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#2821

sekhet7

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Posted Dec 6, 2009 @ 9:44 PM

Giving my two cents into the Salon review...I do agree with her about having too much stuff going on at one time this season but it's better than having it be like Mad Men second's season where sometimes it just felt like nothing was going on at all. Hopefully, with LOAN gone (for the time being at least) they'll add more tight focus next season. And that's pretty much all I agree with her about (and ZeroForce if it makes you feel better, it seems that the comments section tend agree with you more than her).

As for subtly...honey, this show isn't called Sons Of Anarchy for nothing. If you want more of that, you're watching the wrong show. These characters are outlaw bikers, they don't live "lives of quiet desperation". If you want that, stick with Mad Men (I do...I like both shows and I think in their own way they were both the two best shows of the year). Also, any show with "Anarchy" in the title shouldn't be very subtle in the first place. I like to think that this show is a mixture: part soap, part pulp, part Shakespeare and part gore-all of things that lack subtly. Hell, even the founder of the Hell's Angels calls it a "biker soap opera"-and he likes it. Can't much argue with that.

As for Salon itself...yeah, it's gotten way too liberal and I am someone leans a little to the left politically. I used to watch Olbermann before he went and lost his mind like Glenn Beck did. Now for my news, I stick to a straight diet of BBC World News, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report where you get more honesty in thirty seconds than you would get on the news networks in this US in a week.

However, I do have to agree with her about Glee. Really don't like that show. It also doesn't help that I hate musicals. I'm more of a rock opera kind of lady (except for Jesus Chirst Superstar...if you can call it a rock opera).

Edited by sekhet7, Dec 6, 2009 @ 9:51 PM.


#2822

mythsnstuff

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Posted Dec 6, 2009 @ 9:58 PM

ZeroForce,
First, thank you. I am enjoying the discussion immensely. Did you read Havrilesky's earlier piece? I think it's the biggest reason why I think she's classist in harping on the motorcycle thing. Hell, I'll just quote it:

Maybe, having grown up in the South, I associate biker gang stylings with the sorts of kids who drove growly Trans Ams with rebel flags hanging from the rearview mirrors and kept baseball bats in the back seat in case of trouble. It's hard to be romantic about a subculture that, for me, calls to mind the red mud of man-made lakes, filled to the brim with big, hollering, hairy men in Day-Glo lime green swim trunks, tossing back cans of Bud while roaring around on their jet skis.

As for the shark jumping, I'm assuming she's looking at Abel's kidnapping as a "stupid plot twist," which is one of the accepted paths to shark-jumping on the site you linked to. I see how it emphasizes the fathers and sons thing - on reflection, it doesn't seem all that bad (I'm not panicking about next season, just disappointed in this one episode), but part of me cannot help thinking about Angel when I think of Abel being kidnapped. I know it's a totally unfair comparison, as the shows are completely different, but as a fan of both shows, I cannot help thinking of Angel and how freaking awful the Connor kidnapping was as a cliffhanger (and then the crap that came after. Oh, the crap that came after.). I trust Sutter to make it right, but I cannot help cringing.

#2823

ZeroForce

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Posted Dec 6, 2009 @ 10:07 PM

sekhet7 - I read Salon regularly, but I usually avoid the comments ("Letters") like the plague. Glenn Greenwald is, honestly, exactly my kind of civil libertarian - and I love reading HTWW. Broadsheet gets a little weird, as does War Room, but I like 'em better than Slate or CNN.

mythsnstuff - Yes, I did read her earlier piece. And yes, I thought that part weird - she's judging Pacific Northwest/Western bikers through a Southern lens - again, not justifying the use of that perspective. It wasn't quite classist to me, but I think you and I both found the view unhelpful at the least and utterly incomprehensible at the worst.

The thing is, Abel's kidnapping isn't a "stupid plot twist" - not set against (1) Gemma's rape and (2) the lengths Cameron established he'd go to for blood. It wasn't completely random in the way a random water ski jumping episode is.

Edited by ZeroForce, Dec 6, 2009 @ 10:08 PM.


#2824

Kel Varnsen

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 9:44 AM

I was thinking about the finale and how Weston was killed over the weekend. I thought it was interesting that Gemma couldn't shoot Weston when she found him earlier in the season because he was talking on the phone to his son. Yet Jax had no problem grabbing Weston in front of his son, and shooting him in the head with the son in the next room.

#2825

Wacoshade

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 10:09 AM

I think Havrilesky basically nailed the season finale for what it is. I took her review of the finale as more that she expected a lot from it, and instead got a mash up of action-drama cliches that were all over the map, topped off with the most gratuitously heart-tugging cliffhanger they could possibly think of. I don't even think what she wrote is a horribly negative review. Maybe I'm used to reading her every week, but this isn't even close to a negative review from her. If she didn't "get" or like the show, the review wouldn't be anything like this. She was a big fan of The Shield which actually had very little of the melodrama this show has. And to touch on Sutter's other show, I think where The Shield touched melodrama, it was at it's weakest (Corrine I'm looking in your direction...). But that show was much smarter and it's strength and uniqueness come from the complex labyrinth of it's plotting and characterizations, not from anything profound.

And the column Havrilesky wrote about it a couple of weeks ago follow right along with that thought. She's obviously watched every episode, as she talks about a lot of details that casual viewers wouldn't know about. If she didn't like the show, she wouldn't know the plot threads and supporting characters the way she does. She even said in that last one that even with whatever she was complaining about, it's one of the better shows on the air right now.

I think when she talks about subtlety as far as this show, she's talking more about the odd mix of over-the-top plots/dialogue and melodrama. For a high paced action show about bikers who identify themselves with "Anarchy" the show is about as cheesily melodramatic as any other prime time soap. Like a scene mentioned from last week, Gemma and Tara have a very tense and well acted scene where she discusses her rape, and then it winds up with her "men need to own their pussy" comment. I laughed heartily when I heard that, although it wasn't supposed to be funny. The point being, the scene takes a heavily dramatic moment and throws in a gratuitous mysoginistic comment so that we don't forget we're watching something edgy. That's not a wholly bad thing, and that little comment is actually more profound than most on this show. But if we want to get to "subtlety" a better way to do that scene would avoid the melodrama, have Gemma discuss something more matter of fact or direct or maybe even insulting Tara and then insert that line. THEN, we'd have a scene where her feelings and emotions are actually underlying the whole thing and we really get a clue when she throws out that gem of a line. Instead of a scene where everything is shoved in our face, we'd have a scene we'd have to think about and interpret that could be taken a few different ways. That's potential subtext.

I think that's what lacking in this show, although I actually like the show alot. I just accept it for what it is. I mean, an opening shot of rats eating a crow in the road is about as subtle as Sutter can manage, and that's okay. I think it could be much more though.

#2826

CtLady

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 10:39 AM

Season 1 question - I just watched 'The Revelator' on Casttv.com ( I know...should've started with the Pilot), but I noticed that Jax's ex Wendy is alive at the end at Donna's funeral. Did she die in between last season's finale and this season's premier because The Revelator was the 13th episode and it didn't list any episodes after that

#2827

Kel Varnsen

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 10:49 AM

Season 1 question - I just watched 'The Revelator' on Casttv.com ( I know...should've started with the Pilot), but I noticed that Jax's ex Wendy is alive at the end at Donna's funeral. Did she die in between last season's finale and this season's premier because The Revelator was the 13th episode and it didn't list any episodes after that


They mentioned, I think at the beginning of the season that Wendy got shipped off to some rehab facility/halfway house or something.

#2828

thatguy01

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 11:55 AM

it winds up with her "men need to own their pussy" comment. I laughed heartily when I heard that, although it wasn't supposed to be funny. The point being, the scene takes a heavily dramatic moment and throws in a gratuitous mysoginistic comment so that we don't forget we're watching something edgy.


I'd argue that it's entirely in keeping with Gemma's character, and with the scene. Gemma is deliberately as vulgar and aggressive as the men in the club, so she uses the same language. Her adult life has been dedicated to pissing off Mom and Reverend Grundy. And I think it's intended to both get a laugh from the audience, and be serious.

#2829

lucid1

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 1:01 PM

Season 1 question - I just watched 'The Revelator' on Casttv.com ( I know...should've started with the Pilot), but I noticed that Jax's ex Wendy is alive at the end at Donna's funeral. Did she die in between last season's finale and this season's premier because The Revelator was the 13th episode and it didn't list any episodes after that


That was the last we saw of her. Wendy is apparently at a sober living house, she wasn't mentioned at all this season. Drea is doing Desperate Housewives.

#2830

trox50

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 4:17 PM

Season 1 question - I just watched 'The Revelator' on Casttv.com ( I know...should've started with the Pilot), but I noticed that Jax's ex Wendy is alive at the end at Donna's funeral. Did she die in between last season's finale and this season's premier because The Revelator was the 13th episode and it didn't list any episodes after that

They mentioned, I think at the beginning of the season that Wendy got shipped off to some rehab facility/halfway house or something.

Sutter says: Depending on availibility of Drea, Wendy will be back at some point

#2831

CtLady

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 5:25 PM

CtLady - Casttv.com is where I watched the first season.


THanks! I just watched the pilot (have to wait another 56 mins before I can watch another because of the bandwidth - only allows you to watch 72 mins at a time per ISP). My thoughts: (I hope you all don't mind taking a trip down S1 memory lane)

* Didn't know that Tara and Jax already knew each other.
* Jax beating down the guy who sold Wendy the crank - that pissed me off. He may have sold it to her, but he didn't put a gun to her head while she injected it. If anything, Wendy deserved the beatdown
* All the sons smoking in the room while Piney is on oxygen - WTF???
* The 'candle in the cake' - BWAH!
* Half-sack beating up Korean Elvis was awesome!
* Gemma trying to cause Wendy to OD - just....wow.

Can't wait to watch the rest of S1. I just wish I discovered it at the beginning. Need to go back and re-read the feedback.

#2832

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 7:40 PM

I'd argue that it's entirely in keeping with Gemma's character, and with the scene. Gemma is deliberately as vulgar and aggressive as the men in the club, so she uses the same language.

I wasn't saying at all that the comment was out of character. I mean, if anything, that's the most in character dialogue by her in that whole scene. I was just saying that scene was so potent with melodrama - which if anything, the emotional quotient for her there is certainly different for her character (although consistent with what she's been through) - and so much about her being strong and coping... and then we get about as crude a mysoginistic comment as we could expect. Not that it's out of character per se, but that it's kind of goofy in context of the high caliber emotional scene. Not that it doesn't work (I did say that it was a more profund comment - a good juxtaposition for her in context - than most), but I think the scene would have had a better payoff if they were having a different conversation. Instead of wringing the melodrama out and then punctuating it with that comment, I think it would have worked better had it not been such a wrought out emotional scene between the two of them, but moreso Gemma ranting or going on in the usual old school way, containing her own emotion, and THEN bring out that language at the end of it. Kind of make you re-evaluate the whole scene in light of THAT comment instead of the other way around.

#2833

ZeroForce

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 9:08 PM

Hang on. Just to make sure I knew what the term's defined as, I looked it up. Melodrama is one of these two:

a dramatic form that does not observe the laws of cause and effect and that exaggerates emotion and emphasizes plot or action at the expense of characterization.

A drama, such as a play, film, or television program, characterized by exaggerated emotions, stereotypical characters, and interpersonal conflicts.

Which one is Gemma's line? I'm not saying you're wrong, and I'm really not attempting to be (and hopefully I'm not being) snide, insulting, snarky, etc. - I just don't understand.

To return to the finale/show generally - what (1) doesn't observe the laws of cause and effect, (2) exaggerates emotion, (3) emphasizes plot/action at the expense of characterization, or (4) uses stereotypical characters? That rather neutral definition of being characterized by interpersonal conflicts, I would agree - but I'm guessing the description of the show as melodrama intentionally contains something of the pejorative connotation that the other four criteria carry.

I didn't think any of the characters acted in ways in the finale that were particularly inconsistent with their previous characterizations. Is it that the previous characterizations weren't deep or nuanced enough, such that the actions ended up not-inconsistent because the characters were too shallow in the first place?

The cause/effect issue I had - not killing Zobelle because Sutter wanted to make a point of that - could have been handled better, sure. If he hadn't needed that gorgeous shot of Zobelle, alone and terrified in that empty store, the Sons' withdrawal and Zobelle's survival would make a lot more sense.

In terms of exaggerated emotion, I'm not entirely sure what was exaggerated, emotionally. Sure, the situation was rather exaggerated for normal people, who don't live a criminal life. But I'm not sure what got exaggerated.

I'm not saying there aren't/weren't flaws with the finale. But I have a really hard time with Havrilesky calling anything in it a "jump the shark" moment.

Finally - Wacoshade, while Havrilesky might "like" the show, saying that the finale contains a "quintessential" jump the shark moment means, to me, she flat out hated the finale. Or is hating on it, which is no different to me. Accusing the writers of being incapable of subtlety, after watching the Gemma rape plotline, means to me that she's lying or intentionally forgetting something for the sake of her (for me) terrible argument.

#2834

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 10:00 PM

Which one is Gemma's line?

Neither. I wasn't saying her "line" was. Just the scene.

Frankly, this - "A drama, such as a play, film, or television program, characterized by exaggerated emotions, stereotypical characters, and interpersonal conflicts" - describes the whole show in a nutshell. It seems to me that it's not really a big leap to think of it that way without going through some kind of checklist. Yeah, that's somewhat perjorative label of the show. But whatever. I actually don't care that the show is it is, I just laugh at the concept of it being much more than that.

I'm not saying there aren't/weren't flaws with the finale. But I have a really hard time with Havrilesky calling anything in it a "jump the shark" moment.

Depending on how narrow the term is applied, the baby napping is blatant. I don't know that I'd call it jumping the shark myself, but I do think it is a gratuitous cliffhanger jerk around. And as bad of a one as I've ever seen. Not in a really horrifying way, but I found it more eye rolling than poignant. At least there was some thought into the father-son angle, although not much of a leap to make there.

Part of the gripe there, and I agree with it the direct letter of it but I actually tend to enjoy it here, is that the show tends to reach for extremes just for extreme sake and then tries to elevate it by including something I would fit into the more pejorative "melodrama." She makes the ER comparison, and in that case, it was a show that by the time Romano was killed by a falling helicopter, was in a perpetual cycle of trying to one-up itself in the crazy plot hangers almost every other week. And then would try to make that profound by stern pauses, steely reserve, and bottled up acting. A few weeks ago I called this show a butch soap opera, and I have seen not one thing to contradict it. I don't really care that it is, but sometimes it can be laughable when I don't think it's trying to be. And I know I've said that before.

Accusing the writers of being incapable of subtlety, after watching the Gemma rape plotline, means to me that she's lying or intentionally forgetting something for the sake of her (for me) terrible argument.

I don't see how. I don't see anything subtle about the show, that plotline, or anything, and I can't think of what I'm forgetting. But then if I forgot it, I wouldn't know what it is.

#2835

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 11:03 PM

That Tim Olymphant drama looks promising

Sho' do! I shall heretofore refer to it as "The Redneck Cracker Show".

I'm glad some of you have warmed to Henry Rollins as an actor. Too bad he had to get himself killed off to win your love! About Weston taking it like a man when his time came, one thing about all these dubious characters is although they operate outside of the conventional law, they adhere to an unwritten code of honor amongst themselves. SAMCRO and other clubs like the Mayans and the Nords display a modicum of respect to one another each when conducting 'business' and they generally don't rat each other out.

I found myself yelling at the TV for Edmond to kill Stahl. And I never yell at TV shows.


Gemma seemed... surprisingly alright to be on the lam and leaving Charming, her husband, and extended family.

By killing Polly, God's will has been done and she gave Stahl the slip. What's not to be alright about?

It's gonna be a loooooong hiatus. See you all next year.

#2836

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 11:05 PM

That's not a wholly bad thing, and that little comment is actually more profound than most on this show.


Although I generally agree with her review of the show, I also think she fails to complain about the real problems with it. In fact, its arguable that the show jumped the shark from the word go.

As I've reiterated from the outset, the Sons of Anarchy's premise (Hamlet in a bikers club) is completely at odds with its execution (the idea of legitimacy through lineage). Passing the crown down to the more legitimate heir does not sit well with its outlaw status, and we are given little reason to see why the state of paternity - of being a good son - is compatible with anarchistic principles. The fact that the rest of the 'sons' buys into this premise is risible at best.

The other problem I have with the show is what is genuinely good about it - having a strong matriarch (and potential mothers) at the center of the drama. Since the Sons of Anarchy is really about family relations and dynamics, it conveniently displaces the misogyny that lies at the heart of biker culture. Men might want to own their pussy, but they also don't want to be seen as pussies.

I also question the moral relativism inherent in the show, if only because it really trades in moral absolutes when dividing audience sympathies and loyalties. The only reason we sympathize with these characters (and not say Zoebelle's gang of thugs or Ally Walker's henchmen ) is because it makes us extended members of the 'family' - and the execution of a convenient Mayan at the start of the season is a prime example of morally questionable behavior. The writing required us to side with the murder of someone else's son, if only to preserve the bonds of our default family (the show made a point of showing us that this outlaw was dealing drugs at a school).

So my feeling is that the writing is undermined by its own sleight of hand.

Edited by Wittgenstein, Dec 7, 2009 @ 11:32 PM.


#2837

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 12:40 AM

A few weeks ago I called this show a butch soap opera, and I have seen not one thing to contradict it. I don't really care that it is, but sometimes it can be laughable when I don't think it's trying to be. And I know I've said that before.


Except that's what it is. I think that any piece of fiction needs to be critiqued with the intent of its author in mind. And Sutter has been quite clear on this point. Comparisons to the Wire or even the Shield are not apt. He has outright stated he does not want SoA to be like those shows. He wants pulp. This does not give him creative license to break some grounds of common sense that he occasionally did in the finale, but it's an important point nonetheless, as comparisons are interestingly constantly being made. IIRC, the Wire was almost completely based off the experiences of Baltimore police officers, whereas Sons has no such grounding for its overall storylines.

So stuff like giant syringes sticking out of the sternum is what he's aiming for, and the show should be judged from that angle.

As I've reiterated from the outset, the Sons of Anarchy's premise (Hamlet in a bikers club) is completely at odds with its execution (the idea of legitimacy through lineage


Sutter himself is aware of this point, and has even urged audiences not to take the whole Shakespeare thing too literally:

"I don't want to overplay that but it's there. It was Jax's father who started the club, so he's the ghost in the action. You wonder what he would have made of the way it turned out. It's not a version of Hamlet but it's definitely influenced by it."


I also question the moral relativism inherent in the show, if only because it really trades in moral absolutes when dividing audience sympathies and loyalties.


Meh. This isn't the first piece of fiction to make you sympathize with not so nice people, nor will it be the last. Given the amount of bloodlust that Sutter was able to incite for Zobelle et al, I would say he's a writer of some skill with that regard, himself describing Gemma as a megalomaniac.

Edited by bethnor, Dec 8, 2009 @ 12:45 AM.


#2838

ZeroForce

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 3:09 AM

Although I generally agree with her review of the show, I also think she fails to complain about the real problems with it. In fact, its arguable that the show jumped the shark from the word go.

The same thing could be said of virtually any show that treads new/interesting territory and/or depending on how mangled you want to make the pitch. As an example - Confederate space cowboy Robin Hood smugglers (who also happen to have a hooker) sheltering a psychic, mentally unbalanced human weapon and her metrosexual doctor brother from a fascist state? Sounds like Fonzie's strapping on those water-skis now. But I thought Firefly was awesome.

As I've reiterated from the outset, the Sons of Anarchy's premise (Hamlet in a bikers club) is completely at odds with its execution (the idea of legitimacy through lineage). Passing the crown down to the more legitimate heir does not sit well with its outlaw status, and we are given little reason to see why the state of paternity - of being a good son - is compatible with anarchistic principles. The fact that the rest of the 'sons' buys into this premise is risible at best.

I don't believe that the Sons - even John Teller's idealized version - were ever anarchists, in that sense. And while "Hamlet in an MC" might be an easy shorthand, I submit that none of these guys is as thumb-up-his-ass-won't-take-any-active-measures as our boy the Danish prince. These guys are all much more Othello in their makeup. I think, however, the idea of being a good son and a good Son play into the familial bonds that are at the center of the MC. Screw the Man and his government - be a man, keep your word, protect your family, and you are fit to lead. That's what I got as the Sons' ideal, and the story is (to me, anyway) about Jax living up to that ideal, then figuring out where to lead. Conceived that way - as anti-statist, not anti-order - I think it makes some sense. They're choosing their own government, which is why there's so much loyalty to their own system and code of morals.

The other problem I have with the show is what is genuinely good about it - having a strong matriarch (and potential mothers) at the center of the drama. Since the Sons of Anarchy is really about family relations and dynamics, it conveniently displaces the misogyny that lies at the heart of biker culture. Men might want to own their pussy, but they also don't want to be seen as pussies.

That, in particular, seems to be the most fictional element (based on Sutter's summary of his time in Sonny Barger's company). I have less of a problem with that, because I'm really only looking for plausibility instead of hard-core reality in all facets. If Sutter needs to change that part for dramatic license purposes, I'm all for it. It also means I'm fine "liking" these characters in the sense of enjoying watching them on TV, but not in the sense of normative approval of their behavior or any wish to encounter people like this in real life.

I also question the moral relativism inherent in the show, if only because it really trades in moral absolutes when dividing audience sympathies and loyalties. The only reason we sympathize with these characters (and not say Zoebelle's gang of thugs or Ally Walker's henchmen ) is because it makes us extended members of the 'family' - and the execution of a convenient Mayan at the start of the season is a prime example of morally questionable behavior. The writing required us to side with the murder of someone else's son, if only to preserve the bonds of our default family (the show made a point of showing us that this outlaw was dealing drugs at a school).

I disagree that the show trades in moral absolutes. It trades in moral relativism, and personally, I try to keep a big distinction between "hero" and "protagonist." I might even root for the latter, especially if his antagonists are more evil, but I'm not going to approve of morally questionable behavior simply because the protagonist engages in it. On the other hand, I do see a distinction between what's legal and what might actually be just (in the retributive sense only, or not) in any given situation. Sometimes, killing someone is the just response (at least in my moral structure). For example, if you gave me a gun and Osama bin Laden in a room handcuffed to a chair, I probably would judge that shooting the fucker in the head would be just, on balance. Sure as hell wouldn't be legal. Not sure I could do it personally. But that's where I seem to be, morally. I tend to be grayer on the use of force than the rest of my political leanings would predict. I'm certainly no pacifist.

So my feeling is that the writing is undermined by its own sleight of hand.

Since I don't see what you've listed as sleight of hand, exactly, I would disagree here. But I think Wacoshade and I have similar expectations for the show in both structure and entertainment. I'm not expecting everything out of it, so I'm plenty happy with what it gives me. For the most part. Zobelle getting away like that doesn't make me very happy.

Also, Wacoshade, I think I understand much better where you're coming from. I don't think we actually disagree that much on the particulars; I just reacted badly to the "melodrama" label. Still not liking Havrilesky's review, but I think we can agree to disagree on that one.

Edited by ZeroForce, Dec 8, 2009 @ 3:12 AM.


#2839

Kel Varnsen

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 8:18 AM

SAMCRO and other clubs like the Mayans and the Nords display a modicum of respect to one another each when conducting 'business' and they generally don't rat each other out.


I think the not ratting each other out has less to do with mutual respect and more to do with the fact that you don't want the cops nosing around your operation and asking questions. I mean sure the sons could report Cameron, or even Alvarez for their illegal activities. But if they did, the cops first questions to Clay would be "What is your relationship to the person you are reporting, and how do you know they were doing something illegal". Once cops start asking those types of questions it is a lot harder to keep your own illegal activities under cover.

Jax beating down the guy who sold Wendy the crank - that pissed me off. He may have sold it to her, but he didn't put a gun to her head while she injected it. If anything, Wendy deserved the beatdown


That didn't bother me that much. I mean sure it is Wendy's choice to use drugs, but at the same time, if you decide to make your living selling illegal drugs, especially in an area controlled by bikers who hate drugs and especially to pregnant women then any beatings you might receive are (to quote The Wire) "all in the game".

* All the sons smoking in the room while Piney is on oxygen - WTF???


Piney himself smokes, although it is typically just joints.

#2840

TerrifyinMonkey

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 10:33 AM

It's gonna be a loooooong hiatus. See you all next year.

No kidding. I'm in Phoenix now, and by the time the show returns, I'll be in North Carolina at grad school.

This isn't the first piece of fiction to make you sympathize with not so nice people

Two words: Al Swearengen. By comparison, he makes Clay Morrow look like Mr. Rogers, but he was a (mostly) likable, sympathetic character, just as Clay is (when he and Jax aren't having a dick-measuring contest, at any rate).

#2841

CtLady

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 10:52 AM

* All the sons smoking in the room while Piney is on oxygen - WTF???

Piney himself smokes, although it is typically just joints.


Oh, I'm not questioning the smoking because it's harmful to his lungs, thus the oxygen, but you cannot smoke around oxygen tanks because they could explode. My mother-in-law was on oxygen and I couldn't even have a lit candle or put the fireplace on when she was over.

#2842

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 12:35 PM

SAMCRO and other clubs like the Mayans and the Nords display a modicum of respect to one another each when conducting 'business' and they generally don't rat each other out.



I think the not ratting each other out has less to do with mutual respect and more to do with the fact that you don't want the cops nosing around your operation and asking questions.


Same type of behavior occurs in prison, where people get stabbed to within an inch of their life, but will not give up their attacker, since that means cooperating with the law. The COs are on that side; the inmates on this side, and never the twain shall meet.
Sutter got that part 100% right, about these guys hating cops. In the 1%er MC world, the various clubs may hate one another, but they hate the law so much more. Turning to the law to solve your problems will just as easily get you killed by your own people as much as by your rivals.

Reading the melodrama/jump-the-shark posts made me replay this season in my mind, looking for weak spots, and the more I thought about it, the more this bugged me: how easily Opie just forgave Tig and Clay. I mean Opie started the season off by killing an "innocent" Mayan as well as mutilating the man's corpse; we know he's no "peacenik/nice-guy" biker w/a heart of gold. Then, he spent most of the season in a funk/suppressed rage (misdirected at Jax), abandoned his kids and then when he finds out the truth he just (basically) shrugs it off. UH??? Talk about anti-climactic and completely unbelievable.
Maybe it would have been more believable if Opie had shot at Clay and then Clay pardoned Opie (instead of Piney). That would have felt more satisfactory amd more believable. The way that whole thing played out, I still feel cheated unless....Opie's playing possum and his beef with Tig and Clay isn't really over? Merely shunted aside for dramatic purposes?
Guess I'll find out in a mere nine months, when, As the Sons Turn....returns.

#2843

sekhet7

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 12:44 PM

Reading the melodrama/jump-the-shark posts made me replay this season in my mind, looking for weak spots, and the more I thought about it, the more this bugged me: how easily Opie just forgave Tig and Clay. I mean Opie started the season off by killing an "innocent" Mayan as well as mutilating the man's corpse; we know he's no "peacenik/nice-guy" biker w/a heart of gold. Then, he spent most of the season in a funk/suppressed rage (misdirected at Jax), abandoned his kids and then when he finds out the truth he just (basically) shrugs it off. UH??? Talk about anti-climactic and completely unbelievable.
Maybe it would have been more believable if Opie had shot at Clay and then Clay pardoned Opie (instead of Piney). That would have felt more satisfactory amd more believable. The way that whole thing played out, I still feel cheated unless....Opie's playing possum and his beef with Tig and Clay isn't really over? Merely shunted aside for dramatic purposes?
Guess I'll find out in a mere nine months, when, As the Sons Turn....returns.


Thank you! I've been saying this since Service first aired (I'm not kidding...if you scroll back to when the episode aired and check out my posts about the episode you'll notice that I brought up both points). At least I can take some small comfort in Sutter saying that this won't go away completely because if they just went "okay, we brought it up and we let bygones be bygones, let's never speak of it again", it would feel like a huge ripoff.

And they better bring up the fact that Opie shot that Mayan again in the future...even if he uses it against Tig in an argument. He shot an innocent man...or at least he didn't kill Donna. I also want it brought back up because I want more Mayans in the future. They are just as interesting as the Sons as a group and since they didn't exactly lose all those guns that Zoebelle got for them (and supposedly the Sons haven't helped out the Niners and Chinese just yet and you know that will somehow come back up before it goes badly too) they can be a real threat. I also want to know more about how that war between the two clubs got started.

And I prefer to call it The Young And The Ruthless (ah, Sons...the best soap of 2009. By a mile.)

#2844

Kel Varnsen

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 12:57 PM

And they better bring up the fact that Opie shot that Mayan again in the future...even if he uses it against Tig in an argument. He shot an innocent man...or at least he didn't kill Donna. I also want it brought back up because I want more Mayans in the future.


I doubt it will be that big of an issue on its own. I mean as as far as the Mayan's are concerned the Niners killed that guy. The Mayan's and the Niner's are at war and the Mayan's truce with SAMCRO is over, so I am not sure there will much concern over one dead gang member in the grand scheme of a giant gang war. Plus even if the guy wasn't Donna's killer he was still the kind of guy who dealt drugs outside an elementary school. I am sure Opie wouldn't be too broken up about killing him.

#2845

sekhet7

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 2:49 PM

I doubt it will be that big of an issue on its own. I mean as as far as the Mayan's are concerned the Niners killed that guy. The Mayan's and the Niner's are at war and the Mayan's truce with SAMCRO is over, so I am not sure there will much concern over one dead gang member in the grand scheme of a giant gang war. Plus even if the guy wasn't Donna's killer he was still the kind of guy who dealt drugs outside an elementary school. I am sure Opie wouldn't be too broken up about killing him.


Well, with this show you never know what can happen. Mayans may accuse the Niners of killing the guy...they may deny it...they may not. You're probably right though. It won't be brought back up as a major issue but as long as it gets the Mayans more involved story wise and make them look more like a capable, viable threat and less like something for the Sons to get the better of most of the time then why the hell not? I'll take any reason and since that truce is now dead and over, it looks like I may have it anyway. Their feud goes a long way (Old Bones from season one went into more detail about it). And let's hope now that the Sons are weakened by the weight of their own problems, the Mayans will try again to start a charter in Lodi (also mentioned in Old Bones) if they are pushed out of Oakland by the Niners and the Chinese. I doubt if the Sons were in full force like they used to be that the Mayans would have even gotten into Charming let alone start a charter in the town next door.

It would be great that if the feud between the two clubs started in something else more than just a turf war between them. I'm not holding my breath on that one though. It usually doesn't take much to start a war but it takes almost everything to end one.

Edited by sekhet7, Dec 8, 2009 @ 2:55 PM.


#2846

Sharon

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 4:18 PM

In his EW column (Johnny Depp cover), Stephen King named Sons of Anarchy #5 on his "The Best TV of 2009" list:

5. Sons of Anarchy
It's got that Shield vibe (Jay Karnes, the ex-Detective Wagenbach, even shows up as a rogue ATF agent), but the drama is enlivened by a working-class criminal story reminiscent of a certain long-running HBO Mob series. Call it The Sopranos on Harleys. And Ron Perlman rocks.



#2847

skydog

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  • Interests:Reading the Forum posts on TWoP. <br />My main interest, TV-wise, is just about anything Sci-Fi, as well as straight Science (especially Astronomy and Physics).<br />I also like comedies and crime dramas, - as long as it's original (i.e., scripted) stuff. Enjoy the occasional documentary.<br />Loathe 99.9 % of remakes and 100% of &quot;reality&quot; shows.

Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 5:06 PM

The way that whole thing played out, I still feel cheated unless....Opie's playing possum and his beef with Tig and Clay isn't really over? Merely shunted aside for dramatic purposes?
Guess I'll find out in a mere nine months, when, As the Sons Turn....returns.



Thank you! I've been saying this since Service first aired (I'm not kidding...if you scroll back to when the episode aired and check out my posts about the episode you'll notice that I brought up both points). At least I can take some small comfort in Sutter saying that this won't go away completely because if they just went "okay, we brought it up and we let bygones be bygones, let's never speak of it again", it would feel like a huge ripoff.

And, thank you too! :)
I believe that there has to be some lingering "anger" issues w/Tig and Clay that Opie still harbors. Maybe not so much Clay (even though he greenlit the Opie/Donna hit) but it seems like Tig is disliked by quite a few people, even w/in the club itself, as evidenced by that little verbal spat between Tig and Lem from The Shield (I am horrible w/names, sorry). So Opie might come back, at some time of his choosing, and try to put two between Tig's eyes, who knows?

And they better bring up the fact that Opie shot that Mayan again in the future...even if he uses it against Tig in an argument. He shot an innocent man...or at least he didn't kill Donna. I also want it brought back up because I want more Mayans in the future. They are just as interesting as the Sons as a group and since they didn't exactly lose all those guns that Zoebelle got for them (and supposedly the Sons haven't helped out the Niners and Chinese just yet and you know that will somehow come back up before it goes badly too) they can be a real threat. I also want to know more about how that war between the two clubs got started.

Yes, mas Mayans, por favor. I love seeing those guys too. I want to see more MC vs MC action, like in S.1 And speaking of Season 1 and sacrifices...let's not forget what Alvarez did, in order to secure that now doubly defunct truce and gun deal with the SOA. Filicide...damn, that was truly cold. One of the more shocking/brutal/horrific moments of the entire series so far.
Season 1 was a lot more brutal, come to think of it.

People have been blaming Stahl for the unnecessary deaths of Donna, et. al. (myself included), but Clay is really the one that should be getting the blame - he has caused the deaths of a lot of innocent people these past two seasons. Stahl killed Edmond, OK. But, he was a criminal and she was doing her job; why she had to concoct that elaborate frame-up says more about Stahl's ineptness than her evilness, IMO. And btw, I mean "innocent" in the way that they were not able to defend themselves and/or were not directly involved in an act which warranted retaliation. Their deaths were the result of the machinations for the greater good of "The Club" (whether it was Alvarez Jr or the generic Mayan drug dealer or Donna - Donna's murder the only one of a true innocent).

And I prefer to call it The Young And The Ruthless (ah, Sons...the best soap of 2009. By a mile.)


Nice. Sweet title. Hey, if Sonny Barger can call it a soap opera, why not us "civilians?"

#2848

Kel Varnsen

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 5:24 PM

But, he was a criminal and she was doing her job; why she had to concoct that elaborate frame-up says more about Stahl's ineptness than her evilness,


I would say covering up killing Edmund was as much about her ego as it was her ineptness. I mean yes the fact that she shot him and killed him shows that she is bad at her job. But the reason she did the cover up was because she wanted to arrest Cameron. I mean if she had just called it in as soon as she shot him, I doubt she would be in very much trouble. But at the same time if she called it in the place would be swarmed with feds which would have instantly scared off Cameron, and she wouldn't land the big prize.

#2849

sekhet7

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 10:33 PM

And now adding to the Stephen King praise (the man still has his moments)...here's a trade ad straight from the SuterInk site:

Pretty Pretty Ad

Lots of praise from some big names. It also states that it'll be back next Sept. I would prefer it to start on the 7th or if they moved it to Wednesday nights (doubt that) on the 8th-my birthday...which if that latter happened would be the second time it would premiere on such a day. Having it on the day before my b-day would suit me fine too.


Season 1 was a lot more brutal, come to think of it.


One of my other minor gripes of season two was the fact that the Sons were tamed down a little much and made a little too heroic...however, compared to guys like LOAN it would make some sense. But as stated before, now that they are gone, let's hope season three reminds the fans the the Sons are not nice people like a swift kick to the head. Same with the Mayans.

Oh, and another thing that has just been added to my S3 or later on wish list...the introduction of another third club all together. Someone from this thread is from the Florida area (can't remember your name...sorry) talked about some of the MCs from down there and after seeing some of the NatGeo documentaries on them, they really are as brutal as that person talks about (especially The Outlaws). Having a fictional club that operated like the clubs of that area (or even be from that area...perhaps even Canada) suddenly show up to fill up a possible power vacuum with even more destructive methods could prove a real challenge for the club and for Jax's vision of change especially. It's just a pipe dream but it would be great to show that there are more than two outlaw MCs even in the fictional SOA world.

I would say covering up killing Edmund was as much about her ego as it was her ineptness. I mean yes the fact that she shot him and killed him shows that she is bad at her job. But the reason she did the cover up was because she wanted to arrest Cameron. I mean if she had just called it in as soon as she shot him, I doubt she would be in very much trouble. But at the same time if she called it in the place would be swarmed with feds which would have instantly scared off Cameron, and she wouldn't land the big prize.


And that whole stuff with Polly and Gemma probably would not have happened and therefore Abel would not have been kidnapped by Cameron. Stahl is just now part of the tangled web that they are all creating. She would have probably gotten off because Edmund was fleeing the scene and he did assualt her so I bet she would have gotten a slap on the wrist easily. But her ego and impatience is quickly proving to be her downfall. Let's hope Hale learns from her mistakes.

ETA: Another Season 3 spoiler from the TV Guide website:

Any scoop on the absolutely brilliant Sons of Anarchy? — Patricia
ADAM: We definitely saw this coming: Chief Unser will step down from his post next season. How will Deputy Chief Hale handle being in the top spot? "Unser came to understand... that you have to create relationships with these gangs and turn the other way sometimes and set parameters," creator Kurt Sutter tells me. "You can't go by the letter of the law or you're f----d. Hale [will] have to learn those lessons and how much he's willing to bend."


I don't know how annoyed I should be by this. Hale being what he was made him awesome. It made him the voice of reason in an unreasonable world and now that's being taken away to turn him into the next Unser, it's kind of depressing. Wasn't Hale's whole deal being that he wouldn't sell out to the Sons no matter what? Depending on how much he much "supposedly bends", I may just have to give up on him as well. I just wasn't expecting to brace myself this soon.

Edited by sekhet7, Dec 8, 2009 @ 10:35 PM.


#2850

Rollins316

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Posted Dec 9, 2009 @ 2:44 AM

The other problem I have with the show is what is genuinely good about it - having a strong matriarch (and potential mothers) at the center of the drama. Since the Sons of Anarchy is really about family relations and dynamics, it conveniently displaces the misogyny that lies at the heart of biker culture. Men might want to own their pussy, but they also don't want to be seen as pussies.


The portrayal of the gender issue on the show is interesting in that it shows an interesting dynamic of the woman behind the throne concept taken to the concept of the motorcycle club.

I coud handwave SOME of the issues due to the notion that John Teller (the club's founder) having a much more enlightened attitude towards women, leading to SAMCRO being female friendly as far as it's members being the type of bikers who don't force their women onto the stripper pole and generally treating them decently. Or to the notion that Gemma was the brains behind the club as far as being the one who motivated John Teller (and later Clay) to think big and through her role as muse, guide them in a way that didn't fuck up things.

I also think that Gemma and her extended pressence does send the series off the "Biker Hamlet" route and into "McBeth" territory, as ar as Gemma being a classic Lady McBeth-type.

Maybe that will be something season three addresses: when everyone realizes what Gemma's killing of Polly caused consequence-wise, it causes the club (Jax and Clay in particular) to turn against Gemma in the sense that Clay and Jax no longer treat her as an equal but as the wife/mom property. Which for Gemma, who's been Queen Bee for like forever, would be akin to living death if she became just another "Old Lady" who at best gets patronized by Clay and Jax as far as them respecting her but not listening to a thing she says helpwise.

I cannot help thinking of Angel and how freaking awful the Connor kidnapping was as a cliffhanger (and then the crap that came after. Oh, the crap that came after.).


Got to disagree on that. Remember that the kidnapping of Connor gave us Bad-Ass Wesley and said arc of Wesley, the Brooding, Torturedd Soul Demon Hunter was one of the major high points of season four, as far as keeping that season afloat amid the writers making the plot up as they went.

That said, there is some room there for the character of Jax to grow considerably with the kidnapping arc so long as they drag it out. The idea of Jax, arguably the voice of reason, going batshit insane over the loss of his son could make for a goldmine of drama next season.

As for the violence in S1 versus S2, one thing to remember: a main element of S2 was that LOAN was SUPPOSED to kick SAMCRO's ass to build up the tension and make for a more interesting fight. Indeed, one of the annoying aspects of season one was how SAMCRO was pretty much untouchable and the police and the other gangs couldn't hurt them. That got boring after a couple of episodes, hence why the SAMCRO Vs LOAN plotline was refreshing since the writers made it a fair fight with LOAN winning a couple of rounds so as to give the illusion that SAMCRO might not pull off a flawless victory (which was the case since Zobelle ultimately did get away scott free).

And the spoilers; it would be interesting if Hale forces a renegotiation of the Faustian bargin that exists between Charming and SAMCRO to fit his need for proper law and order. Most notably, forcing Clay and Jax to turn SAMCRO into unofficial police informants as far as them being forced to give up intel on criminal activities whenever Hale asks for it, no questions asked. Which would further the plotline that they set up this season as far as Clay being terrified of other charters of the Sons gang finding out about Donna's death. The idea of other charters of SOA discovering that bad things are going on with the founding chapter of the gang and trying to find out (presumably to enhance their own charter's standing overall) could make for some nice drama, especially if they bring Kenny Johnson back next season. Which would be a nice twist of sorts, as far as portraying KJ as someone being bamboozled as opposed to part of the group doing the bamboozling for a change