Friday, March 15, 2013

Sons of Anarchy

Listen here, while reading

Charming, Northern California.  Population 14,679

Here you can find the
Headquarters of the motorcycle club with the name Sons of Anarchy and the acronym SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original) Sam Crow.

If you attempt to find this city in any map, paper or Google, your effort will be in vain. 

This city is ... custom made; designed by its creator Kurt Sutter; a fictional   location for a revolutionary television series, which premiered on September 3 2008 on the American cable channel FX and continued, gaining momentum, for  seven seasons.

If you don't know anything about it , now it' s the time: The Reaper is out to get you 

With characters larger than life -and death, a gang / family / herd / bikers club/ Harley Davidson and open road addicts, very far from the romantic version of Easy Rider (1969) - who chose to  live outside the system or rather mock the system, with their own -very convenient- rules, morals, ethics and dress codes, a perverted form of matriarchal  family with roots in the ancient Greek and  Shakespearian tragedy, this anarchistic series can be loved or hated, but it certainly cannot be ignored.

The story in a nutshell: 

The "Sons" lawfully maintain the auto mechanic shop under the trade name "TELLER-MORROW" but their real activities  are illegal and extend from gun-running to porn production, providing protection to the local businessmen, bribery, favors exchanging, corruption and  smuggling, but they are also the keepers of  peace and security in the city, in close co-operation with the Chief of the local police department, keeping away not only drug dealers and rival gangs but also the interests and interventions of any ambitious entrepreneur and developer.

The protagonist, is the vice president of the club, Jackson  "Jax"  Teller , the son of John Teller , one of the original  9  co-founders of the club, who was killed in a motorcycle accident  and Gemma, John's widow and now wife of the current president and co-founder Clay Morrow. 

Jax discovers the lost diary of his father and with it the ideology behind the creation of the club. 
He starts having doubts about his own role and becomes frustrated with the way his father's   vision was distorted. 
His disappointment for the way the club is now runned,   is not shared by his adoptive father Clay nor his mother.

And as if all that was not enough, Jax must now face the birth of his son by his -former drug addict- girlfriend, the arrival of his first love, the pediatric surgeon (!) Tara, and the new enemies of the club, who try, by any means, to dominate the region.

All this and much more happens during the first season alone. Still the series really take off in season  2.

The cast consists of both new and veteran actors, with the latter stealing the show.

Queen   of the "royal family" of the Sons  and  Jax's mother, is the awesome Katey Sagal. 

The  award-winning actress and singer , Sagal, also known for  the role of Peggy Bundy, in  the beloved (and also anarchistic) series of  American family deconstruction  "Married with Children" (1987-1997), achieves greatness in the role of  first old lady, grandmother and mother in law from hell, Gemma Teller Morrow.

In the role of Jax' s  adoptive father and chairman of the Club , Clay Morrow, we find veteran actor Ron Perlman.

Perlman, who is accustomed to the roles of the ... monster, both in the TV series "Beauty and the Beast" (1987-90)  as in "Hellboy",  continues the tradition, as a monster-father and  President of the Club.

His chemistry with his old lady Gemma, is explosive.

Never before has middle age been so rock & sexy. 

Charlie Hunnam's performance  in the role of  the restless, tough and sensitive Jax Teller, seems all American , although the actor is... British, while Maggie Siff convinces us as love-struck Tara.

Her relationship with the "mother of the tribe" Gemma, is  as enjoyable as  a roller-coaster ride.

Same goes for  her  transformation from conventional physician to the  loyal and latest prominent member of the brotherhood of bikers.

From   Grey's Anatomy to "Take a walk on the wild side"  

All the supporting   roles are extremely interesting and the casting super successful.

Special mention to Dayton Callie whose role as the cancer afflicted police chief, is one of the best written and played. It is an enjoyment to watch him trying to maintain an impossible  balance between the duty of his Office and his friendship with the Sons.

In season 1 we also find Ally Walker in the role of ATF agent June Stahl.

The Law had never had a more lawless representative.

Strangely, for most of the SOA fans, our most favourite Son is not Jax. 

Our hearts belong to Opie.

Low-key but very imposing, the long-haired, bearded Harrie "Opie" Winston, childhood friend of Jax, is portrayed by  real biker Ryan Hurst. 
Opie wins us over with his struggle with his own nature -romanticism vs toughness- and the reality of his world, and devastates us with his inevitable tragic fate.

The enemies of the club vary from season to season, from rival motorcycle clubs like the Mayans the One-Niners and the Lobos Sonora, white supremacists trafficking meth and  the League of American Nationalists, the Chinese and the Italian Mafia, to the IRA, the FBI the ATF, combined with brother against brother, son against father and mother against father and other ... domestic issues, no-one can tell who will be the last man or woman, standing.

Each time a season ends we are left breathless, wondering what else can possibly happen next, as the world of the Sons falls apart and comes together over and over again.

The music of the series is a chapter of its own. The song "This life" by Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers has you at the titles. The White Buffalo & the Forest Rangers  version of the Animals'  "The house of the rising sun/son"  at season's  4 finale ... epic .

All 7 seasons are out on Blu-Ray and DVD and streaming on Netflix for the unsuspecting Prospects to discover.

As for the rest of you Patch holders ... you can now watch the first season of the 
Sons of Anarchy prequel, entitled 'Mayans MC' on FX.

Co-created and produced by Kate Sutter and Elgin James, the spin-off is related to the first 9 SOA members and tells the story of the antagonist motorcycle club of the Mayans.

You can find the greek version of my review HERE

Gwoemul - 괴물 - The Host

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