Monday, April 13, 2015

SOA


I've been binge watching Sons of Anarchy and I'm not sure what I think about it. It took me about four or five episodes to become invested in the characters, and I only persevered because my son was such a fan and kept saying I'd get hooked. I'm not sure if I am. I may finally have found the series that played better in doses of one episode a week. It's so unremittingly intense, and almost cartoonishly violent, and nobody trusts anybody, which wears me out. I want to be able to trust one corner of the action, but I can't. There's no place to shelter and put down roots. Disaster is always looming, and sometimes I have to just turn it off mid-episode and breathe. Nor am I truly in love with any of the characters. They all have their sordid, brutal sides. Some of the psychological characterizations run deep, though, and everyone's acting is consistently strong, especially Katey Sagal who gives a powerhouse performance as motorcycle club first lady Gemma Teller Morrow.

So tell me: Did you watch the series? How did you feel about it? Who was your favorite character? In your opinion, which was the best season? (No spoilers please! I'm only up to season 4 and I still plan to watch the whole thing.)

Pop quiz: What does SAMCRO stand for in SOA? If you know this without resorting to Google University, you're probably a true fan.

Then again maybe this post is just an excuse to run that photo up top of Gemma and Jax. I think it's kickass.



28 comments:

  1. I am absolutely of no help to you here.
    Sorry, love!

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  2. Watched one half of one episode, and one half is a generous estimate. Did nothing for me. Sorry.

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    1. Nancy, yeah, the first episode did nothing for me either. I only persevered because I was curious what my son saw in it.

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  3. Never heard of it and with your description in mind I would have to avoid so as not to have all that violence in my head.

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  4. I have not watched it but I appreciate your mini review because I can't watch violence without having nightmares. I am more of a Call the Midwife or Downton Abbey person.

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    1. Birdie, I do love me some Downton Abbey!

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  5. I wanted to like it because I think one of the guys is good looking, but even at that I never got through one episode. I may have to Google SAMCRO

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    1. Steph, he gets less good looking as the show goes on, actually. Maybe it's as my mama used to say, handsome is as handsome does!

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  6. i LOVE this show! but i'll tell you something: i hated it in the beginning and even stopped watching. then something told me to pick it up back up again, and i just became obsessed with the story, the gritty, crazy yet somehow endearing characters that ultimately immersed me in their stories of survival, friendship and family. in the beginning, the characters are incredibly nonredeemable. but as the show goes on, the characters don't become more redeemable but they do become more likable (at least to me anyway)

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    1. Candice, some of the peripheral characters are somewhat redeemed by their love for and loyalty to one another, and Gemma really gives a badass performance that is true to character all the way through. But my god, Clay. Such a disappointment. He makes no sense to me. There's no thought or depth. Just reaction. And Jax is an idiot sometimes. Just not too bright sometimes. And the violence in season 4 (where I'm up to) is just gratuitous. A lot of the time I don't even know who's shooting at who and why. And yet, I keep watching. So there's that.

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  7. My kids (who are all in their 20s) watch it, and say it's a smart show, but it's just too violent for me.

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    1. Jo(e), I love that you commented! Love your naked photo blog. And I'm watching on my 20-something year old kid's recommendation too. The fact that I'm still watching in spite of the violence might only mean I am in sore need of distraction from my thoughts!

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  8. I think I'll skip it... have enough trouble sleeping already...

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  9. we watched about 5 seasons, quite avidly. i thought katey sagal was fabulous--a kick-ass performance with no vanity. as the seasons went on, however, the show became more and more violent for no reason and started to annoy me--it seemed like a laziness on the part of the writers/directors. it has become a familiar pattern; few auteurs have the kind of overall narrative arc in mind from the inception of a show--as david simon did in The Wire--that carries it through a specific number of seasons--and then ends when the story has been told. violence and gratuitous sex become the drivers, unfortunately.

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    1. Susan, the violence is really annoying me too. I think I shall have to watch The Wire. So many have recommended it to me!

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  10. I loved it from the beginning but absolutely hated it by the end. I loved the whole Shakespearean vibe but I agree with Susan t. it got stupid and so over the top violent, it was hard to watch. I needed some Downton Abbey to wash the taste out of my mouth.

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    1. Yolie, you're right, there is something distasteful about the gratuitous violence. I think it was kind of Shakespearean at the start, with Gemma as Lady Macbeth maybe, but it's losing that by season 4; the main characters are making choices that strike me as just plain stupid. They're not growing. They're getting shallower. So much potential wasted. It's frustrating.

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  11. Then again, two episodes later, my opinion has changed yet again. Powerful season 4 finale. Let's see where this goes. I should probably hold off on opining till I've finished the whole thing! Still curious to know how it landed for other people though...

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    1. Ugh, Jax Teller is becoming a horrifying caricature of a ruthless baby gangster. This, mid way into season 5. Now I'm just trying to finish the series because i already sank so much time into it. I'm hoping it gets better again.

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  12. I have never seen this show. Based on your description, I think I'll skip it!

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    1. Steve, if you didnt like Dexter I don't think you would like this either. So violent. But its not the violence per se that turns me off. I mean, I loved Breaking Bad the whole way through. But in SOA it often makes no sense to me. And the main character Jax is just not very bright or strategic by season 5, although I think the writers mean him to be. Sigh.

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  13. Ok, just finished season 6, which was far more compelling than the last two seasons, at least in my book, because there was more story, less random shoot 'em ups, and Jax finally appears to be growing, although he will not escape the brutality of his world unscathed. One more season to go. The last scene of the finale was wrenching. Good acting by Charlie Hunnam as Jax.

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    1. I'm on the final season. Jax Teller is utterly horrifying. Sorry. I know he has fans. I'm definitely not one of them. Definitely Romantic poet William Wordsworth's idea —"a deep distress hath humanized my soul"—does not apply here. Cartoon brutality. No thought applied. I'm going to finish the season but I find I am only watching now in the hope that he will meet his comeuppance.

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  14. I found Jax horrifying, too. And I swear at some point Charlie Hunnam just stopped trying to have an American accent.

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