Sons Of Anarchy: Season 1
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Sons Of Anarchy: Season 1

Blu-ray

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All great literature makes a demand on each generation to be re-interpreted. Of all the masters of the written word one author stands out in the English speaking world; The Bard, William Shakespeare. The romantic tragedy has been defined by ‘Romeo and Juliet’ four about four hundred years. One of the most re-invented stories this master wordsmith ever devised is a tale of lust, greed, betrayal and power called ‘Macbeth’. The display and interaction of emotions in this story are incredibly raw and powerful, the perfect breeding ground for drams regardless of what time period or location you choose to use. Television has been called the low ebb of culture but every so often a series comes along that exceeds all expectations redeeming the lamentable media from all the mediocrity it typically fosters. One such series is ‘The Sons of Anarchy’. Basically the creators Kurt Sutter took the Prince out of the royal Danish court and transporting him to a modem day motorcycle gang located in Southern California. After the conclusion of ‘The Shield’ ‘Sons’ took up the mantle becoming the flagship of original programming for Fox’s ‘F/X’ cable network. This continued the network’s reputation for gritty, unconventional dramatic programming that is suitable for mature audiences only. Since this is still basic cable the language and nudity used is not that explicit but still far more adult than the traditional broadcast stations are permitted. This is by no means to say that this is light entertainment or close to anything you are used to. Like ‘The Shield’ the themes explored are brutally realistic and faithfully represent a sub set of our cultural that remains largely outside the restrictions of the law and the moral standards of the average citizen. The production may be harsh at times but never falls short of excellence. Every episode builds upon the previous one to an explosive season finale that will keep you riveted to the screen.

There is a reason that this series is reminiscent in its gritty drive and sheer emotional impact. Prior to working on creating this show Kurt Sutter was a writer and producer for ‘The Shield’. It is rather certain that Mr. Sutter has his own parking spot and corner office over at F/X considering he’s two and oh for hits. He manages to perfectly translate the themes established by Shakespeare to the modern world perfectly resetting them to a setting that would be completely alien to the original Elizabethan audience. Of course the reason for that lies in the universality of those themes and how they are founded in the core of our humanity. You might find yourself amazed at how readily you will be pulled into the lives and tribulations of a gang of biker outlaws. I admit that I didn’t get into the show when it was first aired mostly because of conflicts with outer series but I finally caved in to the insistence of my best friend. I never regretted that change in outlook and instantly became a fan of the series. I immediately had to go back and immerse myself in the first season to be up to date for the second and thankfully the series has been picked up for a third. That is one thing about some of these cable networks is they can dare to be more on the experimental side even going for s much smaller niche audience. In this case this translates to people who demand the highest possible production values ant who are not concerned with politically correct programming.

In place of the melancholy Dane we have Jackson "Jax" Teller (Charlie Hunnam), Vice President of the Sons of Anarchy motorcycle club based in the small town of Charming, California. The entire club is quite widespread with far flung chapters but Jax is part of the elite, the founding chapter called SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original). His father was one of the original members but has since died. Jax’ mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal) is married to the youngest of the founding fathers of the club and current president ‘Clay’ Morrow (Ron Perlman). Youngest is a very relative term here since Clay is approaching his sixties. He has always had a turbulent relationship with his step-son but lately things have been getting worse. Jax has discovered a manuscript written by his father entitled ‘The Life and Death of Sam Crow: How the Sons of Anarchy Lost Their Way’. Along with becoming a father Jax’ view of the club and his direction in life has begun a radical change resulting in his being flooded by self doubts. Much of this season was building the very complex interaction of the characters and the extremely interwoven set of relationships. The club members tend to be fiercely loyal to it so when Jax makes overtures for change it results in a lot of friction and factions within the club. The club is adamantly opposed to the drug trafficking but their do support themselves with a robust arms running enterprise. Naturally the local sheriff is in with SAMCRO. The series is incredibly well crafted especially in how it sets up the supernatural aspects of the play. Finding the manuscript is a realistic way of presenting the required ghost of his father so pivotal to the forward movement of the story. The Blu-ray presentation is incredible. This show depends heavily on the visual textures which come across with the 1080p video the way it should be seen. The action is fast paced with not one wasted moment in any of the episodes. The writing is among the best available on television today. when accompanied by the amazing actors here the result is something that just should not be missed.

Posted 04/15/2010

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