Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Sons of Anarchy" has Become a Pain in the Ass

This comes in the form of confession. A year ago I wrote a piece titled “Wuss Shows Beware, “Sons of Anarchy” will Kick Your Ass. I am here to retract all those words.

We eagerly awaited the premier of the new season of “Sons of Anarchy”. Last season they seemed to make a transition from bad-ass motorcycle club to “the gang who couldn’t shoot straight”. We were hoping they’d get back on track this year. But that hasn’t happened.

Ron Perlman continues to play the aging patriarch still able to get vicious when the mood or opportunity strikes but with more than a bit of resignation and with less finesse (if finesse is ever a part of a motorcycle club). And Katy Sagal has essentially turned into a mean bitch who wants to be protective of her “brood” and be a matriarch to her son and his cronies who follow Perlman.

And Jax (Charlie Nunnam) just comes across as a punk. OK, so he’s somewhat justified at being pissed about the kidnapping of his son by the Irish “chapter” of “Sons of Anarchy” but he weeps and wails and screams and shouts and really doesn’t accomplish much. But he now seems to be the lead character. Maybe that’s because he’s young and Perlman and Sagal are “old” and the show wants to skew to a younger, grittier image.

One line in last night’s show that I liked was at the end of a stand-off in a house turned drug lab. A group of local no-good-nicks were trying to force their way in, shooting the house up. Members of the Sons of Anarchy were barricaded inside with the woman running the lab and holed up in the actual lab. A cell phone call summoned the rest of the club who arrived like an old style posse except on their bikes all pointing weapons on the now badly outnumbered “locals rednecks” who were marching the club members out of the house at gunpoint (in reality wouldn’t they have just killed everyone and then made off with the drugs?). The locals give up and drop their weapons.

One of the bad guy locals asks one of the Sons of Anarchy something like, “Hey, how come you care so much?” The club member butt strokes him with his sawed off shotgun and then says, “Because we’re the good guys”. Kind of an interesting perspective.

So, this morning Carolyn and I set about to try to come up with some scenarios which might help this show set in the mythical city of Charming, California.

How about if Perlman (whose Sons of Anarchy owns an automotive repair garage) ends up a member of the Board of Directors of the local Chamber of Commerce. That could be interesting. Going legit; having to occasionally revert to the “old ways” on behalf of the city’s business community.

Or what if Perlman and Sagal had a kid (Jax is Gemma’s son and Perlman’s step son in the show) who was an 8 year old girl into “girly girl” stuff who Daddy has to play tea party with or read books to at night and work to insulate his daughter from the less savory elements of his life/career.

How about normal life? Go grocery shopping and cold-cock a guy trying to rob the store. Have the new pastor of the local church come calling and get surprised and end up as the unofficial “chaplain”.

And one episode I'd really like too see--the "Sons of Anarchy" kicking the crap out of Paul, Sr.; Paul, Jr.; and Mikey of "American Chopper" or vice-versa.

Okay, so I’m not a motorcycle rider. But, one thing I’ve observed is that the bikes the “Club” rides seem to be decidedly “un-hoggish”, even kind of wussy for a group like “Sons of Anarchy”. Where did they get those sissy looking mini-fairings on the front? Not intimidating at all unless you’re a 40-something dude with the money for a “hog” but not the brass to really ride one.

Well let’s put it this way, “Sons of Anarchy” has gone lame. The good news is that it’s on at 10 at night, a time when I normally want to go to sleep. And I don’t even try to make myself stay awake for the whole show anymore. I’ll stay awake for originality and go right to sleep for lame.

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