Hello folks, it’s been a while since I posted much of a reflective or opinionated article here, but today I wanted to change that. Over the last few weeks I started watching the FX original TV series Sons Of Anarchy. It’s fair to say that now I’ve become mildly obsessed with it! I watched 4 whole series in about 2 weeks, maybe 3 weeks at the most, and I’m keeping up with the 5th series as it currently airs in the US. The program revolves around the adventures of a California motorcycle club known as the Sons Of Anarchy, you could probably have guessed that. At first I thought of describing it as “The Sopranos with bikes”, but that’s far to lazy and simplistic a comparison. The Sopranos was a fantastic series which I watched start to finish but stylistically Sons (as fans call it) is faster moving than Tony and crew ever were. Compared to The Wire it’s positively breakneck in pace. I loved The Wire, before it became fashionable to do so I feel I must add, but damn it was so slow at times.
In Sons Of Anarchy major characters die at totally unexpected times. Every episode has about 5 different story lines running through it and things change on a knife edge. Allegiances switch and whole plot points will turn on their head in a few scenes, then suddenly a character at the centre gets shot and you think “oh, were they just leading me on there?”. I like to think I’m a smart guy (quiet at the back) and I can often predict what will happen in a film or TV series, but just when I think I’ve got Sons figured out it surprises me. It’s brilliantly written and executed and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s no surprise that SoA creator Kurt Sutter was also a key figure on The Shield. It has lots of similar features and grittiness. If you liked the adventures of Vic Mackey and his team of dodgy cops you’ll love Sons Of Anarchy.
I’ve said it here before but the chance to be a wizard, dragon or alien warrior holds about as much interest for me as the latest Simon Cowell induced talent show, AKA none. But give me the chance to be Tony Soprano, Vic Mackey or perhaps Omar from The Wire and I’m all over it. I’ve never wanted to be in a biker gang, hell I’ve never even ridden a motorcycle (true story), but the thought of joining Jax Teller, Bobby Elvis, Chibbs and the others for a road trip appeals to me. So much so that on a recent episode of Linux Outlaws I declared my dismay that replica “Reaper Crew” hats – worn by Jax on the show – are only sold in the USA. I couldn’t find a company willing to ship them over here at all. A kindly US listener in the shape of JeffG emailed me and offered to send one. A few days ago this package turned up at my flat. See the picture below…
How amazing is this? Thank you Jeff, you’re a star! You’ll see from the pictures that this is the exact same hat Jax wears on the show, complete with grey colouring under the peak. Incidentally the actor who plays Jax Teller is English too, Charlie Hunnam is from Newcastle. Good to see the tradition of English actors making it big by doing convincing American accents continues. Right, so now I suppose I’d better get on with starting a Liverpool chapter of the S0A, only problem being that I don’t have a bike, not even a push bike. Do you think a bus pass is OK? Patch me in!
If you get the chance give SoA a watch, you won’t regret it. It’s so much more intelligent that it first appears. Sure there’s explosions and gun fights, but the character development and plot twists go way deeper.