Sons of Anarchy (TV Series 2008–2014) Poster


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Excellent, poetic, dark, soulful, brutal !
jtaveras6420 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Sons is a show that should be up in the ranks with The Sopranos and Breaking Bad, that being said given I hail this show as a true classic I can focus on the aspects of it that are disappointing as well, like all great shows, nothing is ever perfect.

Season 1 of SOA was a good show, it established what the series will bring forth, season 2 was downright PERFECT! An excellent season with multiple story lines that could have produced more stories to come…but did not. Season 3 was downright dragging and poorly written filled with characters you will never see again in a plot in Ireland that wasted the entire season. However, towards the end the season somewhat redeems itself. By season 4 the show goes back to being great, establishing the main rivalries, cementing its main villain and giving the characters the drive to move to its ultimate finale. Season 5 shows a violent leader in charge heading the SAMCRO gang, it has a slower pace than the rest of the previous seasons, but still good. The focus is on the main relationships and its effects of betrayal. Somehow, this season makes it hard to understand why the show is not getting closer to its end, it felt a bit dragged and somewhat unnecessary. However, it's the quintessential season that establishes the main character as the true VILLAIN! And the addition of new characters was excellently casted. Season 6 is definitely more brutal. It felt dragged and long with episodes over extended, but it it's the season that stages the beginning of the end. Season 6 seems like it could have been mixed with season 5... to create a more superior whole and complete season. One interesting element of the season is that WOMEN are the true power players of the season, GEMA VS TARA VS WENDY. The main thorn in SAMCROS thumb is a female DA, and yes there's also a trans character. Margaret should have been given a stronger role, but it was still good. Season 7 …Probably my least favorite season after season 3. It was dragged and extended and had too many new characters, that we are not really invested in. Too much violence on these un-invested characters that make the action scenes lacking in payoff. By now you want Jax to die, and there's no one left to root for, with the exception of maybe Gema/Juice. The final episodes were powerful, tying up the main characters journeys (the ones who made it to the end) in dramatic and emotional fashion. There is something very deep and memorable about how thing tie up in the end for everyone.

Its closing shot is poetic, metaphoric and downright beautiful. It ends as all strong shows with a strong lead do (Sopranos, Breaking Bad) with a tragic ending worthy of discussion. Ultimately what the story is, is about a man being controlled by the two main women in his life, by his need to bring the club back to the "good old days" as it being led down a destructive path of violence, law enforcement corruption, drugs, prostitution, revenge and lies. Its about a mans identity and his self fulfilling prophecy to play out his fathers vision as stated in the manifesto that drives the story. Its about loyalty, power, control and fate. If you were paying attention, you won't be surprised for it was expected.
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Left of Centre
MeechaB13 April 2009
A friend of mine got me into SOA as it isn't anything likely to hit our screens here in Oz. Ironically enough the theme of the show is not that far removed from a lot of the bike gangs we have here and hear about but i digress.

It took me a few episodes to get hooked on SOA as i can honestly say it is unlike any American show i have watched. Its grainy and raw and even the actors are people who you'd see in your everyday life and not the glam and glitter that Hollywood or the like fobs off.

For that i ended up loving SOA. A lot. I like also that there are a lot of "known" but not blown up actors. You know their faces but you don't have them seared into your mind from over exposure so you can suspend judgment and believe these characters exist. And the characters drive this series. It isn't the most polished TV series but its edgy and if you are looking for something you can sink your teeth into and not get sick from the saccharine then bite into this show.

You will invest and you will care about these people even if they are the "kind" of people we normally fear and shun. And that is not to say the writers glamorize or sympathise, they just offer a different view point. Something we don't normally see.

That is the hook and the viewing pleasure of Sons of Anarchy.
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Excellent, Excellent, Excellent
vito79 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
FX has done it again. Another excellent show that we sit on the edge of our seats during, and wait impatiently for all week. If the common opinion that shows improve the longer they run rings true for this one, then I predict a perfect rating by season 3 and it will be in the running for all time great. The timing couldn't be more perfect with the great "The Shield" coming to a timely close. Sons of Anarchy takes on a classic Hamlet premise with a dead dad under potentially shady circumstances, a wavering prince, (or in this case vice president of the biker club), wondering what the right path for him is. Should he take the more philosophical path of his deceased predecessor or the hard core gangster approach of his mothers current husband and president of the S. O. A. biker club. The first season is only half over and my wife and I are already dreading the wait for season two. A special kudos for Katey Sagal, I didn't expect her to be able to shed the memory of Peggy Bundy of "Married With Children" but she has been able to create a strong Queen of the club character that is easy to love and hate all at once. Find the time for this one, It's like a white trash Sopranos with a story line that actually goes places.
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Best new show of 2008
magicdancer27 November 2008
I decided to watch "Sons of Anarchy" initially because I am a fan of Charlie Hunnam (a seriously under used and under rated actor,) Ron Perlman and Katey Sagal. What I didn't expect was the best ensemble I've seen in a TV show in years. Every cast member is spot on and the three I mentioned are positively brilliant. In the first five minutes, I completely forgot that Charlie Hunnam is British because his American accent is excellent. This show is heavy on violence and rough language, but it all fits in with the do the occasional sex scenes. Everything about it is excellent: the acting, scripts, sets, cinematography and direction. I'm thrilled that this excellent show will have a second season. If you haven't seen it, all episodes except the finale (to come) are available on line. I hope many more people will watch this terrific show.
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Loved every second of it...
m-omer-zabit29 November 2008
This is without a doubt the best TV show I've seen in ages. There is nothing about this show that one can't like.Every character is well defined and has it's own boundaries. The story line has enough twists to keep you on the edge of your seats through out the episode. And it may come across as strange, but you don't wait for the next episode because you wanna know what happens next (as in Prison break etc) you wait because you absolutely love the show. I envy the respect the S.O.A have for their members and what they are willing to do for one another.

All in all, this is how you make a freaking entertaining show. Kudos to FX!!!
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Superb My Son!
Systreco22 May 2009
OK, I saw Sons Of Anarchy by mistake a few weeks back (I recorded the wrong program) I Had heard of it but never really fancied it! Bikers and all that, not my thing! I had major doubts about Charlie Hunnam, I have only ever seen him in one thing before and that was a movie called Green Street (Hooligans) where he played an East End Londoner (West Ham) football fan-cum-hooligan! He is from Newcastle and his accent in Green Street was terrible but he must have had some voice coaching because in SOA he accent (usa) is spot on, all but the odd word! I watched the first episode and thought it was awesome! But then again, how many first episodes are awesome, only to be followed by a totally average rest-of-season? But I am so happy to say that I was wrong! I am up to episode 10 and each one is better than the last! It's not your average knuckle head biker show! It follows the trials and tribulations of each and every cast member! I really can't recommend Sons Of Anarchy enough! 10/10
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A great pretty Realistic Show
dburke-2727 August 2009
I originally began watching the show to see how realistic it would be. Living in that culture for many years, I know most people have no idea of the 'lifestyle'.

I was pretty surprised as I have only found a few issues that were, in my opinion, not realistic. I would give it a 85-90% for accuracy.

Much like other specific shows/plots, I really didn't expect this show to be very good, but I was pleasantly surprised and want to thank FX for doing some homework.

The cast is extremely well picked and fits their personalities.

I also highly suggest this series. Is it for everyone, of course not; but for those who want to see the 'other side' of life, it is not only fairly accurate but also very entertaining.......
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Excellent drama
geekroad13 November 2009
I almost didn't give this show a chance because Hollywood rarely offers up fully developed biker characters, much less decent or realistic plots about outlaw biker clubs. If there's a Harley and black leathers in the shot -- bad guys killing and doing bad things -- their work is done. Not so with Sons Of Anarchy.

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.
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Great show
ezequiazz27 January 2015
Just finished this show and I miss it already . Kurt Sutter really created something perfect with the right amount of love/hate in every character and makes you feel in love with the show for the first minute of running until the very last second . I think I never liked a character so much like I did with Jax Teller (with the great performance of Charlie Hunnam being a bad-ass biker with a philosophical mind that really make you think that every bad decision he makes is the right one) . I am not a very social person but seeing the brotherhood and love that this bikers have for each other really makes me want to be in that kind of weird relationship.
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One of the best shows on TV right now
kim-18930 November 2008
There is nothing about this show that isn't fantastic. While, at times, it can be a little too realistic (with levels of violence rarely seen on TV), the characters and plots are wonderfully written. You find yourself rooting for characters that you would normally want to hurl abuse at. These are not good guys, but they love their family and do whatever they can to keep them safe.

I cannot recommend this show highly enough. Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman and Katey Sagal are amazing, as are the rest of the cast. You can tell that Kurt Stutter loves this show as much as the fans do.

Although Season One is now over, I can't wait for the newly announced Season Two.
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I like this show, but probably not for the right reasons.
Impugn_Original31 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I have to disconnect a bit to truly enjoy this show because, if I don't, the unintentional comedy keeps getting in the way.

My beefs:

1) "Red, no blue...arrrgggghhh!"

Any geek who has ever played an adventure game (from Zork to Grand Theft Auto) knows the routine. The plot is moved by a chain of quests and little else. I need to exit the dungeon, but I need a key. The wizard has the key, but to get it, I need the unicorn. To get the unicorn, I need to get the princess. To get the princess, I need to get the rose. To get the rose, I need to get the painting. ...and so on, ad nauseam...

Once you pick up on that dynamic within this show, it becomes sort of laughable. Every time they encounter and interact with any external person or entity, they are left with a quest. Seriously. They could approach the local grocer to pick up a gallon of milk and, somehow, leave with no milk until a task to set up the grocer's son with a prom date is completed.

This method is not unique to this show, so it is not a deal-breaker.

2) "If it wasn't for bad luck..."

Jack Bauer is the only dude I know that has more problems in a given day than Jax Teller and his pals. I understand why Bauer's day is so unfairly loaded with horrible circumstances - that's the premise of the show 24. With SoA, however, the sheer number of horrible events in a short period of time is, frankly, exhausting. It feels unnecessarily compressed. They finish up their Irish adventure, return home, immediately deal with the Kim Bauer, er (sorry!), Tara kidnapping situation and, whew, relax for 10 minutes. Enjoy it, cuz, tomorrow, you're all going to jail! Real humans saddled with such an utter concentration of tragedy would have an uncommon tendency to find out what the business end of a pistol tastes like. Just sayin'.

I think the show's creators recognize this which is why they, very occasionally, show moments of levity or even (*gasp*) normality.

3) "Imperial Stormtroopers meets the A-Team"

This SAMCRO gang can do *nothing* right. Nothing. Even routine criminal activities reliably end in failure. They are the Gang That Can't Shoot Straight, yet almost always emerge unscathed. Handing off some scripts/drugs to a black market doctor? By all means, do it outside, in full view of the neo-Nazi guy! All the "bad guys" going to a rally? Simultaneously have your club show up with automatic weapons *AND* arrange for the cops to be at the scene! It is confounding. There is very little reason for me to believe this numbskull SAMCRO outfit would remain in business for more than a few weeks. I don't know who would pay them for "protection" or risk getting pinched buying guns or drugs from them.


I get it. Jax is "hot". My wife tells me so. Given we're watching the DVD release and there are no commercials, I actually appreciate the occasional Jax-shirtless-Diet-Pepsi-commercial thing - my cue to hit the kitchen. (Jax's accent - especially when he has to act alongside dudes with any accent native to the U.K. - drifts in and out, which is a riot.)

We dudes are hosed, though. To paraphrase Cleavon Little's character from Blazing Saddles, "Where all the women at?" We got a fairly worn out Peg Bundy, a tramp-stamped doctor with more baggage than sense, prostitutes and porn stars, and psychotic lesbian federal agents. How about throwing us a hot chick with a head on her shoulders and, just for good measure, make her immune (if not hostile) to Jax's, um, "charms".

I'll keep watching in spite of my sneaking suspicion that I have been Jerry MacGuire'd (tricked into watching a chick flick). The writing is pretty nimble - they haven't painted themselves into a corner quite yet. They have a sense of humor about themselves - I particularly enjoyed Jax telling the Porn Lady that he wasn't there to "Adriana her" (a reference to Jax's ex-wife's character on The Sopranos) and Gemma saying she'd rather go bald than red-head (Al Bundy is predictably indifferent on the subject). There are some fine moments with nice payoffs - even if you see them coming in advance to some degree.

So, it's a video game in TV-show form and it will make your wife hot for scumbags. It is simply *loaded* with supporting characters from all over the entertainment spectrum (You will spend a fair amount of time wondering exactly from where you know Characters X and Y...and who knew there was a *low rent* version of Eric Roberts out there?). You know, you just haven't lived until you've seen Gerry Bertier empty a MAC-10 into the back of a chick's head. Strong side, left side, indeed.

By all means, enjoy this show. I know I am. Just, please, please, spare Billy the posthumous gymnastics and refrain from the Shakespeare comparisons. It ain't that, at all. Also, spare us the indignation of decrying the "glorification" of the lifestyles portrayed. Those clownshoes at SAMCRO aren't an advertisement for much beyond making birth control very available and supporting your local law enforcement.

NUTSHELL: A very good watch, but be sure to laugh *quietly* at any nimrods (guys or gals) you see sporting SoA merchandise (cuts, shirts, hats, etc...)...for they know not what they reveal about themselves.
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Some of what makes this show great
writetopcat9 August 2015
The writing and the acting in this show set it apart from 99% of other television shows and movies. While no show is perfectly written or filmed, this one is far and away better than nearly everything else. Why? Several reasons, but here are a couple. 1- More than any other drama I can think of, SOA avoids resorting to highly contrived scenes and plots. How many crime or action shows have LEO characters attempt to clear rooms with their guns held at arms length as they walk through doors and around corners without first clearing blind spots? This kind of forced stupidity absolutely strains credulity and like other viewers I hate it. Only lazy, stupid jerks write scenes like that. They assume viewers are idiots and won't notice how forced and phony the writing is. Apparently this is an old favorite method for building suspense, for giving viewers that "uh oh, something bad is about to happen" feeling. But such writing is transparent and insults the audience.

SOA writers didn't do that. Their writing was almost always realistic in those areas. Sure, the characters in the show are unusual, but their behavior is believable.

In the same way, the writers did not resort to making most characters emotionally labile as the majority of other drama writers do. There is plenty of emotion in the show, but it is developed realistically, and most of the characters have a normal amount of emotional maturity, so the viewer is able to relate to and go along with it.

There is a lot more to be said for this show of course. But I was and am extremely pleased with the realism of the writing, and also of the acting.

One more thing which makes the show so believable and good: it was not another vehicle for "political correctness". The writers avoided all that phony thinking and speaking. In one episode a SOA member remarked that he had taken his son out of T ball because every member of every team was given a winner's trophy. As normal people in real life do, he recognized that the school's attempt to eliminate winners and losers is harmful to children. Far too many TV shows appear to be vehicles for promoting "PC" nonsense like that. SOA was not one of them.
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Great show, a must see
lapd_20009 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I DVR'd SOA and I forgot I had it saved. I finally watched the 1st episode last week and I was hooked 5 minutes in. The show is a mix of The Sopranos and The Shield. The acting is top notch and as others have said, you find yourself rooting for the "bad guys" just like The Shield and The Sopranos. How cool is it seeing "Peggy Bundy" in a hardcore role? I also like the way there are several story lines developing, which allows you to attach yourself to several characters. I am anxiously awaiting season 2. My only fear is they may have gone to deep too quick, with lines in the club apparently being drawn with Jax & Piney vs. Clay, Tig and the hardcore members. But we'll see.Bring on season 2.
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Cartoonish, not Dramatic
justinkennethmail10 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This show has officially jumped the shark...The club members are near bullet/bomb/fist proof and even when held at gunpoint, manage to get the jump on their attacker with skill that would make James Bond look like Forrest Gump. This includes their women, who have escaped being held at gunpoint early every other episode. (Honestly, when a gun is trained on a Son or an old lady of a Son, count on them pulling a Jason Bourne and snatching the gun). They engage in bare knuckle brawling, are shot, and survive bomb blasts with nary a scratch.

Without vulnerability, the characters have no risk, and without risk they go from humans to superheroes. The emerging theme of escaping "the life" of violence becomes a parody. For anyone who has seen the real effects of violence and crime, this show presents a surreal and cartoonish farce. There is no motivation for their actions when every tight spot or fix can be resolved by using violence and military style black ops which most Navy SEAL teams couldn't accomplish, let alone a biker club. For example, the club is able to run amok in a local hospital and kill and interrogate a patient multiple times using a "decoy" tactic to lure away the bumbling sheriff guarding the room. The same tactic is used to infiltrate a rival club's drug operation. At no time are their plodding enemies every able to successfully resist or touch the Sons. A drive-bye hits only bystanders, an IRA bomb blast leads to a few day hospital stay, and even a rifle round to the shoulder is but a paper-cut. Meanwhile, the Sons are granted bail after storming a church meeting with weapons drawn, overpower North Irish border guards who have carbines trained on the prone Club members, and escape a team of IRA hit men armed with sub-machine guns.

In the real world, such ham fisted operations would have brought a world of heat on the club and they would be in bright orange jumpsuits not, their black leather cuts. Oh, but then again, they'd just bust out of prison...
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Totally Undeserving of its Praise
srthomas200616 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
If I had to consolidate into one word all of the unpleasant emotions I've undergone in my painfully slow journey through five seasons of this cartoonish series, the term "frustration" would fit the bill perfectly. If you plan on diving into this show expecting the universe in which this story takes place to even remotely resemble our own, you too will feel this frustration. I am actually thoroughly appalled to see such high praise for this show, and it troubles me to think that this might somehow be The Best Thing On Television Right Now.

The show centers on the follies of a gun running motorcycle gang in a fictional California town, ostensibly ran by a young blonde man named Jax who appears as though he was ripped, pixel for pixel, right out of an Abercrombie and Finch magazine ad. His mother, stepfather, and girlfriend get much focus as well, and a handful of other gang members get minor attention in an attempt to give the ensemble a little substance. However, each and every one of these characters are completely unlikable. They're nasty, manipulative, murderous, sexist criminals. This group of alcoholic racists (the non-allowance of blacks in the group actually becomes a plot-line) runs guns (and later, drugs) and seems to pull in huge profits in the process, and yet still live relatively meager lives in modest homes. There is never an explanation as to where these funds go, and there is only a half-attempt to explain why the gang even carries out this type of shady business in the first place.

Now, stories centering on anti-heroes CAN be enjoyable. Nabokov's Lolita, American Psycho, Dexter come to mind. However, this show feels as though it actually endorses the actions of our biker friends, and I felt as though I, as the viewer, was expected to give myself a high-five every time the Sons of Anarchy (the name of the gang) killed an innocent bystander or screwed someone over. The main pull for this show is simply watching to see if these thugs ever actually get what's coming to them. (Spoiler Alert: they don't. Not in the first five seasons, anyway). This brings me to my main peeve: the characters outside the inner circle.

Rest assured, any character in this show that is not a member or affiliate of the Sons of Anarchy is going to be a cartoonish, one- dimensional, unintelligent tool that always seems to be just one step behind our lovely Sons. Authority figure, public official, rival gang member, it doesn't matter. For example (spoiler here), one character sets a scenario in motion in which Jax's best friend is beaten to death right in front of him. Then, this same character instructs Jax to turn over ANOTHER member of his gang to be murdered, and then leaves himself completely open for a strike from Jax as he carries out the task of killing the second member. This character is supposed to be a super- intelligent, insanely powerful person in the story, and watching him and other characters do insanely stupid things that allow Jax and crew to constantly get the scoop on them is absolutely cringe-worthy. Furthermore, none of the gang members, save for one named Opie, ever have to experience the consequences of their lifestyle.

As I mentioned before, I don't mind rooting for the bad guys from time to time, but this show makes it impossible. The characters are invincible, and therefore completely unrelatable. The story lines are easily predictable (hint: Sons always win. Always). The acting is pretty good, particularly from Katey Sagal, but it's hard to revive the believability of such poorly written characters. Watch Mad Men or Breaking Bad if you actually want a story in which the characters are human beings. Watch this if you like motorcycles and brawls and gunfights, because that's about as deep as this show is willing to go.
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What a journey
topalwos10 May 2019
Watched it all in 2018-2019. I was quite surprised how fast I got sucked in in this show. The realism and the values of the characters make them quite believable and you can empathize with all of them at some point. This elevates the show on another level. Yes, sometimes the writing and the rest are not god tier and you might find yourself doubting some deus ex machina but it is overall an amazing experience and I totally recommend this show.
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Review for anyone new to the show
tramlaw3019 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Sons of Anarchy is a good to great show. It's hard to believe it was on FX and not HBO. I will miss it and it deserves credit for bringing a certain grit and realism for a cable series. I've been with the show since Day 1 and the argument was always too much Gemma. Gemma, Gemma...MF Gemma. Anyone new to the show will go through the same thing, so to all of you I have to say try to get over it. I and many other fans had to get over it but it should be easier to live with if you know before hand that the show is more about Gemma than anything. Watching it from day 1 to the end proved more difficult with handling that. It was the shows only true flaw. ******SPOILERS BELOW****** The first two seasons are great. They set you up for the struggle of the entire series. Jax, Clay, Gemma, JT...the club and family struggle. You think that the show is about Jax and his struggle but it is not. It's about Gemma and her struggle. She is/was in many of our minds at the beginning supposed to be a gatekeeper of secrets. A go-between character that is involved in everything because of what she knows and her relationships with Clay, Jax and JT but she's actually the centerpiece of the show. The show is about HER struggle. She's the Shakespearean tragic figure of the show and not Jax. What happens to her at the end is appropriate and it is filled with emotion. What happens to Jax is empty and unnecessary. The series is great because of all the ensemble moments with SAMCRO and definitely worth watching.
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What show are all these people watching?
gnfnrlives22 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I would love to know. I want to see that show. The one I watched, and I watched 2 whole seasons, is appallingly bad. I can't even understand how or why I made it through 2 seasons. Each episode only got more ridiculous. It's a daytime soap disguised as a hard-hitting drama. A federal agent shoots her witness then frames Katey Sagal even though Sagal just shot someone else with a completely different gun? Who's buying this? The leader of the Mayans has to be the DUMBEST dude in the history of mankind! Every time he shows up on screen he's getting burned by SAMCRO. The writing is purely guttural and shows no thought process whatsoever. The acting is laughable. just defies explanation how this show is so popular. What I witnessed is a complete disaster. Someone PLEASE tell me where the good one is!!!
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Why isn't anyone rating this series?
toddf9916 August 2009
Cmon everyone, plug in your rating. Hard to believe this show hasn't received the minimum 5 votes. It obviously has received enough attention to garner a following. Perhaps the viewers of the series don't find it necessary to vote. However, I think it helps others all over the world get a sense as to whether the show is worth even checking out. In this case, it definitely is. At least for the guilty pleasure factor. The show could be a little better if they laid off some of the generic TV series scenes. But, ultimately it is better than 90% of what's out there. However, I have only seen the first 5 episodes, so it may be that I'm being set up for things to get a little darker. I'm enjoying catching up on the first season and look forward to the second season beginning in a few weeks. I appreciate F/X supporting a series like this, as TV needs to challenge the audience more. Shows like "The Sopranos", "Six Feet Under", "Big Love" are the gold standard, so let's keep it going.
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Bike fantasy glamorizing criminals
LilyDaleLady22 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Two stars for some of the actors, who are gamely doing a good job with very thin material, and the musical scoring, which is outstanding (CDs of the show are highly recommended). Otherwise, this is a fantasy of an office worker, who thinks being a biker means being able to commit crimes with impunity and living a porn-fantasy life of sleeping with every hot woman, including strippers and porn actresses, and zero consequences.

Needless to say, real criminals who act this way end up in jail, and quickly. It is the conceit of this series that the "Sons of Anarchy" motorcycle club, in a tiny rural California town in the Inland Empire, can openly be a criminal gang and not be shut down ASAP by the FBI. (Yes, an FBI agent appears briefly in Season 1, but gets the crap beaten out of her and is eventually murdered, with no repercussions.) The local police are in collusion.

I was in Daytona Beach last month, and all the biker stores featured logo items from this show, so it clearly has a following. However, I see it as just cartoonish nonsense. For a show about BIKERS, there is astonishingly little actual motorcycle riding. The "club" exists to run guns, not Harleys. They appear to have no money, yet run elaborate military-style black ops crime sprees (or revenge sprees) and never get caught. At the end of Season 3, they actually go to Ireland, on the silliest plot thread imaginable -- Protganist Jax Teller (played by beach-boy pretty Charlie Hunnam, with a very unconvincing American accent he can't hang onto) has had his baby son (Abel, like "Cain & Abel", duh) kidnapped -- to IRELAND -- and they all go there, apparently WITH their motorcycles (but no PASSPORTS), to get the baby back....words can't describe how silly and unconvincing this is.

For starters, outside of a placement shot of some Irish countryside, this is clearly not shot on location and is obviously still in California. The difficulty of someone getting on a plane with a baby they have no papers or passport for, and then getting into a foreign country, are never explained. (Hint: it would be incredibly difficult, and of course they are making themselves incredibly conspicuous; not too bright for a criminal gang!). Also we are to believe there is a "branch" of the Sons of Anarchy in IRELAND. (Is there a branch in the Gaza Strip, too? Fallujah? Kabal? Bosnia?)

All through the series, the acronym SAMCRO is used for Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original. I had to look this up. It is NEVER explained; like many here, I thought it was a PERSON (Sam Crowe). This is how it is pronounced, which makes no sense.

Katey Sagal is basically reprising her Married with Children role of "Peg Bundy", only with streaked hair and brooding attitude. I keep waiting for her to break into comedy. Early on in the first episodes, her character Gemma is dealing with menopause and I thought there might be some serious introspection going on, but no. Ron Perlman looks great, but is too gentle and nice to be leading a vicious gang of thugs. Charlie Hunnam is too pretty and British to be convincing, and like I said, his accent isn't nailed down. Also: would a vicious motorcycle thug actually run around in white sneakers and clean white t-shirts all the time? REALLY?

Maggie Siff is particularly poor as a DOCTOR, a physician (!!!) who is in love with Jax, and helps him in his crimes, including escape from police and outright murder & assault. Apparently she cares very little for the medical license she worked 10 years or more to get! I can't even say enough how ridiculous this idea is -- maybe it could have worked if she was a NURSE or dental hygienist, but I simply can't buy the idea of a doctor getting jiggy with a criminal thug motorcycle gang member. Not to mention why she'd be willing to relocate to a tiny poor rural hospital and stymie her career in that way either. Siff is a weak actress as well, looking slackjawed and dull-witted as she does unbelievable stuff like make love with Hunnam's character NEXT TO A CORPSE.

I'm only at the end of Season 3 and it's only gotten more ridiculous episode by episode. I've seen more convincing science fiction with flying saucers and jellyfish aliens. Two thumbs down.
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Worth watching if you can shut off your brain.
taharizvi_12 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Okay so after hearing from many sources that Sons of Anarchy is a great TV show i decided to give it a shot. I found the pilot episode rather boring and so decided to give the show a fair chance and watched another 8 episodes. The problem with this show is that they are trying to mix a soap and a gangster drama like sopranos. Now even i critiqued that sopranos could have done with more action but sons of anarchy takes it to a whole new level.

The show so far has lacked a proper long term story-line. Its almost like watching a CSI Miami episode where there is a new story every episode with a very minimal attention to the overall story. Like in one of the episodes Jax, one of the main characters is in a vehicle transporting a dead body with some of his gangster buddies. A cop who has his sights set on their gang decides to pull them over and so to deal with the issue Jax pulls over and just as the police officer exits his car, another vehicle filled with Jax's friends rear ends the cop. As the cop turns around to look at the situation Jax exits his car and slashes the cops tires with a knife. Now the cop shoots at their tires as they drive off and thats where this entire dilemma ends.... cops don't even show up to arrest the crew... the show makes it really clear the cop knows each and every gang member. Why don't the cops do anything... Well two episodes later Jax goes into the police station to tell the same police officer that there is an FBI agent in the city harassing his girl, instead of the cop remembering their confrontation he is all like "omg no way,i knew something was up!" and swears to deal with the situation. Now i was like what the.., it gets even better Jax later calls the same police officer on his phone number( why does he have his cellphone number?! i thought they were supposed to hate each other) and says the FBI agent hasn't left. The cop tells Jax that he is going to go talk to the FBI agent and that he is at the barber shop, Jax goes to the barber shop and beats agent really badly. Now Jax's alibi is that he was getting a haircut and the agent attacked him, now I'm thinking well how did you beat the cop to the scene, how did you have the time to have the entire fight and then claim you were getting a haircut?.. the cop told you the location!! There are so many plot holes that this show can be painful to watch. Like the club president gets called in for questioning and he is smoking a Cuban cigar with the police chief(who is allied with the gang),okay fine you have the police chief in your pocket but like how are you discussing illegal activities with the police chief, in his office while his door is open?! like in one of the scenes the cop who is set out to arrest the club walks by and gives the president the "I'm on to you" look as he sees him smoking the Cuban with the chief. Now to make things even worse the president convinces the police chief to arrest the opposing gang leaders so he can discuss business and beef with them in the police holding cell.This show is a soap and that's all it is.. Even the battles are dumb, like in one of the biggest battles the Latino gang is completely surrounded and is being shot at by automatic weapons and shotguns, you see a few people get shot but then in the end they all drive off and not a single person on either side dies... How do people love this show? and to think i heard from a few sources that this show is better than Breaking Bad and Sopranos. Oh yeah and the FBI agent, Jax kills him in the girls house with a shot to the head and then has sex with the girl next to his dead body...
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not worth watching
aurel66616 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I started watching a year ago. I really gave this show a chance, after really annoying, bad written episodes in season 1, but season 2 made it even worse. This is by far on of the worst shows in the last 5 years and I still don't get it how anyone can rate it above a 5 or 6. There are so many logical mistakes, bad acting, "a-team like" shootings from professional killers and bad casting choices. When you reach season 3 and get to Ireland, you won't stop laughing. Sure, some shots made in Ireland are not that cheap but Ireland looks like California - with a blue coloring and every house needs a shamrock painted on a wall.

stop wasting lifetime with sons of anarchy.
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Hamlet and Kegs
paulcreeden17 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I read a review of this moronic show that compared it to Hamlet. Well, friends, Charming, CA ain't Denmark but there's something' rotten in it: This series. What amazing talent, though. Ron Perlman, who has done European art films. Charlie Hunnam, who has done Dickens for BBC. Kate Sagal, who was the iconic wise-ass mama of "Married With Children". Kim Coates who has played countless psychos to perfection. On and on. What the hell are all these great people doing in this turkey? The pay scale must have been tremendous. My major objection is an ethical one: This series portrays violence and crime as admirable pursuits with dignity. This is not only false to the core, but it is at the root of its poor writing and poor acting by some great actors. I watched several streamed episodes of the first season on Netflix out of pure boredom. I can't even begin to imagine who sponsored this trash when it had commercials. Harley Davidson? Male jock-itch cream? Dominos Pizza? My rating of 5 is too generous, but it is a pity vote for the good actors who felt needy enough to submit to this bad writing.
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"I'll do him if you do me"
hwaite30 January 2012
I got roped into watching the first few episodes of this clichéd pablum and won't be coming back for more. James Bond meets the Dukes of Hazard meets Duke Nukem to fulfill every adolescent white trash fantasy imaginable. The show in a nutshell: unlikeable, one-dimensional characters traipse about a small town assaulting people, bedding hot ladies and getting wrapped up in soap opera nonsense. Also, there are bitchin' motorcycles.

The objectification of women in this show makes Entourage look like The Vagina Monologues. A beautiful female agrees to sleep with a creepy stalker in exchange for a few hours of passion with our hero. The girlfriends of the dudes whose asses he whups, the checkout girl at the local grocery, the schoolgirls walking down the street, his ex-wife, his doctor: if there's a remotely attractive woman in frame, one can be sure she's enamored with our mulletted protagonist, Jax. It's later explained that beautiful women are apparently willing to serve in club harems for years in exchange for a slim chance at becoming some specific thug's "old lady". Be still, my beating heart.

In addition to the blatant alpha male wish fulfillment, the show is terribly unrealistic in other ways as well. Despite being a bunch of misogynistic, drunken idiots; gang members are quite capable of running a complex business; hacking into FBI computers; executing (casualty-free) precision military operations; and outwitting "the man" at every turn. Law enforcement ranges from corrupt to ineffectual but for damn sure won't do anything important in this series. Considering that the idyllic small town of Charming, California is more violent and lawless than Ciudad Juarez, one has to wonder why everyday citizens hold gangsters in such high regard. The message here seems to be that policemen making any attempt to do their jobs are just annoying buzz-kills getting in the way of everyone's fun. The audience is meant to identify with the rowdy bikers because, despite being ruthless criminals, all but the obvious bad guys have hearts of gold. And besides, Jax is secretly conflicted about the moral implications of his chosen profession. Perhaps by Season Five he'll have morphed the gang into a hippie commune -- just like daddy wanted.

The acting is passable and production value is decent. If the show could ditch the corny comic relief and introduce some subtlety or complexity or realism, it might be worth watching. As it stands, Sons of Anarchy is little more than Blaxploitation for poor white people. 3 stars.
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Telling stories...
CaptainJinks7 December 2011
...isn't easy. But this one is certainly written by well payed pro's and... you simply have to be incredibly stupid to buy it.

The protagonist -who I guess is supposed to be the show's hero- is totally played by his mom, his wife and his stepfather (and more). To "protect him" (probably uttered a 100 times by Gemma) from certain hurtful truths. It makes him look half brain dead. He shouldn't notice that everyone is lying to him? And the lies also causes dozens of deaths, but that doesn't seem to bother the liars. All to "protect" this and that. Bottomless plot holes are covered with "let's keep it a secret to protect" whatever.

And then there's the ongoing slaughter of... I don't know how many people. Preferrably by the use of heavy artillery and nuclear warheads. In broad daylight. And they never really get caught.

Also it almost hurts to see twenty+ gangsters firing away at each other with assault rifles and hitting nothing but air. From 15 feet away.

Last, but not least, is the inconsequences. The characters, and especially Gemma, tends to change views from episode to episode. Maybe it's supposed to look like she has a very clever hidden agenda, but I doubt it. It bums me out anyhow.

No, the script isn't good. But the show's still watchable. It looks good, and some of the scenes are really well made and well written.

Pardon my terrible English, I'm from Sweden.

EDIT: I'm sorry but I really have to add a couple of things: 1 The acting is really good 2 The characters are truly lovable 3 The directing is top notch 4 The music i well chosen. Especially "Los Tiempos van Cambiando" (cover of Dylan's "Times are a changing").

I mean: I actually did enjoy the show. The bad script just made me overly negative to the whole thing. But my rating (4/10) still stands. A great TV-series should be well written as well. Not just well produced.
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