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Monday, December 27, 2010

THE BESTED OF 2010


As I review the BEST OF 2010 lists, I cringe at the some of the names the blogosphere is giving season three of Sons of Anarchy.  "Uneven" "Problematic" "Counter-intuitive".  It's fucking hard to watch your child being bullied and yet I've realized that one must live and die by buzz. 

The truth is a lot of bloggers and critics are too fucking lazy to actually watch the show and form an original opinion, so they'll let a few other critics determine what the show is.  In season two, a few critics tagged Sons as one of the best shows on television.  That buzz was picked up and so season two was labeled "brilliant".  This season, a few critics struggled with the Ireland/Baby narrative and labeled those middle episodes as confusing and off-point.  That buzz was also picked up and so season three is being labeled "not-so-brilliant".  The reality is that neither assessment is true.  It's just that one is easier to accept that the other.

I, of course, did not see a problem with season three.  Obviously.  In my mind, it was the most complex and in-depth storytelling we've ever done on the show.  Perhaps that's the problem.  I do know that anything I say in defense of the show will land as sour grapes and desperate, so I'll let a critic describe my feelings.  Tim Goodman, former critic for the SF Chronicle, now head TV critic for the Hollywood Reporter listed SOA as one of the top 18 shows of the year (#13).  This was his follow up assessment --

Sons of Anarchy
 
Of all the excellent dramas here, fan reaction to SOA in Season 3 is the most interesting, and baffling. This outlaw biker-club series from Kurt Sutter embraces its heightened gangster mentality, its Hamlet-on-a-Harley agenda. You’ll find few series whose fans are as rabid and outspoken. The story line that took the club from the fictional Northern California town of Charming to Northern Ireland had a lot of viewers and critics claiming it meandered and that the skillfully riveting first and last episodes held together a soft middle. It’s too tough on Sutter; any creator/writer/showrunner ought to take chances — that’s essential to greatness. Had he kept SOA in Charming for a third year, playing the same tune, the backlash would rightly have been more fierce. Fans ultimately might look back at this ambitious season as instrumental in the series achieving brilliance.

Besides, who wants a show that resists change and shies from a creative leap? If you want that, turn on broadcast TV. Now that these shows are gone, you’ll get plenty of settling.


67 comments:

Mayo said...

I don't understand how people could not love season three. It was awesome! So what if it didn't take place in charming? Belfast is inportant to Sam Cro, and I loved all the background info we got. If you watch every episode, it is not had to keep up. SOA is THE beat show. Good job Kurt.

kalipornia said...

the shit with jax and the boy and his new family was fucking amazing. i didn't know you had that particular gut wrench in you.

i liked it, loved it, all of it.

hmmm. i know you might take this to your papa bear heart but i thought that some of the acting was a bit stilted. even from some seasoned actors. not katey of course, she was fucking brilliant. and charle is too hot to notice bad acting... especially when you know that he's working hard to cover that brit lilt of his.

Tee said...

Well, alright! I was one of those "soft center" critics, but I never stopped watching and can't wait til next year because it's good. Nothing in life always goes the way "I" would plan it anyway, but I'd never give it up!

UnHoly Diver said...

I, for one, loved this past season. I was also baffled by the "OMG, what has he done to our show???" reaction from other fans and some critics. This would be counter to the attitude I normally project, but sameness(is that a word?) can be boring and tedious at times. Change can be good, and it was in Season 3 of SOA. So; keep on keepin' on, Kurt. You rock.

zeusgazette.com said...

Kurt

Most of these critics dont know good tv when they see it. Sopranos got panned on some seasons as well. SOA is interesting, innovative and has great storytelling...to me one of the best on TV.....its on the same level as The Shield maybe even better..Zman sends

Ruxin said...

Goodman is right on the money, but what you're referring to wasn't actually his Top of 2010 list. He posted a ranked Top 10 a few days earlier, whereas this is an "almost made it" list.

Just thought I'd point that out.

Anonymous said...

Seems like you denigrate a few thoughtful reviewers who had issues with the way the show went by lumping them all together like that...

My thought was that I was happy to see them go to Ireland, but wish they'd gone sooner and resolved the Abel thing more quickly. There could have been a million ways to keep them in Ireland, and yet keep the show moving along at a more rapid clip (some sort of quid pro quo for the return of Abel, for example).

Overall it was a fun season to watch, but not nearly as much "appointment" TV as the first couple of seasons were for me. I'm looking forward to season 4...

Jen By Design said...

I loved season 3 of SOA.
Kurt may have a point about the bloggers not having the time to devote the necessary time to watching the episodes which is more of a reflection on themselves and their lack of respect for writing or blogging. If you're going to write about something then you damn well better know what you're talking about and have a coherent argument.

The episodes set in Belfast were subtle, powerful, funny (the scene in the clubhouse were SAMBELL questions if SAMCROW are carrying???) and tense. I think Katey did a stand-up give-her-all- the-awards-going performance. I shouted at the screen during the scene in the convent. As for the scene in the market where Jax follows Abel - another shout at the screen.

Every writer needs to take risks and I think Kurt took the right direction with this season. John Teller had been such a presence during the first two series that it was only right to examine some of his actions.

I was left wondering at the end of the season (and throughout if I'm honest) what happened to all the tension between the various club members that emerged in the previous seasons...on reflection of S3 I like to think that some of those tensions still exist.

Keep up the fabulous work Kurt and I cannot wait for season 4!!

adamw54 said...

season 3 was amazingly kick ass and kurt is right! critics only said what they had said because they were too lazy to REALLY watch season 3 and get the meaning behind it all! besides, it would be awesome to see season 3 as a non stop rampage brutal kick ass and kill people season but the way that kurt took it instead is just as awesome as the other previous seasons. i loved everything about it and i do not care if others hate it. it was a beautiful season and if the critics wanna critique soa so much then they might as well stick to their abc, nbc, cbs shows and fuck off of soa! only true fans love the show!

stereogirl said...

I don't understand at all why people had a problem with season 3. I absofuckinglutely loved it. The finale had me glued to the edge of my seat and covered in goosebumps. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone that hasn't watched it, but when Jax had to make his major decision regarding Abel, I teared up - no word of a lie. It broke my heart in such a beautiful way. I don't care what the critics have to say and the fans that had a problem with the baby story line clearly have no heart. I thought it was beautiful and added depth to SOA that you don't see on most TV shows. I've been watching the best of TV lists for the last few weeks and it astounds me that SOA isn't on all of them. I'm posting my own top ten list when I get the time and SOA is going to be at the top of the list. It's just a matter of finding nine other shows worthy of being included along side it. Not an easy task. You folks set the bar pretty high.

Dr. Gonzo said...

Wasn't a big fan of Jimmy and that whole kidnap arc. I still think SoA is great drama, and I like being challenged. It's your story to tell, and I am still hooked.

Flore said...

I think that this season was really good... Little by little we know a little better SAMCRO.

Charlie Hunnam play is very very good... The way he screamed at the end of the second season, and then the way he look in the first minutes of the third one ! Wow !

I read a lot of reviews saying that Ireland was long, bla bla bla. I don't think so.

And, oh God, the season finale !!! Probably the best episode !!
I don't know what you're gonna write for the season 4, but I think that it's gonna be awesome !!!
I love one of the last pictures of the episode, when Gemma smiles, on her bed, after reading the letter, and then, we see Tara... Oh God !!!

Anyway, you did an amazing job for this season ! Love that show !
Merry belated Christmas !

x

flore
http://wildwoodflower-daybyday.blogspot.com/

WI_Debi said...

Rabid? Outspoken? Us? No way! We just don't like our programming spoon fed to us by corporate wonks. We're that weird demographic that likes to actually *think* about what we've seen and discuss it. We like to try and figure out what the motive for this or that tactical manuever was and then see if we're as twisted as you are. Sometimes, we're MORE so. I have to admit though, more often than not, you blindside me and I *hate* that. I don't think (aside from Football) any other program I've ever watched engages me as physically as Sons of Anarchy. I've actually shouted in public places "kill her, kill her NOW" or "Sutter you evil genius rat bastard!" or made me so emotionally euphoric or drained after an episode and begging for more. Sons is definitely addicting and the more you watch, the more emotionally vested you become in each character. What's not to like??

KennyO said...

The Northern Ireland storyline, the connections there, the search for Abel, the whole third season was exceptional and powerful, nuanced and ferocious. It’s so refreshing having a show that doesn’t mail it in with boilerplate episodes. About the only “beef” I have is the end of the montage of Jax and the adoptive parents, when the father drops some coins for a homeless man. It was like, okay, I get it, the dude’s a good man, a deserving father. Well done, keep pushing the envelope and to quote Robin Williams, "Joke 'em if they can't take a fuck."

Merenwench said...

As I watched the show this year I had a nagging suspicion that something was amiss with Jax and Stahl. I never got it quite right and glad I didn't because your ending was infinitely better than anything I could have imagined. My suggestion to anyone that tells me they didn't care for S3 as much is to go back knowing what the end result is and watch the season again. Then you really see the brilliance, depth, and necessity of this story arc.

Cameo said...

I can't disagree more. My three top episodes was the first with that ending with the great song "Daddy's gonna kill me" and of course the last episode had me totally fooled. I also loved the one were jack watched the adopted couple of his baby and was completely moved. It was genious! I think that one counts towards the middle doesn't it? :)

Amanda said...

I LOVE SOA no matter what and yes i did find some of season 3 was a bit slower then the other 2 seasons but I agree with Kurt if we want 7 seasons or more out of this show you need back ground information to help get us there other wise the show becomes a soap opera and you find your self repeating the first story line by like season four.

Though I was a bit off with season 3 at first, details wise and story wise i found it to be Kurt stutters best work and anyone who says other wise or questions Mr. sutters views or talents is as I can tell very stupid and shouldn't be sharing there thoughts with others.

So kurt your work is amazing, you deserve every awatd going along with your very talented wife and cast. Don't take critics personal most of them wouldn't know talent if it bitched slapped them in the face. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!! WE ALL LOVE SOA!!!

Kellie Schorr said...

Didn't know there was a word limit to this comment thing. Just lost a really long comment into blogspot cyberspace.

Shorter version: I grew up around an MC. My uncle is vietnam vet who came back unable/unwilling to deal with the way society was - and joined a brotherhood.

I always hated the way bikers are show in media - either neanderthal assholes looking for a fight or creepy loners. I watch SOA because its real. It's the way his life was. Its the way me growing up watching his life was. It's like watching him as a young man again in his triumph, tragedy, chaos, and life.

The Ireland/baby thing didn't connect with me. It was the first thing in this show that was "unlikely". MC's involved with corrupt law, vendetta driven federal agents, deals gone bad, love, sex, beatings - I can see. But my uncle and his brothers wouldn't end up in Ireland on an exotic adventure/baby chase. But the season as a whole, and the show as a whole - is great.

Still, I'd rather this show takes the risks it did that stagnate into a weekly blurb on TV guide that says "Jax fights with law. Club goes on a ride. Gemma kicks someone's ass" every single week. Keep taking risks. Its in my top 5. As my uncle taught me - "If you want something, fight for it."

hate_machine said...

I also don't understand why people have so many harsh things to say about season 3. The storytelling was brilliant. As a fan I loved that I "hated" the anticipation and buildup to getting to Belfast, I loved that I cried over the anguish of the baby being given away to another family, my heart broke for Tara when Jax pushed her away and I laughed my ass off at all the crazy club dynamics. And this is what any great story does..it makes you love, hate, laugh, cry and feel everything else in between. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I do feel that there are too many people forming the generic opinion of what a few "well respected" critics say and leaving it at that.

Marci "Sorcha" Stewart said...

Kurt, I think Season 3 was absolutely brilliant. I loved tuning in and watching every episode. Actually, this was the first season I started watching SOA thanks to an online friend's recommendation, and I am so glad I did. I think SOA is one of the best TV dramas ever written! I loved Season 3 so much, I went out and bought Seasons 1 and 2 and watched them right away.

As far as my opinion, taking the crew to Ireland was creative and brilliant and gave viewers a whole lot of background info on the club.

Thank you, Kurt, for giving viewers a hell of a great show!

Blessings,
Marci Stewart
Pennsylvania

Darren Bishop said...

Season three is the best season of one of the best series on television. It just keeps getting better by the year, all thou every season is awesome I would have to say that season 3 is the best with the most happening in it. I can not believe any critic would be dumb enough to label it as not so brilliant, hell I am dieing to see season 4 and have to wait almost a year to see it, I hope that Kurt will keep it going for at least another three seasons!!!

Hatfield said...

I still feel that you are too closed-off to the idea that this season just didn't work as well for some people, claiming that they "struggled" as opposed to just not enjoying it as much. For my part, I didn't like it as much, but that didn't make it a bad show. I still watched every Tuesday if I could, and on Wednesdays when I couldn't, and cared about the outcome. "The Wire" is frequently referred to as the best show ever, and yet many people did not love its final season. Has that hurt its esteem in the long run, or my own personal feelings for it? Not one bit. It's ok for parts of something great to be less great. And make no mistake, whatever I thought of the season, Sons of Anarchy is a great show, and I look forward to its continued greatness in Season 4.

John Dodd said...

My ol' lady and I will record several weeks od SOA and watch 3-4 episodes back to back ..... When we see the reaper fade in at the end of the show we both yell "FUUUUUUCK'"... We could sit and watch an entire season in one sitting...
A brilliantly written and produced show Kurt!!! Anyone stating anything to the contrary needs their balls ripped off!!
....The season 3 finale blew us away...It was like...FUCKIN' A!!!!
....Salivating for season 4..
THANKYOU KURT

Anonymous said...

these critics need to watch the show from beginning to end and to not thinking what it is about. the show is really awesome and looks at different aspects of life

howardsfv said...

Watching SOA from day one up until the last minute of season three leaves me fulfilled and waiting and wanting much more. I really believe the naysayers of season three are short-sighted, missing the big picture.
This is a continuing drama, not one that ends with season three. It is evident here that there is so much more of this story to be told. That's what keeps me coming back, besides the fact I love the characters and the great ensemble of actors that portrays them.
It is a fucking TV show, it is not a reality show. I watch because I crave the hour I get to escape.
If I want reality I'll get on my bike and take a ride, usually a non-eventful ride, but a ride none the less.
I put very little faith in critics, proof positive when they said Tron was a great movie, no it wasn't, it wasn't even a good movie, it sucked.
It must be a hard row to hoe when you have so many different opinions being offered up that you never asked for. The great thing about you is you seem to listen to your natural instincts, you follow what your heart says is the right thing to do, even if it is met with resistance from above or below. That is a very admirable quality and one deserving of respect.
I most certainly don't have to say do what you think is best, I know you will, and I thank you for it.
Howard Levine

Shogun said...

Kurt,they can trash talk all they want.It was must see TV for me ;and I thought the final episode was pure genius.(I knew "John" had some help dieing!{or is he?).

RLT said...

Take risks Mr. Sutter, please take more risks! We, your rabid and outspoken fans, are so utterly grateful for a storyline that asks us think, feel, and yes, even rage about what we are watching.

Take us where you will Sir, for we will surely follow.

R.L. Terrill

Jackie said...

This will be my last comment because honestly, I have come to realize that listening to you constantly complain and reading the long list of posts kissing your ass afterwards have become what ruins Sons of Anarchy for me. I thought it would be exciting to get a glimpse into the mind of someone whose work you really enjoy, unfortunately getting a glimpse of your personality is what sidetracked Season 3 for me.

At first it was exciting, like "wow, here's a Hollywood writer living the dream and I can follow him on Twitter, on Facebook". It has become this predictable cycle of you bitching and whining when critics or fans don't like something and then an ass licking festival with every person who posts. Is that why you posts these bitchy rants? So you can ease your insecurities by coming back to read every post that puckers up to your butthole?

If someone asks you a question that isn't to your intellectual standard you dump on them. Guess what, not everyone following you is a writer or Hollywood ass licker like the rest of the people in L.A., some are just fans. I'm sure you were just a fan once too, but didn't have the technology to reach out so easily to the creators and writers of these shows. You would have probably said something stupid too or had your own criticisms.

Blogging, Twittering, Facebooking...have ruined great TV. Most people are aware of the blood, sweat and tears that go into the creative process, of course you probably wouldn't give people the credit for that, you'd knock them for not being to your "level" or part of the "club". I'm sorry I ever started reading your blogs and twitterings, which I won't anymore. You only respond to people who lick your balls or jump on a chance to diss people who ask you stupid questions. I look forward to a helping of Season 4, without a side of your bitchy negativity and the subsequent butthole licking you seek out online. Buy some Midol, I'm sure you can afford it.

Sarah said...

Those who take the time to belittle and ridicule clearly do not understand the essence of good storytelling. Just because every single detail about character arcs and plot lines are not spoon-fed to them, it is ridiculed. They form half-ass, negative statements rather than be writers who even begin to do as much hard work as you have put into this series. Season 3 was absolutely amazing as you are letting the mythology of SOA unfold to the viewers. Learning about the history of SAMCRO, how the relationship with the Irish started, and all Teller family drama that ensued was amazing to watch. I think it was important as a part of the whole series to learn about that. The season finale was great. I thought it was quite poetic in how it all went down towards the end, and I think only viewers who have watched since season 1 could truly understand that retaliation. It was almost like this season showed that the “this where we have been”, and now with all the changes that are about to happen in Charming, myself along with the rest of the fans are interested to see what happens next with SAMCRO.
I think Charlie Hunnam gets better and better every season. His performance this season was amazing, especially in “Bainne,” he really hit it home. Katey as always gave a riveting performance this season and I am so happy that she is FINALLY getting the recognition she deserves. Extend my congratulations to her on her golden globe nomination. The entire cast always seems to step up their game with each season and with your great writing it’s a great combination for great television. Season 3 gave a lot drama, suspense, action, and a bit of humor and I look forward to season 4. Keep up the great work Kurt your writing is amazing, and thank you for giving us television viewers a kick-ass show.

Hope you and your family have a great new year!

indianacat aka lowecat said...

Tim Goodman is right that years from now, the idiots who lambasted S3 of SOA will look back on it as the Holy Grail.

Any artist worth their salt will go out on the proverbial creative limb instead of clinging to the tried and true, only to get it up the ass without benefit of lube for doing so. (Unlike Tig, some bloggers and critics are NOT humane).

The whinin' and moanin', pissin' and groanin' goin' on about S3 reminds me a lot of the year that KISS put out their one/only concept album, The Elder. It bombed commercially and critically. Except with me. I liked it. Course, I also like Alan Parsons Project, the king of concept, but that's another story for another day.

The Elder took the listener on a musical journey. Anyone with a brain and the imagination to use it could follow the journey. It wasn't mindless filler.

Now, years later, bloggers and critics alike are revisiting The Elder and finding 'hey, this is good shit after all'. And Gene Simmons is laughing his ass off all the way to the bank all these years later, because he stuck to his creative guns.

So fuck the whiners and the crybabies who said that S3 plodded along with the Ireland and Baby Abel arcs, and only the beginning and the end were worth it. They were watchin' with blinders on. IF they were watchin' at all.

Buzz is just a bunch of words picked up by others and often reworked to fit the way those others want 'em to fit. Think the game 'telephone'. The end result is often no where near how it began.

You did good, my friend. At least in this person's opinion.

Anonymous said...

I had no problem with this third season overall, but I see some weird stuff on the plot.

I only will point out two scenes that shocked me. The first one, where the crew is in Belfast they left Seamus (I don't remember his name) alone to phone his fellow to abandon the storage. They suspected of him too so it's not very beliable. The second one is when Tyra can escape for the Calavera's guy and DIDN'T EVEN TRY IT!!! I didn't understand why she didn't threaten or kill the guy when the girlfriend was on the bathroom.

Those plot issues are the most important errors for me, I didn't have any problem with the Belfast storyline and Abel thing.

Thank you for the post

Geoff said...

I thought S3 started great, sagged a bit in the middle, and had a wonderful final two episodes that pulled it together.

I believe you when you say that the Ireland trip was needed to set the framework for the rest of the series, when it makes it to 7 seasons, and I appreciated it for that.

That doesn't deny the fact that the Ireland part still sagged a bit, and I don't know how else it wouldn't have sagged and not stayed true to what you wanted it to do. On my part, I'll take the sagging as something that was needed for the rest of the greatness that will come; all good stories have some part that's needed even if it doesn't come across as "action" as the rest of the story.

A world where everyone has the same opinion is a very boring world indeed :)

Fritz Geil said...

I agree that season three is your most complex and deepest writing yet. There were upsets, twists, turns, shocks. To paraphrase Chibs, I laughed, I cried, I came. Absolutely brilliant. I really love the philosophy that you espoused in that you find out what the viewers expect, then do something different. This is what keeps us on the collective edge of our seat. We never know what is coming, only that it will be interesting. Sons of Anarchy is one of only two shows that I continue to watch on a regular basis, as I prefer to do my own thinking, and love to have to think in order to "get" a show. Unlike the drooling masses, I don't need or want my television spoon fed to me in homeopathic doses. Give it to me raw, and I'll digest it on my own.

Keep writing it the way you are, fuck the critics. You have a huge fan base, and we won't be swayed by the ignorant ramblings of a thumb-fingered su-human primate (television critic) too lazy to actually watch the show and understand what it's all about. Too many of these critics don't understand the nature of a serial, which is that to understand, you must start at the beginning. Once you know the characters, you can follow the story.

sonny said...

I loved Bainne. It was a great piece of storytelling. It was beyond television, like most of this season. I was a bit annoyed by some subplots during the season (in particular the Tara one). They were somehow weak and, above all, they raised too many questions in my mind. They were in some moments obstacles between me and the pleasure coming from the story. No story is perfect by the way so I don't bother.

What surprises me instead is your crusade against the critics. it seems you pretend that this specialistic audience accustomed to the television storytelling understand for example the delicate burial gesture of Jax with the Petrie or find consistency in the Unser plot (that was a difficult one, admit it). You pretend that critics favor your literary use of symbols instead of the heavy, didactic, prosaic use of them in a show like, just to pick up a random one, Boardwalk Empire (in my opinion, a cold blooded show kept alive mostly by great actors).

Given the fact that every interpretation is a kind of misunderstanding (I bet I like your show for the wrong reasons), there are probably as much wrong reasons to like your work as there are to dislike it. Why bother? A negative critic doesn't change the quality of your show nor a positive critic or comment which maybe isn't able to understand what exactly you are trying to tell.

What is this obsession of yours with a bunch of people probably disorientated by what you yourself seem to think is a very difficult, very unorthodox storytelling? Let it go, man.

You are a great writer in my humble opinion, but a very annoying blogger.

Mark Alspaugh said...

I love SOA. I look forward to it every week. I don't ever pay attention to a critic. I watch SOA because I love the show. I watch because I can't wait to see what happens next. If I didn't like what was going on with the show (which won't happen) I would not watch. There are very few shows on TV that I really look forward to and SOA is at the top of the list. So screw the haters Kurt, they are jealous for what you have done and what you have. Know that there is an Army of supporters that Thank You for your hard work. Keep the Faith. Never give up. Keep doing what you are doing, knowing that there are people out there like me who respect and love your work.

jason said...

Me and my husband was blown away and loved every second!!!!!!!It was the highlight of our weeks every Tuesday we couldnt wait to watch Sons!I dont get what people mean when they say it was bad, It was a way better ending then the Sopranos I am glad you finished everything up, and the part when Opie got to kill Stahl and Cheebs got to kill Jimmy that was such sweet revenge , I cant say enuff about how brilliant this show is. and Katy dont get me started she is the ONLY one that could play that part she is the best actress in the world she plays the shit out of this part of Jemma!!!

tomh said...

just finished watching. awesome season. thank you!

top moments of the season (hopefully without spoilers exactly)

(1) jax watching his kid -- slow motion scene
(2) resolution between tig and kozik
(3) last episode resolution (though it took me a while to figure out what happened)
(4) 'i accept that' refrain
(5) when not injured, jax swagger
(6) 'i don't recognize your bullshit m.c.'

Anonymous said...

The writing, depth of characters, and genius of it all keeps me coming back for more - cannot wait for the next season. I liked your diversions, twists and shock that your writing has done this past season - made me go out and I bought seasons 1 and 2 to see what I have overlooked.

Lana said...

I cannot believe the criticism this season has received. I loved Season 3! It held my attention all of the way through. I thought the season end was killer, I didn't see it coming at all. I spent the month before the season opener coercing my boyfriend into watching the back seasons. It was only because I had already introduced him to RESCUE ME that he started watching them. By episode 2 he was addicted too. No matter what was going on in our lives, we sat down once a week and watched each new episode together. I am definitely not a chick-flick kind of a girl, but one of the reasons that I adore your show is your wife Katey Segal. I have been a huge fan of hers since I saw her as a Harlette with Bette Midler years ago! Gemma kicks ass! Going through withdrawals until the new season.

Anonymous said...

I can say that SOA is a very good show. The character portrayal is convincing. There has to be something about a show when you actually here people talk about it in stores, men wanting to get home to watch it with their sons. I get chicken skin because I never know what will happen. I think what people are trying to say is that it is so belivable they did not want to se it go.At any rate you have my vote and I will be waiting for more.

Rob said...

Best season to date!!! Screw the crittics!!!

Anonymous said...

I think on some level you misunderstand the issue that some critics had with the season...it wasn't the going to Ireland or the delving into that particular mytholodgy that they took issue with, but with the fact that the Sons were bounced around like pawns for half the season, that we spent way to much time with characters we didn't really care about, and that ultimately, we didn't learn all that much about John Teller and the origins of the club. There were also some soap-operish machinations, from stalling certain developments (the party in Ireland as soon as they arrive for example) to completely unnecessary twists (Jax and Trinity). All that, coupled with a not very strong Charming plot resulted in what felt like a bit of an uneven season. That being said, I still kind of loved it. Certainly loved the first few and last few episodes. It wasn't as tight, plotwise and emotionally as the second season, and I think that is all the critics have been saying. But man, just tell you story, develop these characters, and let us spend more time in this world.

Char said...

I think Kurt is right. These negative comments could not be left by the die hard, patch wearing, "Shut up...I'm watching SOA!" audience. I have been a fan since the beginning and in my opinion, season three was right on the money. With the progression of the show, including the mounting tensions with the IRA, venturing to Ireland was a natural evolution. Kudos to Kurt Sutter. You're brilliant...never let anyone convince you otherwise.

Michele Robinson said...

Mr. Sutter, I just read the posts on Facebook regarding best/worst tv shows of 2010 and just finished reading your blog.

I have told you this once before; I quit watching "Mad Men" because I became board with the show! Taking the Sons to Ireland this season was one of the best things you could of done. I just finished watching season one and season two last night. I have saved season 3 on my DVR until season 3 DVD is released. I have to say that to me season 3 has been the best of the 3 seasons.

You are a genius and you know how the true fans feel. Because of your show I have met so many wonderful people on Facebook who are also Sons fans.

Every Tuesday night during those 13weeks we have a discussion page on Facebook and as we watch each episode we are back and forth with our comments. You have brought so many people, once complete stangers, together each Tuesday night at 10:00! And for that I thank you.

Fuck the critics and fuck the best/worst list of 2010! We know what the best show on TV is and it is called: "SONS OF ANARCHY"

The Zombie said...

Kurt,
Don't sweat the haters. As an aritis if you can envoke a reaction, either negative or positive you are doing something right. I can say I have been hooked since day one and this last season truly upped the ante. The end was somethign that didn't even cross my mind and I have to say I sat back after it was done and said WOW!! I can't wait for season 4 and say let the haters hate, it is free press and will make people want to see what all the hate is about. :)

Anonymous said...

I honestly stopped watching the show midway point. That Overseas baby shit was garbage...What about the club bro???

Anonymous said...

Love it. Keep it up. We never miss it!

Anonymous said...

Love the show, wish the season was longer...... PHerrick of WA

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sutter, ya gotta stop sweating critics. A bunch of peeps who rip others work? Who cares what they say. Heck, what makes them so fuckin' brilliant?

Creating something like SOA; thats brilliant my man!

Please, please keep it up for the full 7 seasons(i think i read that is your plan).

Anonymous said...

i loved it!!! Cant wait it the next season. My co workers and I watched it every night at work. Keep up the good work.

Belair.K said...

Hi Kurt,
I'm surprised to see the negative feedback. Sons is by far my favorite show-I was hooked on Episode 1. I didn't know how you were going to top Season 2 but you did. As for the actors, they're great. I've been a long-time fan of Katey and she's incredible in this show. I'm looking forward to season 4. Keep up the good work.

kchantelle said...

SoA is one of the best shows ever to come to television. In my house we watch it like a religion and during the off season we watch previous seasons and ponder possible characters of the upcoming season just to get by. Praying that this will be the first tv series that never sees an end, i dont think i could take it

Anonymous said...

I think all 3 seasons of SOA have been excellent. As you explained many moons ago (after 1st season) that you were going to go into the background of the club so everyone could relate to the story. I guess crtics forget about that except when they go with a sequel that makes no sense. Keep up the excellent work on this show. Bikers in SoFl love the show and don't want it any other way. The hell with the critics and do what is right by YOU!!! We love you Kurt, keep your head up :)

Nico'Thom said...

I don't care what others say, I loved this season better than the previous two.

Anonymous said...

I never miss an episode! However, I did feel the baby thing drug on to long but the end of season 3 made everything alright. As a fan I felt jemma did everything in her power to sabotage the club. It finally got to where I was like "hold it shes turning herself in again?" and when she stabbed the guy and stole his truck to come out of hiding and turn herself in just to see the baby one time before heading to prison on a double murder frame job? It feels like you'll write anything to keep her on screen. She's great I've always been a fan but the club is the heart of this show.

DB Cooper said...

I like the show, and appreciate the risk you took this season.

I think the Irish stuff was ultimately unsuccessful, however. I'd have loved to have learned the "mythology" of the Belfast charter. Instead, I saw a bunch of guys chasing their tails, while the skeleton Irish charter got pushed around by everyone. Lastly, I think you have to admit that Abel is nothing more than a McGuffin, who Jax cares about to varying degrees, depending on the need to drive plot (or releal character, to be fair) in a given episode.

I also disagree with your approach of attacking your audience for not clearly receiving the message you were trying to convey. If the reader/viewer misses the point, it's ultimately the writer's problem. That's the stakes we accept as communicators.

Lastly, I don't understand how you dismiss critical response as irrelevant, then post a favorable review as rebuttal? So we're supposed to ignore critics... except when they're Tim Goodman?

Best wishes for the new year, and I'll keep watching season 4.

Anonymous said...

I personally did not enjoy the Belfast stuff, although I really loved the episodes leading up to it (which were the ones that were complained about the most from the critics). However, I also understand how the Belfast stuff was necessary to the overarching narrative of the entire show. I think what often gets lost by the critics is that they view either the individual episode or even the individual season without taking into consideration how those episodes and seasons fit into the overarching narrative of the show as a whole. I guess as a viewer I feel like i have to look at each episode and season as a piece of a puzzle, and the picture won't be complete until the show has ended.

And I guess I feel like many critics take the Hamlet metaphors too literally. Or at least I hope they do, because I sure as hell don't want Tara and Gemma dying the way that Gertrude and Ophelia did.

Outsider said...

Goodman's right! And Bravo to You for Taking Chances!
Goodman's a hometown boy from San Fran but most know he's got great Taste.
I wasn't that happy with the Ireland mission but for completely personal bias reasons. I can't stand the accent. I can say this, I feel, because I'm half irish.
The accent has a syrupy sweet melodic quality that drives me up the Wall. And I've been either attacked or stalked by two different, hulking, perved out latently bisexual Irishmen in the last ten years. I'd like to say in Steven Rea's memorable movie quote, paraphrased, "They're picking up their Teeth with Broken Fingers". I didn't maim them but they know enough to keep their distance.
But anyone with any sense/taste knows that SOA and Boardwalk Empire are the best two Episodics on TV. And the best few TV Episodics have writing that wayyyy exceeds most Film Blockbusters in Quality.
Yes I'm glad the Club is back in Charming and Yes I'd love to see them Battle Out of Mexico fighting the mexican mafia across Borders. So Keep up the Chance Taking and Brilliance!
From a fellow Anger Addict.
(well actually former Anger Addict...I gave it up..)
(too much like Meth...and that shit don't fly with)
(PWD)

Tattoo said...

Everyone is a critic, those that don't like the show should move on, those that do like it are called fans. Kurt, you can't please those who don't like it, the rest of us love it! The twist in the final episode of season 3 was fantastic.

Anonymous said...

I don't read TV critics but I did visit the forum at Television Without Pity several times this season. Fans there were unhappy. Some commom fan complaints were: [1] the writing seemed designed around giving Katey Emmy-worthy scenes / too much Gemma time on a show supposedly about a MC. (To which I say, RIDICULOUS. The show is about the FAMILY that rules that MC. And there can never be too much Katey.) [2] Too much time in Ireland -- too drawn out for dramatic effect. (Stupid. The almost real-time effect of so many days spent in Northern Ireland was an almost "24"-like quality.) [3] Too many plot devices, or people suddenly becoming stupid for a moment in order to advance the plot, or events happening which were telegraphed way in advance (like Trinity being Jax's sister AND them hooking up). (Eh, I kind of actually agree with that one. But I don't care that much. It didn't bother me like it does some people.) [4] Little nitpicks, like bad accents or people saying Ireland instead of Northern Ireland. (God, people, don't you have anything better to do?)

All that being said, I loved the season and mourned its end. Oh - and the finale was the single best ride I have ever had on a TV show, or movie for that matter. Holy crap. Simply unbelievable. I have never felt such prolonged dread, then surprise, elation, and finally uneasiness (at where the show is headed next). Simply put, BRILLIANT.

Anonymous said...

You are a genius writer and show-runner. I loved Seasons one and two. For me (and this is just a fan speaking), I enjoyed this season and the Abel/Irish storyline itself. That said, I did have some issues with Season 3.

With seasons one and two you set a very fast, strong pace and then it's almost like you stood the series on it's nose by suddenly slamming on the breaks and then, just about the time I adjust to your new, slower pace, suddenly (upon the club's return to Charming) you gun it again. These abrupt pace changes, combined with the twists and turns of the complicated Irish plot, made it a challenge to absorb and enjoy the storyline.

Personally, I would have liked to see about one half less episode in Charming at the beginning of the season and one half less episode set in Ireland and one full episode more in Charming at the end of the season. But hey, hindsight is always 20-20 and it's very easy to be an 'armchair' show-runner!

Also, I have a love/hate relationship with the guest stars. Instead of being "the season of the baby" it became 'the season of the guest star." I love the positive attention for the show and it was kind of fun (especially S. King as the cleaner) but it almost overshadowed the story and the real stars (Your writing, Katey, Charlie, Ron, Maggie, etc.) of the show. Again, this is just an "armchair show-runner" thing, I would have liked to have had the guest stars spread out over a couple or even three seasons, rather than all packed into one.

As to your writing, I especially enjoyed the scenes with H. Holbrook and Katey but I know that the great work that you (and they) did will be overlooked by the critics and the academy alike because it happened so early in the season and because they are idiots! (LOL)

All that said, Your work is brilliant. It's better than anything on any of the four broadcast networks and quality-wise it rivals Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, especially in the area of writing and when you factor in the size of their budgets versus yours and all of the support that they have gotten, your show - pound for pound/dollar for dollar - is actually better. You employ a great writing staff and a talented cast that clearly work well together.

I will miss the fantastic performances of Ally Walker and Titus Welliver but they both have you to thank for the jobs that they have now and you did a GREAT job of winding up their characters. You really are a genius and I'm looking forward to season four.

Anonymous said...

Meh season 3 is the best yet of an alreayd amazing show.

Wanda said...

Kurt;

I consider myself reasonably intelligent and exceptionally creative and I waited in anxious anticipation for every episode of season three. Since season one, I've become very involved with your cast of characters and grew to really care about them, the decisions they were making and how it affected the storyline. I was really hoping that Jax would choose to get out of the life and raise his kids in a safer environment, but I understand why he hasn’t. I thought your story-telling was thoughtful and thorough. The finale was brilliant.

You simply cannot avoid negative criticism; and bearing in mind every asshole is entitled to their opinion, fuck ‘em. Based on all 3 seasons of Sons of Anarchy, you’re a gifted writer and story teller. I look forward to season four! Write to once more intrigue and surprise those of us who appreciate what you’ve created and don’t worry about winning approval from the close-minded, change-resistant factions lacking the vision to appreciate your talents. Fuck outside pressures – just nurture your creativity and go right where you planned on going with this.

Hang in there, brother.
Wanda

Anonymous said...

I love the 3rd season. Kept me on the edge of my sofa, that's for sure.

Nicole said...

All the critics & fan backlash for this past season is stunning to me. I don't get it. AT ALL. Outstanding show, outstanding writing, acting, editing, etc., etc. I LOVED the Ireland storyline, ya gotta have the background, people! I am SO grateful to you Kurt for giving us hardcore fans a little peace and some closure. This season and the end of last season was so full of raw and bleeding wounds and hats off to you for figuring out we needed to heal a bit before Season 4 starts and I say Sept. CANNOT get here fast enough!

You rock, the show rocks and all is well, no worries - some people just will never get it.

Nicole

CocoChahell said...

Critics suck! I can give you an un-biased opinion because I just started watching SOA when season 3 came on. I think the show is brilliant!!! (My bro is a biker and he kept talking about it, so I watched it) The whole season kept me wanting more and kept me watching. The finale blew me away! Love love love it! Now I have to watch the other seasons and I can not wait for the next season.
btw you and Katey are the cutest, super coolest couple alive! Cheers!

Thati said...

First things first, I live in São José - SC - Brazil, and was thrilled to know that Jimmy O. was coming here!!! And then I was so sad when he died... Just kidding, I really loved that he died and that Chibs was the one to kill him (Yay!), and Stahl died too (that b****).
The scene with Jax stalking Abel's adoptive parents was really intense, and I cried and could really see why he thought it was better to leave him with them;
The developing of Tara is going great;
I love Tig, he is the best character in the show, and I'd like to know more from his past.
The only thing that I didn't like was that Half Sack got killed without we even knowing more of him (I liked him so much!)
Me and my husband loved every episode and can't wait to see season 4. Thanks and keep up the GREAT work!