Let's talk about Sons of Anarchy for a minute.
Now that the season finale is done, there's a lot to say. I started watching because there was nothing on and being sans-satellite I was trolling through the on demand archives and figured I'd give it a shot. The first episode was described by TWOP as being a white trash biker version of the Sopranos. I can't speak for the Sopranos because it was never a show that I really got into, but I like SoA.
SoA keeps you from completely cheering their group of anti-heroes on by giving you an antihero who has serious and continual moral qualms guided by the manuscript of his deceased father. The protagonist operates outside of the law and is entrenched in a world he seeks to change. He does bad things and not always for the right reasons, but tries to do as much good as he can. It's a story of flawed people. And the people progress. Realistically. Even the primary antagonist isn't without virtue. If BSG is about redemption, then SoA is about damnation.
In BSG you watch characters struggle to save themselves from hell in every sense, but SoA is the story of people damning themselves for the most part. Don't get me wrong, SoA is of nowhere near the quality as BSG, but it shares some cross points. SoA lives closer to the alter than BSG does, but it's still about what takes place between the temple and the alter.
SoA is on a larger scale about fixing a dream gone wrong. It's about a biker gang founded to be essentially a libertarian commune operating by its own rules outside of society mainly by distance and influence upon the small town it calls home. The idea went wrong primarily due to the influence of one of the founding members. The son of a murdered founder starts having second doubts because he has a new born son. His doubts are fed by his discovery of his father's manuscript which detail his dreams for the purpose of the club upon its founding and how it went astray. That son, Jax, oscillates between his fathers dreams and the influence of his stepfather, Samcrow, who was founding member who drew the club down the wrong path.
SoA has a very Hamlet feel during the first season, despit the fact that Jax's mother, Samcrow's wife, very clearly knows what happened to Jax's father and sides with Samcrow (though the season finale throws a smidgeon of doubt upon the driving force behind their releationship). In fact, I would go so far as to say that the first season of SoA is essentially Hamlet being confronted with his father's ghost and trying to figure out what to do about it.
I didn't want to write about this show until now because I wasn't sure I could do it without making iti a recap. Tonight made it big league. Hell, I just told you it was Hamlet. It's not BSG level so far, but there will be more posts about SoA if FX picks it up for another season. I hope they do. And I hope they continue the Hamlet mirror. It's hard to go wrong from Shakespear, yall. Really.
That's all for tonight. I recommend that you check out SoA. Start from the beginning because it's that kind of show and give a chance up through the episode with the clown. You'll know which one I mean. That's the one that moved it from casual to must see watching for me. And not just becuase I freaking hate clowns.
I'll close with this: imagine The Sopranos+Hamlet+biker gang, how could that now= awesome? Try it.
Oh, and happy Thanksgiving.