Sons of Anarchy is hard to get into. No, not because it is graphic in nature, it certainly pushes the standards and practices department at FX. No, it is hard to get into because of the casting. One of the first people you see on screen is a tatted up Assistant Director Skinner in a wife beater that shows off his swastika tattoo prominently on his chest. Then later in the season, Peg Bundy beats down the chick from that Britney Spears movie with a skateboard.
The actual lead of the show is the British theater student from Undeclared. Also in his motorcycle gang as a prospect is the annoying kid from MTV’s Now What (anyone else remember that horrible show?). Throughout the season you get to see Hellboy armed to the T with various an assortment of high powered weapons. And we all know Hellboy prefers to fight you on like an, beat you down with his hands and bodyslam you. Charlie Utter has been reduced to a Barny Fife cop on the take. And one guy in Charming whose moral compass is pointing due north: Danny Boyd of all people.
Once you get past all those actors in a new light, Sons of Anarchy is an enthralling take of Hamlet on a motorcycle. And as the shows gears up for its sophomore outing, it is posed to go into overdrive now that Jax suspects that Hellboy put a hit on his best friend leading to the death of his wife leading to a power struggle for the lead of SAMCRO with Peg Bundy caught in-between her boy and her man.
This won’t be an easy task for Jax to pull off with the 9’ers, the Mayans, and Skinner’s Nords still lurking around the borders of Charming. And to make things even harder is the appearance Adam Arkin (Halloween H20 - Twenty Years Later), a more assimilated white supremacist that isn’t happy with SAMCRO supplying to the brown and black. And with all the casting that took some time to get used to, here is one that doesn’t, Henry Rollins as Arkin’s white-hand seems just right. Arkin also brings his daughter, Sarah Jones (Big Love) to town. Racism hasn’t looked this hot since Kate Bosworth in Remember the Titans.
Another good bit of typecasting is Tom Arnold (Soul Plane) who shows up in the second episode as, well, I don’t want to spoil the reveal. But once you see him you with think, yep, it is totally believable to have Tom Arnold play this part. And even though her case against Bobby Elvis dissolved after her witness too a one-way ticket out of town, Ally Walker (Kazaam) seems to be sticking around Charming for a little bit to harass SAMCRO some more.
Sons of Anarchy airs Tuesdays at 10:00 on FX. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Sons of Anarchy on iTunes and Amazon Video on Demand (see below):