Oh, this is going to be controversial. But I don't care. It's Friday and I have some thoughts. On Sons of Anarchy. If you loved the Sons and can't take the heat, well, this isn't the blog entry for you. It's a little difficult to cram seven seasons of critique into one entry, but I'm going to try. If you didn't see SOA yet but plan on it- this is chock full of spoilers. Be warned.
B and I just binge-watched ALL SEVEN SEASONS. In a ridiculously short amount of time. I basically lived like a Crow Eater (which, in my opinion should really be spelled CRO-eater). Well, not really. I only binged on episodes. Not booze, drugs, and motorcycle dudes. But yeah, we watched, and I'M SO HAPPY IT'S OVER.
I'd call it hate-watching. There are quite a few shows I hate-watch. Girlfriends Guide to Divorce is my main one, but I do it. I spend a lot of time on the treadmill and I need stuff to watch. I also need to discuss that one with Cohen so I continue. Anyway...We watched. And I don't get why this show was so beloved. Or not so much the show, but Jax Teller. I actually tend to think the most interesting character was Tig, but it may just be because he contributed to some of the only few light moments that went on.
We watched all in a row, night after night. To me, it was like pledging. Once I'd watched the first season or two, I wasn't quitting. I didn't want all that time we put in to be for nothing. But if we were watching week to week, we both said we probably would've quit during Ireland. I probably only understood half of what they were saying that entire season. I said to B last night that I wonder what it would've been like if we understood any of the time with any of the Irish.
The entire show was total chaos. Not one day did anyone ever get to just enjoy. I don't think anyone ever got to watch a tv show. Except Happy when he being held hostage that one time. He was watching old cartoons with his captors. They threw in pop culture here and there, yet, I don't know how they ever had time to learn any. No tv, no movies, I don't think I saw anyone even pick up a magazine or newspaper. Weirdly, in the series finale, Patterson had an iphone to record Jax but the guys all used flip phones. We kept thinking- what year was this supposed to be in? I know a lot of the phones were supposed to be burners, but I didn't even know flip phones exist in current times. Were they texting by pushing each button three or four times to get to the right letter?
Let's also discuss Jax's accent. I had no idea that he was British. But as people were being killed left and right, I needed some inside info. I started looking stuff up prior to seeing it because I needed a heads up of who was going to die. I also wanted to know if Charlie Hunnam smokes in real life. I read that he's British. I had been wondering where a kid in California picked up a weird "New Yawk-ish" accent. But it wasn't that. It was a weird British to American Outlaw English accent. He was ok in the first few seasons, but in the last two, it was like he just gave up.
I also didn't get all the gratuitous Jax-sex. Yes, he's good looking in a never-showers kind of way. He has a nice body. However, I'm not sure I needed to see his ass-pumping into pretty much every girl he encountered- including almost with his half sister. It was just weird. If he wasn't going to leave Charming and the MC, he should've just started working for Cara Cara/Red Woody.
I really should've stopped before Opie took the final blow to the head. I really wished they'd explored the Opie/Jax relationship much more. That could've been really great. You knew they were best friends because it came up on and off, but you didn't get to really FEEL it the way it could've been painted. I couldn't watch Opie's last scene, BTW. I listened, just didn't watch. I don't know why this show had to be so gory. Worse than any horror movie I've ever seen.
I know there had to be drinking games played all over the country with the amount of times Jax said "JESUS CHRIST!". And then a sub-game when the Jesus Christ had to do with something Gemma did.
I hated Gemma, like I assume you were supposed to, but Katy Sagal should've won every Emmy for that show. You hated her, but you felt for her sometimes. Then as quick as you'd feel that, she'd do something deplorable again. I also don't understand how Tara was SO smart, she was a surgeon, yet, she would show all her cards to Gemma. Obviously drama had to be motivated, so of course Gemma had to find stuff out, but I don't know why Tara wouldn't just keep her mouth shut about wanting or planning to leave Charming. She knew that would set Gemma off, so why not keep it quiet until you have all your ducks in a row??
Kim Coates played Tig as an incredibly layered character. I hated him early on and became really fond of him. When he was with Clay, I was fine if he was going to be the next to die. Then, when it seemed like he would die with the whole Pope/August Marks thing,I was glad he didn't. I don't think he was recognized with an Emmy or even a nomination, but he should've been.
Lastly, I don't know how anyone was living without a job. How was Wendy and Brooke surviving just watching the two kids? TM clearly wasn't making enough money to sustain everyone or they wouldn't be running guns. Then in the end Jax is leaving Wendy everything but I don't even know how these homes were being paid for. Gemma's dad's house was huge with that lush, giant garden. He went into Assisted Living, and they just kept the house up?? With WHAT? Their good looks? That house would be EXPENSIVE to maintain.
The whole show premise was so weird for me. The idea that they could kill a close friend/brother because of "the rules" was just bizarre. I still don't understand why Juice was SO afraid of anyone finding out he was half black. SAMCRO never seemed particularly racist, even though the rule was that no one black could wear the patch. They seemed pretty progressive. I don't understand why he couldn't say that he didn't know his father, so he didn't know he was half black. It's not like he LIED about it. He didn't know. Or at least that was the perception I got. I spent most of every episode turned toward my laptop. I was either looking up stuff on SAMCROPEDIA or just looking away from Mayhem (blood, guts, and death).
No one bothered Tig about his openly varied sexual fetish proclivities. I feel like they could've been okay with a gay member. Maybe not transgender like Venus, but maybe gay. Jax worked to get TO patched in the end and everyone in the club was more than happy to have him. So we're expected to believe that after all that time he'd been friends, no, brothers, with the rest of the MC, they'd have kicked him out? Even if the rest of the charters wouldn't have black people because of the by-laws, it's not like once they knew they had to tell anyone. Juice's real last name was still Ortiz and he still looked "brown". Juice was that scared he'd rather become a rat?
I know I could probably look up a ton of Kurt Sutter articles on the motivations for this and that. I could study SAMCROPEDIA. I get that the whole idea was something Unser once said or alluded to- that it wasn't the 1960's anymore and running an MC like this wasn't going to lead to anything but bloodshed. It was to showcase the demise of something no longer able to fit into today's society without way too much collateral damage. The domino effect of what Gemma did to Tara had Gemma's son, who she proclaimed to love more than anything, pay the ultimate price.
I'm not going to say I never shed any tears over this show. I did. Scenes with Jax and the boys, Jax and Chibs, Jax and Nero. Oh, Nero. I forgot to talk about how great Jimmy Smits was as Nero. He really made that character likable. In a sea of awful, hateful people, including Jax, Nero was the one you wanted to pull for. That scene when he found out what Gemma did- amazing.
The show as whole, I'm sorry, was awful. If people really live in 24/7 chaos like that, I don't know. It seems inconceivable to me but I suppose anything is possible. I probably will read a little more into the reasoning of certain plot points. Just because I spent a lot of time with these characters over the past few weeks and as a story, it's interesting. I just don't get the love or lust over Jax Teller. But I was never into bad boys.
Ok, I'm putting my flame retardant suit on and running....