After Prolexithymic reviewed Sons of Anarchy I started watching it. I watched seasons 1-4, which is up on Netflix and I don’t know what’s happened since then so don’t spoil it for me. Or do, because I was getting kind of tired of it by the time I got to season 4 anyway.
I have some problems with the show.
One is maybe on me, and it’s one that colors my view of mafia movies as well- I wouldn’t really want to join their gang. It’s kind of funny when the other chapters complain to SAMCRO that they’re subsidizing SAMCRO’s lifestyle. What lifestyle? They’re broke too. Every other episode they’re having to scrounge for money to get themselves out of trouble.
So basically, they get to ride motorcycles and attend wild parties with strippers. Big deal. That is something any human with a decent paying job can indulge in.
Otherwise, what are they getting out of being in their gang? A family? Who in their right mind would want to join their family of backstabbing sociopaths? Makes me think of a Biggie Smalls lyric:
Honeys wanna chat, but all we wanna know is where the party at and can I bring my gat? If not, I hope I don’t get shot
Wait, what? I don’t want to go to Biggie’s party* and I’d rather not join the Sons of Anarchy. No thanks.
Also, the plot in the show relies pretty heavily on the old horror movie convention of every person making bad choices at every turn in order to move the plot forward. Shit guys, just stop keeping so many secrets from your alleged loving family and you’ll be in less trouble every episode.
Finally, I agree with Prolexithymic’s view that it’s “blatantly racist fantasy of white supremacy“. That’s kind of hard to avoid.
One part of the show I did find pretty interesting (and ultimately unsatisfying) was when Juice finds out that his dad is black. Apparently it’s in the rules that black men aren’t allowed to join. Juice is being blackmailed by the town sheriff- the sheriff will tell the club about his father if he doesn’t cooperate with and ATF investigation.
Juice asks Chibs, a member with a daughter by his black Irish ex-wife about whether that rule will ever change. Chibs responds with no, because then all the rules could be changed. These are rules dating back the original founding in 1967, made by the founding members- who, at this point in the show, are mostly still alive. These assholes can’t get together and revise the rules?
Chibs sees evidence that Juice has attempted suicide and Juice finally confides in Chibs that his dad is black. Chibs responds with- “well what does it say on your birth certificate?” WHAT? Juice is OK because of a technicality? That’s about the cheapest way possible for the show to deal with what could have been an interesting plot line.
One thing I did enjoy about the show is the issue of Jacob Hale’s proposed housing development. Hale is going to build luxury homes and redevelop part of Charming’s downtown.
I tend to be on the side of slow growth/smart growth. But like any movement that seeks to preserve the status quo, or go back to some better past, there are some rancid ideas hidden within. A lot of people don’t like growth because it means people who don’t agree with them or look like them will be moving in. Especially since explicitly racist zoning laws are a tougher to do in this day and age. When Clay Morrow says he doesn’t want the town to change, he means something different than what I would mean.
In closing, it’s an engaging show. Maybe because I was watching it at an accelerated pace on Netflix I got sick of it sooner than I otherwise would. But it’s got some issues and some biases that I can’t relate to. I mostly enjoyed watching it, but I don’t know if I’ll bother watching the next season when it finally arrives on Netflix.
*I’ve been wanting to shoehorn that into something for a while now. Does it fit? I don’t know. I just find the line funny and I wanted to share it. It’s from the song Party & Bullshit.