Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sons of Anarchy

A few years late, I've just discovered Sons of Anarchy. It's clearly meant to be something like The Wire, but with small town California bikers dealing arms in place of East Coast city gangsters dealing drugs. I won't say it's as good as The Wire, but it's pretty good all the same. The biker gang is led by Tom Waits and Kurt Cobain (actually Ron Perlman and Charlie Hunnam), and the show has an appropriate soundtrack, none of which I recognize but much of which sounds like the Black Keys.

The story involves the Kurt Cobain character periodically reading his father's journal, which involves some cringeworthy philosophizing and pseudo-profundity that so far never seems to get any more profound than Kenny Rogers' "sometimes you gotta fight if you're a man." On the other hand, the story is partly about how a group of hippie idealists ended up being a gang of criminals, and whether it's possible for them to return to their earlier ideals. Which is potentially interesting.


  1. that's not quite right, the idealist/criminal conflict is what kurt cobain gets from reading his dad's journal. there are sympathetic people in the club, but for the most part they're all the way criminal.

    if you like this and you liked the wire you should really, really watch 'the shield'. the storylines on 'anarchy' can get a little thin by comparison. if you make it to the final episode of 'the shield', its ending is all-time great.

  2. That's right, it's Kurt Cobain's conflict. I'm hoping the journal will tell the story of how the transformation from the club's (or his dad's) original ideals happened. Maybe it won't.

    I've never seen The Shield, but I will look into it. Thanks.

  3. I have to agree with the tip about the Shield--the Shield, although very different from the Wire, is also absolutely classic and has some of the vilest, creepiest, and yet interesting characters ever in television.

    But if you're looking for a current show, then I would recommend _Justified_ which I think is FX's best show on right now.

    (And I agree, btw, that SoA is a solid show...although it's hit/miss sometimes. There are some truly great moments, though, and on the whole it manages to do a significant amount...)

  4. I'm a few more episodes into SoA now and it's not going into the history nearly as much as I had hoped. Maybe I'd prefer a prequel (Fathers of Anarchy?). Supposedly later series are better than the first, but I don't know in what way(s). I'll definitely have to check out The Shield, and Justified sounds interesting, and a bonus is that it's set close to Matthew Pianalto territory. Thanks.

  5. yeah, it's sort of a cheaper show. they goose things with the club history backstory every once in a while, but it's not like it's set up to mainly tell that story.

    seconded on 'justified' too. and the best show on fx WAS 'terriers', but it was cancelled. : (