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Saturday, December 06, 2008

RAGGING ON THE WRITER

There may be something coming out in one of the tabloids this week about Katey and myself, so I wanted to address it before hand. One of the rags took something I said out of context and twisted into a ridiculous story. In an interview with my hometown Jersey paper, I was discussing some of the feedback I was getting about the show. Here's what I said:

I've gotten my share of death threats. Some people are not happy, but I'm actually surprised at all the really good feedback. The outlaw culture by nature is about not being put into a box. The fact that we're making a little TV show about that world flies in the face of that. I wasn't expecting to be embraced, but for the most part, people get it, that it's a TV show, that we're at least trying to make it as organic and real as we possibly can, within the framework of having a compelling narrative week after week. They appreciate the fact that somebody is attempting to tell dynamic stories, and attempting to at least show it as it really is. I would say that the majority of the feedback has been positive.

In that statement, I was using extremes to single out a particular group of irrationals. I've received a fair amount of angry, aggressive emails from hogpumpers and delusional MC wannabes who claim that I stole their idea for a TV show. One of these inane emails came through a Fox website, so the network was legally obligated to have some extra security on set for a few days while I was directing (I wasn't too worried, I had a hundred fucking bikers watching my back). But for the record, none of those accusations came from any member of an outlaw club. As I stated, the majority of the MC community embrace the show. They understand it's fiction and that we are at least attempting to portray the world in a real and compelling way. I guess the scoop in the rag will be that Katey is beside herself because my life has been threatened. Not true. The greater threat is the one I'm getting from Katey as I slowly inch myself closer to getting back on a Harley.

The gossip biz must be hitting a serious downturn. Things have gotta be real slow if their spinning fiction about fucking writers. What's next, Busta Rimes caught [ommitted] Shonda Rhimes?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

PIRATE SWAG IS DANGEROUS FASHION

This is a warning to anyone purchasing pirated Sons of Anarchy clothing from EBay or other outside sources. None of that merchandise is legal, more importantly, none of it is sanctioned. I'm not trying to protect Rupert's bottom line here, I'm trying to save people from getting their asses kicked and to protect the respect we've earned in the outlaw community. John Linson and I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of club members when choosing colors and fonts for the SOA cut and shirts. We did that research so no club felt disrespected or misrepresented. The stuff being pimped on EBay is homemade shit that disregards all of that. Some idiot buys a three hundred dollar faux leather cut and sports it while he rides his poser Hog, he's gonna get his balls kicked into his throat. It also makes the show look like we don't give a shit. It pisses me off. We are selling some merch at our website that has been approved and sanctioned by me. This will be expanded upon and by next season we will have a full line of cool SOA shit you can buy. And again, I'm not pimping FX here. I don't get a fucking DIME from merchandise. I just wanna protect your ass and my reputation. SOA merch link

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

SOAP, SHOES, TELEVISON

I had a very interesting lunch with a TV critic the other day. Let's call him Ethan. He was someone who panned Sons of Anarchy when it premiered and I shot back with an angry, loaded blog. After that tit for tat, we struck up an uneasy email exchange and wagered on the outcome of the presidential election. I won the bet, Ethan offered to buy me lunch. Knowing the sad state of journalism, and feeling a little remorseful for my big reaction, I covered the meal. Truth is, as I suspected, Ethan's a decent guy with a thankless job (that's easier to say now that the sting of his review has worn off and our show has become a critical and ratings success). We had a great lunch; the conversation flowed freely and without rancor. We discussed the state of television, the difference between pay and ad-supported TV, shows we like, shows we hated. I learned a lot. Ethan discussed the limitations of judging pilots. And how difficult it is when critics only receive the premier episode of a show. More often than not, a series is still finding itself in the pilot and the first few episodes. He admitted there were many shows he initially panned that he now loves. He also said that the reason his reviews of HBO shows are often more favorable is because HBO sends out at least six episodes, sometimes the whole season. It's easier and more effective writing a review when you have more content to judge. I was reluctant about our meeting, but it turned out to be an eye-opening experience. I got to slip inside the critic's skin for a moment and realize something that logically I already knew, but somehow attaching a person to the column, it became so clear to me -- Ethan is just a guy with an opinion. A smart, well-informed guy, but still his reviews are not scientific, they are not fact. They are subject to his experience, his dysfunction, his point of view and his taste. We dressed differently, ordered different meals, and drove different cars. We like different things. Soap, shoes, television. One man's bar of Ivory Soap is another man's Arcona Green Toner Tea Bar. Even though I feel good about our lunch, I'm not expecting a positive review from Ethan next season. I just don't think SOA is a show that will ever appeal to him. But at least, or I would hope, that when I read it, I'll have more insight into his process and I won't want to hurt him. At the end of the day, that's pretty much all I can ask for.