Sons of Anarchy, by Kurt Sutter, an Evil Show I Love to Hate

By | December 9, 2014

I had initially avoided Sons of Anarchy on FX, created by Kurt Sutter, because I didn’t want to watch a motorcycle gang show.

Maybe I should have stayed with my first impression of this FX show.  Now I am struggling through the last season of Sons of Anarchy on FX.  When I first came to Sons of Anarchy, I was so enthralled that I would watch each episode two or three times or more.  Not anymore.  I can hardly get through one episode.  Admittedly, I came to this FX show late.  I have seen the last four or so seasons including this one.  Maybe I missed something in the first three seasons that makes it all better.  But I doubt it.  This is an evil show with a black heart and I am going to be glad it is over.  Here are a few of the reasons why.  Also, here is your SPOILER ALERT although I really don’t give a rat’s rear end if I spoil this horrendous garbage for anyone because I will only be doing them a favor.

Copious amounts of blood spraying under high pressure.  I guess Kurt Sutter, the creator and brains behind the show, invested in lots of fake blood and a high pressure spraying apparatus because it is featured in virtually every show.   A knife, scalpel, shiv or other sharp instrument is dragged across the throat, or driven into the neck, slicing the jugular, creating an arterial spray that has become the signature of the show so much that it is laughable.  The blood has a Kool Aid quality that is not quite thick enough nor quite up to Hollywood standards.  That would probably gum up the spraying machine.  Can’t have that.  Kurt Sutter has recently been quoted as saying among other things that he “loves the blood.”  Well, no kidding.  I have also read that he has a medival show in the developmental works with FX and it will be plenty bloody.  Well, no kidding.  News flash to Kurt Sutter:  Monty Python already did this in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

So many other totally gnarly deaths that could only satisfy a sadist or a serial killer.  Just off the top of my head there were, let’s see, two recent stabbings in the top of the head.  A mowing down by car.  A burning in a pit.  A drowning in urine and disposal in a cage in the harbor.  What else?  Mass murder at the escort club, Diosa.  Mass shootings with automatic weapons of rival gang members.  So many close up execution style shootings that I lose track of them.  Choppings and gougings.  Sons of Anarchy makes the Spanish Inquisition seem like the Ames, Iowa, PTA by comparison.  Which begs the next question.     

What the heck is wrong with the police and other law enforcement in the Charming, California, area?  No one is ever arrested or convicted.  Okay, on rare occasion someone is arrested.  And sometimes people are in jail.  But considering the body count in Sons of Anarchy is a “forget about it” whopper, the police in our little burg of Charming are way incompetent.  They are never on the scene in time.  They can never get to the bottom of anything.  They are corrupt and on the take.  The ones who aren’t get shot for their trouble.  The new police chief gets romantically involved with SAMCRO member, Chibs, and has a lame excuse for her corruption.  And poor Wayne Unser gets shot the moment he tries to do something right to save the whole club and clan, an obviously futile attempt.

All the internecine plotting and double-crossing.  Oh, yeah, and did I mention the triple-crossing.  And the lying.  When I first started watching, I was amazed that everyone was lying to everyone else.  Over time I sort of forgot about this.  That’s just the way it is in SAMCRO.  But lying to Jax Teller will also get you killed.  All this is one reason I used to watch it two or three times.  You needed to in order to sort out the plot.  Now it is “Who cares?” if you’re not quite sure what happened and why.   Black gangs are referred to as Black, Asian as Yellow, Hispanic as Brown and Irish as Green.  No check that, Irish are Irish.  All of these gangs and cartels are scumbags, anyway.  And they all go down violently.  Black goes down.  Yellow goes down.  Brown goes down.  Irish goes down.  I think.  Every show ends with or features a double or triple-cross surprise.  But when it happens every show, then is it really a surprise?  Then it is more of a signature.  Formulaic, like the spraying cherry Kool Aid.  And stoopid, too.

I love you, Brother.   In every episode, the demonic Jax Teller tells his fellow SAMCRO biker brothers, “I love you, bother.”  It is said in such a world weary way, no wonder, and is supposed to be dripping with this world weary sincerity while a dramatic and world weary soundtrack plays over our antiheroes.  But who is buying this show after show, death after death, mayhem after mayhem, revenge after revenge, double-cross after triple-cross?  It makes me want to throw up.  I can only conclude that, “I Iove you, Brother,” is code for Kurt Sutter deciphered as his love and lust for blood and violence.

The concern for family.  See above.  It is the same thing.  The worry, the concern, the weary, fake and deep love and concern for family.  Spare me and give me a break.  Unless this is some deeper metaphor for the loss that comes with bloodlust and violence.  But I think that may be lost on the creators of Sons of Anarchy.  SAMCRO had it right when they moved into the ice cream parlor.  They should have started an ice cream business and put the bombs and mayhem behind them.  That would have been right for family.  But it would not have served the ultimate denouement of this show which is going to be what?  Lets see, Gemma, Jax’s mother, killed Tara, Jax’s wife, by stabbing her in the top of the head with a carving fork and now Jax has killed his mother, Gemma, by shooting her in the back of the head.  What is left is the fate of Jax.  Obviously, Jax Teller has to go down and go down hard in the last episode.  How will Kurt Sutter top himself in an ending that promises a pithy and karmic justice for Jax that surely will involve unimaginable pain and gore?  Or would it be better to just let Jax go and try and make his way through the rest of his life trying to live down what it has been so far.  I could see an ending such as that of The Sopranos that has Jax just riding off into the sunset on his bike, his fate coming sooner or later over the darkening horizon.  Not exactly 31 different flavors of ice cream, here.    

The cheesy stunts.  Some of the vehicle and motorcycle wrecks and stunts have actually caused me to laugh out loud.  This is unintentional and, actually, welcome.  Kind of like the pumping spray of cherry Kool Aid.  Stoopid.

Taking themselves way too seriously.  You should really watch the Anarchy Afterword show.  This is art and it is discussed seriously by its creators. I mean this is Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel.  This is very special, very important art, and the actors and creators have loved and supported one another in creating this lasting and important masterpiece.  What I wonder is what is going on with the hosts of Anarchy Afterword?  The first guy, a nervous and energetic type, was gone after about half of it.  The next guy barely lasted a show.  And now we are on the third guy, who is pretty good.  What I want to know is who did what to whom, who did they make mad, what do they know, and where are the bodies buried?  Seriously, Anarchy Afterword is a bloody mess second only to Sons of Anarchy.  Inquiring minds want to know.  Sons of Anarchy, The Musical, anyone?

The women.  Almost all of the women on this show are biker mammas, junkies, escorts, or prostitutes.  But, hey, at least their population on our Earth dwindles with every show.  There are only a few stragglers left now.  Even the one with a heart of gold, Wendy.  She might survive Jax.  After all, it is for the kids.  And who doesn’t want a junkie for a mother?  And amazingly, on a side note, SAMCRO, as rough and tumble as they are, fly a rainbow flag high, as far as I can see, in their incredible and very modern tolerance for gays, transgenders, and curious experimenters not only in their seedy orbit, but right within their ranks.  Who knew SAMCRO was so butch?

It is with a heavy heart that I read that this is the most popular show on FX.  Something has gone wrong with the collective zeitgeist and moral compass in America if this is the most popular show on FX.  It says something very wrong about America or at least those who watch this show.  And I guess I’m giving FX a free pass here, too.  So why do I watch the show if it is so distasteful?  That is a very good question.  I got started on it, I got hooked on it, and then I couldn’t get out of it even though it turned sour on me.  I wanted to see it and I wanted to finish it.  It is an iconic American thing, maybe, as disturbing as that is.  I wanted to be a part of it.  I slogged through the entirety of The Killing on AMC, too, for some of the same reasons.  At least I got myself off of The Bridge before it was too late.  And the last few minutes of The Killing, Season Three, at least made me feel like I got some personal justice out of the whole thing since I could not stand our heroine there.  Maybe Kurt Sutter will redeem himself at the very last moment in Sons of Anarchy.  It will take a proverbial pulling of a rabbit out of a hat at this point.  Some real magic.  What could that be?  Somehow, I think redemption can only lie in a very Red Funeral for Jax Teller and the rest of SAMCRO.  At the end of it all, all I can say is, “SAMCRO, Jax Teller, Kurt Sutter, and Sons of Anarchy, I love to hate you, for some odd and awful reason, my stoopid, formulaic and cherry Kool Aid spraying Brothers.”

3 thoughts on “Sons of Anarchy, by Kurt Sutter, an Evil Show I Love to Hate

  1. sebastian otero

    Great article. I agree with everything that you wrote. I started watching this show on Netflix three days ago and, like you, i was instantly hooked after watching the whole first season. However, I picked up on the evil nature of this show very early and i decided that I had to put a stop to my obsession. I couldn’t just stop watching the show for some reason, so i decided to read plots online, skip many episodes, and fast forward through the ones i decided to watch. I am very glad I did. This show is the pinnacle of evil and depravity, yet it can easily consume even the most moral of viewers. I am glad I am done with it and I am glad that I chose not to watch it continuously. Yet I am ashamed of myself for not having the self control to fully discard it. You are right when you mention that something is awfully wrong with America..

    Reply
    1. LZ Post author

      Thank you for your comment. As you are aware, these shows have an addictive quality which is a large part of their success. I swore off The Bastard Executioner when I read Kurt Sutter’s comments saying that it would be drenched in blood. However, I still tuned-in to see the premier. Go figure. As soon as a pregnant woman was stabbed in the belly, I was like, “I’m outta here.” Even then, I still peeked back a few times. I think Sutter may have overestimated the public’s appetite for attacks with bladed instruments and spurting blood. Curiously, that was not among the reasons he mentioned for pulling the plug on The Bastard Executioner.

      At present, I have 10 articles on this website about or relating to FX shows. They are under the FX category should you desire to find them. All the best to you.

      Reply
  2. Patricia Roth

    Thinking that after I read this, you are a stupid idiot. You have no manner nor clout. You have not one word of kindness about a show that ran 7 seasons and the show got recognition so many other places and you are just now doing a write up on the program. I think you know where you stand with me! Why don’t you pick on someone your own size? Smart Ass!

    Reply

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