Vile ‘Sons of Anarchy’: What’s Wrong With America?
By Steve Pauwels
I’m putting aside the topic I’d planned for this column. A rant’s suddenly rumbling inside me – so, for a moment, here goes:
I’m NOT a regular viewer of FX’s Sons of Anarchy (SOA). Like much on that frequently foul network’s menu, it’s television trash, plain and simple. I figured that out pretty quickly. Since I try to let my Christian convictions shape every aspect of my life, I determined years ago SOA would NOT land on my regular TV-watching schedule.
Last winter, I heard all kinds of breathless effusing about the series’ shocking season six finale. I’d caught enough SOA excerpts (plus some full episodes) to understand its narrative’s bones, the original main characters, etc., so I was intrigued as to what happened and why. Curious, I tuned in this past Tuesday to see what the hubbub had been all about, and what would turn up for this season’s opener.
I’d no intention of reversing my Sons of Anarchy embargo — and season seven’s maiden bow confirmed every reason why that’s a policy I’ll need to maintain. It was one hour and forty-five minutes of seething, small-screen putrefaction: Dialogue larded with obscenity of the most odious kind. Ironically, even the artistes at FX disallow the use of the f-bomb, but most anything else goes — including bubbling-over, blasphemous uses of God’s name. These geniuses don’t get, for oodles of church going Americans, that dialogical infraction is the worst they could perpetrate — deeply off-putting to those of us who’ve decided the Third Commandment matters.
Apparently, regular doses of just-this-side-of-soft-core-porn sex scenes are also a staple of this depressingly scabrous drama. Ditto for this newest eppy: a threesome involving a groaning woman and two men, one of them morbidly obese and shirtless. Oh, yes, it develops the two naughty boys are both “pastors” of a local church. Hypocritically corrupt clergy? How original is that plot twist! That tidbit is discovered after the SOA nitwits ruthlessly shoot the lascivious trio.
Speaking of violence? So show-offy and inescapably unrelenting it borders on parodical — except it’s undeniably meant to be taken seriously. Tuesday’s offering wrapped with SOA’s main figure, ” ‘Jax’ Teller” (Charlie Hunnam) , in a torture-murder montage so self-indulgently gross it’s stunning, even by Sons of Anarchy standards. Then again, it’s hiply set to a Forest Rangers’ cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody”– so I guess we’re supposed to be oohing and ahhing, rather than repulsed.
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