adam Arkin (lately of another favorite, the canceled Life) and Henry Rollins, it promises to be an intense year.

Watch the video here or catch up with it on But do it quick. This episode is only up until October 8.

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