I wasn’t very impressed with Season One of Sons of Anarchy … gave it a B, said the best thing about it was it gave me something to watch with my wife, who liked it better than I did. Good thing I stuck around … Season Two raised the show to the level of the best TV has to offer. It began with the brutal retaliatory rape of a central character, then followed the ramifications of that moment throughout the season. We saw strong characters made vulnerable, good people drawn into perilous situations, and a biker gang that was somewhere between Tony Soprano and Vic Mackey on the morality scale. Nothing happened in a vacuum … not only do these characters pay for their actions, other people pay as well.
Despite the fact that Sons of Anarchy is filled with testosterone, one could argue that the central figure is Katey Sagal’s mom/wife Gemma. Sagal is terrific in the role, and if you buy into the notion that the series is Hamlet in Bikerland, then it’s Hamlet where Gertrude is as important as the Prince. Sagal is hardly the only standout amongst the cast. Kim Coates is a revelation as the freakishly disturbing Tig, and Ally Walker is scarily believable as an ATF agent.
I’m not quite sure why Sons of Anarchy seems popular with women … the usual explanation is that while the show has lots of men doing manly things, ultimately the series is about family. Whatever. I’m on board now, and think the leap in quality from the first to the second season is pretty amazing. Maybe I underestimated that first season. Grade for Season Two: A.