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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

TIME




I was interviewed by James Poniewozik of Time a few weeks ago.  Article below.  He's got a great, really smart TV blog at Time.com. 

SONS OF ANARCHY: FULL THROTTLE
by James Poniewozik 

"Balm" was not just the biggest Sons of Anarchy yet; it was the best. Having built all season on last year's violent shocker turn—the accidental shooting death of Donna—the show has stepped up the stakes, threats and conflicts further, all the while going deeper into its characters.

And my God, what a closing performance last night by Katey Sagal, an absolutely riveting revelation of her rape that should put her in Emmy consideration next year. Nothing in Segal's sitcom-performance career could have prepared us for what she's done in the role of Gemma this season. Nor, for that matter, did the initial character of Gemma; she was introduced in the series as a tough biker mama, but this year she (and her husband, series creator Kurt Sutter) have made her a complex, empathetic but still challenging character.

Meanwhile the show has managed to make the rivalry between Jax and Clay more intense while at the same time shading it with moments of connection. And the aftermath of Gemma's revelation, which has thrown the two men together just as Jax was preparing to go nomad, promises to complicate things further. They both have an interest in kicking some white-supremacist ass now, but I wouldn't expect that to fix anything between them.

This series has never been better, but given its acceleration this season, I wouldn't be surprised if Sons of Anarchy got even better soon.



21 comments:

Kurt Yaeger said...

It was a great episode with great writing, solid turns and two great hooks at the end, with a sense of conclusion for the episode itself. Well done, to you and the other creative staff!!!

@volalupi said...

I've been saying all season that if she doesn't get an Emmy (or at the VERY least a nomination) for her performance there is no justice in this world. While the entire cast (and writers, etc) are brilliant, Katey has absolutely ruled SoA with her performances. Thank you sooo much for sharing that talent with us!

bcatahay said...

I am a 46 year old kindergarten teacher in remote Alaska. My best friend here is a 36 year old high school enlgish teacher. Being in such a remote place with no family is very difficult but a few months ago we stumbled onto SOA and have been addicted since (she bought Season 1 so we could catch up!) If you are ever in SE Alaska doing a press tour we would love for you to visit! Of course you can only fly in on a small plane or come on the Alaska Marine Highway but you would have 2 of your biggest fans waiting!

WI_Debi said...

Can't say I disagree with anything the author said. Last night's episode was a wild ride of emotions. I know quite a few people bitched about the commercials but I was kind of glad for them...Gave a me a chance to catch my breath..And Lord, wasn't Twitter atwitter! Honestly, I think you are probably one of the most respected and revered couples in the television industry. Definitely beloved by your numerous fans.

Seriously dude, I have no idea what everyone's going to do when the season concludes...sit around discussing scenarios and wondering wtf you're gonna do to us next season. I swear, I truly believe if FX doesn't give you a 3rd season the fans themselves would pony up the cash just to find out what the hell is going in that head of yours. As always...you know the rest...I'm done making promises, you keep making me break them. It's bad for my karma ; )
"See" ya next week. Til then, blessed be. D

Pointman said...

All I did during the last scene was watch Katey's eyes and the emotions they projected...very moving, expertly cued!
Thank you!

Theresa said...

I cannot claim to know you or your wife but I can say that I am amazed at your individual talents and riveted to the TV every Tuesday night! I have to agree that Katey is a BRILLANT actress. Everyone involved in making SOA what it is (currently the ONLY show on TV worth watching) and truly first rate all the way, are phenomenal. I thank all of you for giving us something to look forward too every week and have yet to figure out what I am going to do during off season. IMHO, there are several Emmy's that this show deserves but at the very least, Katey definately deserves Best Leading actress in a Drama series. We are so caught up in plain everyday living that having something that allows us to "escape" for a little while every week is a blessing. I can honestly say that I have never in my 40 years had a show that has gripped me to this point with such complete range of emotions and enjoyment. May you and yours continue to be blessed both personally and professionally and may SOA last for many seasons to come.

smim420 said...

It was a very dramatic and climactic episode. So much took place to make the story so deep it was amazing. This series has brought me back to watching TV, even if only for that 60 or 90 minutes a week, you have my undivided attention.

Quick question concern the ratings though; How does people DVR'ing it play into the picture? Does that still count towards ratings?

PS. Where can i get some of those mushrooms!?!??!?!?!?!?!

tonilost said...

The show is consistently good, the acting excellent. Your use of some of my fave character actors is just icing on the cake. The action last night was punctuated with some comic bits that had me rolling. Tig looking at the shrooms like a little kid looking at someone else's ice cream cone was so funny. Bobby is the voice of wisdom again, love the Boone man.

SP in PHX said...

You both keep us guessing, riveted, and compelled! The interactive complexities of this show, the plot, characters and club setting can capture everyone's interest. This snowball is rolling larger and larger. Just wait and see the following grow!

Elizabeth said...

I was sobbing from the vote on during this episode. The writing and acting were incredible. You could tell that each actor really gave his/her all to the performance.
Thank you.

Miffed67 said...

With the advent of DVR, it's been a very long time since I MADE time to be in front of the TV for the airing of an episode. Sons has become the exception to this rule. The hubby and I are riveted to our couch on Tues. nights! Major, major kudos to Katey for her performance, she's been such a joy to watch since the beginning of the show and I can't imagine anyone else playing Gemma....there's just nobody who could do it as well as she. Kurt, keep up the outstanding work...you've created one of the best shows I've had the pleasure to become addicted to in a LONG time!

andrea mangiri said...

i agree with the author and i say that the season 2 script is more entangled and deeper than 1st season....FKN' LIKE IT

MadDog said...

So ironic that you posted this review. Probably the only thing I enjoyed more over the last 48 hours was your tweet to the commercial floggers. Good Lord people, watching Sunny immediately after that first hour would have fried my brain anyway. I had really been hoping that Katey's work would get noticed come awards time this go-round because she's been so consistently good as Gemma over the last two years, but I think she took care of that all by herself Tuesday night. And Kurt, I gotta tell you, I don't think I've seen better pacing and story buildup like what has happened over the last several episodes from any series ever. Not the Sopranos. Not even your old haunt at The Shield. Simply amazing. All the cast is doing a great job, but thanks for letting Tommy Flanagan flex his chops. And nice job having Johnny Lewis' Sack come into his own. That's been fun to watch.

Anonymous said...

I really didn't want to get hooked on this show, but it's been excellent since I started watching, so much I bought the DVD of the first season. Katie Segal has given a great performance. The end Tuesday was incredibly emotional. I'm looking forward to see how Jax, Clay and Gemma grow. And I want to know when this show is going to be renewed for season three.

embendick said...

Hello! I am a international high school English/Drama teacher who has taught in Taiwan, Syria, and now in an Alaskan village. I'm familiar with so many different global approaches to good writing and storytelling, and may I say, Sons of Anarchy embodies the best aspects of drama. I am in awe of your writing and directing! I'm such a fan of your show Sons of Anarchy. I do have one question for you. Is the character Deputy Chief David Hale based on the dynamic Reverend Hale in Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible"? I'm dying to know, as I sure see similarities. Again, I really admire YOUR work. The actors/actresses on SoA are ALL so fantastic, that their collective success must come from working with a stellar director! Hats of to you, the cast, and the network for giving good drama to the public! Like my friend bcatahay mentioned--you are welcome here in Alaska anytime !!!

WI_Debi said...

My only fear of Emmy nods (not that you don't deserve them!) is that the suits will want you to start "toning it down".

Yeah, I'll be the first to admit it, I'm selfish. It's "our" show. We've been here since the beginning. Why should the late comers get to dictate content?

Not that I think you would cave but if you have a 3rd Season contract the network pretty much has final say do they not?

I don't know how all the legal stuff works but if you can get Emmy's AND keep the integrity of the show, sweep the fuckers! : D

Julie said...

It was amazing. Katey blew me away. I sat there bawling while watching, knowing how this revelation is going to change so many lives. Fanfuckingtastic!

tonilost said...

Kurt, you turned out to be correct on the Dollhouse being canceled thing when you argued with the D-girl.

Anonymous said...

Was glad to see that things are finally starting to come together. The constant chaos, with no resolution of any of the issues, was beginning to wear thin. Best episode yet. Also, could you please tell who did the music in the last scene. Great pairing!

s said...

It had been so long since I've actually cared about characters on a TV show - thank you so much for reminding me how much fun it can be !
Amazing show, cast, writing - flawless.

Anonymous said...

Kurt, just watched the episode at Spain (don´t ask me how) and the final scene made cry. Great acting, great music and awesome writing. For someone that has gone thru a similar situation (a close familiar being harrased without you knowing), I felt exactly like Jacks.
Long live the SOA!!

Javier (greatest spanish fan)