I'm going way off the Wall Street script here, but I have to know if I'm the only one that thinks Sons of Anarchy is the best show on TV right now. I never watched a single episode before last week and, now that I've seen all of Season 1 and most of Season 2, I don't know how I missed it. I haven't been this hypnotized by a TV show since the early episodes of the Sopranos.
I'm not a big TV guy. I never turned the cable on when I moved to France in 2008 because I'd purchased a complete satellite TV rig so we could pick up English-speaking stations. That was before I found out my building doesn't allow satellite installations on the roof. So we've been without television for the better part of two years now. My wife is the only one in the house who misses it.
This doesn't mean that we don't watch TV, it just means we're very selective about what we watch. We can't just turn on the TV and flip through the channels until we find something worth watching, we actually have to decide what to watch in advance and then download it from iTunes or whatever. In other words, the shows we watch we watch deliberately.
I knew Sons of Anarchy was something biker related, which wasn't of any particular interest to me. Plus another show called Sons of Tucson (which I think is/was a comedy) came out around the same time, and I didn't know which was which, so I ignored both. The thing that got me interested last week was the numbers Sons of Anarchy threw up for the premier of the third season. I figured if that many people were into it, it must be worth checking out.
The writing is brilliant. My initial reaction was that it was the Sopranos on Harleys, but after watching most of the episodes (I still haven't watched last week's premiere), it's much more than that. The writers have managed to pull off something that is very, very difficult. They have you rooting for an anti-hero. Several of them, in fact.
Anti-heroes are much different than the typical flawed heroes that seem to be a staple of the cookie-cutter cop shows on TV. The anti-heroes on Sons of Anarchy are genuine bad guys, who do bad things. And we love them for it, and root for them against even worse guys. And Katey Sagal is phenomenal as the big, bad biker mama. Who knew Peg Bundy had it in her? Her quiet malevolence steals every scene she's in.
There's a few other shows I watch regularly, but none I've enjoyed as much as Sons of Anarchy. I think part of the reason is that American shows go on for too long and eventually jump the shark. The Sopranos was good up until the end, but the inexplicable finale destroyed the entire series for me. Weeds is a show I've enjoyed from the very beginning, but it has gone on too long now and just become silly. The same can be said for Entourage, though I have enjoyed the recent dark turn in the show.
I'm interested in what you guys watch with your limited down time. What is it you set your Tivo to record? What shows do you absolutely not miss? Is anyone else hooked on Sons of Anarchy? That show is just bad ass.
These are the shows I watch regularly:
- Californication (Moody and Runkle kill me)
- White Collar (my wife thinks the guy in it is hot)
- Modern Family
- Rizzoli & Isles (just waiting for the episode when they drink too much wine and have a "sleepover")
I know a lot of you probably like Mad Men, but I just don't get it. I've given the show two legitimate chances to hook me, and it just isn't my cup of tea. The sexism is funny, but it's not enough to keep me tuning in.
One other show I would recommend if you can find it is Luther. The BBC really knows what it's doing when it makes a show like this. The entire length of the series was six episodes, and a series that compact can really pack a punch. It stars Idris Elba of The Wire as Detective Chief Inspector John Luther, a homicide cop with a head full of fucked up wires who tracks serial killers. A couple of the episodes are truly shocking, and I remember remarking to my wife that there was no way that would ever be shown on American TV. That's reason enough to watch it if you can find it.
How many Sam Crow fans out there? Is it the best show on TV right now? And what is Must See TV for you guys? Is there another show I should be watching that I'm not? (and don't say Jersey Shore)