Reasons to Watch 'Sons of Anarchy'
Reasons to Watch 'Sons of Anarchy'
Kris De Leon
Kris De Leon
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
There's a lot more going on Sons of Anarchy besides sex and violence, if that doesn't get your attention. I admit that I've just jumped on this show's fan wagon quite recently but when I did, I couldn't believe why it took me this long. In a nutshell, the FX series takes viewers to the exciting small town of Charming, where a motorcycle gang known as SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original) practically rules. It basically puts the spotlight on the bad guys with complex morals while keeping them likable enough by surrounding them with less affable characters like crooked cops, white-supremacist and other rival gangs.  
Led by Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman), the club protects and controls Charming through close community relationships, bribery and violent intimidation. Though club members have "day jobs" in local industries (most of them working at Clay's auto repair shop), they primarily earn a living by importing illegal weapons and selling them to drug gangs in the East Bay, along with protection runs for local business. Serving as vice president of the club is Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnman), a relatively sensitive soul who eventually discovers an unpublished manuscript by his late father and realizes that the original intention of the club is not what the rebellious group has evolved into. Jax doesn't seem to be indecisive but he's obviously struggling with the club's direction now that Clay is married to his mother Gemma (Katey Sagal).

Still unconvinced? Perhaps the following reasons will change your mind:

Shakespeare influence

You don't often find shows these days that are based on works of William Shakespeare and when you do, most of them don't really give justice to the classic plays. Sons of Anarchy cleverly recounts Hamlet, which tells the story of how Prince Hamlet exacts revenge on his uncle Claudius, who murdered Hamlet's father, the King, and then took the throne and married Gertrude, Hamlet's mother. Staying mostly true to the tragedy while adding a very modern twist, the show explores themes of treachery, revenge and moral corruption with characters Clay, who is based on the role of King Claudius, Jax, who stands in for Prince Hamlet, and Gemma, who serves as Gertrude. And while Queen Gertrude's involvement in the murder of Hamlet's father remains questionable, it's quite obvious that Gemma has willingly participated in the cover-up of the death of her husband and may even have encouraged Clay in his betrayal.

Similarities with The Sopranos

Many critics have labeled Sons of Anarchy as "The Sopranos on wheels." While I don't completely agree, it gives me comfort in knowing that there's another series out there that can offer a brood morally ambiguous lead characters in a slightly different package. It also doesn't hurt that this show has exhausted the "mob" material but has turned it into something fresh and enjoyable.

Great Ensemble

Sons of Anarchy has always distinguished itself by the quality of its actors.  Ron Perlman, Charlie Hunnam and Katey Sagal, among others, have effectively detached themselves from the roles they were previously known for and have successfully personified their Hamlet counterparts. It also helps that series creator Kurt Sutter continuously gives them brilliantly executed storylines, which builds up drama and suspense, and gives you enough reason to come back for more.  

Sons of Anarchy season 2 premieres September 8 on FX.

-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of FX)