Binge Watchin' TV Reviews: Sons of Anarchy

Welcome to Binge Watchin' TV Reviews, where we take a look at some of the best TV shows available on streaming or disc that have a great catalogue of seasons to jump into and get sucked into the beautiful bliss of binge watching! From crime, action, comedy, drama, animation, etc., we’ll be evaluating an assortment of shows that will hopefully serve as a gateway to your next binge experience.

Title: Sons of Anarchy (2008 - Current)

Number of Seasons: 6 (season 7 to air starting this month on FX)

Where to watch: Netflix, Blu-Ray/DVD, iTunes, Amazon Instant

What’s the show about?

Sons of Anarchy focuses on the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club (SAMCRO), a group of bikers in Northern California who deal in illegal drugs, prostitution, pornography, and gunrunning, all while trying to maintain extremely complicated personal relationships with one another and their struggle to exist in their outlaw world.

Why should I watch it?

Television has come a long way, but still manages to have its ups and downs. So when you find a fantastic show that fully captures you within its complex web of intrigue, it pretty much feels like winning the lottery. You don’t want it to end…ever. And when it does, you feel empty and painstakingly sure nothing will ever fill that hole in your heart. Thankfully, this past decade has been very good to us. My best friend, Kirk, got me into SONS OF ANARCHY. He told me about it, along with a slew of other shows—one of which being THE WIRE—and I kept smiling, nodding and adding the names to my mental “must watch” rolodex. Finally, I grabbed the first two season on Blu-ray and binge watched the entire thing in three days. Needless to say, I was hooked, and anxiously awaiting the next season.

I’ve heard SOA referred to as THE SOPRANOS with motorcycle gangs rather than mafia, and at first glance, it’s not a terribly wrong assumption, but I found SOA to be much more compelling. This show is a series of intricately layered moments that are both well written and extremely intelligent. Writer, Kurt Sutter, isn’t afraid to go “all in” when it comes to pushing the envelope, but what makes it personal to the viewer is how Sutter ties us to these characters. Take away the gun-running, dope slinging and prostitution and you have family drama almost anyone can relate to on some level. The club itself, the bond these men share, is no different from that of a sports team, fire fighters, military squad or police partners. It’s this sacred oath that makes you root for these characters despite their illegal faults.

The storyline is far better than you’d expect given the show’s theme, and the first couple seasons play out much like you’d expect them to. It’s one of those scenarios where it feels like Sutter had two or three seasons envisioned, with a possibility of going further if the ratings were there, all the while keeping it so he could end it on a high note if need be. I say this, because the first three seasons have a very specific theme in place when it comes to Jax and his family, which changes dramatically come season four, and yes, it’s all good. By this point, the multitude of characters in the show have had time to grow, mature and bloom—nearly everyone gets their time to shine, be it beautifully or terribly. Like I said, this show is all about character moments, and not just one or two a season either, they’re littered throughout. Some you see coming, while others smash the back of your skull with a snow globe. And even at its most violent, the show still feels true to both its audience and characters, and these moments are so surreal that you feel like you’re there with them. It’s that good. It’s that moving. It’s the real deal.

Above and beyond all that, the cast is downright stellar. They work well with, and off one another, especially after the first couple seasons when we start to see what really makes them tick. Charlie Hunnam’s Jax Teller is an instant hit anti-hero (a little whiny at first, but he quickly steps up his game. And who doesn’t love the “Jax swagger?”), rolling alongside Ron Perlman, Kim Coates and Tommy Flanagan, big screen veterans who know how to play the game. The biggest surprise, however, comes from MARRIED WITH CHILDREN star, Katey Sagal, who gives us a 180 degree character change similar to Bryan Cranston’s transformation from MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE to Walter White. Gemma Teller is as mesmerizing as she is dangerous, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. SOA also sports an array of cool cameos and seasonal appearances—you’ll never look at Walton Goggins the same way again. In short, its got all the bases covered. That said, it’s by no means perfect, and it won’t be for everyone, but it’s worth a look and I guarantee you’ll have a hard time looking away.


There are two that stand out more than the rest for me, the first being the Season 3 finale, "NS", and the other being the Season 5 premiere, "Sovereign". "NS" was huge because Opie finally got his revenge for Donna by killing Stahl, but saying it doesn't do the tremendous scene justice. It's one of those "moments" I talked about, and likewise is the scene from "Sovereign" where Tig is chained and forced to watch (and listen) to his daughter be burned alive by Pope. Talk about a jaw dropping, heart stopping moment. It's one that stays with you forever.

Best Season:

For my money, the best of the best was Season 5. The boys had a lot on their plate, and if tensions all around weren't bad enough, they had a strong nemesis with Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau), a sociopath of a baddie, to deal with as well. They'd never gone up against someone like Pope before, and it was brutal, but very cool seeing that dynamic progress and come to a close. Shows rarely get better as they go, but this one does. Loved it.

Final thoughts:

Sons of Anarchy has no business being this entertaining, but it is. I love me some adult themed TV, overflowing with violence, nudity, swearing and heavy hitting themes—it’s like sitting down with one of your favorite eighties action flicks once a week. Had it remained generic (seasons one and two) I would have been fine with that, but it became so much more on so many levels and continues to blow me away (last season’s finale). Am I upset this coming season is the last? Hells yes, but I’m literally counting down the days until the final ride starts. This is one show you won’t regret sinking your teeth into, because it bites back. Hard. But it’s the good kind of pain.

For more on SOA, check out our recent Sons of Anarchy set visit and exclusive interviews with the cast for the final season here!

Have you watched SOA? Love it/Hate it? What future shows would you like to see reviewed for Binge Watchin' TV Reviews?

Extra Tidbit: Maggie Siff (who plays Jax’s wife, Tara) and Robin Weigert (who plays the club’s attorney) were both in a film last year called CONCUSSION. I haven’t seen it, but apparently there’s some hardcore lesbian action that takes place between these two.
Source: JoBlo.com



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