Saturday, September 11, 2010


The original title for this post was:
but in the spirit of trying to improve my "foul-mouth, hotheaded, bombastic" reputation, I changed it.  It feels good to grow. 

In case you don't know this already, I am a very sensitive man.  My big feelings get hurt very easily.  I cry a lot.  I internalize.  I react.  I never hit humans or pets, but I often take out walls, doors and the occasional window.  Windows are bad.  I don't recommend putting your fist through one unless you have six hours to kill at the ER.  I'm currently looking at swollen bloody knuckles as I peck at my Macbook.  I found out my sound man bailed before the season finished yesterday and had a very big reaction.  There's a hole in the clubhouse set wall. 

I preface this blog with that insight to explain why I chose NOT to read reviews this season.  When I'm working 70 and 80 hour weeks, under-nourished, over-tired, and those opinions start rolling in, it's very difficult for me to detach.  In that state-of-mind, I tend to puff myself up with every positive comment and second guess myself with every negative one.  It's unhealthy for any creative, especially for a guy like me.

I managed to duck all reviews for almost two weeks.  It was incredibly liberating.  I highly suggest it to my fellow showrunners.  Then FX sent me the positive press excerpts (all the great quotes from critics that go on ads, etc).  Of course I read them.  Completely out of context, SOA was the greatest piece of dramatic literature ever conceived, acted and produced.  We were TV gods.  And of course, it was all bullshit.  Then, two days ago, literally in the course of a few hours, several people (in the spirit of commiseration, I'm sure) felt compelled to share the highlights of the negative reviews.  Some in conversation, some in emails.  I should've walked away and deleted, but I couldn't.  I guess on some unconscious level I needed the yang to keep me in check.  Again, it was all bullshit.

I'm not delusional about the reach of Sons; this is a very specific show about a very specific section of our culture.  I completely understand that it is not for everyone.  I shared about the insight I got from my lunch with Brian Lowry last year.  I came away from that meeting with the realization that a critic's review is ultimately about that individual's taste.  No matter how good or bad something is conceived and produced, the decision about its worth is always decided in the moment, by the watcher. That is not bullshit.  Beauty and every other opinion, is truly in the eye of the beholder.

In the past, I've read some scathing reviews about Sons that were thoughtful, well-constructed and very accurate... in the mind of that watcher.  Although they can be difficult to read, I appreciate and respect folks who put the time and energy into their negative analysis.  That's what a good critic does.  Critical analysis.  That is their art-form, that is their craft.  But of course, not all TV reviewers exhibit a mastery of their craft.  In fact, most wouldn't know good critical analysis if it sliced open their heads and shit a pile of knowledge where their brains should be.  The blogosphere is full of angry wannabes who couldn't make the cut as a real writer or journalist.  In my limited exposure, I'd say there are probably ten good TV critics working today.  I won't say who they are or aren't (my balls aren't that big).  The inspiration for this post came from several of the bad reviews I read the other day.  I was truly stunned by how ignorant and simple they were.  Unfortunately one of those critics writes for a nationwide newspaper.  His column was like reading the text feed of a fourteen-year-old high school girl.  All the piece needed was a handful of emoticons and like, totally, OMG!  

There is very little gray area with Sons.  It's a love it or hate it kind of show (not unlike its creator).  I know this is easy to say, but bear with me -- I believe the folks who like Sons of Anarchy, truly understand it conceptually.  Those who don't like it, simply can't (or can't be bothered) to wrap their brains around what we are trying to do.  By example, I have friends who despise Madmen.  They think it's a pretentious, overly-acted, slow, self-indulgent study of characters no one gives a shit about.  They compare it to my show.  They're idiots.  They can't see the point of Madmen and the vision that Matt Wiener and his writers are trying to communicate.  They are viewing apples through an orange lens.  You can't show up and watch True Blood with the same criteria you'd show up to watch The Shield.  Style, theme, pace, rhythm, all those things are never arbitrary in good shows.  To judge all shows by the same set of expectations is ridiculous.  Right now, Madmen and True Blood are my favorite dramas.  I watch them for completely different reasons.  I need a clear head and energy to watch Don Draper.  I know Matt is going to make me think beyond the screen.  True Blood on the other hand, is pure campy delight.  Sookie and crew will shock, titillate and entertain the fuck out of me.  I never leave that show with residual interrogatories.  

It's one thing if you're the audience.  If you don't like something, you simply turn the channel, but if you're a critic, don't you get paid for thoughtful analysis?  Aren't you supposed to roll up your sleeves and try to understand the material in the context of the world in which it is meant to live?  To throw all shows into a big bucket-o-tube is just fucking lazy.  Look, I don't mind getting fucked in the ass as long as the thing penetrating me takes a little bit of time to get to know the ins and outs of my crack (okay, that analogy even made me shiver).

So here's my memo to the unenlightened penetrators.  And again, I'm not disagreeing with the notion that Sons doesn't deserve a bad review.  It probably deserves plenty.  I am not saying the show is any better or worse than anything else on television, this is just a little tidbit for you to digest as you sit down to your keyboards with malice in your heart and a deadline to meet -- 

Sons of Anarchy is not The Shield, it's not the Sopranos, it certainly is not Madmen.  If I had to compare it to any other contemporary drama, I'd say it's most like Battlestar Galactica (again, not saying it is as good as Ron Moore's show, just using it as a comparison).  SOA, like BSG, is bigger than life.  It's steeped in a rich, thematic, costumed mythology, that can barley be contained in its naturalistic setting.  It is pulp, it is melodrama.  Forgive the pretentious Shakespearean nod, but it is a family tragedy in the spirit of Hamlet and King Lear.  It's Leone, not Renoir.  Although the characters and relationships are all very real, the circumstances are epic.  And I do my best to nail down those players into a very detailed, organic world so the drama can play out in a relatable way.

As a writer, I've always been fascinated with bending genre, pushing it beyond it's limits.  That's what I try to do on Sons.  I promise our viewers that I will not be influenced by the opinions of others.  I will continue to pursue my vision for this show.  I will take risks.  I will challenge your capacity for violence, tragedy and the absurd.  And hopefully, on occasion, I'll make you giggle like a fourteen-year-old teenage girl.


CJ P. said...

Everyone I am friends with (a lot of diverse people from different backgrounds with different tastes) all loved the premier last week. The show is original, well acted, and well written. And very captivating. You have a legion of fans that really love the show. Keep up the good work.

Kimmy said...

Pursue away with your vision. You are loved beyond thought by your loyal fans. Rewatching Season 1 and Season 2, all I can say is everyone involved is so damn talented. When you have a family jumping up, out of their seat and watching again, 20 seconds after the end, who gives a fuck about reviews. It's the fans that keep the ratings up, and fans that tell others about the show! Just do what you do Kurt and crew. We love ya.

Lost Mythos said...

Fuck'em. The work is the work.

Matt said...

It's surprising that there would be any negative reviews for this show. I was a giant fan of The Shield and loved every gritty moment of it. SOA is a great follow-up, different show completely, but in the same sort of vein. I love them both and I hope Kurt Sutter keeps up the good work.

Anonymous said...

fuck the haters, its a great show, unlike most of the crap on tv these days

keep up the good work


Anonymous said...

Those that think the show sucks should not watch it!! Plain and simple. I LOVE IT!!! I am totally invested in these characters, and am always waiting to see what happens next. I got a co-worker hooked, and she normally doesn't watched violent stuff. She bought season 2 after watching the 1st from another co-worker. And was so upset she had to wait till September to see 3. I hope this show stays on for at least 10 seasons. Keep up the Great work, and please don't break up Tara & Jax.

Carole and Chewy said...

Well I'm feeling pretty good right about now - absolutely the first episode of SOA, the moment it ended I thought "This is a modern day King Lear." And I repeated that to pretty much anyone who would listen. Two seasons and one show later - it's still King Lear, and still incredibly written. Write on. You do it so well.

Anonymous said...

"I promise our viewers that I will not be influenced by the opinions of others. I will continue to pursue my vision for this show. I will take risks."

Thank you Kurt. I will hold you to that promise as I've always had faith about your direction of this show. I will continue to watch every episode with full enjoyment and appreciation - because I get it. This show gives me the full range of emotions - even the ones where I giggle like a 14 year old :)


Unknown said...

I totally disagree with one of your statements. I am a huge fan of the show, I talk about it to friends all the time. My description in a nutshell is that it is The Sopranos on motorcycles. I hope you view that as a compliment, as it is intended. It is dirty and raw, and you find yourself rooting for the bad guys and loving them despite the ghastly things they do. It has the same dichotomy as The Sopranos with your deeply rooted love of family and intricate back story fleshing out the justifications for their actions. I may not be a paid critic, but your show rocks. Like OMG totally!

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Jeffrey said...

Forget about the reviews from critics listen to the fans. WE LOVE THE SHOW. It is the reason I pay for cable. Your show provides me and I would bet many others a sense of escape from reality.

paige gail said...

As I said in my tweet, the premiere of season 3 was everything I hoped for.

As a viewer, I fully expect a show to be capable of continuing their trend and work with the same style of story. But the brilliance here is that you've moved on. You can see that SOA is growing as a show and it's moving into territory that it has not previously been in. And for that, I applaud you.

I can imagine that for a successful show, it would be easy to play with what's worked in the past. But seeing you work with something new and delve into completely new territory is completely breathtaking.

Personally, I can't wait to see what you have in store for us the rest of the season.

And that, my friend, is what makes you one of the great show-runners in charge of what I believe to be the best television series of all time.

Becky said...

Thanks, but I prefer to giggle like a twelve-year-old boy. :) Dick jokes are always funny.

Erin kate said... don't write Mad Men?

Well said!

Unknown said...

I am not a huge fan of television as a whole. Most things that you see today make you want to just turn it off and pray to some higher power that something comes along some day that will make you think when you turn it on. When SOA first debuted I was a little nervous about how a show like this would be played out. Would it be something just so cheesed up that you would want to hurl or was it just going to be straight up lame. I was so pleasantly surprised that I got sucked in(and no it had nothing to do with shirtless scenes but I'll admit to the giggling like a 14 year old girl at times over them). Every season so far seems to be better than the last. I will even say the season finale for two I got teary eyed. You brought together an amazing cast that seem to just become the character they play. Everyone is going to have an opinion, but you know what they say about those. I truly look forward to watching every week something that isn't cookie cutter bullshit. I look forward to many more seasons with such intense storylines.

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Sutter..
My name Is Mike Purdy and I have watched your show from day one.. as soon as I heard about it I was hooked.... I remember watching the Shield with a very good friend of Mine and we had always wondered what a show like this would be like... and to say the least every time I watch an episode I am blown away because there is so much stuffed into the show.. From the mannerisims to the way a certain line is delivered and I must say that the characters are all larger than life. I guess I just wanted to write this post to you and just say that I am hooked on this show and I enjoy reading your posts because it is actually good in my opinion to see someone who has brought something like this and make it so mainstream.. Fuck those critics who can't understand what it is.. I mean they are losing out right? Season two was so good and I was always salivating at the screen wondering what would happen next.. and Season three the way it started off was in one word.. EPIC...I am not writing to you to cast any stone nor shall I.. I have never written on one of these things before and I just wanted to say that in my own words I applaud you for all you successes and for the creation and continued success to each and everyone on the SOA cast and crew.. each week you guys make it better and better.
Thank you so much
Mike Purdy

Raine said...

I liked your original title better....just sayin

Anonymous said...

Kurt, this is absolutely the best show on television. I don't watch TV very much because most shows are very predictable and have no originality. This show, on the other hand, has originality, keeps you at the edge of your seat through the whole show and leaves you wanting more. I haven't talked to a single person who has seen your show that has said anything bad about it. Nothing but great reviews from all... You and the crew are doing an excellent job, don't change a thing! Misty :)

Unknown said...

Maybe look at it this way, there are no good or bad reviews just good or bad reviewers. I mean that in a way like this, a negative viewpoint can helps fine tune whatever it is we are doing but someone who does this is a crappy way serves no purpose but their own masturbation. Likewise someone who says nothing but good things and gushes like a teenie bopper you can not get a clear picture of whether you accomplished your goal.

Maria said...

It's fair to say we all don't have the same tastes. With that said, I'm not a biker babe nor do I long to be one.

Yet, and I say this from the bottom of my heart FUCK the critics. Till the day they sit down and write anything other than there dribble of an opinion I really don't get why anyone would give any creedence to someone else's opinion unless they aren't capable of forming their own.

The reson I like your show is it's intensity. I love how I feel you nailed each and every character. I am from NY. I don't see bikers unless I'm down the East Village and I happen to pass a Hell's Angel on the street or riding down the highway as they pass you by or in depth looks at gang life on Biography.

You my friend have nailed it right down to Jax's SONS rings. Your complex weaving of storyline so far and all I've seen is episode One l leaves me craving for more.

I'm not here to stroke your ego or hope to be your friend. It's my humble opinion. I'm simply a viewer who thinks SONS is an artists dream. I appreciate the time and effort of every nuance, whether it be the dialect, the clothing, the sets, the violence, the storyline,the bikes or the cars it's all appreciated.

Thank you for putting something other than puff on tv. Your show isn't like for it's T&A that in itself is a compliment. It's like because it's raw and it's very tangible.

Cheers to a brilliant start!


Page said...

I was a fan of the Sopranos but it pales in comparison to SOA. Why? Mafia BS is tired, while biker BS is a new flavor yet to be devoured.

And while I love me some True Blood, SOA is in a league all its own because it does not use soft core porn as a means to entice its audience. I am hooked regardless if I see Jax bare-assed or not... altho bare-assed is my preference.

In regards to the critics who can't see the true genius of SOA I would like to quote: "...most wouldn't know good critical analysis if it sliced open their heads and shit a pile of knowledge where their brains should be." - Please allow me the pleasure of providing the shit....

Lisa said...

Remember what you were told in grade school. Keep what the people that love you say close to your heart and know it is true. We think you are a genius. Ignore those jealous pinheads who envy your ability and achievements. I realize in your business reviews are important. But you have such a huge following and people that rave about your work. Any moron can see your show is a huge success. Maybe the show is not a particular reviewer's cup of tea. But to deny the show is intelligent and original means they were not being objective. You have the ultimate revenge - us! We don't trust reviews - hell - we don't read them! We know enough to judge for ourselves and we have. Look around and know that you have already won. Season 3 is incredible. And don't your fans matter more than a bunch of braindead writer wannabees?

Anonymous said...

With all the positive comments and raves from the fans, you are focusing on the few who "don't get it". Why not allow yourself to enjoy the success and praise that flows towards you? SOA rocks, it IS the best show on tv and you're incredibly talented. Stop whining.

DJ said...

Some people will never ever be pleased. You could make a "perfect" show and still someone would find one minuscule detail to complain about. Probably because most human beings thrive on the negative and refuse to let themselves be happy about anything.

Personally, I think you are incredibly brilliant. Your writing is ingenious and constantly keeps me on my toes. The show has so much heart and an AMAZING cast.

From the first episode I was hooked. Now that I'm a fan I'm a fan for life. I have full trust in you no matter where you decide to take the show you'll have my full support!! You rock Kurt!! My family and I are with you for the long haul. It's actually helping my sister and I get through a rough time right now. So keep up the great work :)

Lori Green said...

Bad reviews? WTF there are bad reviews for Sons!?!?

My only review are trying to KILL me with this show! You make me cry and then you make me scream at the tv. Oh, and you kill people I like! However, for that I love you AND your show!

Keep doing what you do!!

Gina F. said...

SOA is a wonderful, character driven show. In fact, it's one of the few shows I leave my PC and head to the couch to watch. I don't want to miss any of the details or the action. You really need to keep ducking those bad reviews. Anger like yours is debilitating and hurts the people around you. Seriously though, thanks for a grand show.

tom feister said...

Kurt- This is becoming my standard post here: Fuck em. Some people don't get it and they never will. As a fan of your work I beg you to stop looking at this crap. Get your feedback from those you respect and to hell with the others.

Lucas said...

...I gave the show a good review, Kurt. Please don't hurt me.

paige gail said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tom feister said...

Kurt- This is becoming my standard post here: Fuck em. Some people don't get it and they never will. As a fan of your work I beg you to stop looking at this crap. Get your feedback from those you respect and to hell with the others.

Tom Whiting said...

Welcome to the age of the internet where it's cool to attack anything you don't understand or like, simply because you are an anonymous voice. I see this reaction all the time, and it's disgusting, honestly.

I must confess that all throughout watching the S3 premiere (which I've watched 3x already), I was kind of disappointed, waiting for that 'big bang' moment. When you finally did deliver, it was glorious, and it set the pace for the rest of the season which just looks glorious.

A true critic is someone who understands they are not going to 'like' everything, but also understands that there is good, and bad in everything. It's sad to see these children trying to tear down what is a fabulous show, and it's creator simply because they lack the mentality to understand the show itself.

You've done a great thing here. Sure, it's not perfect, but nothing ever is. Don't let the naysayers get you down!

Unknown said...

Kurt, I couldn't agree more. I'd take it one step further and say that it applies to most prejudices. People can't (or won't) attempt to view thingd from any perspective other than their own.

Anonymous said...

i am pretty confident that more people are watching SOA than reading some stupid critique written by someone most of America has never even heard of. right? who are these people, these "critics"? the fans are the ones give you give the fans what they want... MORE SOA!!!

Chris said...


Anonymous said...

Kurtu Sutter is a modern day genius ,in my book , from groing up with the munsters & adams family,M.P.Flying circu to howard t,v, to the muppets how what was on in the 80s I must have missed it ; ) to seinfeld simpsons sopranos the sheild true blood. I've never been one to really like tv but I do know good drama. . Sons of anarchy is up there w the best of the tv I've ever seen its realistic in a away few will ever understand . Great show . There will always be critics but in my opinion neg critics on something ob vioulsy good or beautiful comes down to one thing jealousy . I wish I could have a few hours to discuss the show and good movies /tv w sutter , not only a great show but fine casting katey sagel deserves an emmy for her pertrayal of gemma . And jax prtrays the duality of club life . Basically finding his chi and to be centerd ( good luck with that one kurt in real club he'd be bounced at church : ( sad but true . I love the show. It never disappoints I can't wait till sept. Then its over the finale being bittersweet every season .I just never understood why it can't be a soap opera shown daily for us addicts ( friend of bills 17 years ; ) your ..cape cod Maureen

Anonymous said...

Kurt, you just skull fucked some knowledge into those bitchy, pissant, piles of scum called internet critics. You're the man with the vison, you're the man that can put it on paper and you're the man who gets it to my televison screen, and for all those things I say the dickless internet critics can suck the collective dicks and vaginas of all SOA fans out there,and God knows there's alot of it. They better get started, I'm out!


DJ Mike said...

This was a great post Kurt. One thing I think that really factors into a critic's analysis is whether or not this is the first time they are viewing the show. Sons is not one of those shows that you can sit down in the middle of the season and be immediately entertained (such as Modern Family or say Family Guy). Sons is one of the shows that is great because it takes us viewers on a journey, as Jax and Clay grow and develop so do our ideas and thoughts about them.
Critics who sit down to watch Sons for the first time because their boss told them they need a review by 8 am the next morning obviously aren't going to be able to give too positive of a review since there are so many things being thrown at them at once. It's a show that requires great attention to details because every single action has some sort of meaning.
I often compare Sons to The Office in the sense that the very first time you watch it you might think its horrible camera work or poor directing, it's only after beginning to watch a few episodes do you begin to fully appreciate both shows for all that they have to offer.
Keep up the amazing work Kurt and don't let any of these critics get to you, you are always growing as an artist and as you grow so does your show.


Chessie (Chesshirecat) said...

SOA works for me. I'm an enthusiastic fan. I don't listen to the the way, you should go to twitter and punch in #SOA on search. You won't be disappointed with the reviews as your show is playing on Tuesday nights!

Your story line is so close to stuff I've seen in my own experiences...I wonder, have you been in my head?
Marilyn Elmore

Unknown said...

Currently giggling like a fourteen year old girl.

Outsider said...

One Might wish to Defenestrate the Penetrating, Purple Prosed, Perpalicious Critic. One recently attacked a film I did in which my dialogue was completely inaudible...granted that's a problem...hey I didn't even appear till 2/3 of the way through, so I doubt he got that far, and then you couldn't hear me....but my co lead is about to do a play in New York possibly with Pacino and another teaches acting in l.a. and yet another is a very interesting off broadway actor, so I hated to see them take a generalized diss. The Director Writer had even worse luck than having his soundman leave before the show was over...the soundman, or an adequate soundperson, never arrived. They shotgunned us since the makeup lady couldn't affix tha lavs, (not the bathrooms, the radio mikes), which the cast was shocked to discover was a duty assigned her.

Anyway I lucked into a unique solution. The critic somehow reviewed another of my films very favorably right after and I chose to engage him in a dialogue. Shlock exploitation horror is a sub branch of the horror psyche thrillers I find myself doing so I don't mind it being called on it. Whereas my co-players are used to doing serious material only and couldn't take the hit as well.

Anyway the critic responded to the dialogue I entered into with him and beseeched me to send him another of my recent films that won at an l.a. festival. He reviewed it glowingly. So this was a unique solution to the biased Critic Dilemma that performers and writers face. However if one can't find a solution as fortuitous as that....I strongly recommend ripping them another arsehole.....punish the penetrative perp with a broke glass dildo.

eak3 said...

I'm just a fan that tunes in week after week to see the exploits of SAMCRO. I love the show, the acting is top-notch and the writing is brilliant. I think FX puts out some of the best shows in television. The Shield, Rescue Me, SoA, and Damages are my favs.

People are going to hate solely because thats what they want to do before they even give something a chance. People can love blindly also to a fault. Its a rare thing any more to objectively look at material and critique it for what it is soley.

I cant imagine what its like to see something you created get picked apart, shit on or whatever it is critics do. From my 39 yrs of life, I do know that the masses generally have differing opinions than what the paid, stick up there asses, critics have to say. SoA is in my opinion is the best show on television right now and the 3rd season opener was amazing.

Unknown said...

Again, very well stated Kurt. What happened to the days when tv was an ESCAPE from reality, just pure entertainment. As a lifelong biker born and raised in the "lifestyle" of course I love the show, but on the flipside, I know quite a few people that never understood, or just downright hate the lifestyle but completely love the show for its originality. Most critics probably wont be happy til Kurt copies other hit shows and does an episode where Jax, Clay and the boys break into song and dance in the center of town singing Born to Be Wild. (BTW, if you do Kurt I'll gladly come to Cali to put you out of your damn misery! Lol) In short, your true fans stand by you and applaud you for making the best damn show on tv in a long time. "Critics" hate on shows cuz they just arent talented enough to go out and write their own shows. Thanks for keeping it real, on every show you've done, and just entertaining the hell out of all of us.

Dr Linda said...

I am going to name a TV critic: Alan Sepinwall - to me he is doing some of the best work of TV analysis. He doesn't so much steer me (his audience) AWAY from shows, but rather towards. When there is a show (like Mad Men) that we both like, his thoughtful, insightful, joyful reviews enhances my viewing. (And his wonderful comments forum allows true fans to share more insights and have adult discussions w/o regular Internet bullshit.) The top TV critics shine a light on those involved in making a show (writers, directors, etc.) and not just the pretty, pretty faces.

Snark for snark sakes is so 1990s - and those reviewers who are frustrated by what they do (and in some of them in really shows, what are they failed screenwriters?) should stop, drop, and roll into another profession - or apply to Television Without Pity.

Macey said...

I did giggle like a fourteen year old teenage girl and then as a 26 year old woman, last week when Jax was in the shower, keep up the good work and scenes with Jax in the shower.

Cheryl said...

..."I'll make you giggle like a fourteen-year-old teenage girl..."

You did, last season with Half-Sack, high on mushrooms, sitting in the mud. :)

Just keep remembering that you will never please everyone so stay true to yourself and stop beating yourself up (literally) over this stuff.
I love this show and each week have a conversation with a college librarian who also loves it. We both have different viewpoints and it's a blast to discuss.

BigScary Bob said...

I tend to think of critics in the same way that I think of mosquitoes, lawyers and leeches. Sort of a living off something else in a bloodsucky kind of way. I very rarely ever agree with what they have to say no matter a movie, restaurant, Television, art, concert or whatever it may be.
They tend to have a condescending manner about them and their opinions and that usually comes across in their opinions of the work of others. Others create for critics to opine? Where is the fair in someone being paid to shit on the work of others when to often the critic has never done the work that they criticize? How many movie critics have made a movie? How many music critics have written a song? Restaurant critics that have never cooked for more than one or two people at a time never mind a restaurant full of them?
Maybe if the critic had REAL and respectable experience in the field they criticize and the critique was of constructive value, it might have some value and the critic a reason to hoist their opinion about like it had actual value. The truth is that this will never be and besides, who hell cares what the fuck someone else thinks of what he/she has created from their experience and abilities?
Kill the Critics!

Olle said...

Yo Kurt! I think you are being alittle hard on yourself, I have not seen much of battlestar gallatica, but I have seen enough to tell you your show is not on that level.
Sons of Anarchy is my favorite tv show that is on the air right now along with Entourage & True Blood.
I mean its just amazing, great actors,music etc but the thing that makes the show so fucking great is how AWSOME you are at writing the manuscript, I mean the plots are just fantastic!

So keep up the good work and dont let the shitty negative reviews get you down, they obviously dont understand your show or its concept!

Best Regards. Ollie from Sweden

Tyler said...

Being an indie musician who has to put a lot of stock into reviews, I always struggle with wondering whether the average person reading a review understands that the review they are reading doesn't hold any weight as to whether the subject being reviewed is good or bad. At best the reviewer can only explain the content of what is being reviewed. No matter what the reviewer's criteria, he is no more than a person with an opinion based on preconditioned likes. For example, unlike many of my peers and critics alike, I think Radiohead's music is mediocre at best and borderline boring, but I'm not gonna get all self-righteous and write a review saying how overrated their music is, because I don't like it to begin with. Sometimes I think critics forget what their job is.

Great post, Kurt. It means a lot to someone in my shoes, coming from someone in your shoes.
p.s. I lied about not writing that review about how overrated Radiohead is. I'm editing it right now.

Melissa2683 said...

It's funny how the ignorance of a few so-called professionals can make such an impact on an artist. It's good to know that while you allow yourself to accept and react to the negative press, you also acknowledge the this show isn't for the critics; it's your own vision and there are a great many people who respect and appreciate what you're doing! Keep it going! The show kicks ass!

Sarah Quigley said...

So whoever thinks this show isn't pure genius should like totally not watch it or judge it! I'm from Canada and don't get the luxury of f/x but I still support Kurt and Katey and the cast by purchasing each season as it hits retail!

This show is the most amazing and intense show I have watch in my 25 years of living! If I could be casted it would be more than an honor!!

Every single person I know has not one bad thing to say about this show! Keep doing your thing over at SoA and wipe your ass with all the little fuckers who are too incompetent to understand the nature of what's happening in the dialogue!

xo Sarah xo

JLP said...

It's funny you should post this blog about this topic today, because last night the husband and I watched a few episodes of SOA season two and I went to bed thinking, "Thank god for Kurt Sutter--that man writes some fricking awesome TV." Both SOA and The Shield are two of my absolute favorite shows. Your work is raw, real, and honest. The actors were made for their roles. We think you rule. Keep rockin', Kurt.

indianacat aka lowecat on twitter said...

OMG! Like, Mis-tah Sut-ter, I haven't been a teenaged girl for like, decades! (insert emoticon here)!

As always, Mr. S, a well thought out piece of writing. Sorry you ran your fist through a window. What is it about us creative types that out tempers always take out walls, windows, telephones, and other inanimate objects? I once took the baseball bat to the couch. The couch didn't survive.

I once shared with you that Johnny Hart, the creative talent behind B. C. comic strips, had a very good opinion of critics, calling them the snake's eye view.

I don't like professional critics. Like the notion of a happy period, there is no such thing! They get paid to write bullshit and foist their opinions of what's good and bad on others.

'Oh, the critic gets paid to watch this, and make an opinion on it. The critic must be right. So I'll not watch/view/see/pay my $$$ for this based on the critic's say so.'

Bleedin' sheep.

Guess I'm blessed to have some amount of working grey matter keepin' my ears apart, as I tend to prefer to decide for myself if something is good, bad, or a total waste of time. That process has placed some aboslute gems in front of me, and sometimes I've come across total drek. Sometimes the stuff that the mass thinks is 'da bomb' makes me wanna hurl gnarly chunks.

I don't trust critics any further than I can throw them. I'll trust my own judgement, and decide for myself.

I treasure the positive reviews received for my fanfiction work. Some aren't very long, others are very in depth. I've had one negative review, but the person was very specific in their reasons for not liking the chapter, and I appreciated that. One other negative was from a wanna be hacker with her own blog and a pre-conceived notion about the genre. She proved her own bias by her blog. That one didn't teach me anything.

We creative types have a love/hate relationship with reviews. Our egos need them as much as humans need air to breathe. We secretly thrive on the positive gushers, and we look at the negatives like a train wreck. We KNOW it's gonna be icky, but we look anyway and we aren't disappointed.

I watch SOA not just because of the bikes and the actors. That's a bonus. I watch because of the writing, and because of the subtle touches you add to the piece. I've watched SO 4 times already, and catch something new that escaped me the first time.

Were I a reviewer, SOA would get a good review, based on its' merits. But, I'm not a reviewer, I'm a viewer. I'm a fan. I know what I like, and if somebody wants to call me a red-necked biker chick wanna be bad ass for likin' SOA, I'll wear the badge with honor.

Good job, Mr. S., on your kinder, gentler title. Frankly, I liked the original one better. OMG! Like, totally, knowwhatimean?

Star said...

Don't pay the critics any mind, they don't know know real work when they see or read it.

lici2 said...

Okay. Im a really big fan of Rubins. A Baroque artist. I like his work for two reasons, firstly, i like the name and definition of the word Baroque. For those that dont know - it means to marry components in such a way -'the use of asymmetry, florid illusionism, direct imagery and lavish ornamentation', using all that you can to draw the viewer into your artwork. Secondly, one of his more known paintings is called "the Rape of the Daughters". this painting in content is harsh and depicts the young girls being attacked by guards on horses. Yet when you look at it, the colour, the movement, the lines etc- they are beautiful. its looks like a beautiful side of evil. When he painted this work the word Rape originally meant abduction. Changing the words does not in any way subtract from the cruelty and the beauty of the work, only ones perception can.

Stilly said...

Who cares what the critic say! The show is great, they are mad because their life is boring and they can't relate.... I learned a long time ago that when people don't understand something they either avoid it or talk bad about it. Keep up the good work Brother! Don't let a bunch of pussies with their "I'm a critic so I know what I'm talking about" attitudes get you pumped... everyone I know loves the show and I look forward to it every week!


Unknown said...

The issue with critics is extremely simple, to me at least, since that what all opinion is, internal and localized to the person. A critic is someone who simply put, cannot do, and therefore, cannot avoid an internal comparison to that which they might have wished they could do, but simply didn't have (1) the skills and (2) the drive to do. A critic cannot speak for the masses, it's simply impossible, nor does their opinion have any reality or weight except in their own reality, their own world. Now I realize that the previous statement also probably negates the postive ones as well, but that's the way it is. The proof, Kurt, is in your numbers, and in your rabid fan base, and yes I'm one, an unabashed fan boy, who does, yes, get it conceptually, as well as being highly entertained. The proof of any author, director, writer is in the emotional, visceral reaction that an audience of fans has to what does happen, or doesn't happen, as the script, the author, the director, the showrunner decides, to the characters they've become attached to. That reaction is real, and triggers real emotions. I'm sure I'm not the only person saddened by what occurred to Hale. I'm sure I'm not the only tattooed, pierced black wearing outlaw in the world who got a little misty at the scenes between Gemma and the Reverand, (and didn't want his girlfriend to see it). I'm sure I'm not the only person out there who understood completely that Jax had made his decision and was "with" him all the way; I can't be the only person who understood Piney's sense of loss, Tig's sense of frustration, loyalty and "what the hell", who understood that Clay is teaching Jax what it's like to be a leader, and knows that inside himself he feels his own clock ticking, understood Unser's reaction. I could go on, and I have too much already. Fuck the critics Kurt, the proof is in the emotional connection that those of us feel who wish they were real, and want a chapter in our hometowns too, and understand that this is your vision, not some critic who's never experienced loss, never had to make a hard choice, never had the chance, the joy and the opportunity to exist within a loyal set of brothers, family and friends.

erin said...

i was just telling someone not a few days ago that i not only respect and adore your show, but that i have that same respect for you. my reasoning at the time was that we briefly discussed our difference of opinion on peta/vegetarianism on twitter recently and you were VERY VERY COOL about it. i grew up with bikers, man. & they weren't half as kind about hearing my end of things as you were & i'm a stranger!
this blog reiterates the exact same thing. part of what makes you a really good dude and, in turn, a really great artist. you have your opinions and you stick by them but you are also willing to hear out the other person if they speak with a modicrum of intelligence. you put this in the best way possible. it's not a bad critique that sucks, it's a bad critic. & if you're getting paid to give your opinion (which everyone has so dear critic be glad you're even moderately relevant in the world of free blogs, podcasts, etc) do it with at least some tact and intellect.

cheers man. & fuck their noise. SoA is epic.

Mike said...

You are the producer, all of the positive and negitive reviews land on your back. Critics do not make and break shows, its the fans. We are the ones who tune in to watch, week in and week out to see how your creative process plays out. We are the ones who purchase the dvds and merchandise, and its not based on what they say. Two months ago, my girl had never heard of, let alone watched an episode of Sons, I had accidentally left season 1 at her place and as of today she's gone out and purchased season 1 and season 2. I guess my point is that critics will always have their individual perceptions both positive and negative, but they sure as hell don't speak for all of us, your fans.

Anonymous said...

Gotta dig the no bullshit head on way at lookin at the world along with making people look at themselfs anf those around and think "how would I/they react to whatever",Those who write about shows are those who have lack of creative minds,Keep em roll and do what feels right to you fuck the scribes in tvland.L&R Kent intucson

Anonymous said...

Right on.

therealzenobia said...

Fucking bloggers!

p.s. Sorry for calling you an asshole, even with love. Watched Hale get dragged under the wheels again last night and it didn't make me any happier, but I sure did get excited when I saw KJ and PM. And I really can't live without Maggie Siff.

p.p.s. Somebody said to me the other day - out loud! - "IDK."

Samantha Moss said...

As you stated,every person either gets it or they don't. As for myself, I do understand SOA. Having been married to a biker for many years, you portray the truth in many ways. Thank you Kurt for a show that many people relate to. Keep up the good work.

rudz said...

I surely hope you don't let people get under your skin and affect Sons...then they will win.

The show has a LOST feel to it...and that is saying a lot because LOST went global pretty quick and was hugely successful. Sons is having that same affect, so you have more popular critics (who needs them anyways).

Take care bro, keep doing what you are doing. Sons is awesome and we all want at least 10 seasons!

Anonymous said...

Just think you should know that your dedication to your craft and your honesty are both staggering and inspiring. It is why your fan base is so loyal. No show has ever made me laugh, cry and scream out of pure frustration in one episode, so thank you for doing that almost every week.

The Drew 805 said...

Well, for what its worth , I totally like the show like OMG. Its like totally my favorite show. Ive re-watched S301 like x3

Geneva said...

I am just a fan but I have been from day one. Some people wont get what you are doing because they would love to live in the SOA world but still wear suit and tie everyday ie; most TV critics. Its one thing to ride a bike and own a bandana and whole other thing to ride free. Other people like myself can see the realism and creative genious line you walk with each new episode I appreciate the passion that goes into each episode and will continue to ride this journey with you til the end. And if these "critics" dont like it FUCK EM. I never read that shit anyway. So take the bull by the horns or balls which ever you prefer and continue what your doing. Geneva

Sky said...

That's the problem with working in a creative industry. You want others to see the hard work and though that went into what you create. And some just don't get it. I work in the video game industry, and release time is the most exhilarating and frightening time of all. And it's hard to stay away when the reviews start rolling out. Keeps me up at night. Constant doubt about what the hell I'm doing. Good book called 'Art and Fear' that talks about the subject.

jaimie c. said...

I love the show, and was really amped up after the first epsiode of Season 3. And you know, those critics, they will trash it to sell papers, but those bastards will be glued to their screens each week because they can't get enough of the genius that you have created. Keep them coming!!! Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication, and that of your writers, cast, and crew, who all make this show great.

johnny said...

These are probably the same fucks that love hellcats, 90210, and can't wait for the glee premier. Thank God for giving us real outlets such as madmen, true blood, the sheild, bsg, and my personal favorite sons of anarchy. Life would be pretty fucking cheesy without them! Thanks for taking chances and doing something original. Real fans really love and appreciate your and the casts hard work. Stay devoted, good things will follow!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sutter, to paraphrase an old saying - "Those that CAN - DO and those that CAN'T - DENIGRATE those that CAN"! You keep up the genius work that you DO. I have been a fan since I saw the first commercial and will be long after SoA is off the air - which I hope and pray is NEVER!!! (emoticons added on purpose - sorry, couldn't resist LOL). Also I didn't know you did The Shield - awesome work!

Kevin Regan said...

I have been on board with SOA from early on in season one. I'm not sure why I wasn't there right out of the gate. I adored The Shield (still maintain it was the greatest show in the history of TV - sorry LOST fanatics).

I have a weird relationship with motorcycles. I claim to have almost NO interest in them or the "biking world." However, my first Hunter S. Thompson book was "Hell's Angels," I was obsessed with watching the Tuttle's build their rides on American Choppers and I have "Samcro" in my heart.

I think deep down I must really want a bike...or to wear lots of form fitting leather.

I have an internet series (which I won't whorishly plug by naming here). In the series I would shoot a devious character in darkness, kind of a Charlie's Angels feel. I got blasted in a review for having "poor lighting" in these scenes. I had to read the review twice to see if I was the idiot or he was (truthfully, it's probably both).

I am amazed with the amount of people who would prefer to tear a part the works of others as opposed to doing ANYTHING themselves. Its sometimes shocking they can read & write to convey themselves. Sure I could sit in my parent's basement and write about what I think "sucks." But i'd rather use what little time I have here to go out and try and put something good into this world. Plus my wife wouldn't be keen with the living arrangements in my 'rent's celler.

Keep up the good work Mr. Sutter. Just because YOU can read, doesn't mean you should.

Also, unlike so many of these hit and run assholes, I have no problems signing my name to what I write.

Joe said...

Misery loves company, and it sounds like theres some really miserable critics reviewing the show...

Unknown said...

Critics have to be in someones pockets. How else can they not get it. Don't let it get to you! Sons is the best show ever made. Your fans love you, we're loyal and we're greatful! Bought season 2 the day it came out, spent the entire day watching it again. Locked my door, had the hubbie watch the kiddies. Best day ever! I laughed, I cried! A FYI to fans, there's a 15% coupon in the DVD for gear.
Season 3's "SO" was all I imagined. Loved the "SO" ring on J.T's toumbstone. You are a rockstock! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Can't wait till next week!

Crystal said...

I haven't given critics much mind since they snickered at the Billy Jack movies, which I as a child of the 60s and Native American proponent cheered.

You might save your body and soul stress if you forget the critics and read the articles of the Internet journalists who write articles, not reviews. We get paid so little that we don't waste our time on slamming stuff we don't like, but delve deeper into the stuff we do like.

And guess what? We are the ones who actually watch your show, not the TV Critics who only watch what the show sends them.

The premiere is every bit as good as I expected it to be. Your cast is amazing. So is your writing.

The one area of disagreement is that I do see similarities between you and The Sopranos -- in the family problems painted on the fringes of the law canvas. Must admit I don't see the King Lear or Hamlet similarities, but I'll think on it.

Unknown said...

The crictics must be in someones pockets. SOA is the best thing that ever happen to t.v. Don't let it get to you.they have lillte minds.
Bought season 2 the day it came out, spent today watching the entire series, again. Locked my door, had hubbie watch the kiddies. I laughed, I cried! FYI to the fans, the DVD contains a 15% coupon in it for gear.
"SO" was all I excepted and more. Loved the "SO" ring put on J. T's toumbstone. You are a rockstar!

Ash said...

This show is absolutely fantastic! Please do not listen to critics who do not know what they are talking about. People who tune in on season 3 and don't know what it took to actually get to season 3 and the journey that the characters took to be who they are is so phenomenal. In just 27 episodes you have created some deep mythology and insightful, special characters that took many infinitely popular shows like Buffy and Angel five plus season to make. The show is so rich in context, history, that just has me salivating for more! I just got hooked in June, but I am telling all my friends about it, and it is so inspiring to watch. Marveling between the genius of the writer and creator and the skills of the actors playing these beautiful characters! It is absolutely fantastic! I love this show, and am just in love with the whole aspect. Sons is making me wanting to reread Hamlet (which I was not a huge fan of the first time) Don't let the critics get you down!!!!!!! Thanks for making such a kickass show!

Ash said...

Another quick question....Kurt, or any of the writers, are they planning on making a script book for sons of Anarchy? I collect scripts so to speak, I have the West Wing script books and all sorts of Scripts books, i was just wondering because it was just be phenomenal to look at the script style and see the beloved words on page!

Megan said...

I hardly ever watch tv HOWEVER.... i watched a couple of episodes of SOns of Anarchy and now im HOOKED i also couldn't believe how FKN good it was the story lines the actors EVERYTHING!! And im now a HUGE fan and am waiting for the next episode of SOA :). Keep up the good work! Take the good with the bad. And make sure you make Season 4 LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

andrea mangiri said...

i don't know why the fuck u care about it.....i mean, premiere ratings were positive, right? so fuck the haters and keep on doin your best (as always)

Anonymous said...


I have puppy love for SOA, who gives a rat's fucking ass what anyone else thinks.

Yup. That is the first time I ever used the F word on the Internet.


eparico said...

Kurt, I'm going to echo the sentiments of just about everyone else who commented to say fuck em! I've been a fan of your show since day one and have never been so intrigued, angry, sad, happy and mystified by watching a TV show...a friggin TV show! You leave us hanging on each episode, wanting more and wondering what will happen next. In all my 38 years, I've never planted my sorry ass in front of a TV to watch any show faithfully until SOA (until recently where True Blood also caught my eye but you still have them beat). In fact, last week before the show started, I set my alarm clock to go off at 9:55 every Tuesday because I have a tendency to fall asleep watching the tube and don't want to miss a single minute of your show. Think about it this way...your fans are also your critics and there are a lot more of us than there are of them. We appreciate your creativity and the thought you put into each episode...don't ever change that!

RegRob said...

As a viewer I run into the same thing with people. They either don't like SOA or they absolutely get it and love the shit out of it. You can't please everyone but you without a doubt please your fans every single time. As for "giggling like a fourteen-year-old teenage girl" that happens with every commercial, every advertisement and of course when the "This Life" starts mission accomplished! Tuesday nights or SAMCRO day, as it is affectionately called on twitter, can't get here soon enough for me! Keep doin' what your doin'.

The Mulkster said...

Go ahead and Vent Kurt. We can take it. We're all family out here and sometimes you gotta' hurt the ones who love you. Just remember this, though. We will still be here no matter what some egotistical, pompous ass of a critic writes because we are the the masses who watch this show for real reasons. We are the Nielsen families who tune in every Tuesday Night to be mind-fucked by intelligent writers, producers and actors. We are the ones who keep coming back for more and talk about it at the water cooler the next day. This is what should give you comfort and this is what really matters...and a few weeks down the road, when the numbers come in, you'll'll know.

SHough610 said...

I agree that critics should take time to consider and know about the show before bashing or praising. I've been pleasantly surprised that critics I have a lot of respect for (namely Alan Sepinwall) love the show.

Is Sons perfect? No, but no show is. And I'd argue that from the first season finale on (in interviews you've talked about finally getting a handle on Jax as a more active character at this point) it's been one of the three best dramas on television along with Mad Men and Breaking Bad.

That a critic would bash it because it's about an OMC seems ridiculous. Thats like saying you don't like Mad Men because it's about ad executives, or the Wire because it deals with cops and drugs. That is as much wondown dressing as anything else, if you have compelling characters and story that they motivate then who gives a fuck? Give me a show about housepainters and I'll watch it if it has the same drama, characterization, and richness as SOA.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kurt,

I think "Sons" is one of the best things on TV. The season premiere has just reinforced my good feelings that you have a quality product here. You have expertly created and drawn me into this world and the lives of these characters. I look forward to watching the story unfold each week. I do want to say - Katey needs to call the cops on the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, because she was ROBBED by Emmy - why no Best Actress in a Drama nod for her!? Much respect to you, the cast and crew.

Anonymous said...

Haters gonna hate!
Thank you for Sons of Anarchy.

Lorenzo said...

Greetings from Italy!! My friends and me never miss a singole episode but sometimes we would like to have the strenght to wait for 2/3 week without SOA to crush our brain with at least 2 hour of this wonderful show! I'm a musicians so i've read several rewievs about my works.. i try to understand the feelings and the background of those who write a bad reviews: they're often failed as musicians and the envy is a bad advisor.. But when i'm sad about a review i blame myself: my purpose was to create something that makes me walk head up high, so bad and good reviews are just a different prospective about something i'm proud of. I'm not a horse who need a sugar when he did right!
You're far beyond this things, you're an artist, an amazing artist, and al the people who doesn't like Sons had to show respect for an unquestionable masterpiece!

Heather A said...

Most of us reading this blog cannot fathom walking in your shoes each day. Some of us might think we'd like the fame and fortune (and to be married to Katey), but could any of us take the regular abuse that comes with life in the spotlight?

I believe that your ability to understand and write complex characters in an honest way (and to handle emotional depth at all) comes from openly dealing with the pain of your past. Maybe writing this show is meant to serve as some bit of healing for all that. And maybe having shitty reviews thrown at you is part of the healing, too.

Or maybe they're just a healthy way to balance out all the crazed worship you get from your fans.

(...she writes as she refrains from typing, "WE LOVE YOU, KURT!!!!!!!)

lol ;)

Outsider said...

Just don't punch out Concrete Walls....I tried that in
the Riverside County Jail once....Broke my Hand in
Three Places

Hey...nice word verification this time...'Waffook'...

Theresa said...

I am not posting to blow smoke up your ass. We all have opinions and the good thing about where we live is that we are entitled to voice them.

SOA is the only show I watch on TV. This is the ONLY show I have found that is worth watching. I am also a fan of your straight talking, do not have time for the BS, honest blog. You have an amazing talent and have created the most awesome show I have ever seen. That is merely a statement of fact.

I am not a published critic but I am someone with an opinion and the legions of fans, and the ratings show that you must be doing something right. Last weeks premier just proves this once again.

I have never been so emotionally invested in a TV show. The talent of everyone involved in this show surpasses everything else out there. It makes me laugh, cry, scream out load, usually all within such a short period of time. What other medium can accomplish this? How many showrunners can say that their fans are this loyal or diverse?

You are admired and therefore, people are jealous, not to mention unable to appreciate brillance and true entertainment.

Anonymous said...

Damn people are so fucking stupid. Your show and the writing is phenomenal. Fuck what TV reviewers say. Hey i should become one of them but they would probably ban my ass cuz my opinions would be harsh kind of a mix of you and Roseann. What i am trying to figure out is how anyone in their right mind could give this show a bad review. I am assuming that the TV reviewers idea of good drama is that of 90210, degrassi and melrose place. Please give me a fucking break, i went to high school in small and big high schools and that kind of drama is bogus. I have also been involved with bikers through out my life and this show is based on alot of truth. So the truth is scary get the fuck over it or join a mother fucking convent. Keep up the great work Kurt you rock as always.

Billie Bliss said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I just had a discussion w/ someone about this exact thing after I over heard the idiot behind the counter of my local Mcdonalds telling another burger flipper that SOA was trying to be the new Sopranos as I was ordering my Royal w/ Cheese. When I asked him what the fuck made him draw this conclusion he couldn't even answer. Turns out he hadn't even seen the show & was just spewing some bullshit he read. So, I ever so politely said, "Do, you get Social Security payments for your mental disability, because I'm pretty sure you were hired for the tax credits." They more than likely spit in my food.
Most critics are a bunch of acne ridden losers that still live in their mothers basements. Unless I'm given a valid run down of why they didn't like something I take absolutely no stock in what they say.

lowecat aka indiancat said...

A thought to all and sundry, including us creative types.

Those who can, do.

Those who can't, critique those who can.

Those who can't, crucify the work of those who can and go on a power trip by doing so.

Those who can't are a PITA to those of us who can because we put it out there for those who can't o have something to kvetch about.

Bo Sun said...

First, thanks for yet another crazy season of Sons.

Altho I might be taking a stab here, it's pretty obvious from your blog that you have a very big ego. And that ego needs constant feeding, whether it be negative or positive (obviously the latter is better). Nevertheless, I think that's what makes the writing and, consequently, the show so great, because that ego and intensity shines through onto the screen. It's almost literally using television as a conduit into your cult of personality (whether that' a positive or negative thing depends on your perspective).

However, that ego is very much a double-edged sword. When fed too much and if you let it take you over, it can destroy you and any sense of sanity or reasonable perception. Like a caged animal, you must keep it in check so as to not take focus away from your work and using that ego as a positive effect.

In my opinion, you should use that ego to focus your efforts on creating a show and world you think you and your fans would enjoy watching, not some bit critic on the interwebs. In similarity (but exactly the same) to yourself, with the advent and spread of internet availability and anonymity, most of these "critics" feel the need feed their egos (and, subsequently, page hits) in order to prove something (what that is depends on the individual), and if by eviscerating your show furthers that ego-train, they won't think twice about it. In the end, what does their "published opinions" matter anyways, in the big picture? Like you said, this is a like-or-hate-it kind of show, so very few people are going to be swayed either way by what some "guy with some linguistic and word processing skills" says. Besides, in this age of increasing personal connectivity via FB, Twitter, etc., word of mouth is increasingly overwhelming the "so-called" expert. The critic is a relic of the print age when, often, the ONLY source of information was from the papers.

michele said...

Mr. Sutter, I never watched The Shield so I have no opinion of that show. I watched Mad Men since it's debut but have recently stopped watching as I have become bored with the show. Sons of Anarchy leaves you wanting more when the show ends at 11:00pm. I can not wait to see next weeks episode at the end of each show. I have never ever bought a tv show on DVD before Son's of Anarchy aired. I have turned several of my friends on to the show. No matter what the critics say you know that the SOA fans are out here to support you and your show. So here is my response to the critics: "Fuck Em"!

James Blight said...

The first hurdle with critical analysis is understanding that "perfection" is not synonymous with being EVERYTHING TO EVERYBODY. This isn't just a comment on taste. It's appreciating that it's neither possible nor even preferable for any work of art to encapsulate a commentary on every single aspect of human existence. It's better, thematically, to aim for the bulls-eye than to use buckshot.

If there's an interesting peripheral story there, well ... ask yourself why it's peripheral. The Godfather is not a character study of Kay Corleone. We never see flashbacks of William Munny's relationship with his wife in Unforgiven. Shakespeare never lays out specifically the relationship Hamlet had with his father. There are certainly worthy stories there -- but they weren't the stories being told at the time. When the medium changes from cinema to TV, there is more temptation to sprawl, and thus more need for restraint.

Second, critical analysis MUST be honed well enough to distinguish between the auteur’s craft and the critic’s taste. I don’t enjoy Seinfeld, but I’ve thought enough about it to be able to articulate why and to appreciate the show’s merits for other people. Similarly, I watched enough of the first couple of episodes of Six Feet Under to know that it wasn’t for me, and even I think that those last few minutes of the finale are among the most amazing that the TV medium will ever see.

Third, critical analysis is not a venue for the critic to go off on a diatribe. Criticism is always best when it includes the solution along with the problem; constructive rather than destructive. Kevin Smith’s foreword to the Chasing Amy script discusses the inspiration he received from a negative review of Mallrats specifically because it took that approach.

Fourth, as Kurt says, you have to take each show for what it is, tabula rasa, and put the time in to honestly live in each show’s own universe. It always pisses me off when people dismiss TV as not being interactive. You get a great show like SoA, The Shield, The Wire, Breaking Bad, you get the joy, the engagement, the satisfaction that comes with analyzing and interpreting the story, the theme and the characters, especially when the writer trusts his audience enough to know they want to work a little for it. We then get to be the only critics that really matter.

Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Robert McKee said that Story is a metaphor for Life. Two maxims for the critic to live by, eh?

P.S. One of the things that may be confusing critics, Kurt, and one of the things I love best about SoA, is that you don't reach for the "reset" button like 99% of the shows out there. Your changes are allowed to stand and grow upon your original foundation rather than being cleared like a brushfire in every season premiere. Keep doing what you're doing, man!

Pat W said...

Haters gonna hate, it's just what they do. Sons is the best show on tv and sutterink is the best blog on the net. Keep at it!

therealzenobia said...

If you're done, can you tell us what the Belfast locations were?

tim weaver said...

Critics? Fuck em, if they were real writers wed call them kurt!! Episode 1, felt like a hangover putting the pieces together from the night before, ending with a well plotted direction of things to come. Criticism? A good 10th step can turn my intended retalliation into a healthy response leaving one unfullfilled and speachless, or I skip it and step on my dick. Follow your vision bro, diggin my fall tuesday nights!!!!

Denise Shelton said...

How can you not love a show where the badass biker mama has to put on her reading glasses to hot wire a car? Try getting that move out of some 30-something filmschool wunderkind. To borrow from an old TV ad -- you're not getting older, you're getting better. By the way, I've long suspected that some critics occasionally like to dump on the show du jour to try to make themselves look superior, regardless of whether they really like it or not. These people are scum and there's a pretty cage of them waiting in Hell. Sorry about your hand. My husband has the same "hobby". My house has had more than a few hasty patch jobs, I can tell you. That's okay. It's annoying but better the dry wall than me, the kid, or the dog. That's what God made Spackle in the small can for!

Unknown said...

Boneheads will be boneheads. Just stay true to your creativity man.

Heather A said...

I'm officially in love with Bo Sun. What phenomenal insight!

Is it acceptable to praise someone else in this forum besides you, Kurt?

Anonymous said...

You need to remember something. You don't get paid and the show doesn't stay on the air because of what the critics write. It's about viewers (and you have a huge number in that department) and as long as you creatively satisfy your own soul, provide enough to satisfy the creative souls of your cast/crew/family and entertain large numbers of people, who gives a sh!t what the critics say - good or bad.
You already know this but just as a reminder: Focus Kurt, forget about everything and everyone else, and just do your thing. That's what you are beloved by your viewers for - just do your thing and the rest will fall into place.

muffin said...

i promise to keep giggling if you keep on showing jax in various stages of undress throughout the season!

thanks sutter...fuck the idiots

Electronic Sole said...

Mr. Sutter,

I appreciated this post. Look man I weigh 110 soaking wet. I have long sideburns and dozens of tattoos, none of which you can see when I wear a t-shirt and shorts. I just finished a Masters last spring in Special Education. I'm blunt with my speech and loyal to a definite fault. I don't fit into any neat little boxes. All my life I've been trying to find my place in this world only to realize recently that I'll have to carve out a place for myself by myself. It is my opinion that this is what you are doing with your career in television. Again, I appreciate what you are doing with the Sons because we are all looking for some form of better understanding. Be Well,

Jack - The Anachronists

Anonymous said...

My husband and I were turned on to SOA at the beginning of Season 2 (still need to watch Season!). I also try to keep up with your blog. I enjoy both tremendously and that alone was what I was going to post...until you referenced Battlestar Galactica. That is my I now know why I like SOA so much. Thanks for making the connection and thanks for the great work.

Unknown said...

Good or bad reviews it don't matter they are still talkin bout you and letting more people hear bout your show ... I will watch every show no matter what and I will tell everyone of the people I talk to it's my favorite show on ... word of mouth ... keep em talkin amd sayin your name bro

Anonymous said...

You know Kurt....I have had some very similar experience's to you i did the bad shit went down the wrong roads and some who some were along the way....found my way back. a

The show!!!

I have lived in Both the USA and Ireland so i know i am more than chapter and versed in the Irish connection with the show! The one over riding complaint we would have is on Season 2 is the accents. Titus Welliver whom i like as a Actor is accent does you nor the show any justice there are a few other actors in there as well who's accent's are brutal. It appears that American actors have a real hard time on getting Accents right. For some one who wants the get the little details right, we wonder why did you not get Actors that could get the accent or maybe just use Irish Actors in those roles there is plenty about. I guess having seen shows that did exactly that have Brutal Irish Accents I expected more from Sons and you,

I know that Americans still think we talk like that, the reality is Ireland has about 20 Irish Accents and the Belfast alone is a world onto itself. I mean you need some one to do subtitles to get it, even for us that live in Ireland.

So that is my one complaint, the rest is just gr8! You have done a fantastic job in putting SONS out there, the story is compelling in that each week you are grabbing us in and we do not wanna turn of NO we want more.......Fuck the critic's that do not get it most are just Actors that never got a job anyway's. WE all have an opinion, is that opinion valid does it say some thing that validates what they are writing? If is is nasty just to be nasty we all know some one like that....right.

All that said the reality is, you have done all in all a gr8 job with the show. It is obvious you care about the art i would say maybe you should try and just step back for a second and take it all just may catch a breath.

Regards KJ Hamilton

Kevin Michaels said...

I think it was Updike who said: "Critics are like pigs at a pastry cart."

The show may not be for everyone, the same way How I Met Your Mother or Dancing With The Stars doesn't appeal to all demographics. But it works on many different levels for a specific audience (maybe one that appreciates well-written, tightly drawn characters with depth and story lines that don't always have fluff, happy endings).

If critics cannot string together a coherent analysis of why they like or dislike something about the show they're not much better than that loud-mouthed cut-up we all remember from 6th grade....the kid who sat in the back of the class and made fun of everything but when called, you realized he didn't bother to do his homework and didn't no a damn thing about anything. I think your vision, your willingness to take risks and push the envelope a little, the willingness to challenge make this one of the best shows on TV (like The Wire, The Shield, and some times the Sopranos), it's a show that often leaves you with a punch to the gut and has you thinking about what went down the day after watching it.

craig a said...

Mr Sutter (I don't feel I should call you Kurt as I don't know you personally), I agree with your comments about modern day journalism. Tabloid journalism and these so called celebrity blogs in particular are so bad, the only thing they are good for is primary (or elementary school in the US I think) toilet paper. I think the Wire covered something about that in its 5th season (David Simon having a particular cross to bear with quality suffering as a result of cost cutting measures and the emergence of TV/online journalism), but in terms of people getting/not getting a show - it's horses for courses. I can't get into Mad Men, even though i'm aware of the intriguing backstory to Don Draper. Granted, if I was paid to critically review a show cold I would make the effort to do so. But when I have applied to magazines to become a reviewer, they are not looking for an analytical approach, they want a personality, an opinion, and not some clinical response. For what it's worth, Katey's portrayal last year of a woman trying to keep her family together whilst dealing own trauma was up there with Aaron Paul's performances in Breaking Bad in the past 2 years. I dare say that Charlie Hunnam's portrayal of coping with the uncertainty will be more powerful than that of Aaron Paul's.

johnny said...

4.1 million! Congrats cast, crew, and Creator.

carly said...

You're killing it this season. I absolutely loved the latest episode. Thank you for making great television.

The Topiary Cow said...

..."unenlightened penetrators"


Great post.

holymotherofgod said...

Artists and creators have heart. Hence us listening to whatever people have to say and at times, taking criticism hard. When it's something you create, and part of you, it's only natural to do so. You know you do what you do well. So do we; it's why we watch faithfully.

therealzenobia said...

Naked Tig: Yes! Assume naked Kozic to follow. Naked Otto: Your honor requires this. If you don't don't, you're just an actor exploiter no better than Joe Esterhas.

Pats said...

I may not be what you had in mind in terms of your typical viewer/fan - I'm a working single mother in her 40s with a gradeschool aged daughter. And I can tell you on Tuesdays, after playing soccer mom and running my daughter to her various practices, coming home to do laundry, help with homework, and pack her lunch for the following day, my GREAT reward is to settle in and watch SAMCRO...TB is campy good fun, but now it's over. Boardwalk Empire hasn't started yet...and SOA is here, keeping me on the edge of my seat, sometimes making me bwahaha out loud! I love these characters and can relate to them. Now who would have thought a 40 something single mom could relate to a bunch of MC members? It's the writing - intelligent, sharp, darkly funny sometimes, and brutal. Thank you for this great show.

Kaz_NEETS said...

Hi Kurt,

I am pretty sick of folks comparing Sons to the shows you mentioned as it's nothing like those shows.

And like you, when I get really pissed off, inanimated objects get the brunt of my wrath.

As far as critics, you are a lot stronger than you might think Kurt. The fact that you and your crew/cast are making Sons the way you want to and not going by studios/critics/public opinion you've already beaten the critics.

Stay true to your vision and keep growing and pushing those boundaries.

Perhaps the bloody knuckles can be fodder for Big Otto's time in the tank?

Thanks for keeping your intergrity on full throttle.

Anonymous said...

I love this show. It stands on its own and doesn't try to be any other popular show on TV. Some viewers just don't know how to let go and say its over when a favorite show ends.

MissTinyAnn said...

I just looked at the ticker at the bottom of your page and saw that it's somewhere over 3 million, so since i'm pretty sure you will never read this i will gush over how much i adore this show. I'll admit i was a little skittish on watching it, but my mother-in-law talked me into it. I have literally watched every episode in the last three days and now even though it's only Thursday, I'm ready for next Tuesday. It may seem far fetched to some, unbelievable to some, but to me it sounds like what should've been in place. I'm not going to give my sob story, (even though i'm pretty sure no one will read this) but what the Sons of Anarchy stand for really is a bit amazing. I know a few good men with the same morals (except the killing part) but still. I hope it starts coming on earlier just so i can see it faster.

A fan,

Anonymous said...

Listen man, everyone has got an opinion, and not everyone is gonna like everything. get over it.

Even if your show was the most brilliant masterpiece ever, there would be some people who would hate it just to seem hip, edgy, and there are some people who are just misanthropes and like raining on parades.

But you do know this, for whatever reason, however good or bad your show is or isn't, it actually has an audience and some people want to see it. The show must go on.

No one can be liked by everyone. Just remember that. Anyone who tells you they like all types, and all types like them is either lying, or if they do have all types like them, no one really trusts them, and they are at home nowhere.

So you just need to figure out who your friends are, who your support is, and that everyone else can go fuck themselves.

I do like Sons of Anarchy, I also like The Shield.

Still I think you need to get a hold of yourself. I know what 70 hours a week is, so I know how it can fuck with your head. Still you need to get a grip.

Niimki said...

I have heard people trying to "one up" the Sons with Mad Men. At first I was pissed, then I watched that show. It is ok, not really my cup of tea like the Sons, but good enough. But there just is no comparison. Not the depth, not the passion and doesn't hit in the gut hard enough. Been watching FX's Terriers. Might be something there. Made me laugh like a teen age girl a couple of times. did Chips in a Kimono this week too.

Unknown said...

hey Kurt: just read your twitter. Sorry I'm responding here, lost my twitter password, not sure which addy I used. The only reason I even signed up was for SOA info. Anyway, great episode as usual. Look forward to Tuesdays. Kids and spouse are well trained to not bother me all night. I watch the show a least twice Tuesday night and again and again. Anyway, cruising your twitted you mentioned dvr ratings and just want to get this straight, if you don't mind. No credit for fast fowarding through commercials? What about watching it numerous times, does that count? I know you don't really answer questions here but I'll check your twitter if you get a chance to educate us fans on exactly how it works. Just love your work, want it around for many years. Guessing your fans are fanatics like me, like to do our part.

aohora said...

It sounds like you've got Haters, and you have my sympathy [empathy, too].

Haters are like lice, aren't they? They're basically harmless but still highly irritating, embarrassing and contagious.

Problem is, Haters are naturally attracted to public success. It gets them more attention that way. [At least lice are equal opportunity little fuckers.]

I picked up your show on the advice of an online pal who said, "Sons of Anarchy is like a really hot chick with a baggy ass. It only bothers you if you're an ass man."

I think he's right, but I also think you can say that about nearly every other new/popular show out there. At least you can say you're doing something DIFFERENT and INTERESTING and NOT COMPLETELY STUPID. [Vampires are not supposed to worry about the prom. That's all I'm sayin'.]

For what it's worth:

At one point in time, BAYWATCH was the most watched TV show on the planet [So much for popularity makin' the quality call].

If you're feeling irked, pick up the phone and call Damon Lindelof or Carlton Cuse. They turned deflecting Haters, TV critics or otherwise, into an ART FORM. [Tell 'em Amy sent you :)]

Finally: Congratulations. You're in your third season and got more buzz than ever before. You're in the perfect position to tell them all to FUCK OFF.

P.S. My only beef is completely meaningless. I want those sex scenes hotter, louder, nastier, raunchier -- the whole she-bang!! I saw Mr. Hunnan in Queer as Folk. I think he can pull it off. [Does that make me an "ass man?" I dunno. Hm.]

stéphanie said...

the most important is THE AUDIENCE!!! people who watch and like the show!! fuck the critics!!! (and i know them, im working in movies business in Europe!!) follow your talent Kurt!! wish you the best (sorry for my english.. it's not my mother-language :))

B Adamski said...


I think Sons is right up there with Mad Men and True Blood. Both of which I watch. But it was Sons that I could hardly wait for the 3rd season premier. I was not disappointed. In fact I think it is the most original new show I have seen in a while. I am sooo tired of cop and lawyer shows.

Anonymous said...

Kurt...your show has one of the highest audience views in the history of fx!!!!! Haters gonna hate!! Love the new season!! Can't wait for the 4th season, and the 5th, and the 6th, and the 7th....and the..and the...!! Much love from the 505. My regards to you and yours..


Colt Lemons said...

I'm no critic, and I'm a terrible analyst. Most of the time, theme escapes me (a very bad trait for an English major...). That said, there is one thing I know for sure about your show. I love your characters. They have become my friends. When a show achieves that, when it sways my heart, I consider it a truly great show.

Heather Mirassou said...

SOA show, the cast, crew, writers, producers and your fans are EPIC MAN! Soon those critics will be shxtxxx their pants!

p.s. I recently wrote an SOA poem it is a hit on a few of my poetry sites. I'd send it to you but the comment sections doesn't give me enough room. I will telepathic it your direction.

With a Smile,

GT Black said...

I wish my (shovel-handed, power-lifting) significant other HAD giggled like a 14-year-old girl at Tig's reaction to Half-Sack's infected nuts. Instead, he laughed out loud and slapped his thigh – forgetting that my feet were resting on it at the time. No harm or malice intended, but HELL, it stung! (I do have him to thank for getting me into SOA in the first place, though.) said...

Kurt, thank you from Paris France. We need shows like SOA, our meaningless middle-class jerk lives need tragedies like the Sons, and you are the Shakespare of future generations. And I'm sure even Shakespare was receiving stupid critics from fuckers who wanted to please the Queen... Just know you made a french Finance Consultant buy a harley cause of your stories, you are freeing us man. Thanks for changing people lives, and keep up your awesome work !

Karen said...

We love the show here, my mother is 62 years old and is totally hooked on the show.

Fuck all those negative lunatics...i am so sick of seeing hospital shows, reality shows, cop shows, this is fresh, addictive and my husband and I, my mother and a bunch of friends from all differnt walks of life love this show. Keep up the fantastic work

larry novak said...

Yes Kurt, I loved BSG and see the similarity between it and your show. Don't stop...follow your heart. Here is a poem (think you know this one) I try to live my life by. Maybe you could draw some comfort from it.
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Jessie_75 said...

I love this show. It's not like these stupid and pointless soap operas or gossip girl kinda crap shows, which my family enjoys way to much. I get enough childish drama at school and this show is a release from it all.
I'm sad that prospect died and i think it's time that the atf bitch chokes on something and dies.
I need to know who did the table for the show. My bf likes the band H.I.M. and I want to get him the heartogram engraved into a table like the reaper design is engraved.

Dave M said...

Got to this a bit late, so I am sure all has been said so I will just say keep it up fella
also I found trashing the kitchen crockery far safer than windows!
cept I managed a few stitches and a scar to my ankle not missing the one cup aimed at me!

Anonymous said...

Why do I like SOA?

I like it because it has a wonderful mix of insanity and reality with believable characters who react in consistent ways.

Resting on your laurels only squashes them. Oh, and thanks for Lem.

therealzenobia said...

And furthermore - a naked Otto scene provides the perfect opportunity for another Oz hommage. Seeing those guys get thrown in the hole was just the very best thing in those days. Come on! Throw Otto in the hole!

Anonymous said...

A TV show is an art, a series is art in a larger canvas spaced in time.
We the people, the hardcore fans and the casual viewers, are the ultimate judge of your work.
And we will accept a sub-par episode every now and then, hey, that is simply the way it goes! We are all human. But so far what we have been enjoying, the result of your stubborn hard-headed macabre and deep-thinking lucubrations, has been nothing short of awesome.. Sons Of Anarchy rocks! and we owe it to you, to the actors and to FX.
Where in this equation are the critics? Who cares!

Ride on bro'

Anonymous said...

My grand dad rode a Knuckle, My Dad & I rode panheads & honda choppers....I love SOA.. It is 1 of the few shows I can't yell out the next scene to... I am not a "biker" i just ride.. No rockers but digg this show..It is reality to those of us who live in reality..

therealzenobia said...

So: Aaaaaaahhh, Belfast. Would not have ID'd the location as Short Strand. Beautiful and grim. Starfucking on Glee: You gave Stephen King a scene with Gemma, Doc, and Tig - just sayin'. That's fucking golden! You don't just give it away. It was great, of course. Holbrook: Awesome. Greedy Guati: Awesome.

XSive Rider said...

I don't think it would be too pretentious of you to list which critics whose opinion and writing you consider worthy of consideration. It would take balls to shout out the names of critics you despise.

Anonymous said...

The people with bad reviews are probably the same kind of people that when they see a MC or part of a MC riding, they hide.

Just Some Lady said...

I have also come to the astounding realization that I am getting OLD! I am also in my mid 30's and the pop stars my 8 year old daughter loves, I barely recognize by name. (I'm afraid that I am not only becoming my mother, but that I am finally at that point where I reminisce about times when I was young, and believe that the music of "my generation" was better!)
That brings me to my long winded point! There is nothing now, nor will there ever be anything outdated or one generational about the Sons.
No matter who you are, if you have ever truly lived off the grid, or experienced life's amazingly powerful curve balls, then Anarchy speaks it's own language to you!
My father watches your show religiously and he will be 70 this year..
Without getting too dramatic about a TV show, I will say that it speaks to those of us who have truly lived! Although I have "mostly" reformed my former, wilder ways,and will be practicing as a nationally licensed mental health counselor, I beleive that my other life and life's lessons will prove to be as valuable, if not more valuable than finally obtaining a formal education.
GOD who could not want to watch this show if for no other reason than to see Charlie! I've been rather partial to him since "Green Street."
Anyway, I hardly qualify as a real reviewer but I'm too busy to write this crap, and I still did! Your show is by far my favorite! Thank you for it!

Anonymous said...

I too have watch SOA since day one! I love it love it love it! This is big for me being that I have ADHD and cant sit still for a minute. For once in my life I sit still through the whole 110 minutes! I even sacrifice cigs for this show. No smoking in da house lil ones! Anyway I cant put into words how much Im attracted to this show. I own every season thats been buyable. Unfortunatley and fortunatley, this show hits home with me. Im covered in tattoos and have been through and seen a lot of what you have put into this show. All I have to say is keep on keep on!

therealzenobia said...

Totally forgot Otto is already in the hole! Jesus Mary and Joseph, it would have been the cherry on top of 301, SutterInk! Chicken.

Anonymous said...

KURT- FUCK THE CRITICS! I recently have become OBSESSED with Sons. I ended up watching the complete seasons 1 and 2 in two days. Now I watch them over and over again. Tuesdays are my favorite days of the week and I am always counting down to the next episode! This is the greatest show ever made! In our house on Tuesdays, we turn our phones off and make margaritas counting down until SOA!!! Please make this show go own for 9 more seasons!!!!! You are a writing genious and have so many supporters!
Oh yes, and more naked Jax scenes would be great! (-:
Please keep the show coming! I would be devistated if this is the last season!

flyingk9 said...

so are the critics eatin crow now!!!!!!
and bro like you were so stressed about the haters??? well just kick up ur feet and enjoy the ratings and know that there good!!!
so when u gonna buck up for a prime time slot can't start too soon to lay some ground work on that subject!!!

Cicero said...

You've probably heard this a million times, being a far more successful writer than myself, but it always deserves repeating - If people love your work or hate it, you're doing your job as a writer, because the point is to make them feel something and think something - to push their buttons.

I'm a huge fan (obviously), and I love this show for the balls-out risks it constantly takes. I honestly don't think this show gets enough credit - It's a fantastic human drama, and a pretty amazing and original take on the epic shakespearean family drama, but for me, as a woman and a feminist, it's done something for its female viewers and characters that most shows, aside from Mad Men, don't do. It makes women viable, strong, human beings. You don't patronize the women in the show, and you don't pander to your female viewers. That takes a lot of fucking guts.

I appreciate your vision - I'm only one voice in a very vocal, intense, and loyal fan base. So give your big sensitive feelings a hug from me, because as an artist, you're remarkable. Keep doin' what you do. There'll always be people watching.

JD said...

Kurt - love the show and have been watching from the beginning. the only thing that could be better is if you'd go ahead and wrap up the "IRA STOLE MY BABY" storyline already. It's too daytime soap opera and beneath you. I know what you're trying to do bringing in the history of the club in Ireland and all but surely there was a less - Everybody stand back - we're jumping the shark!!!! way to go about it. Anyway; keep up the (mostly)good work and get the boys back to killin' Mayans, fighting cops and dealing with the ATF......

KT-Bug said...

All I can say is OMG!!!!! This is the one show that my husband and I can both watch and have the SAME opinion on! We both LOVE it!!!!

There is no other show that can hold our attention from season to season. We tried with 24, Prison Break....(we made it for 2 seasons), Greys Anatomy.....but SOA... is a dream come true for us!!! I have to thank you for that... It's really something for us to be able to love watching the same show only if it's only once a week! Don't have to spend every waking moment together...LOL! totally rock!!! Don't worry about making every one happy...thats a battle you or any one can win!!! As long as you are making your SOA FANS happy than that's enough...

Anonymous said...

You are an artist, a truly talented storyteller. Don't let critics make you doubt it or think otherwise. My husband and I are the translators of Mad Men (and several other shows) for French TV (dubbed versions), so we've had the chance to watch and reflect over a ton of shows, in great detail. We're TV fans as well as college graduates, we studied Hamlet and a lot of Shakespeare during the course of our studies and believe me: we get it. Please continue to write for people like us. We are obsessed with the show, we think it is just as good as the Sopranos or Mad Men(so far) and yes, it is for everyone who has half a brain. We're young(ish)people who were born in France and never rode a bike, yet we find your show very appealing--to us, it does not matter if we know the "world" or the sub-culture the characters evolve in or not. We like the thrill of course, but the characters and story-telling are crucial. We are picky about what we watch, and for instance we were extremely disappointed by the end of season three of True Blood. Same feeling we got with the whole last season of Six Feet Under (or the second seasons of Prison Break or Lost, to give you other examples).
But we've been watching Sons of Anarchy VERY avidly and so far, it seems like a "sans-faute". We made the same remark about Breaking Bad. And Battlestar Galactica.And Mad Men. And very few other shows.
Also what sets you and people like Weiner apart is that you do have a vision for a whole arch spanning a certain number of seasons. That's a brave artistic decision to go that way and not cater to exterior demands or trends. I hope you'll get the chance to write it all.
Just our humble opinion.
The critics don't make art, you do. Keep up the good work and let frustrated people be mean, while keeping in mind that they can't have an objective, unbiased opinion or analysis.
Respect from Becky & Nick

Anonymous said...

Been following the show since the first night it came on, this season has a different tang to it that I'm still trying to wrap my tastebuds around, BUT!... I'm sorry, but there should have been a good ol' fashioned chain-whippin', boot-party laid down on those tweekers after all was said and done after the boys showed up at the drug house.

Don't want to kill 'em because of the heat it would have brought down from the cops, I get that, but these meth-heads put guns to the heads of club members and slapped around a senior OG(Piney).

I sincerely doubt any MC worth the patch would allow that to happen without some serious shit happening to the offenders.

Total weak sauce and not believable AT ALL that SOA didn't thrash these guys within a living inch of their lives as an abject lesson on who not to fuck with ever again.

A kinder, gentler SOA is, well... just icky.

Thanks for listening and all the best to you and yours.

Scott C. Brown said...


I don't feel you are pretentious to include Hamlet and Lear in your description of SOA. I am an avid biker, and an actor, and most all of my theatre friends, men, women, straight, gay, black, white, all love the show because of those themes. When I first realized the Hamlet connection, I about shat my pants, and immediately watched Season 1 again all over. I feel your work, and that of the entire cast and crew truly deserves to be ranked up with Shakespeare for telling a good story, creating stakes, giving us something to believe in and care about, and as I said before, story trumps all. Thank you Kurt, from the bottom of my heart. Tacoma love you baby!

Scott C. Brown

Janett from Indiana said...

Kurt, SOA Actors and Actresses, and Fans Alike,

THIS SHOW ROCKS!!!! Don't listen to the garbage of the critics, or wanna be critics who sit back in their east chair and at their plush jobs of watching movies day in and day out raving about good ro bad the show they've just watched. There are more of us out there, the ones who love the show, the ones who can relate to the show in one way or another, than there are of those who can't relate. Kurt, I've watched the other shows like MADMEN, and Sopranos, and dont' get me wrong they were good. But they weren't good enough to keep me glued to my television set every Tuesday night.If I have work to do, it waits, whether it be housework, or homework for my graduate studies. My 17 year old daughter who is autistic loves your show. My husband loves yours show, as does both of our sons, and plenty of our friends and neighbors. Indiana loves you Kurt. Keep it coming buddy. The actors and the show kees us going each week.

vasilis said...

Kurt Sutter,episode 10 was MINDBLOWING.THANK YOU for creating pure perfection

Meghann said...

Mr. Sutter you are truley gifted in writting and you have given the world a fantastic show. My god you must have such pride in your work to continue to leads us in your vision again BLOODY BRILLIANT

Oz said...

I ride. I watch. Nuff said.

Unknown said...

I've only just had a chance to read through some of your posts, so my apologies for commenting on an old post.
Love or hate, hey? I can understand that. However in the circles I run in, it's all love. I dont think I know anyone who doesn't dig the show. For me its this brilliant, heart-string tugging, epic melodrama. It reaches back to stories my Father and Uncle used to tell me about running with these kinds of guys in the 70's in Sydney. It's a telling of the struggle of what 'Bikie' gangs were and what they have become. It gives this sense of that attachment to the beginnings of these clubs where crime was a means to and end, not the reason to begin with. And I think this is what I see Jax's turmoil comes from.
The show gives this glimpse of life behind the jacket and the sunnies. It gives a reminder to people that these are real people. However it also takes their problems and puts them on this epic stage.
All the reviews I have read have spoken about the brilliant acting, the direction and production. The aspect I would like to give credos to is the soundtrack. The choice of music give the most encompassing support to the stories. It really has become the unseen star of the show (I say that, listening to both Shelter and North Country as I type this).
Those that bash the show clearly lack the understanding of the show, or the commitment to really get into it to make a legitimate judgment. If the fans are happy (and they clearly are) and the ratings tell you that the fans clearly out number the quick-to-judge critics - then you know that youre on the right track.

Lurch, Australia.