I didn’t watch Sons of Anarchy when it first came out, mostly because I didn’t know it even existed. I ran across it during a pivotal scene in the second season involving Gemma (no spoilers!) and I was hooked. I rented the first season from Netflix, back when they actually shipped your the DVDs, and had my first binge-fest.
I won’t debate the accuracy of the MC life the show portrays, but I enjoyed it simply for the entertainment value. The story-lines were riveting (except that one season in Ireland) and the finale was epic. I became a Kurt Sutter fan and I really hoped the rumors of a spinoff were true.
I was excited when his next project, The Bastard Executioner, came out. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a success and lasted only one season, which was about 8 episodes more than I made it through watching. He was also involved with the successful show prior to SOA, The Shield. I’ve heard really good things about it and its on my binge list.
A couple weeks ago, the SOA spinoff, Mayans M.C., finally premiered. The imagery and tie-ins with Sons in that first episode, especially the first fifteen minutes, made me feel like the wait had paid off. That excitement soon turned to confusion as there was so many tangents of the story inserted much too quickly.
I know a lot of world-building and character introductions need to be handled in the first few episodes, but so far, I’ve been underwhelmed. I really dislike the whole rebel camp story arc and it feels like that’s the main focus of the show instead of the MC.
The premier did inspire me to go back and binge SOA. Watching through the first few episodes, I began comparing it to Mayans. Both had a high body-count and a lot of violence, but where Sons‘ violence was between the rival MCs, Mayans feels like most of the action is between the cartel and the rebels. I miss that the inner workings of the MC, the relationships of its members to each other and inner conflicts have been ignored to focus on the bigger story line.
It almost feels like Sutter was so used writing for the last couple seasons of SOA where there were so many moving parts to connect and weave the stories together that he tried to do the same straight out of the gate with Mayans. We’re introduced into too many factions of their world before we ever had a chance to know the MC, so its hard to root for them.
I know there’s been a lot of shows that I wasn’t impressed by the first couple episodes that grew to be fantastic. Some I stuck with and watched, some I came back to and just powered through the less interesting parts and some I abandoned. I’ll stick with Mayans for now just because of my love for SOA/Sutter and I want to see where he takes us.