A biker struggles to balance being a father and being involved in an outlaw motorcycle club.A biker struggles to balance being a father and being involved in an outlaw motorcycle club.A biker struggles to balance being a father and being involved in an outlaw motorcycle club.
While you will find all of the above elements, they're woven into a much richer fabric that brings each and every character to life in 16 million colors and full resolution, rising above the stereo-typical black-and-white portrayals of VGA-rendered knuckle-dragging villains.
And the casting! Katy Segal is phenomenal as Gemma, the widow of club founder and wife of present club runner, Clay Morrow, played by Ron Pearlman. Gemma's son, Jax, played by Charlie Hunnam, butts heads with his step-father's vision for the club.
But what really sets this biker drama apart is the context. The bikers are all natives of Charming, childhood friends in a small town. They've kept the town free of corporate tentacles and development, partly so they can run their legal and illegal businesses free of interference (gun-running and porn), and partly because the town itself might as well be a club member. The characters have deep roots to the townspeople who fear but also trust them to a degree, at least in the sense that it's sometimes better to deal with the devil you know and sometimes it's even handy to know the devil. The Sons have 'profitable arrangements' with certain local law enforcement officials, including the Chief of Police played magnificently by Dayton Callie, better known as Deadwood's Charlie Utter.
Conflict arises from neighboring clubs, gangs and criminal organizations trying to horn in on the action, and to an Aryan businessman and politician, played by Alan Arkin, who wants to set up shop in Charming and take out the Sons of Anarchy so he can take their place at the top of the criminal heap.
As if this wasn't fodder enough, Ally Walker joined the cast in season two as ball-breaking FBI agent June Stahl, going after the Sons and IRA gun runners who are selling to the Sons. Her quest, made painfully personal, by a meeting-gone-wrong with an imprisoned club member.
The action is gritty, the anti-heroes are plentiful, the characters are full-bodied and the writing is Class-A. Let Sons of Anarchy become your newest guilt-free pleasure and you'll find yourself heading into it full throttle.
- Nov 13, 2009