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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

TIM GOODMAN'S REVIEW OF SEASON 4

I haven't been reading reviews this season.  Mainly because they fuck with me.  I'm too invested, I'm too emotionally charged at this point in the season.  My plan was to wait until I wrapped, then digest the wave of snarky, inaccurate opinions.  But my wife insisted that I read Tim Goodman's review of season four.  Really insisted.  You have to fucking read it, were her exact words.  My wife doesn't throw around the F-bomb as frequently as I do, so I heeded.  

Tim's review was incredibly satisfying.  It was really delightful to have someone not in my employ understand and appreciate the efforts we are making.  Yes, it's a good review, so it was easy to digest, but more importantly it was a thoughtful review that looked at the series as a whole.  Tim gave credence to my struggle and desire to effectuate a vision.  Something most reviewers don't have the time, brains or desire to do.  

Below is the review.  or you can read it at 

TIME FOR HAMLET TO MAKE HIS MOVE

Fourth seasons are especially difficult for really good, fan-favorite series. You’ve got the early adopters in Season 1. You’ve got the word-of-mouth-late-comers in Season 2. In Season 3, you have to do something completely different to keep everyone from saying you’re predictable, while also holding on to people who hate that you changed their world.  In Season 4, everybody wants to see if you’re for real. If you can still do it. If your hour (or half hour) is still worth the precious time of each viewer. It’s a season of doubt.

The good news for Sons Of Anarchy fans is that series creator Kurt Sutter leaves no doubt that he’s put the series back on solid ground in Season 4 and, in turn, delivers all of the larger-than-life storytelling that viewers mop up.  But here’s something that’s important to understand: No matter what you thought of Season 3 (there was some uncharacteristic fan grumbling about splitting time between Charming and Ireland) what Sutter did in that year was absolutely essential to the series as a whole, to his continued development as a showrunner and storyteller, and it laid the groundwork for Season 4.

Once you step into Season 4, you’ll see that. The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been, as much of the Sons upper level club get out of jail after 14 months. They come home to a changing Charming. There’s a new sheriff in town, literally (Rockmond Dunbar, who more than holds his own: “Next time I see anyone who got out today wearing cuts, well, they’ll belong to me.” His character is referred to as Wild Black Hickock). Charming is changing, literally. And the Feds are poised for a take down – a well-conceived plan to hurt the club and its allies, stretching all the way back to Ireland. (The character of Lincoln Potter, Assistant United States District Attorney is played with weird intensity by Ray McKinnon, who Deadwood fans will remember was the crazy preacher in Season 1).

What Sutter and his writers have done here in Season 4 is bring the story home, give it a reason for being – not just your run-of-the-mill set of challenges for the Sons. Season 4 is about evolution – and that’s what you can really get at with some authority in a pivotal season. The timing is perfect. Viewers know the club history, the alliances, the difficult past. There have been three seasons of letting it ride. But in Season 4, Sutter is going to delve deeply into the main conflict of Sons Of Anarchy – how Jax (Charlie Hunnam) wants to break free of the club and what that means to Clay (Ron Perlman), Gemma (Katey Sagal) and the future of Jax and Tara (Maggie Siff) and their two sons.  Yep, No. 2 is here.

In any case, loyalty and freedom are key elements to Season 4. And they play out slowly amidst some typically thrilling chaos and mayhem that Sons Of Anarchy has proven adept at dishing out. (By the way, the opening scene of the first episode basically allows director Paris Barclay to make a fist-pumping music video as the boys get out of jail and walk in slow-mo, past the barbed-wire fences to get their cuts on and get their bikes moving. That's going to start the blood pumping among the faithful). 

Sons Of Anarchy has always delved in high drama (and heightened drama), but makes it compelling enough to  somehow be more artistic and intriguing. Now that the Hamlet element has moved to center stage,  Sutter is going to be able to play with both interior and exterior drama.  Look no further than this gem from the first episode, which highlights the central conceit of Season 4: “I’m done with SAMCRO,” Jax tells Tara “The bond that holds this club together isn’t about love or brotherhood anymore. We lost that a long time ago. It’s just fear and greed now.” (I originally thought Jax said "beer and greed now," which I think would have been more accurate...someone get rewrite.)

Anyway, that’s a great way to get into Season 4, because you know getting out – for Jax – is going to be a lot harder than just dreaming about it, like his father.  “I’m not my father,” Jax says. “I’m not weak.”

Let’s get this started.

87 comments:

Scott Steele said...

I've watched/listened to all the Bluray commentaries and extras plus read any interview I could find, so (I think at least) I've caught a fair bit of what you have said as your grand arc of the series means to be.

So seeing a critic get that a deep, gut level is satisfying for me as a fan and I can only imagine how it is for you as the creative mind behind it.

Great job on the premiere and thanks for bringing Paris in full time. I think he's already a key component that's just go to help you take this further.

All the best brother.

Scott

Librarychic1 said...

Try not to be cynical about reviews, you have so many fans out there right now who are ecstatic and don't need to read or believe the reviews that are crap, you have us hooked already, there is no turning back.

For people that have never watched SOA and read these reviews, reviews are publicity and even bad publicity is good publicity.

Fabiola said...

http://www.tvline.com/2011/09/ratings-sons-of-anarchy-all-time-high/#comment-252977

CONGRATU-FUCKING-LATIONS, MAN!

aohora said...

My blood is totally pumping!

Bring on the "chaos and mayhem!"

[I told you no worries on the numbers! :) ]

P.S. Congrats!!

James said...

according to the overnights, one should say - welcome back to twitter, dude...

Anonymous said...

WELL HERE IS A LITTLE REVIEW OF MY OWN!...WHAT A "SPACTACULAR" START TO A VERY ALREADY INCREDIABLE SERIES!...

FROM THE LOOKS OF THINGS FROM WHAT I SAW LAST NIGHT...AND IT TOOK ME A WHILE TO FIND...LOL...THIS SEASON IS SHAPING UP TO BE PROBABLY ONE OF "THE" BEST SEASONS OF "SOA" EVER MADE!...

THE NEW CHARACTERS YOU HAVE CHOSEN "AMPLIFY" THE TREMENDOUS TALENT THAT ALL READY EXSIST ON THIS SHOW!...THE FACT THAT WE HAVE TO WAIT A WEEK TILL THE NEXT EPISODE MAKES WATCHING THIS SERIES EVEN MORE INTENSE AND FUN FILLED AND WORTH THE WAIT!...

WHAT DO YOU SAY TO MAN WHO HAS AGAIN "OUT DONE HIMSELF" IN THE FIELD OF OF A EXTREMELY WELL DONE "TELEVISION SERIES"...

"ROCKMOND" IS OUTSTANDING IN HIS ROLL AS THE NEW "SHERRIF" INTOWN (AS A FIGURE OF SPEECH)...I HAD NO DOUBT THAT "DANNY TREIO" WOULD BE AWESOME IN HIS ROLL AS WELL! WHEN YOU FIRST ANOUNCED IT!...HAVING WORKED WITH HIM BEFORE ON "REINDEER GAMES"...

WHAT CAN I SAY KURT THAT SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY SAID!...THIS SERIES JUST MAY GO LONGER THAN "M.A.S.H." POSSIABLY FROM THE NUMBERS BEING ANNOUNCED TODAY!....FUCKING "GOOD" ON YA BROTHER...A TOAST TO THE MAN WITH A WONDERFUL VISION...AND THE ABILITY TO BE SUCH A INCREDIABLE STORY TELLER!!!!!

CHEERS
(ONTHEMARKSTUNTS)
BRYAN

Suzanne Bixby said...

According to EW.com, "The 90-minute episode averaged 4.94 million, up 20% versus last season. It also posted a 15% gain in adults 18-49 versus its third-season premiere." Yea!!!!! I'm thinking this means some "make goods" are in order from your previous posts! Toss me in the vat of hopefuls angling for an invite to your house! Congratulations on the strong showing!!!

SparticusInc said...

Hey Kurt
That's an interesting review that I as a fan can really relate to as I only discovered SOA season 1 and 2 on DVD last Christmas in the Uk . After that I was hooked , bought some cool SOA stuff and waited for 3 season to start . I have watched most of the season 4 promo's and I got up at 2am London time to watch the livestream from the club house . It was really cool . I have received some very positive reviews of S4 Episode 1 from my SOA friends in the US . Now getting ready to the next episode of SOA on fiveUs in the Uk !!
Ok take care and say hi to the cast .
Dan

melissa said...

Congrats on the great review and ratings. I loved the premiere, too. I am so intrigued by the Lincoln Potter character. (Must be the "wierd intensity" Goodman notes.) In our first glimpse of him, he seemed to have a bit of a biker fantasy of his own. I wonder if that could playout as an Achilles' heel for him as he takes on SAMCRO....?

F. said...

Jax: "It's good to be home".

So neat and so perfect line.

You are always the master, Kurt.

Respects from Italy.
Francesco

The Queen said...

Great Season 4 premier! Although I DVR it, I actually stayed up past 9 p.m. because I couldn't wait for the weekend to watch it. I'm new to SOA but caught up on Netflix and iTunes before the season started--and I can't tell enough people that if they aren't watching, they should be. Gemma is my hero....

KRMcNerney said...

Season 4, Episode 1 was incredible. I've been raving about the show to my office all summer long, and they all watched last night! SOA has definitely gained a ton more die-hard fans!

Michele A. Robinson said...

Mr. Sutter, I have watched last night's premier 5 times in the last 24 hours. You have out done season 3 finale. The season opener was fan-fucking-tastic!

Congratulations on the great review! I belong to a several chat groups on Facebook that meets every Tuesday night to discuss the show clip by clip and last night not to many people were typing because they were to involved in the episode. It was awesome.

Thank You for making my Tuesday nights for 13 weeks out of the year worth staying up late for!

Keep up the great work!

bvcaldwell said...

What a wonderful way to sum up the first episode of Season 4! I feel exactly the same way the writer of this review did upon seeing this episode, and I can't wait to see where you take us during the rest of this journey known as Sons of Anarchy!! Keep up the fantastic work Kurt!! We Love It!!

megan said...

Brilliant review for a brilliant fucking show! Honestly the only series My husband and i have a desire to watch... So much so I'm fucking blogging/twittering about it- that's love. Can't wait for next Tuesday!

Kellacopter said...

Awesome review! Huge fan of the show. The first episode I ever watched was of Gemma's rape. Powerful episode in which even though I had never seen the show I found myself crying. As a female viewer I love the blend of family and loyalty that make up part of this show. My roommate and I were hooked and have been loyal watchers ever since. We were able to catch ourselves up in episodes after that. Season four promises to be just as fantastic as the last three and I hope nothing but the best for this because we can't get enough of SOA!

lowecat said...

I read this one yesterday, it was very well written and well thought out. Unlike the whanker from the New York Daily News who was too fuckin' lazy to use the internet to research his information.

Had that whanker done so, he would have had had a very good review. As it is, his review, even though it was good, has zero credibility with me due to all the errors in his facts.

I mean, in this day and age, how hard is it to check the facts by doin' an internet search? Sheesh!

And about them ratings. From all reports, it sounds like the ratings are going be soaring higher than the international space station!
Enjoyed the live chat before the 10pm premiere; really enjoyed all the hooks from start to finish. Though I twitted that my preference would've been ole Satchmo's version of 'Wonderful World' to make the contrasts at the end even more pronouced, the female vocalist lent a sweetness that balanced the furious reprecussions to the Russian mob.

Well, done, Mr. Sutter. Thank you for a truly wonderful SAMCROMAS present. It's better than the red ryder bb gun with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time (the ulitmate holy grail of presents), or in my case, the Lone Ranger Silver Bullet Colt 45 playset with mask, holster, and silver bullet.

The next 12 weeks are gonna be one hell of a ride!

Anonymous said...

Before I read it - are there spoilers????

Jenny Neary said...

Congrats! The show really deserves all rave reviews. I've been a loyal fan since season 1 episode 1 and couldn't be more thrilled that all of our promoting on Twitter and facebook and word of mouth has helped the show soar. So happy for everyone!

Tom said...

Tim Goodman's my favorite TV writer. He definitely gets it.

Nils Hermans said...

I'm still shellshocked from the premiere. That was great tv, and congratulations with the great numbers.

I myself thought Jax said 'beer and green' instead of 'fear and greed'... both make sense in my view.

Keep it up! That was the most intense episode I've seen in hours!

CrystalClear said...

This guy is right on, SOA is back bitches. And I am so ready to ride with them, wherever this story may go. I have fallen in and out and back in love with every freaking character in SOA. I am so addicted........to SOA.

Nasty Nix said...

i thought the first episode went great. nobody really knew what was gonna happen with the Russian's, but everyone knows now. some people i talked to thought it was kind of slow but i understand why. it was all about setting up this season and letting everyone know what has been going on since the club was away. if anyone thought this was going to be a slow season their minds should of changed by the end of the episode when about a half dozen men were murdered. but anyway i always enjoy SOA, thanks for such a great show.

zeyi said...

I love you for giving us such a great show. You never disappoint and SAMCRO forever!

Linda said...

As I watched season 4, I was still fascinated with the dynamics. All, the dynamics. The new sheriff in town, and the new fed attorney, who might I add, seems worse than the 'crimials' that he is tracking. (My first blush of an opinion since that was his intro to the show.) The thing that really got to me was Jax, sizing up the club to Tara, and saying Gemma 'was an old lady'. Taken to mean in several ways I suspect. How he underestimates his own mother... Very Hamlet indeed. Great first show of the first season.

MeganK said...

The only thought I had last night after watching (and watching again, and then again)was "well done, Mr. Sutter, well done." This show has the ability to evoke so many emotions in the viewers, as only the great shows can do. I agree with Tim G, let's get this started!!

The Psycho '79 said...

Awesome review - very accurate too. 4th seasons have always been a stumbling block for most tv shows. But if the next 12 episodes live up to the promise of this first one, we're in for the best season yet.

Hope you're glad of the ratings boost Kurt - you should be.

StormiRae said...

It WAS an awesome premiere. and from what i hear you got a significant bump in viewership... so about that contest... hahaha. but seriously. You've done a great job Kurt and i think it's about time somebody recognized it. love to you and your cast and crew.

Meg said...

That was an awesome review! Totally feel like he got the focus of the show. I know a lot of fans bagged on Season 3 but I liked it. I thought it did what it was supposed to do and set up what season 4 is going to be about. Plus the whole is Jax a rat or not was A-freaking-mazing. Def agree though, killer review. I feel like this reviewer might actually be a fan.

pixie sticks said...

Love Tim Goodman and LOVE SOA. Thanks for the amazing work and awesome insights here.

Shannon H said...

The season 4 opener was great! Hate that there were so may commercials, but I do know how it works. They pay the bills. I really hope to be the one that wins the trip to the not Shit-hole hotel and enjoy the spread that Katie puts out. But yet again I know my chances are not as good as the preverbial snowball's chance in hell. The only negative thing I heard about the show was that Juice needs a hair cut. Loved the premier and will be watching it again tonight!

Dev said...

Anticipation has a habit of outweighing the outcome....not so last night! The writing, acting, directing, editing, etc... vaulted over the proverbial bar! If possible I am more excited about season 4 after watching last nights epi (3 times), then I have been since the end of season 3!

You deserve outstanding reviews because the show and all who take part are outstanding!!!!!!!!

We should be thanking you!

Side note,
Jax's issues over getting out remind me of a line from the Godfather said by Michael Corleone: "Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in."
If we, the fans, want the show to last the seven seasons you spoke of... Jax can never get out!

Thankful in Valley Village
Dev

Dev said...

Hows this for a review:

Success of ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season 4 Premiere Puts Creator on the Hook
By ADAM W. KEPLER

Fans of the FX drama “Sons of Anarchy” rose up in record numbers on Tuesday, giving the show its highest ratings ever, with 4.9 million total viewers and 3.2 million in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic. Last week, the show’s creator and executive producer, Kurt Sutter, announced on his blog that if the Season 4 premiere was up more than 10 percent in both major ratings categories over last season’s premiere, he would award one of his more than 54,000 Twitter followers and one reader of his blog with a trip to Los Angeles, where the two lucky scion anarchists will be invited to a viewing party at Mr. Sutter’s home. With a gain of 19 percent in total viewers and 17 percent in the 18-to-49 category compared to the Season 3 debut episode, Mr. Sutter will have to make good on his offer. FX also expects that when the final numbers are in, it will be the most watched original series episode in the cable channel’s history.



Feeling FANtasic in Valley Village
Dev

Cindy said...

This is such a great review, and totally hits the nail on the head. I thought the Ireland storyline was fucking awesome and helped the show move past the obvious conflict and resolution scenario episode after episode. It allowed for more back story while still giving us the instant gratification of smaller storylines within the larger picture. And of course the violence and nudity we've all come to expect! And now this premiere... I'm not sure how you plan to top this episode, but I'm beyond excited to see you try!

Naomi Crawford said...

Kurt and SOA crew. That is amazing. Its true that seasons need more once they get going. Im hoping all the way for 7 and maybe more. Ive watched since day one and never missed and episode. (and then re-watched over and over) I think this is a fantastic show with so much diversity and jaw dropping scenes and storylines. Its Incredible. You have all done well.

Shell said...

Hella yea, this season is going to be awesome/powerful at the same time.....
p.s.
- season started off with a bang....

SOA FOR LIFE

Librarychic1 said...

I just read your stats on twitter, congratulations!

Do you really have anything to worry about now, especially when it comes to critics writing lame reviews.
I hope you are stoked.

I am thinking you are your own worst critic.......I can relate to that!

RavingMadScientists said...

I couldn't agree more. I'm very pleased with the Season Premiere of Season 4. I'm curious to see whether Jax is serious about leaving SAMCRO. He told Tara that the club isn't about brotherhood anymore but Otto literally slit his wrists and nearly bled to death in order to get revenge for Jax's sake. The bonds of brotherhood don't run much deeper than that.
Well done, Mr. Sutter. I'm looking forward to what's to come.
-Nikki

CasD said...

Last night's episode was AMAZING!!!
Great review; Woot Woot!!! :)

Anonymous said...

WOOHOOOOO!!!!! :D

Natalie AUSSIE said...

He has summed up the series of SOA which I haven't seen yet Beautifully done and easy to understand now all we need is the haters to read it and then they might get what the series is about. Yet again looks like it's going to be an awesome series just from reading what's been written on Twitter and facebook. Thank you MR SUTTER

Juliana R said...

Fantastic review, he even sounds like a fan :) Loved the season premiere, so excited to have SOA back! Awesome work Kurt Sutter, awesome!

Juliana R.

scruffy said...

That was a very "nice" review. I re-watched all of the previous 3 seasons and started the fourth within days of finishing the previous seasons.

It's always great to see a creator/showrunner. FX allows a lot of leeway it seems. With Louis CK running his own show the way he sees fit and I assume you running yours. When a show does that it stands out as a creative force as opposed to "just another show."

I'll let the terrible handling of Terriers go unmentioned as I say that FX is by far my fave channel. And with Rescue Me ending tonight: this show is the front runner of the channel for now.

And after seeing the season opener I can say it looks like I won't have to worry about Samcro or their seasons to come.

I will admit that I still call Unser "Charlie" when I see him on screen. It's just something as a fan of Deadwood... have a hard time calling him anything else. I love seeing all the Deadwood actors and I assume it just goes to show what kind of shows you enjoy... and what SOA is and will become.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Strong open. Really strong open. And the balance of terror among them all is set on the scale and weighed. Well told.

Apropos of nothing much, I thought last season rocked.

And Otto. Wow.

Sarah Melton said...

I am really surprised that you could have ever allowed any other reviews or comments made by other ignorant and close minded individuals ever effect you or make you doubt your work. You are a rare talent. You put forth (or it appears you put forth) true emotion into your writing. As a fan, I experience the outsiders effect of your work. I laugh, I cry, and man do I get pissed when certain things happen on the show. When your fans feel true emotions on behalf of your characters, that is truly one of the biggest compliments ever. Thank You for providing us with something new and original. Alot better then the run of the mill vampire/magic shit/ or reality drama. True creativity lies in your work, not to mention the restrictions of a basic cable network. Keep it going, oh, and change your twitter bird on here, and update your twitter bio, YOUR BACK, and we are loving it!

Laura said...

Kurt,
I have to tell you, The season opener was f***ing awesome, the 3 of us that watched it together, were on the edge of our seats the WHOLE time, we applauded the "workings" of your mind and their portrayal on the screen. ( with a whole lot of "did I just fucking see that"? "what the hell's"? and "Holy Shits"...) We may spend the next week re-watching the show, just to see if we missed any hint or clue, to where things may go this season. I am glad you read the review by Tim Goodman...If one reviewer "gets it", maybe others will follow. I am just curious, did Katey have to whack you with the copy of the review as well? Looking forward to the rest of the season..

Twisted Shadow said...

Woo Hoo!! Sons of Anarchy has fans like no other show in tv history!! The numbers are in & Hopefully the contest is still on! I really want to win this one. Either way this season has so much potential and promise just from the first episode. @sutterink, You totally nailed that one!

Thanks for the great show!

Mark Mitteer

Anonymous said...

you should really listen to the music of William Elliott Whitmore. It would be perfect of SAMCRO

THX1138 said...

Fuck , i had been so looking forward to watch the new episode but i had to go and have a stroke on Tuesday and missed it and now i have to wait NOOOOO

Justin Pope

Laur3n Ros3 said...

started off with a boom this season, which is incredible! congrats to you! And wow, that first episode was amazing and exciting. I already know it's going to be cut throat; and am formulating theories as to how it's going to possibly play out. BUT knowing your mysterious ways, I know theres going to be a twist (lots of them!). THATS THE THRILL OF DRAMA! Loving every minute of it.. can't wait until next tuesday!

Unknown said...

Tim Goodman is usually dead on with his reviews - follow him at SFGate in the Bay Area - and here is no exception. Exceptional cast, exceptional writing...so glad that there is a show with substance on TV. Lord knows they're few and far between. I never miss an episode!

visionofloveliness said...

Wow!! I read several reviews yesterday and I couldn't find 1 that was negative. If you'd like a nice stroking of your ego that is, here is my personal favorite :

http://screenrant.com/sons-anarchy-season-4-premiere-review-aco-130787/

I love you man!! :) April~

Elaine said...

Great review! Although this is my first time posting, I have been watching the show from day one and thought I would take the opportunity to tell you how amazing I think your show is. Congrats on the bump in ratings...couldn't happen to a better show.

One more thing...Alison Mosshart's cover of "It's a Wonderful World" over that ending montage rocked. I love the music that gets used for your show. Patty Griffin's "Mary" that was used when Gemma was talking about her attack was just perfect. Can't wait to see what's next!

Matt said...

This review is an amazingly worthy review of a superior drama. SOA is so much more than a TV-MA cable show. It is incredibly deep, intelligent, and thought provoking. I'm glad someone with some writing street cred has published something coherent and spot on. I look forward to watching how this season progresses and further illuminates the intricacies of Charming and the Sons.

On a side note, I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to watch an episode with the creator of the show. What a tremendous honor that will be for a true fan.

jinjen said...

Great review! And I agree the Potter character is just amazing to watch..although I do hope he meets his maker at some point during the season! Congratulations!

jinjen said...

Great review! I love the Potter character as well..he is fun to watch! I almost expected Hale to be on that board of his..or was he? They had such an odd intro.
Anyway..congratulations!

Topher said...

Okay, now that you are getting a little love I have to share with you what is weighing on my heart this week. Last week I posted a comment letting you know that I thought what you were doing on the internet was lame and not any different than corporate machine advertising (I didn't use those exact words and I cussed a little more.)

I compared the three little appisodes to opening up the fridge and getting your mouth all ready for some orange juice and finding just a swallow left in the jar (yes, reference stolen from Cotton Club.)

I was pleased to find my ipad filled with new material corresponding with the beginning of the season with promises for more material on a weekly basis. I ridiculed American television's use of the internet as compared to BBC use of the internet. I am tickled to see your ipad app is setting the example for others to follow.

You are blazing the trail for app use and as harsh a critic as I was last week I want to be that strong in my compliments.

I got the most excited when I saw the first episode. The only way you would really understand Jax' beef with the Russians was to watch the appisode. You didn't spend a lot of dialogue explaining what happened just a brief mention. That was cool and it furthered my vested interest in the show. I felt like an insider. I felt like you just bought me fingers for my little stubs that were freaking you out!

Topher said...

Oh yeah, and I wanted to restate that my opinion on twitter has not changed.

There is no way you can get back onto Twitter without looking like a tool who just likes to hear himself talk.

If that is who you are, "accept that." But don't pretend to be something you aren't. I like to read what I write in print. It makes me feel good about myself, I am just another tool who likes to hear himself talk, join with me as say, "I accept that."

Crystal Faldalen said...

Love, love, love the focus on Jax' struggle and his relationship with Tara vs. the Club...ridiculously realistic and thoughtful writing that appeals to ladies like me. And the scalpel to the brain was a nice touch of testosterone! You have found a great balance in your storytelling that leaves me craving the next episode!!

Crystal said...

My review in less words!!! I was one of the grumblers about the Ireland stuff.. but I saw its importance.. season 4 so far looks like it will be the best! I'm very happy you touched on Otto in the first episode.. I was wanting more of him (you). I was blown away by the season 3 finale and the season 4 premier picked right back up with the awesomeness! I hope i didn't read into the vows at Opie's wedding. I swear I saw emotion when he promised to protected her and I felt a little tug and remembered Donna! I love it all the way around. All the characters are so real! All the other shows I watch are just shows. I actually care about the Sons. I feel their anger. Essentially, you are doing an amazing job! All of you!

Carolyn said...

My husband and I watched the season premiere with anticipation, and you did not disappoint. The episode was amazing - very well written and acted. The music was the perfect backdrop. I can't say anything bad, except that there were too many commercials! Lol. At any rate, we will be watching Sons for the duration, and are telling all of our friends about the show as well. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

By the way, I actually like very much that there was no labor-and-delivery scene. I knew I liked it right away - women are never pregnant in drama without the story somehow being about pregnancy, and babies are never born off-screen. But I really REALLY liked it after the barren, cliched labor-and-delivery finale of Rescue Me, which typified the way birth scenes are the ultimate cop-out, a baseball cap on a bad hair day.

Myles said...

Hi from Australia, congrats on the numbers for the S4 premiere, such a shame we are only up to S2 "downunder" Can't wait to see what SAMCRO gets up to this year. PS with the numbers you had on tuesday dont be a cheap bastard and palm us a gift pack. FLY ME TO LA !!!!!!!! cheers from Myles

Julie said...

Seriously, it was so far beyond fantastic, it's crazy. When Otto slit his wrist(s) I was like "Kurt...dude, NO! Don't kill you!" LOL

Again, I'm throwing my hat into the ring as a loyal Twitter & Sutterink blog follower to be invited out to your house, or to get the swag basket, or hell just say hi on Twitter. ;)

At 50 and 48 years old, my honey and I more in common with you and Katey (plus he's been in the program for 27 years now (yay him!) and I won't give up my wine but I promise not to drink you out of house and home!) but most importantly, we are offically Empty Nesters now that we have shipped the kid off to college...and can travel freely anytime! haha

Seriously....you would fucking love us.

See you soon. :)

Tobin said...

Just watched the season opener last night - so worth the wait! The new characters introduced fit in so effortlessly, they pulled onto the SOA road and pulled the throttle wide!

I didn't think I could hate Hale's character anymore than at the end of last season but his new lid has upped the ante! Congrats on a killer season opener, cannot wait for next week!

Flomerella said...

I just watched the premiere last night on SuperChannel in Canada. I am still in awe! You are truly a master at your craft. I love the way you portray Otto. It's like your demons personified.
After reading some spoilers, I am relieved you didn't kill him off....yet.
Love the writing, symbolism, acting, music...I love everything about this show!
Would love you to answer a WTFSutter question. You are intriguing & defintely having a sit down with you makes my bucket list.

Peace & respect

Rich Moore said...

Great stuff!! The tension between Clay, Gemma and Jax is palpable, and personal. For me, and, I'm assuming, for most of us it's what keeps the show relavent. This tension has been there since the beginning, but now it seems this series has them on collission course. Can you smell EMMY? BTW: Kurt, I dont want this question to remotely presume that I know you, but from what I've read of your opinion about the "establishment" would you even want an EMMY?

Donnyboy said...

You did it bro!!!! FUCKING brilliant!!! Congratulations on the increased viewing audience...esp the 18-49 demo. Loved the premiere. It has opened the flood gates and laid the ground work for what looks to be a season loaded with carnage and mayhem as only SAMCRO can do it!!!

Thanks Kurt...you are king brother!!!

Donnyboy

Dani said...

I loved the season 4 premiere. The last 5 minutes were completely insane, and so well done. I'll tell you what...I will never think of "What A Wonderful World" in the same way ever again!

I know there were some complaints about season 3, but like Goodman said, it helped to lay the groundwork for season 4. Actually meeting Maureen and the Irish SOA really helped with the backstory because we saw them as real people, and not just names mentioned in passing.

I know you are not a fan of Facebook, but there were so many SOA statuses on Tuesday night. People were truly excited about the show coming back, and it was nice to see. I have recommended SOA to many people, and every single person that has given it a chance has thanked me for introducing them to the show. It IS that good. Keep it up Mr. Sutter...I can't wait to see what happens next!!

Kristie (@babeeblueyez) said...

Kurt

You are a genius!
This is by far the best show ever created and you should be so proud of yourself!

Season 4, Episode 1 was the best episode yet. I am so impressed and cant wait to see what else you have in store for us!

I love that you are back on twitter, because personally your comments are truthful and accurate. I am a straight shooter and love that you are too. Not many people are these days. Especially in your world!

The season 3 finale was just so damn good and you have followed that up with an incredible season 4 premiere! It was just fucken awesome!

I know the Emmy's are a wank, but if you dont get one this season, then I will be truly shocked and appalled!

I live in Australia and am devastated that I cant be in the running to come to your joint for a party, but I would be more than happy with the swag.

Love your work man, you certainly did rock the shit with S04E01.

Cheers from Sydney, Australia!

freebird13 said...

Awesome review and totally dead on. Katey was right... again.

Very cool that you're utilizing more Deadwood alumni. Ray McKinnon was awesome as Lincoln Potter.

Well done!

sailingkiwi said...

I love the fact that Potter is riding a Triumph! That is humor.

I totally agree with 'Topher' on both the corporate rant and the Twitter scenario...but if being a 'tool' is the way forward. Then so be it. By the sounds of it, Twitter makes you as happy and connected to your fans as the internet makes me feel about the world.
The RWC starts down under today. I hope it's also Chaos and Mayhem.

Matt said...

May be a dumb or unanswerable question but here goes: What makes the new SAMCRO members, ie Kozig and the patched prospect, have just the Redwood patch on the front of the cut, as opposed to Redwood Original? Happy, I think, another newer "Samcro" guy has both, or at least Bobby handed him both at some point in S3.

DAVIA D said...

SUTTER was Never or Never will be a TOOL as someone said here that

And Certainly Not like everyone else that Pulled out of Twitter and looks like a ----for going back after a month, as ANONYMOUS SAID!

Your lack of Sensibility is second to your Jealousy.

Sutter is HAlf WILD Thing daring to live outside of any one else's opinion of him.

It is for that reason he Rises above other writers and does what they cant, to dig to levels of grit to make this show where it stands today.

I say Wild thing, casue he has both the talent and balls to say what he means and create a show out of nothing But Pure Everything the world shoves at us.

He nods to Hamlet and Proceeds as only he can

All seasons link together and IM sure he writes teh END of the WHOLE show , before he writes the 1st season.

He then worked his way backward , thats how its done when u are a Master

PS At least be MAN enough to Put a nAME ON YOUR Review, STOP Hiding behind ANONYMOUS, as If your some "Too Good for the Rest of Us Jerk."

ANONYMOUS....UR OPINIONS DONT display a single Original thought .. "TOOL"

Sutter is a MAster shot caller, when u are where he is, then we will hear you, till then, bye.

PS The BIZ can be cruel and hard and CUTS UR Heart out while handing u Salt for the wound

Unless u know the AGONY of Putting UR SOUL on PUBLIC DISPLAY 4 ALL to Critique Worldwide, then U , MR ANONYMOUS , Just keep It in Check

Andygirl said...

Great opening episode, Sutter. The Otto slit wrist thing had me freaked, and then seeing him in the infirmary made me feel better, then him sticking a blade in a dude's ear had me freaked again. He's not getting out at all, is he? Ah well, a girl can dream. (hell, I still fantasize about Dezerian from The Shield, I'm sick I tells ya, haha.

One small critique: I hate when Jax refers to his father as weak, especially when he held him up as a hero before. I mean, it isn't as if Jax isn't a man whore himself who could have easily gotten someone pregnant (other than Tara). I hate to see him look up to Clay as an idol while dismissing his own father.

Ah, the Oedipal complex is in full effect again this season..........seriously, could Tara look more like Gemma? Kill your father, fuck your mother..............way to go Sutter! ;-)

Chrissy MO said...

Congratulations on another great review.

Always listen to your wife! You should know that by now... you'll be happier and life longer.

I'm like many of the comments aka new to the SOA Party and I am just always excited to see what you are going to have the club do next. I loved the Ireland trip... who doesn't love an Irish accent?

Keep up the great work.

Unknown said...

Andygirl ... interesting take on Jax. I agree, but would also add that its nice to see Jax coming into his own. Sutter has obviously made the case for the part of Jax that is Teller, and the part of him that is Morrow. It will be nice to see how that plays out and to see what Jax will bring to the table from his own soul (cue Tara influence). Its funny you should have commented on this because the "weak" thing has been bugging me. I never felt John Teller was weak, and still don't get that from Maureen's letters. More like, now I'm itching to find out the other side of the story (which we know is coming from the Piney/Tara appisode), to find out how Teller's journey really ended. I think Jax might be singing a different tune about his father soon.

Great stuff, Kurt. Peace out,
Heather J

hbodesign said...

Just realized my profile didn't have my name and photo. Sorry for previous "unknown" posts... Heather J

Esty911 said...

@matt. The "original" members of SAMCRO have an ORIGINAL patch on. So the Original 9..

Amber Kep said...

There is an overabundance of laughable critics today. I'm thrilled to see a review that is appreciative of patience and having a back story that ensures a sound foundation and most rewarding outcome.
There is nothing half-ass about this show. I've never seen such quality. The story and it's message are so deeply layered. I relished everything about Season 3, it blew my mind.
The writing is simply brilliant.
The talent is unmatched.
It's a bad-ass masterpiece.
Keep doing your thing.

Dianne ~ California said...

Awesome review of an awesome show. Thanks Kurt and congrats! Loved the opening of the season and cannot wait until next weeks show.

Kaz_NEETS said...

Yep, I was one of those fans who seriously grumbled about season 3 so reading Tim Goodman's excellent review made me smile.

And nod.

I'll be watching this season for sure. The premiere left me thinking yes this is the show I fell in love with during season 1. I've been waiting a while to feel that Kurt, so kiddos for kicking it up a notch and reminding me how great and addictive SoA is.

Much success and mayhem,

Kaz

ArnezKushem said...

I always had a hard time keeping up tv-series type shows. I watched the last 3 seasons in about a month n a half. Handfuls of shows everyday. I'm sooo looking forward to season 4 ... this story is unbelievable .. got me writing about my life like john teller .. thank u for the masterpiece

JM Jones said...

SOA fans in Argentine's Patagonia too!
I saw season 4 premiere tonight, awesome, really. I love this show.
The scene in the end, with "What a wonderful world" , the vendetta on the russians, and the wedding was classic SoA wicked psychedelic humor.

Jake Hawkens said...

Tim Goodman got me started watching SOA from the get-go with his initial review of the show when he was working for the San Francisco Chronicle/SFGate.com. In fact, Mr. Goodman has shone a light on many great shows ("The Shield" & "Breaking Bad" included) that are kind of below the mass media's radar, and his reviews got me watching (and loving) these shows. THR is quite lucky to have him.

Bridget said...

I am a late comer. I honestly didn't want to watch your show when my husband starting watching it. Sorry. It sounded gruesome. I was told it was a biker show and I immediately thought of bad things like rape and stuff and judged it off of that. I ended up being bored one day while my husband was watching it and thought there was no way I would be interested in watching it and I remember when the episode ended. I was in awe, thinking your gonna play the next episode now right?!?! (we were watching season one discs from blockbuster at the time) And I remember him looking at me, like, what did you just say. I have watched all three seasons and wish we had cable and am thinking of getting it just for your show. Honestly, I watched the last episode of season 3 and kept saying kill her, kill her, kill her, at the end. Now I never wish anyone dead but man I wanted her dead! lol I love your show!!! I cant wait to watch season 4 somehow, even if I have to get a friend to record it for me or something. Thanks for Being different and setting the bar high!

Branca said...

Oh yeah! That's how we roll baby! Congrats!