Rough, dirty, villainous, scraggly, murderous, motorcycle riding thugs from a small town named Charming.
These are not the qualities that people usually associate with the leads of a television series, especially not one that captures the hearts of America. Kurt Sutter has done an amazing thing, he has taken the antihero and made them the hero even when they do non heroic things.
Sons of Anarchy has quietly become of the best dramas on television. The fifth season, just released on blu-ray up’s the ante and it’s some of the most compelling television of 2012.
When we last saw Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) he had just taken over as president of SAMCRO with his mother and his wife supporting him. His mother Gemma (Katey Sagal) is estranged from her husband Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman) after Clay beat her to a pulp.
Season 5 introduces us to Nero Padilla (Jimmy Smits) who calls himself a “companionator” which is really a pimp. This is a lawbreaker who seduces his prey and is smoother than peanut butter mixed with ice cream. He has his eye set on Gemma, who after going through the wringer last season is more susceptible than she normally would be.
Also joining the cast his season is Harold Perrineau from OZ. He plays Damon Pope a gangster whose daughter was run over at the end of last season by Tig (Kim Coates). And Jax’s wife Tara (Maggie Siff) isn’t adjusting to her new role being the “queen old lady” and still wants Jax to get out of Charming altogether.
This season the action gets anted up but the thing that holds Sons of Anarchy together is it’s sense of family. These are all clearly flawed individuals thrown together by a joint bond of being in SAMCRO. They fight, they bicker, they beat the crap out of each other and yet when the chips are down, which they are often they work together to destroy anyone who threatens the solidarity of the club.
And we as audience members root for Jax and Gemma even though they clearly are in the wrong, they are criminals. And yet, I find myself not just being sympathetic but rooting for them to defeat the police, etc… That’s the sign of good writing, when you can make people who in lesser hands the audience would hate become their favorites.
The plot and conflict become more dense this season and more and more complicated. Every episode builds to a ending that will leave tears in the eyes of any fan of the show. The acting this season is career defining. Katey Sagal, Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman all deserve acting nods at the Emmy’s and it’s a crime that SOA has been overlooked for so long. Season 5 really sets the bar when it comes to the performances.
On blu-ray, Sons of Anarchy: Season Five looks stunning. The colors pop more than they do in the broadcast version. The dusty town of Charming, which is another character in the series, comes alive. I always prefer watching shows on blu-ray as opposed to broadcast for this reason, the small details the creators put in are more prevalent and you can see the tiny details.
The special features are excellent. There are a bunch of bonus and deleted scenes, a couple audio commentaries and also extended episodes. I loved watching the gag reel and seeing the actors break from being these hardened characters.
There is also a fun featurette called Fan Concert at the Club House which documents fans visiting the set and hearing a concert by Gemma Teller herself, Ms. Katey Sagal! The other featurette I enjoyed was Kurt Sutter: Writing For The End Game. I love it when shows look to the future and plan out the course of the series instead of running it into the ground. It shows a respect an appreciation for the audience and that gets props from me!
Season 5 of Sons of Anarchy is out now on blu-ray and DVD!
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