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TV Review: SONS OF ANARCHY - Pilot 1.1

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Sons of Anarchy is a show which I have never really given much thought too, I know its immensely popular, obvious when its just been renewed for a sixth season. Away from never giving it much thought, I never really knew what it was about other than some dudes riding motorbikes, I had visions of handle bar moustaches on guys riding big American choppers (please don't take that the wrong way). It premiered back in 2008, what was I watching back then? Lost would have been top of my list right about that time followed very closely by Prison Break, then I didn't have a blog so watching pretty much everything that was on TV was not really of interest to me, now though? It's a different story I can't get enough TV and right now as you  know there really is not to much on TV, that's about to change I know but in the mean time I decided to put my LOVEFiLIM account to some use, they have the full four seasons of Sons of Anarchy available to view instantly, it's one of their services I have never used (usually just get Blu-rays through the door) but I have to say not only was I impressed with LOVEFiLM instant but also Sons of Anarchy.

I really didn't know what to expect from the show, I've never really read much on it so had no idea of storyline or plot. I have to say I was pretty impressed with both as well as the actors and characters involved, in the "Pilot" alone we are introduced to a lot of people all of whom it would seem are going to be central to the plot. It is the biker gang extravaganza I thought but with many different layers, from family drama to kick ass action. What I didn't expect was the gangster side of the storyline, I think that along with Sons of Anarchy's two leading men Ron Perlman and Charlie Hunnam are the two things which impressed me most, bikers are a pretty serious bunch and let's be honest we all know they like a beer or two, here we see all of that including the more humorous side of things which really helps to lighten up what can be pretty intense drama.

The story? SAMCRO, Sons of Anarchy Motorcylcle Crew Redwood Original, that's the name of the group of outlaw bikers who by day sit around their club, drinking beer or they are out riding their bikes, by night they are black market gun runners dealing in anything from pistols to high end assault rifles, they have the corrupt local Sheriff in their pocket and the whole town of Charming, California know they rule the roost. The reason they get away with it all? They look after their own, kind of give back to the community in a way. The show follows the life of the gang of course but more importantly Jackson "Jax" Teller who's father set them up years earlier with his pal Clarence "Clay" Morrow, Jax's father is not around these days and Clay has been rather quick to jump into the bed of his so called pal, that's ok though, biker rules I think, as long as Clay looks after his missus Gemma Teller (Katey Sagal).

The "Pilot" episode, although introducing us to a lot of people focuses primarily on Jax, the now Vice President of SAMCRO and soon to take the reigns as President. But, is that what Jax really wants? His newborn son is ill in hospital and in the mean time he finds a book which his father had started to write questioning the morals of SAMCRO and their involvement in the black market gun trade. Jax is beginning to question the morals of the gang himself, a move which doesn't sit well with his hard ass mother or Clay who needs to train him to be a "man". This episode starts with the SAMCRO warehouse full of guns being blown up by their rivals, Mexican gang "The Mayans", it's basically revenge from their on in for the Sons of Anarchy crew most of whom are completely nuts and will pretty much do anything to cement their reputation as tough guy Harley Davidson riders. I have no doubt that the story arch will involve Jax eventually becoming president, and maybe even move SAMCRO in a different criminal direction than what we have seen so far.

That backing crew who Jax and Clay have are a pretty impressive bunch though and all the actors involved really hold their own. I hadn't realised that Jax (Charlie Hunnam) is actually from Newcastle, England, exactly where I'm from, boy done good I suppose you could say considering he used to be in a local kids TV show named Byker Grove, and no, it had nothing to do with people on bikes, actually I never watched it so I couldn't tell you what it was about, but I'm pretty sure the budget didn't extend to Harley's. Charlie Hunnam does really well to disguise his Geordie accent, were known up here for our broad (almost Scottish) twang, and throughout the first two episodes of Son's I would never have guessed that the guy was from Newcastle.

This really was an impressive "Pilot" episode, one which set the series up well, giving us many different characters to chew the fat over, don't get me wrong it's not the best show on TV but like Spartacus this is good fun for guys, yeah your girlfrind or wife may not care for it to much other than looking at Charlie Hunnam without his clothes on, but trust me that's as far as their interest would probably go because Sons of Anarchy is a show about men being men, who just happen to all be hard asses and slightly crazy. I loved it. 
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