Pin It

Sons of Anarchy 

Hellboy and the mom from Married ... With Children team up.

click to enlarge art15544.jpg

I love it when a show comes together. It usually happens in the second season. The writers hack away what doesn’t work and polish what does. It happened that way with Chuck, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Parks and Recreation, The Office and The Simpsons.

And it happened with Season Two of Sons of Anarchy. Even in the first season, the show had potential. The setup was promising: The town of Charming, Calif., has long been controlled by the Sons of Anarchy, a gun-running motorcycle gang. But gang member Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnan) discovers that his dead father wanted to take the gang straight.

SOA’s patriarch, Clay Morrow (a gravelly Ron Perlman), however, believes to do so would be a betrayal.

In any Hells Angels-inspired work, you should be able to smell the leather and exhaust, feel the bugs in your teeth, the road rash scars on your back and the weight of the brain-stained tire iron in your hand. Sons of Anarchy has always nailed the grit.

Season One of Sons had the tone, but no direction. It puttered along when it needed to go full-throttle. It couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be a grindhouse-style B-movie, full of over-the-top caricatures and goofy gore, or a brooding, pitch-black Shakespearean tragedy. The tonal shifts caused whiplash.

But Season Two, which begins with the gang rape of the SOA matriarch (Katey Sagal) by white supremacists, trades cheese for brutality. Sagal played the grief of a proud, strong woman with heartbreaking transparency. The stakes rose. The pace quickened. Sons became one of the best dramas on television.

It wasn’t perfect. The sassy and seductive ATF agent (Ally Walker) was a relic of Season One’s camp. Her acting, like she’s playing head investigator in Boondock Saints 3: Saints Go Marching In, stuck out painfully amid her grave surroundings.

But mostly, Sons excels at the who-do-you-root-for dilemma that cable’s antihero dramas (The Shield, Breaking Bad, The Wire) specialize in.

Where Breaking Bad and The Wire were tightly constructed downward narratives of corruption, Sons of Anarchy is messier. We don’t yet know the moral fate of our characters. Their souls are still careening down the open road, their destination unknown.

(Sons of Anarchy, FX, Tuesdays, 10 pm)


Regular Show
We’ve come a long way from the days when you could just throw together some talking animals and make an animated cartoon about them. Now you have to dig deeper. Food products! Office supplies! Regular Show on Cartoon Network not only stars an anthropomorphic lollipop, it features a talking gumball machine. Can a gumball machine truly understand love? Regular Show, most likely, will dare to ask these types of questions. (Cartoon Network, Mondays, 8:15 pm)

Somewhere in that deeply repressed memory of yours, you may remember a little Saturday Night Live rip-off called MAD TV. This cartoon is the second major attempt to see if the sophomoric institution known as MAD Magazine can work on television. The fact that it’s entirely animated means one thing: more Spy vs. Spy. (Cartoon Network, Mondays, 8:30 pm)

Dirty Jobs Marathon
Love reading about the intense jobs in this week’s cover section? Mike Rowe makes finding awful jobs his job. And on Sept. 6, you can spend up to 18 hours watching him do exactly that. (9 am-3 am, Sept. 6 on the Discovery Channel)

Tags: , ,

  • Pin It

Speaking of Tv, television

Latest in Film

  • Manifest Destiny
  • Manifest Destiny

    Michael Fassbender gives us the spirit of golden-age Eastwood in Slow West
    • May 27, 2015
  • The Big One
  • The Big One

    San Andreas pits The Rock against an earthquake, and you know who's gonna win
    • May 27, 2015
  • Happily Ever After?
  • Happily Ever After?

    Tomorrowland's fantastical vision of the future may leave you wanting more — or less
    • May 20, 2015
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Volume: Inlander's Music Festival

Volume: Inlander's Music Festival @ Downtown Spokane

Fridays, Saturdays. Continues through May 30

All of today's events | Staff Picks


More by Daniel Walters

Most Commented On

  • Band to Watch 2015: LOOMER

    How two children of the nineties embraced the decade
    • May 20, 2015
  • Desert Rage

    Mad Max: Fury Road will restore your faith in action movies
    • May 13, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation