“Riding through this world, all alone…” ~(This Life) intro song to Sons Of Anarchy
In this world and in each of our lives, when it’s good it’s good. When it’s bad it’s bad and when it’s good & kinda bad or bad with some good all we really want to do is get the fuck out of our own brain & lives and into someone else’s. Or at least that’s the case for me. And that’s why I love movies & television.
Television and films are such a beautiful part of culture. For me, the reason I’m so obsessed with the film industry is because for every story I watch, I get to live outside my box and dive into another person’s box. The awesome thing about that is that if each of our boxes were like a box of chocolate, the most fascinating thing would be that we don’t know how our tastebuds will react. Will it be your new favorite chocolate and your new obsession? Will the chocolate have a filling that you just can’t enjoy although you’re trying? Or will it be a turd that was in the box that you didn’t realize wasn’t chocolate at all and that it was just crap? Either way, I am appreciative for the opportunity to get a taste from another person’s box of chocolate.
Now I want a Snickers.
Anyhow… one of my favorite shows is Sons Of Anarchy.
Before the show ever started in 2008, PB was already pumped to hear about the show being made. When he told me, “the guy from Green Street Hooligans is doing a show on an outlaw bike club,” we were excited. We started doing research on the creator and the storyline and knew we we’re gonna fall in love with the show before we even knew if it was ‘fall-in-love-ish-worthy’ which thank goodness it turned out to be and actually became greater than we had expected. We’ve loved motorcycles forever and we’ve always been intrigued with ‘all-things outlaw’ so hearing that someone was writing a show that followed an outlaw bike club we we’re stoked. What we didn’t expect was falling in like with Kurt Sutter. It’s annoying how awesome-smart-funny he is, but dammit do we love the dude. It’s not really annoying, but we can’t help but bring him and the show up in conversation at least every few days. We cannot help it. We love hood rat shit and mafia-esque stories and Kurt knows how to write entertaining hood rat-mafia-gangster shit (used the terms hood rat, mafia and gangster as an adjective and not as a noun). The show is amazing and he’s super ‘boss’. And not the boss like ordering people around I’m talkin’ old school slang word for ‘boss’. He’s that. Plus he’s cool. Not where he thinks or tries to be cool, but where he doesn’t try to be cool and doesn’t think he is cool and that’s really cool. Ya dig?
If you don’t know about Sons Of Anarchy what the fuck is wrong with you? No I’m just kidding, but I do question what rock you’re living under if that’s the case and if so, let me break it down for you. Sons Of Anarchy takes place in Northern California and focuses around a motorcycle club that lives in a small town called, Charming. The main character is Jax Teller, whose father had passed when he was young in a motorcycle accident. The story’s main focus lies on Jax Teller and his outlaw motorcycle club Sons Of Anarchy; but not only is the outlaw motorcycle club his associates, it is also his family and his family, coincidentally, are also associates to Sons Of Anarchy (SOA). Jax’s mother, Gemma, is a significant part of the establishment of SOA and as the story unfolds, secrets from the past come to haunt them. And throughout the internal trials there are external tribulations with gangs, law enforcement, white nationalists and even a homeless chick that continues to stir up more questions for the group. There are scenes that are intense. Then there are scenes you can’t help but laugh at for it’s witty dialogue. There are also scenes you don’t want to watch with your parents so you decide to just watch it at home in your comfort zone…those are usually ‘the ones for the ladies’ which Charlie Hunnam jokingly said in the first season’s dvd commentary.
What makes Sons Of Anarchy so different is its characters and its style & layout. I love the anti-heroes and there’s definitely anti-heroes. What makes these characters so unique are their portrayals of these fictional characters; these characters seem so real that you feel like you might just bump into one of them out and about somewhere. Gemma, the matriarch you don’t want to fuck with and can’t look passed her mystery and ambiguity; Jax, the badboy-goodboy whose torn and confused by his battles with himself and the uncontrollable inflictions he has to face; Clay, the asshole you love to hate and can’t help but love because he makes you want to hate him; Tara, the doctor whose come back to the small town of Charming who doesn’t know if her relationship with her past is fortunate or misfortune. To create such realistic characters to me is one of the hardest parts of writing and each of their dynamics is so different that the character isn’t similar to another character. Sons Of Anarchy has a wonderful ensemble and I truly believe actors can make or break a good script and luckily for us as the audience, every character is played beautifully. I love when I can believe that these events are actually happening while they play on the screen. Everything about the show from the story to the characters even down to the costumes and tattoos, each part of the show is so detailed and realistic you can’t help but want to drive up to Charming and meet these crazy people.
What I usually respect and enjoy most is an innovative story that’s not been told in a certain light. In my writing classes it’s always repeated that everything has been done before and that the only thing that changes is the way the story is told or from what perspective it is given. I agree with that in a sense, but at the same time there are stories that have never been told through a certain topic, lifestyle or culture. Sons Of Anarchy to me is in the gangster-crime-drama genre where most gangster-crime-drama stories are told in specificity. For instance, a mafia story is told through mafiosos. A detective story is told through the FBI or some other type of law enforcement. An assassin is told through an assassin. But what makes Sons Of Anarchy so unique is that it brings to life all perspectives and all groups of crime syndicates and shows their association through an OUTLAW MOTORCYLE CLUB’S PERSPECTIVE. To me that’s different and to me that’s innovative entertainment.
My favorite types of screenplays are those that are told with a bit of humor no matter how dark the allegory may be. Kurt Sutter has a beautiful mind and is one of my favorite storytellers. What I adore and admire about Sutter is that he goes dark to the darkest of dark and breaks the boundaries which some might think are too extreme but to me, if you’re not taking risks then you’re not rupturing the thought & imagery bubble. I like controversy. I like conspiracy theories. I like chaos. I like debates. I like when my mind just can’t help but continually think about anything & everything and why this and why that and how can we solve these dilemmas like it’s somehow a mathematical equation, but when that happens… my brain feels like it might just explode and in those strange times do I feel that stories on a screen help to bring a peace to our own minds. We get to feel for a moment hate, sadness, anger, anxiety, happiness, laughter and love that isn’t our own; but these characters we watch. It helps us to forget about our own problems and our own tribulations for at least a hour a week.
Sons Of Anarchy is an hour long drama on FX that will be back in September. If you haven’t watched the episodes you can find the first 5 seasons on Netflix and you can purchase Season 6 on Amazon.
So when you’re riding through this world all alone, you could always turn to the screen to help you through the day.
And remember, when life gets tough and you can’t take it any longer:
#SOA #FX #SONSOFANARCHY #KURTSUTTER