Goodbye Sons of Anarchy?

Sons of Anarchy is a television show on the FX network.  It deals with lives of a motorcycle club out in California that straddle the line between good and evil, and leave the viewer questioning where they stand on certain moral issues.  With only two big names attached to it, Ron Perlman and Katey Segal, the show has been wildly successful over the past 5 years, becoming the FX network’s biggest show.  It has inspired an American audience to not only tune in every week to follow the adventures of Jax Teller, but also to take up Harley Davidsons and motorcycle accessories as they take to the roads.

The show is one of several dark horses in television programming over the past decade to beat out the top 3 networks in audience size.  Viewers have become all too attached to the lovable outlaws of SAMCRO, as the bikers struggle to survive without racking up too much of a body count.  The show is similar in appeal to The Sopranos, but with a more blue collar, rough and tumble feel.

Many were sad during season four as they saw the club imploding on itself.  Biker turned against biker, and there didn’t seem to be any way that the show would last.  Also, some of the viewers started dropping off during the same season.  Even with the season finale, in which Opie shoots Clay, it seemed that the demise of the show was imminent.  Rumors began circulating that season 5 wouldn’t air, and some fans were ok with that.

When season 5 started, and the Sons were sent off to prison for the alleged murder of several people, the show sparked new interest.  Old fans began spreading the word that the show indeed had staying power.  The introduction of Damon Pope, played by Harold Perrineau, injected some television royalty into the show.  (Perrineau has also met success with Oz and Lost)  In a strange twist, the show that many thought FX would cancel just this year has signed on for another season, with a possible seventh season in the works.

Kurt Sutter, the show’s creator (who also plays the biker Otto), clearly has some tricks up his sleeve.  Already there have been several twists that many didn’t see coming – the alliance with the Mayans, Jax stopping Opie from killing Clay, and the appearance of Jimmy Smits as a legitimate pimp with a good heart.  Sutter clearly knows how to keep an audience in suspense.  He also appears to be very knowledgeable about motorcycles.

More than just a vanity cameo, Sutter looks the part of a biker.  He clearly consulted well with experts in bikes, motorcycle accessories, and gangs.  The law enforcement part of the show may be romanticized, but the biker angle, at least from a technical viewpoint, is spot on.

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Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.

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